Making a Strip Curtain Dog House Door

A dog house that is insulated requires the doorway is sealed for the insulation to do its job. However, a dog does not have hands like you, and I do, or most of us do anyway. And opening and closing doors can be quite impossible for them.

How do you make a door that is custom-sized to your specific dog house that will work and that the dog can operate? You make a strip curtain door for a dog house door, that’s how. And I’ve got the instructions right here to help you make your strip curtain – dog house door.

My Experience With Doors

You know, I spent a lot of time fixing doors over the years. I currently work full time in the door business and have for the past 15 years. I bet you didn’t even know there was such a thing. But, oh, let me tell you, there is. Just think, no matter what company, no matter what industry, they have to have a building and that building needs doors. Both for humans to enter and exit, or for vehicles to enter and exit. Therefore, it’s a bit of a recession-proof industry if you play your cards right.

Questions Of Sealing Openings

On many occasions, people have asked me the question of how to best seal an entranceway. And some of the pre-requisites are quite interesting. I’ve had to seal labs that tested human blood. There were times I had to seal doors that led to military test facilities. I’ve even worked at nuclear power plants. Everybody has doors. You might say I’m a bit of an expert on entrance technology.

So, there I was watching my dog huddle in the back corner of her little dog house to avoid the wind. You see, I got a hot tub to help me with a medical condition that causes me a lot of pain and discomfort. I do 20-minute hot tub sessions, as more than that is not necessarily good for you. And my dog, Kiki, loves to follow me where ever I go. I can’t let her get into the hot tub, so I built her the wood plank dog so she would have somewhere to relax while I spent my time in the tub.

Kiki, The Wonder Dog, Needed A Door

Kiki is a fantastic dog. To give you a little background, my wife and I got Kiki in 2009. Then in 2014, she was diagnosed with two types of cancer, which had generated in the form of large abscesses. We had to get her a radical mastectomy, and that was very traumatic, but she made it through. Then in 2018, Kiki started to show signs of Cushing’s disease. Her liver grew in size, and we had to get a bunch of tests done, and now she seems relatively stable on her current doses of 2 different types of medication.  

Kiki is only nine years old and has visually aged over the last year. I fear the worst. So, I try to make her as comfortable as I can. I know she doesn’t like being locked up alone in the house while I’m out in the hot tub. And as I mentioned, that’s why I made her the dog house as I use my hot tub almost daily.

End Result For Kiki’s Dog House

Getting to the point, I wanted to make sure the dog house I had built for Kiki (you can watch me grow it in the Wood Plank Dog House Build video) was adequately warm. Therefore, I insulated it and now have constructed a strip curtain door for the dog house.

Making your strip curtain door is rather fun (if you like crafty things) and relatively simple. The materials you will need to make a dog house are easy to find.

What’ You’ll Need To Make And Install A Strip Curtain Dog House Door

The Obvious

An existing dog house. However, we’ve got a video that shows you how you can make your own dog house. However, for this strip curtain, the accompanying video was filmed using a dog house with a rectangular-shaped doorway. If you are trying to make a strip curtain door for an igloo type house with a rounded doorway, you’ll have to be a bit more creative than what I’ve shown in the video. (See Dog House Times – Dog House Reno Episode 3 on YouTube).

Tools

  • Saw 
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Marker
  • A pair of scissors

Materials

  • 3-4 screws
  • Two layers of strip curtain material (cold temp clear PVC preferred)
  • Wood or other mounting material
  • Caulking
  • Paint or stain if using wood

Instructions To Make And Install A Strip Curtain Dog House Door

Step 1.  Measure

Measuring the doorway width and height as shown in this picture.
Measuring the door opening height.

Measure your dog house door opening size.  Write down the width and height.

Step 2. Gather Materials

Gathering materials for making the strip curtain dog house door.
Gathering materials for making the strip curtain dog house door.

If you can find it, you can use a cold temperature clear PVC strip curtain. Available online on Amazon, of course. I used some that I had picked up at a hardware store that has the purpose of being used as a stair liner. I’ve used it in a pinch before, and it didn’t get brittle until it got to be frigid temperatures like -15 Celsius, which my dog won’t be outside in any way.

For mounting your strip curtain, you will need some wood or a similar piece of material. The width should be about 2 inches wider than the width of the doorway of your dog house. That’s so your strip curtain can overlap the sides of the door, which provides a better seal.

Mount Bar From Weather Strip

For my dog house, I used a leftover piece of vinyl garage door weatherstrip, which I had lying around. As it is already weather-proof, I do not need to paint it like I would a piece of wood. But, if you do use wood, make sure you stain or paint as well, so it is weather-proof like the vinyl weatherstrip is.   

Pro Tip:  Email me if you want colored vinyl weatherstrip.  I work in the door business and will sell you a piece if you need it.  See my contact page for my email address.

Step 3. Cut Strips

Cutting strips into the first layer of PVC for the strip curtain dog house door.
Cutting strips into the first layer of PVC for the strip curtain dog house door.

I like to use a single piece of PVC and cut slits into it, keeping one end together. You can see this in the video I made on how to make the strip curtain for a dog house. Doing it this way ensures a better mounting strength than if you were to cut and mount strips individually. Make two layers of pieces. Cut the slits so that the strips on one sheet will overlap the layer underneath ½ way. The easy way to do this is to cut one set and then use it as a template to mark the next piece.

Mark the layer at the center of each strip, so the slits on the second strip curtain are halfway along with the previous layer. Make sure each layer of PVC is wider than the actual doorway size you measured on the dog house. A decent overlap is a good idea. I usually like to overlap by an inch per side. In metric, it would be about 2 centimeters that I make the strip overlap on each side.

Step 4. Cut The Mount Bar

A fictional picture of a saw cutting golden wood.
A fictional picture of a saw cutting golden wood.

The bar, piece of wood, or in the case of my dog house, a part of vinyl weatherstrip, should be cut to a length equal to the width of the strip curtains. As mentioned, this should be wider than the doorway.

A piece of crown molding can look nice too, especially if you frame the doorway with it and pin the PVC strip between it and the dog house doorway.  

Step 5. Drill The Mount Bar and Strip Curtain

Drilling the mounting bar for the dog house.
Drilling the strip curtain dog house door mounting bar.

Drill the strip curtain mounting bar, so you don’t crack or break it (depending on what material it is, if wood it could crack). Start your screws in the holes enough to hold the mounting bar to the strips.

Showing how the door strips overlap.
Showing how the strip curtain strips overlap.

Mark these holes which are on the mounting bar by pressing the mounting bar in position on the dog house. Place it on the dog house, above the doorway, and mark the locations. Drill on the dog house where you have marked. Therefore, your wood will not split.

Step 6. Mount The Strip Curtain

Mounting the strip curtain as the dog house door.
Mounting the curtain as the dog house door.

Placing the strip curtain on the dog house, lining up the pre-drilled holes, position the mounting bar against the strip curtain. Using your mounting screws, insert the screws into the pre-drilled holes, and fasten them. However, this should sandwich the PVC strip curtain between the dog house and the mounting bar. 

Step 7.  Finishing Touches

A picture showing the strip curtain completed and installed as the dog house door.
The dog house door is all done!

If you used wood or metal that rusts as your mounting bar, be sure to stain/paint it. You want to prevent rot and rust for the longevity of your dog house.

Conclusion

And you’re all done! That’s it! Therefore, the last part is to train your dog. They have to push their way through the curtain. And they must learn this to enter and exit the dog house. Take a bit of time and some patience. Your dog might be a little weird about it at first. Use some treats to entice them through. Once you’ve done that a few times, they’ll get the hang of it.

Need A Dog House?

I will always recommend you build your own. And I’ve got the plans to do it. Did I mention they are FREE?

I hope you enjoy the video I made to accompany these instructions. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  

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© 2019 – 2020, Jeremy Shantz. All rights reserved.

1 thought on “Making a Strip Curtain Dog House Door”

  1. Aw, this was a very nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.

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