A doghouse. (Georgia-Pacific / June 23, 2014)

Your dog probably has the run of the house, but consider building him a personal sanctuary: a doghouse he can call his 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 of 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 websites devoted to doghouses; we found a nice selection of ready-to-assemble designs at doghouses.com. If you want to build a dog house from scratch, type "doghouse plans" in a search engine and you'll find several free woodworking plans. You'll also find them at lumberyards and home and garden centers.

You can buy a doghouse kit made of cedar components with a raised panel floor for about $110 and assemble it, or you can pay a handyman an additional $199 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.

To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit http://www.diyornot.com and http://www.m.diyornot.com on smartphones.

Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved

$309 -- $110 -- 7.2 -- 9.0 -- $199 -- 64 Percent

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