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Washing your dogs regularly, especially if you have two or more, is a messy job that most homes are not equipped for. Depending on the dogs' breeds and types of hair, it can be costly to take them to professional groomers. A practical solution is to bathe them yourself, but you need a well-equipped space. Convert a new or unused storage shed into a dog wash building with minimal cost and difficulty, and you will be able to wash and dry your dogs whenever you need to without the additional need for a big cleaning project afterward.
Identify the right-size shed for your purposes. You can buy a portable storage shed at a hardware store and have it delivered to your home, then assemble it on arrival. Alternatively, build a wooden shed or use an existing storage shed for your dog wash building.
Choose a site for the shed. Zoning laws and building plans do not usually apply to portable sheds unless you are planning to use the shed for a business. If it is for personal use, you probably do not need a permit, but check your local ordinances to make sure. Your location will affect the supply of utility service and drainage for the shed.
Design the layout you want for the interior of the shed. You will need a tub in which to wash the dogs, hot and cold water supplies and a run-off for the used water. You may also decide to include a table on which to stand the dog while you dry it, and cupboards or shelves for storing supplies.
Consult a registered plumber and a registered electrician about your design. Find out whether the layout you want is practical and what materials you need for the installation. The plumber will be able to determine where the supply and drain lines should be installed, and how they will connect to the municipal sewer or septic system.
Purchase the tub, taps and fittings the plumber recommends, and a hot water cylinder or tankless water heater. A tankless water heater heats only the water that you need, and is more economical to operate than a standard hot water cylinder that keeps the water hot continuously.
Instruct the plumber to install the tub, the water supply and the water heater. He will also connect the tub to your household drainage system.
Instruct the electrician to connect a power supply from the main house to the shed. On dull days you may need to use electric lights while washing your dogs, and you will require power to operate a hairdryer.
Outfit your dog wash building with towels, floor mats and furniture such as a grooming table. Install equipment such as a hairdryer, brushes and combs, and supplies including dog shampoo and other products, and it will be ready to use.
- Al Barry/Valueline/Getty Images