dog kennel update

You may not know this about me but I am a proud dog mom. My husband and I adopted Raven a, sweet but sassy, Siberian Husky about 6 years ago.

Let me tell you something about Raven. Don’t say you don’t like dogs in front of her. She will know and she will make it her mission to convert you. Ask my parents. Both grew up with dogs as just another farm animal and literally tried to talk us out of getting her, and now they ask about Raven and her wellbeing before me and my life (yes, I am salty about it, don’t ask).

Okay, so back to the kennel.

At the time, we just needed a place for Raven to hang out while we were at school and work. If you know huskies, they cannot be bored or they will tear up your house and they also can never, under any circumstances be left to roam. Most often the last you will see of them is their super cute fluffy butt and curled tail. This is why we bought this kennel from someone on Craigslist so that she could relax outside and be safe from the busy road we live near.

It was nothing pretty, but it got the job done. The only issue is that Raven needs shade in the summer (husky + 80-90 degree heat + no shade = animal cruelty-Okay maybe not that bad, but I didn’t feel good about it), which left us with the super appealing tarp held on by bungee cords.

I seriously did not realize how sketchy it looked until Tyler posted a before and after on social media to humblebrag and show off his skills.

Raven is also an escape artist. She knows how to bump the latch of this old kennel with her nose and push the door open, so we had to clip carabiner into the latch to keep her from getting out of her kennel. We took this into consideration when designing this kennel as well.

Over the span of two weeks we planned and built this beautiful kennel, with a ROOF and a sliding door! No more snow, rain, leaves or hot sun on Raven.

The final measurements were: 6′ x 18′

Don’t forget to check with your city to make sure you have all the appropriate permits before you start!

We were very lucky to already have a cement pad in place to build the kennel on, so this cut down cost and permit requirements.

Here’s a list of the ‘big’ items we needed:

  • 1 gallon stain- Behr Transparent Penetrating Wood Oil in Chocolate.
  • 8- 8ft 1×3’s
  • 22- 8 ft 2 x4’s
  • 4- 10 ft 2 x4’s
  • 4- 10 ft 2×6’s
  • 8- 8′ galvanized tin panels
  • 8-4×4 pressure treated posts

I really intended to give you a complete list including how many screws, nails and sizes/lengths of the hardware, but in true DIY form, the project took longer, did not work out quite as planned and this blog went straight out of my mind. So sorry!! If you have questions about what we used, just ask it in the comments and I will get the answer to you!

The first step was staining/treating the wood. We used Behr Transparent Penetrating Wood Oil in Chocolate and treated all the wood (except the 4×4” pressure treated posts-those needed some time before they could be treated) on all sides to protect it from the elements.

The day I did this it was 90ºF and  humid, but I had taken the day off to do it, so I sweated it out and drank lots of water. Then a rain storm popped up and I have never moved so fast in my life to carry all this wood into the garage before the finish was ruined. It was a true test of my (basically non existent) patience but it turned out pretty well. I also realized I should probably start running again.

The stained wood safely out of the storm's reach

Next was making the cuts. We designed the kennel such that we did not have to cut much. 

After we cut most everything, we placed the post brackets. These are what will hold the kennel in place. (Raven’s old kennel flipped over once due to high wind and the tarp and I still have nightmares… thank goodness Raven came home the next day).

We borrowed a hammer drill from my parents and went to work. We first drilled into the cement. Then placed the post brackets and pounded in the concrete anchors. 

Once all 7 of those were secure, We then drilled holes in the center of the posts to accommodate for the anchor bolts. We did contemplate cutting the bolts off, but decided it would add more support to the structure.

Then we placed the posts into the brackets and nailed them in with D16 nails.

Next came the support beams for the roof support beams(aka the horizontal 2×6’s that the 2×4 roof supports will sit on). We screwed these in to the 4×4 posts with some pretty heavy duty screws. They do the job and give the kennel an industrial feel.

Next we installed the roof support beams. These are what the roof would actually be attached to.These were are little more tricky to install. We used hurricane ties to keep them on. The hard part was with the pitch that the boards were being installed at caused the boards to slide a bit and we had to measure each one multiple times and clamp into place, measure again, install the first hurricane tie and measure again. This was the most time consuming part.

Then came the roof. We used 8’ galvanized roof panels. I really wanted black metal, but cost was much different on these and after all it is just a dog kennel so I caved and got the cheaper but just as functional galvanized ones instead.  

At this point we planned to be done with the framing, but it was not as solid and sturdy as we had planned,  so we incorporated 2 X’s into the design. One is on the back end and the other is on the front end next to the door. It is amazing what those two additions did for the stability of the structure.

Next was the hog wire fencing- what would actually contain Raven. We used a staple gun to install the wire. We then went back through with large galvanized fence staples in key areas to make sure it stayed in place.

We then decided to install a baseboard and inch or so off the ground to attach the wire to as well as a additional wire support a couple feet off the ground.  This would keep Raven, our Houdini husky, from bending the wire and escaping while still allowing the water to drain out.

Then we built and installed the door. We started by installing the header and attaching the sliding tract so that we could measure exactly how tall the door could be. Then we set out to build it. The design was very simple.

We made two of the ‘frames’ and measured and cut a piece of fencing to fit it. We used the staple gun again to attach the wire to one of the frames and the screwed the two frames together, essentially sandwiching the wire between the two.

We then attached the sliding door hardware to the door, and installed the door into the track and put the end caps in to keep the door from sliding right off the track.

Lastly, we installed the door handle, latch and bottom guides.

And after 20 hours of work, 6 trips to Home Depot and only two minor injuries, Raven now has a new home while we are at work!

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