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  • Material for outdoor use

    I'm building a cat house for a friend (yes...for an actual 4-legged feline....get your heads outta the gutter!!!). The dimensions are roughly 36"x18" for base and top, and around 30" tall. There will be a lucite panel in the top at the front.

    My question is, since this needs to be outdoors, what kind of material can I use? It'll set on the ground unless I can put some pavers under it. Even with the pavers, though, it'll still be in direct contact with the ground on at least 4 points. I was thinking maybe Trex or some other type of material for the ground-contacting studs.

    The base will be held off the ground at least an inch. I could use trex to form the base, as the inside will be covered in carpeting. If there's some other material or even paint that I could use on plywood, I'd appreciate any tips you all might have!
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

  • #2
    hi sandy i have 3 cats of my own so this is how i made mine(ground level as well) floor is 38"x38" teak plywood(i have a friend who does alot of work on boats) with ceader 1by stock covered and roofed in ceader shake shingels (about 1 1/2 bundles) but on the bottom at each corner is what a call fence balls these are about 5-6" high and mount on top of 4x4 posts i hope this helps some
    9/11/01, never forget.

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    • #3
      Some ideas:
      BCX plywood should work for all but the direct ground contact, but will need to be painted on the exterior. 5/8" (actually 19/32) is cheaper than 3/4 but strong enough for a box that size. Marine plywood would be better, but 2 to 3 times more expensive. I would recommend a water-based primer (kilz 2 works well) and 2 coats of a good exterior latex. Semi gloss or gloss will hold up better than flat. If you don't use the primer, 3 coat it. If there are any loose seams, caulk them before painting.
      For ground contact, the paving stones should work well unless wind is a problem, in which case you may want to anchor it to some short pieces of treated 4x4 in the corners.
      If termites are a problem, you might try coating the bottom surface with a petroleum grease and then staple a piece of roofing felt or black heavy-mil plastic sheet over it to provide a barrier before setting it on the paving stones (termites and most ants including fire ants don't like petroleum products like grease, motor oil and WD-40 and usually won't even walk across them.)
      If money is not an object and you want solid wood, cypress, cedar and redwood are options.

      Go
      Last edited by Gofor; 10-09-2006, 12:19 PM.
      Practicing at practical wood working

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      • #4
        Great ideas!!! I hadn't thought about teak ply, but I suppose if I can find some that would work. I like the idea of the "fence balls" for the bottom. I'll have to see where the design takes me on that. The grease cover for the bottoms is a very novel approach.
        I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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        • #5
          If you set it on the ground, even if you use impregnated wood, it will eventually rot (sooner than you expect), and if you paint it, peeling is on the horizon.

          i think the basic Trex at HD is not very expensive (for what you will need), and is a great idea.

          the problem using impregnated wood or painted pine, is that lumber is so wet these days, even with a high adhesive primer like zinsser, it will peel after a couple years.

          for the actual house, stk (tight not) cedar is not a bank-breaker (you'll have to go to a lumber yard for it). Home Depot actually has a pretty good pvc board at some locations, called TUF Board
          http://www.inteplast.com/worldpak/pvc/turfboard.html

          i have some 1X8 in my garage that i've been making triangular exterior trim pieces out of, and I'm impressed.....but they don't have it at all locations. It's basically a less expensive version of Azek board, but it's actually pretty nice, and you don't have to prime it. Looks like wood, comes in various sizes and is easy to fasten and the best part is, it's nice and square.

          be careful though, they have some real crappy pvc at most locations, you can tell by the way it looks and feels. the garbage has a sheen to it.

          if you do use wood, make your cuts 1st, prime everything after you dry fit (possibly twice if it's knotty or if it bleeds), and then put a couple coats of paint (semi or gloss as stated in an earlier post) and then fasten it using hot dipped gal or ss nails, decking screws etc.
          Last edited by CheekyMonkeyWrench; 10-09-2006, 10:36 PM.

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          • #6
            Found a local lumber yard with some stk cedar. Going out tomorrow to check it out. I'll drop into the HD and see if they have the TUF board.

            Thanks
            I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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