By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Your dog probably has the run of the house, but consider building him or her a personal sanctuary: a doghouse he or she can call their own. You'll particularly enjoy it if you spend time outdoors, where you can watch your pet enjoy his new digs. Before you begin looking at doghouses, consider where you'll build it. Find a spot in the shade where the structure will be out the sunlight and protected from strong winds. The location should provide a good foundation for the house to rest on, with well-drained, level soil. Ideally it'll be located with easy access to the house or patio, so you'll be able to know when your favorite friend has taken up residence and when the water bowl needs a refill.
We were surprised to see so many Web sites devoted to doghouses; we found a nice selection of ready-to-assemble designs at www.doghouses.com. If you want to build a dog house from scratch, type "dog house plans" in a search engine and you'll find several free woodworking plans. You'll also find them sold at lumberyards and home and garden centers.
Another site for dog owners is the Jen Reviews post about the size of dog crates. Here's a link to What Size Dog Crate Do You Need?
You can buy a DIY doghouse kit made of cedar components with a raised panel floor for about $120 and assemble it, or you can pay a handyman an additional $205 to put it together. The kits come with all parts cut to size and all the fasteners required for assembly. Figure that it will take about the better part of a day to sort out the precut parts and assemble them. Since the major parts are precut or just need to be cut to length, the job involves sorting out the parts, assembling and then nailing or screwing them together. It will take longer if you choose to paint or stain the house, but you'll be happy you made the extra effort every time you see your furry friend snoozing under its roof.
The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to build a dog house with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.