How to make a dog kennel

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If your dog is outside a lot of the time, it’s essential to provide a place where he (or she) can shelter from rain, wind and strong sunshine. It’s quite easy to make a kennel for your dog. Remember that the kennel needs to be the right size for your dog! Bigger isn’t always better, because dogs feel most secure in a small space. A dog kennel that’s a good fit will help to contain your dog’s natural body heat.

Attention points
To choose the right size for the dog kennel, we’re assuming it’s for a small to medium-size dog with a weight of around 45 kg. We’ll make the kennel out of wood, because it’s a material with naturally good insulation that keeps the kennel cool in the summer and warm in the winter. For your dog’s safety, you should use sturdy, durable materials. We’ll make the dog kennel with a fixed floor, because this is more comfortable and hygienic.

We’re going to make a simple kennel with an A-frame, which is easy to make. It’s best to use an outdoor grade of wood, because your dog kennel will be exposed to all kinds of weather. Water-resistant plywood, epoxy-coated panels and impregnated wood are ideal materials. It’s best to use FSC-approved outdoor wood. This has environment friendly impregnation, so there’s no need for any further treatment.

Required materials
The sizes given below are intended as a guide. You can adjust the length, width and height to match your own preferences and the size of your dog.

Frame: 4 lengths of wood measuring 44×44 mm and around 100 cm long

A-frames:
- 4 lengths of wood for the uprights, measuring 28×58 mm and around 100 cm long
- 1 length of wood for the ridge of the roof, measuring 44×44 mm and around 120 cm long

Floor panel:
- epoxy-coated plywood, 12 mm thick and measuring around 100x100 cm
- 4 short legs made from pieces of wood measuring 90x90 mm and 12 cm high

Roof:
- 14 planks measuring 125x22 mm and around 120 cm long
- corner planks for the opening measuring 75x20 mm, 32x around 130 cm long and 2x around 170 cm long

Back wall: assembled in a triangular shape, sawn out of 18 mm tongue-and-groove planks

Front wall: triangular shape, sawn with an opening

You’ll also need:
- tongue-and-groove planks of 18 mm thick impregnated pine with an effective width of 120 mm = 2x 6 planks with a length of around 1000 mm. (If you’re using untreated wood, then you need to treat it with a coat of paint or varnish to prevent rotting.)
- 4 connecting pieces with a length of 1000 mm
- Corner planks with a width of 20 mm

  1. The bottom frame

    The first step is to make the bottom frame. Start by pre-drilling the holes in all the lengths of wood that you will later screw into place. That will prevent the wood from splitting. Make the frame as shown in the drawing using the 4 lengths of wood measuring 44×44 mm. Fix 4 blocks of wood under the frame at the corners to keep it off the ground.

  2. A-frames

    Assemble the A-frames of the dog kennel in a triangular shape. Saw the underside of the triangle at an angle of 60° and the top side at an angle of 30°. Then fix the lower corners of the lengths of wood using galvanised (or stainless steel) screws.

  3. Ridge of the roof

    Assemble the frame further by assembling the two A-frames together with the length of wood for the ridge of the roof, with a length of 120 cm, as shown in the drawing. Make sure the triangular A-frames are properly aligned. Use a spirit level to check that the A-frames are upright before you screw the ridge of the roof into place.

  4. Floor panel

    Saw out the openings for the uprights at the 4 corners of the floor panel. Lower the floor panel between the uprights and screw it into place. Then enlarge the pre-drilled holes in the floor panel with a countersinking drill so the countersunk screws are flush with the surface of the panel.

  5. Make the roof watertight

    If you want to make the roof of the dog kennel 100% watertight, first of all apply thick plastic foil (for example pond-liner foil) over the A-frame and secure it in place with staples. The next step is the roof of the kennel.

  6. Fit the roof

    Use overlapping planks measuring 165x22 mm. First screw a plank into place at the top. Then fix a spacer block under this plank so you can slide the roof panel under it. This will keep the panel firmly in place and prevent rain from entering the dog kennel. For the loose roof panel, make a frame from lengths of wood measuring 75x20 cm and screw the horizontal roof planks into place so they overlap like roofing tiles.

  7. Back wall of the dog kennel

    Fit the front and back walls separately by fixing groups of 6 planks together with tongue-and-groove joints. Make sure the planks fit tightly at each joint. Fix the planks together at an angle of 60° (following the shape of the A-frame) with 2 connecting pieces (B) for each wall. These connecting pieces have to fall within the A-frame, so you need to allow for the spacing. Screw the top plank into place separately.

  8. Saw out the triangular shape

    Draw out the diagonal line for the roof from the centre point up to the top of the 6th plank. Use a circular saw to saw the back wall in the same triangular shape as the A-frame, and screw it into place.

  9. Front wall

    Draw out the shape of the entrance in the front wall from the 1st to the 4th planks. Make sure the entrance to the dog kennel is in the middle. At the top, the shape of the entrance follows the line of the roof. This is at an angle of 60°. Pre-drill holes in the top corners; these will allow you to turn the jigsaw easily. Follow the line that you drew and saw out the rest of the opening. Screws a connecting pieces into place at the top and bottom above the middle to strengthen the front panel.

  10. Assemble the dog kennel

    Assemble the dog kennel by putting the front and back walls in place and screw them to the bottom frame. Pre-drill the screw holes and use countersunk screws for a smooth surface. Finally, fix corners strips around the entrance for a neatly finished appearance.

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