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
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..
Figure 1. House panels laid out flat for assembly.
Figure 2. Floor fits into recesses in side walls.
Figure 3. Front and back walls slide down into position.
Figure 4. Last step is to install the roof.
Figure 5. The fully assembled Bowser waiting for an occupant.