# Homemade dog house insulated panels

| Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I’m having to make a homemade dog house for my rather large Akbash mountain dog family (papa, mama and 12 wk old pup). I live in Region 5, western Colorado. I need a floor panel, roof panel, and 4 wall panels. I had this design for making the panels utilizing empty water bottles. What do you think? Will this work well enough to keep in heat and block outside cold air? I wish I had some idea of the R value. Cut 42″ long x 36″ tall 1/2″ thick thick plywood panels. Glue 2x4s around inside edge of each wall panel perimeter, on the wide (4″) side. Place additinal 2 x 4 down middle of the floor panel (so it won’t sink under dog weight). Place 2 layers 3mil plastic into cavity, draped over the 2 x 4s. Tightly pack 16.9 ounce empty-dry and capped plastic water bottles into the cavity. Pack Styrofoam scraps I have around the empty water bottles (like packing peanuts). Place another 2 layers of 3mil plastic over the cavity materials and glue and screw the top panel onto the bottom (into the 2 x 4s). Adhere aluminum foil onto the interior panel surfaces. Paint the outside panel black. Staple tar paper and plastic onto roof to shed snow and rain. The empty, air-filled water bottles fit perfectly between the two panel surfaces when compressed slightly.

These panels will be 1/2″ wood, 1.75″ of the insulated parts (bottles, plastics and peanuts), and then another 1/2″ wood panel. Total thickness 3.75″. Any idea what the R value may be?

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### Replies

1. | | #1

Actually total thickness is 2.75" of each insulated panel.

2. GBA Editor
| | #2

Andy,
I don't know what the R-value of your panels will be, but I do know that the R-value will be significantly less than the R-value of real insulation.

It probably doesn't matter too much what the R-value is. It's a doghouse. In Alaska, where temperatures are quite cold, dogs sleep outdoors without a doghouse.

If the materials are free, go ahead and experiment. Is it worth all the time and trouble to assemble these panels (as opposed to just buying some sheets of EPS or polyiso)? Probably not -- but it's your time, not mine.

3. | | #3

A doghose is small enough that the cost of using real insulation would be low.

4. | | #4

How about looking for scrap foam? Guessing any large construction project would have plenty of drop pieces they would give you. We certainly had plenty of too small to use remnants after a basement cut and cobble. A Craigslist ad looking for free leftovers might yield results. Last you might inquire at your local big box regarding damaged 4x8 sheets. I have another crazy idea if you want to use your time poorly. Skip the plywood and start collecting illegally placed corroplast signs and make a mash up into sheathing. Be safe and legal if you decide to pull signs. Unless this seems fun to you, I'd skip the bottle wall. And the corroplast.

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