The Ally Dome: Barkitecture in motion

I wanted to share about my affection for a different set of gear… now we all love wireless stuff, cell phones, tablets, etc, etc. but I’m here to testify having POWER TOOLS are heaven-sent!

One day, I’ll have a big workshop with table saws, compound miter saws, routers, cordless drills, jigsaws and all of the accessories like clamps, drill and router bits to build furniture to house all the gadgets acquired over the years!

When we were remodeling our kitchen, there was quite of pile of construction materials and demolition scrap left over ready to haul to the local dump. Destined also for disposal was a large metal satellite dish that was taking up a lot of space in the yard and no longer functional since acquiring DirecTV.

After dismantling the dish, I flipped it over on top of milk crates to ensure that the grass underneath would not be harmed due to lack of sunlight. Ally, our precious ten year Labrador (then 6) was chilling out underneath the dish. Inspired, why not turn all of scrap into something useful! Besides, I always desired to build a shed, so why not prototype a smaller version a.k.a. a dog house to try out my construction skill sets and framing techniques; plus I could use the large dish as the roof for the doghouse.

So I set out to build a doghouse worthy for Ally. Dubbed the “Ally Dome,” the book Barkitecture served as a basis of inspiration.

Here’s the framing… I remembered taking a water break from the framing – when I returned outside, there were two neighborhood dogs sitting inside! Talk about affirmation – I literally had tears of joy!

Interior: Fully insulated with 30-year-old 1/2″ knot pine paneling, trimmed out with crown molding.

I added a deck for Ally and Digglet to lounge out on…

The Ally Dome is approximately 8 feet square (not counting the deck). The glass side windows are hinged and have screens to keep out the bugs. The inside is quite roomy, akin to sitting in a Volkswagen Beetle with the domed roof. Two adults can sit inside and stretch out with comfort. I have considered camping out inside one night, (but it has no electricity [yet]) plus I don’t want anyone to say I literally spent the night in a dog house!

My wife Becky and I decided on a Florida look with the pink and blue color scheme. We also landscaped the sides with monkey grass and irises. I will probably add some accent porch lights and an address plate to finish the Ally Dome off.

Hmmm, I could justify buying a power washer to clean off that roof…

All in all, it was fun to build and a labor of love as well. In hindsight, building a doghouse is really for the owner’s satisfaction – I think most dogs prefer a sofa. Last, I like to think I did my part from adding to a landfill with construction debris.

Every dog deserves a loving home and a house of their own!

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5 Comments on "The Ally Dome: Barkitecture in motion"

  1. monkey2nut | April 10, 2007 at 2:12 am |

    very cool – nice tale !

  2. Lol, that looks awesome!!

  3. Thats really cool 😉
    Did you drill drain holes in the edge of the dish? Looks like it curls up on the outer edge… you dont want water pooling up in there and becoming a mosquito nest.

  4. Allen, good point!
    There were holes for the bolts that anchored the dish to the arm assembly that I plugged with silicone glue. I did drill some holes on the backside of the dish for drainage; the roof is tilted at a slight angle so that all the water runs to the back.

  5. Kerry, the Ally Dome is amazing! Gizmo is jealous. 😉

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