A Tudor Revival-Style Doghouse
Decorative half-timbering and textured stucco siding hint at the early English ancestry of this canine crib
From the popular magazine feature, ''A Doghouse Like Your House''
House: Tudor, 1890-1940
You don't have to be an English bulldog to feel right at home in an English-style Tudor. You don't have to be a bulldog at all, for that matter. Alfie, an 8-year-old boxer, liked this little cottage just fine. With its steeply pitched faux-slate roof and pale stucco exterior, the 4-foot-tall doghouse is Tudor to a tee. It's even got classic diamond-pane leaded-glass windows—except these are made of plastic gutter guard, cut to length and hand-painted an earthy red.
You'll want to use quality materials if you're going to build a doghouse that stands the test of time and a mixed-breed's rambunctiousness, but we don't expect you to mill tiny moldings and other architectural details. Our builders used many stock materials, readily available at building supply stores, hardware stores, and craft shops. Here are some of our favorite prefab parts.
Adhesive asphalt sheeting: Ideal for weatherproofing the roof, and it can be cut into strips and laid to give the look of shingles. Paint it gray and—voilà!—you've got faux slate.
Lauan, or Philippine, mahogany is perfect for making mini-clap-boards. The ¼-inch-thick sheets, which come smooth and paint-ready on both sides, can be scored with a utility knife and snapped.
Birch plywood: Unblemished and paint-ready, birch ply makes sturdy walls. To build the turret roof on our Queen Anne, we used bendable plywood, available at any good lumberyard or by special order.
Pressure-treated plywood: Strong and weather-resistant, it makes a tough, durable floor.
Lattice strips: ¼-by-1½ inch solid wood lattice makes perfect panes.
Galvanized deck screws: essential for the base of the doghouse, which will endure the most contact with water. Standard steel brad nails are sufficient for siding, moldings, and roofing.
Paint and Caulk
Exterior latex paint: Three coats will protect against the elements. Also, exterior paintable caulk is good for sealing around windows.
The pine "timbers" get hand-sanded in preparation for the first coat of paint.
For faux stucco that could fool even a dog's discerning eye, builders used quick-dry auto-body putty, which was smeared on, then incised with a putty knife to mimic trowel marks. Using a piece of scrap wood as a palette, small amounts of auto-body filler were mixed for the stucco. You have to work fast with this stuff, and uses only a little at a time because it hardens in the blink of an eye.
The casement windows aren't operable, but the diamond-shaped panes complete the traditional look.