In most cases, you’ll need to start by cutting a hole under the staircase that’s between two studs so the structure stays nice and sturdy. Those who have a storage room under the stairs will be able to repurpose this without needing to cut anything.
Regardless of how you get the room started, you’ll then need to prep the area like home renovations specialist Anh Mian does:
You’ll need a rip saw, a carpentry pencil, nails, screws, adhesive, sandpaper, a hammer and possibly a screw gun or drill to finish the work. While you may want to use a stud finder, you can also normally find studs by knocking on the outside with your fist.
Make sure that any doorways you cut or repurpose are large enough for your dog and then try the following:
- Layer an exterior using pine or another suitable wood – more than likely, you’ll want to use tongue-and-groove boards or some other material you can easily get from a hardware store and proves easy to work with it
- Make a mat out of cardboard based on your dog’s size so you know how big to make the entryway
- Clean the inside of your dog’s future kennel out – there’s probably quite a bit of dust under there
- If the inside is unfinished, then you’ll need to place some kind of material (be it lumber, finishing board, etc.) that will protect your dog from debris
- Fasten any interior structure to the studs and make sure it’s sturdy
- Sand down any rough spots to make the interior safe for your dog
- Attach the exterior with glue, nails and screws to prevent your dog from coming into contact with anything sharp on the outside
- Place shims or a frame along the outside with framing nails
- Clean the area again before you introduce your dog to it
- Finally show your animal that he or she has a new place to hang out
Those who have a purpose-built storage room under their stairs can cut out most of these steps and simply remove the existing door and replace it with an opening to let your dog travel to and from freely.
Decorative Front Dog Kennel
Dog owners need to have some sort of frame around the front of an under-the-stairs kennel so that their dog doesn’t get snagged on an unfinished edge. There’s no reason that you can’t make it look attractive, though.
You might want to consider using the simple construction procedure that Hugo Correa did to give his dog a convenient place to sleep:
If you want to add a decorative front to an already finished under the stairs dog kennel project, then there’s a few simple steps you can try:
- Add a house-like exterior with pine tongue-and-grove board
- Sand out any sharp areas
- Use framing nails to attach an outside frame around the entryway of the exterior
- Attach small shims to the top as though they were shingles
- Clean the area completely before you turn it back over to your dog
If you paint any part of a decoration, then make sure that you use low VOCs paints that aren’t going to cause any problems for your dog’s allergies. In most cases, the same sort of interior house paint that you use for any other wall in your home should be relatively safe.
Make sure that no matter what kind of decorative front you use, there are no sharp edges and it in no way compromises the integrity of the interior. Smaller dogs might be happy with a drywall interior, but the same can’t always be said for larger animals.
Some suggestions have been to use aluminum or high-density vinyl panels inside of an under-the-stairs kennel, but these kinds of things could interfere with the aesthetics. That’s especially true of anyone who wants the interior to look as great as the exterior.
That being said, you may find that you don’t have to use any special materials at all to build a decorative front.
Under Stair Dog Kennel Using Pallets
Since pallets are commonly given away after they’re used to ship merchandise, they make a great source of spare lumber for dog kennel construction projects. See if you can get a few for free from either your work or a local warehousing or retail operation.
You might want to use them as a front gate in the way that the pros from pallet.tv did:
Since pallets are normally just made from soft wood, they can be nailed into the size of the walls around your stairs, which can make for an easy way to close off your kennel. If you use them in this way, then you’ll want to sand and paint them before you actually let your dog go near them.
Since pallets tend to fall apart when they’re not taken care of by the shippers who use them, you’ll want to keep a few pointers in mind when you try a project like this:
- Check the pallets for any loose boards
- Use fasteners like nails or screws to attach the
- Remove any splinters hanging off part of the pallets
- Ensure that no nails are sticking out of boards
There’s no reason that you just have to use pallets for the front of a dog kennel either. You can build the interior of an under the stairs installation using boards from one, if you take it apart with a tool like a cat’s paw or a denailer.
In fact, you might even want to save a little of the wood in question for an outdoor kennel project because pallets are truly that flexible when you’re building dog kennels.