How To Make a Strip Curtain Door For Your Dog House (With Video)

Updated January 17th, 2021.

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 custom-sized door 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. 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. In 2014, she was diagnosed with two types of cancer, which had been generated in the form of large abscesses. We had to get her a radical mastectomy, which 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 medication types.  

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.

Update: My best friend Kiki has since past away from Cushing’s Disease.

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, the accompanying video was filmed using a dog house with a rectangular-shaped doorway for this strip curtain. 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

This image shows a DEWALT miter saw.This image shows a hacksaw from Amazon.
This image shows a 20v MAX DEWALT combo kit from Amazon.This image shows a variety pack of drill bits for use with metal and wood from Amazon.
This image shows a multi-tip Klein screwdriver from Amazon.This image shows a pack of dual-tip Sharpie permanent markers from Amazon.
This image shows a DEWALT 30' measuring tape from Amazon.A set of rulers is shown in this image.
This image shows a heavy duty pair of sheers from Amazon.This image shows a caulking gun from Amazon.

Materials

This image shows a variety pack of wood screws from Amazon.This image shows a person holding a clear vinyl pre-drilled strip from Amazon.
This image shows an aluminum flat bar from Amazon.This image shows a tube of Gorilla brand clear silicone from Amazon.
This image shows a can of Rustoleum paint from Amazon.This image shows a spray can of wood stain from Amazon.

Instructions To Make And Install A Strip Curtain Dog House Door

Step 1.  Measure

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

In this image, Jeremy is measuring the dog house doorway with his measuring tape.
Measuring the dog house doorway opening.

Step 2. Gather Materials

In this images, Jeremy gathers and organizes the materials needed to build a strip curtain door for his dog house.
Prepare and organize your materials and tools.

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

In this image, Jeremy cuts the pre-marked strips of the strip curtain door for his dog house.
Cutting the marked strips of the strip curtain.

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

The images shows Jeremy's well-used chop saw in his workshop.
I used my chop saw (here is the chop saw on Amazon – a great tool I might add. Just look at all the sawdust to see how loved my saw is.) to cut the mounting bar which in my case happened to be a piece of vinyl weather stripping.

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

In this image, Jeremy drills out the mounting bar and strips for easier fastening to the dog house.
Pre-drill your mount bar for easy installation.

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 custom dog house with strip curtain door is shown.
The completed dog house strip curtain door installation.

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.

Dog House FAQ

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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1 thought on “How To Make a Strip Curtain Door For Your Dog House (With Video)”

  1. Sherice Devazier

    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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