Waterproof a plywood cathouse?

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Last year I had a 4*8 outdoor plywood board (pressure treated I think) cut into appropriate pieces at the local Home Despot and put together a little house for a few feral cats. I used some polyurethane stain, caulked the seams, and figured it was pretty waterproof. Yet every heavy rain the inside was soaked.
I figured that I'd get some of that roofing tarpaper, use the flashing cement to attach it to the wood, and put some shingles on it. However I can only buy the tarpaper in large rolls, which is far more than I would ever need.
So, what's a good way to waterproof a pet house?
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We've made several for the parts lady who cares for several feral cats. Not wanting a huge investment, we found that elastomeric paint on OSB or ply holds up quite well and has lasted for several years. We used white, though it can be tinted. I did design it with some roof overhang and a bit of low single pitch to shed water. Made about 4 - they've been out more than 5 years.
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Do you have any place to get some used or scrap sheet tin? Just cover the roof with tin, and it will never leak again. Otherwise, see if some roofer or anyone has some left over shingles, and just nail them on as per the instructions on the package.

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On Tue, 12 Oct 2010 14:39:04 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

first. It's a (3 foot square) flat roof.
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From reading other people's replies, I too wonder if it's sloped. If not, forget the shingles. Tin is the only option if it's flat.
You dont really need the paper for a small shed like that, but it's best to use it.
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Call a local roofer or 2 and ask them if you can stop by their next job (or 2) and grab the cut-offs/leftovers of roofing felt. They often have short lengths that aren't worth their time to lay down.
I don't know that I'd use flashing cement...I just staple it down.
I bought open bundles of shingles at Lowes for $10 a bundle. Roofed a 8 x 10 shed for under $50 bucks!
I once built a 2 room dog house with a removable roof to make cleaning it easier. I figured I'd shingle the roof to make it last. Damn roof was so heavy it took two of us to remove it when we wanted to clean.
Dog never did like the house much anyway.
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Is the roof sloped? I'm wondering why it leaks, when my doghouse, with similar construction, does not. The doghouse roof is one piece of painted plywood that is sloped just enough to shed water and overlaps the walls about 2 or 3 inches all around, and the house stays dry. Does it have a floor? Maybe the water is coming in at the bottom somehow? All that being said, as others have said see if you can beg a scrap of tarpaper, or just put the shingles on without it. If it's close enough to the house, you can test it with the hose. -- H
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If you're unwilling to use tar paper, how about actual tar, and then put down shingles? Easy, way cheap.
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Oh, and if you're REALLY cheap, how about a $5 tarp from the BORG?
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The roof needs some slope (others have mentioned).
Blue tarp? Or maybe green tarp? Larger than the cathouse. Nail or staple along the side, use a razor knife to cut the tarp to shape.
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On Wed, 13 Oct 2010 08:19:14 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

That's likey what I'm going to do. Probably brown to blend in with the location. Staple it. It doesn't get much easier than that.
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On 10/12/2010 2:31 PM, dgk wrote:

I built one back when I was a kid, same problem. I used old window shades that I pulled off the rollers, then stapled onto the roof and walls of the house. You could do the same with an inexpensive plastic tarp.
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The OP said it had a flat roof, in his second posting, very bad design to start with.
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On Wed, 13 Oct 2010 18:43:00 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

Thats weird, I never got that second posting.
He can only use tin. Get some barn siding tin and use neoprene washer screws to afix it. That stuff is sold 38" wide (36" coverage). I recall he said the roof is 3 feet. This stuff sells for about $2.50 a running foot. That roof should cost $10 with the screws. A rural lumberyard may have a bent or dented sheet with a usable portion of the sheet remaining.
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On Thu, 14 Oct 2010 03:38:50 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

Worth a check, I'll check the local lumber yards.
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On Thu, 14 Oct 2010 03:38:50 -0500, jw wrote:

To be honest, I'd say find a big ol' fridge at a junkyard (or via freecycle) and cut down one of the flat side panels.
Or put an angled roof on the thing...
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On Wed, 13 Oct 2010 18:43:00 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

The problem is that the OP (me) is incompetent at cutting boards at other than a right angle, likely because I don't have the equiptment to do so. I can get the plywood cut at Home Despot but only right angles. Damn, an old friend's father had a whole woodworking setup in his basement and could have done this stuff blindfolded. He died a few years back and my friend rented a truck and took all the machines cross country and put them into his basement. Maybe if I drew up some plans I could get him to...
Come to think of it, my roof is pretty much a flat roof and yes, it is a pain every five years or so. I can't wrap the whole house in a tarp though. Actually, after those tornadoes just tore through New York City a few weeks back, lots of homes near me are covered in blue tarp.
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It might be easier to redesign the project. Consider using concrete blocks for walls, plus a sloping piece of Ondura roofing. Anchor together any way convenient and it should last for years. And zero maintenance.
Joe
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A local guy is doing a workshop on Saturday on how to create a feral cat house out of styrofoam fish boxes. They only last a year but are supposed to be warmer than wood and far easier to deal with. Of course, they need to be screwed onto a wood base or they blow away.
So I got to thinking about just getting one of those 4'*8' foam boards from Home Despot and slapping one together. But if the tarp works on the wood then it's even easier.
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re: "The problem is that the OP (me) is incompetent at cutting boards at other than a right angle, likely because I don't have the equiptment to do so"
I'm not sure what equipment you have, but what are you using that limits you to cutting boards at right angles?
A circular saw, sabre saw, hand saw, heck, even a reciprocating saw can follow a straight edge placed at an angle.
What is it that limits you to cutting right angles only?
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