Build a Dog House

Building the Bowser: Finishing Touches

Intro | Walls | Floor and Roof | Finishing and Assembly


With the house assembled and the floor in place, trace a line along the top of the floor against the front wall. This establishes the bottom of the doorway opening. Disassemble the house, lay the front wall face down on the work surface, and lay out the remaining three sides of the doorway using a framing square. I decided to make the opening 9" wide and 13" high, centered in the front wall. Cut out the doorway using a scroll saw with small holes pre-drilled in each corner to insert the blade.

It's a good idea to drill some ventilation holes in the dog house, especially if the house is destined for a hot, sunny spot in the back yard. Using a large 1" Forstner bit, I drilled four vent holes: one in each side wall, and two in the back wall. These holes also come in handy for holding the walls during assembly.

Round the Edges

To make the house both dog and human friendly, and to give it a more finished look, I rounded over most of the exposed edges using a 1/4" round-over router bit. For edges that were not easily accessible with the router, I gave them a quick rounding using a palm sander outfitted with 100-grit sandpaper. As an extra step, I used the scroll saw to round the four corners of the roof prior to rounding the edges. A 1" washer works well as a template for drawing the cut lines.

Apply Deck Finish

To spiff up the house and provide a little protection against the elements, I applied a couple coats of left-over deck finish. I also applied Thompsons sealer to the roof to allow it to shed rather than absorb water.

Assembling the Bowser

Now for the fun part: assembling the house! Begin by laying all the parts out flat as shown in Figure 1. Then, flip up one of the side walls and push it against the side of the floor until the floor panel slips into the recess cut into the side wall. Do the same for the other side wall. As shown in Figure 2, the two walls should stand upright without support as long as the floor recesses are a reasonably snug fit.

Next, slide the front and back walls down into the mating slots in the side walls (Figure 3). A little wiggling may be required to get the slots to line up. Once the walls are slid into position, tighten the two screws at each corner to secure the assembly and keep the walls from sliding apart when moving the house. As an optional step, you may want to secure the front and back walls to the floor by inserting a screw in the middle of the front and back walls from the underside of the floor extending into the wall.

Once the main structure is assembled, the last step is to install the roof. Standing in front of the house, lay the roof on top of the walls and maneuver it until it drops down. The front sliders on the underside of the roof will be next to the inner front wall. Holding the roof by the front corners, push it backwards until the locking sliders are fully seated. At this point, the roof will be in the locked position and you should be able to lift up on the front of the roof without the roof coming off. To remove the roof, brace your knees against the front wall, grab the roof near the corners and give it a firm tug. Piece of cake..



Dog house floor layout
Figure 1. House panels laid out flat for assembly.

Fitting floor into side walls
Figure 2. Floor fits into recesses in side walls.

Sliding back wall into position
Figure 3. Front and back walls slide down into position.


Roof slipping into place.
Figure 4. Last step is to install the roof.


Fully assembled dog house.Figure 5. The fully assembled Bowser waiting for an occupant.

Copyright All About Dog Houses - Woof, woof