First, off, thanks very much Mom & Dad for all the advice you gave me after work – it helped me to talk it through!
Now I am here to ask my readers for help, since you all have done such amazing projects! I’ve never worked with 2×4’s before, and have never built anything for outside, so I’m hoping you can help me answer some basic questions:
QUESTION 1: Once my 2×4 frame is completed, do I stain & seal it, prime & paint it, or just leave it be? It’s not pressure-treated. I’m leaning towards stain & seal. I just talked to my Dad and he concurs: stain + polyurethane seal. Do you agree?
My Mom suggested building a base out of pressure-treated 2×4’s so the enclosure doesn’t sit directly on the ground. Thanks, Mom!
QUESTION 2: What should I use for enclosing the frame? Chicken wire? Hardware cloth? Something in between? I was planning to use hardware cloth, but [and my Dad agrees] I think it will be hard to work with. Too thick and hard to cut. So now I’m leaning towards chicken wire. If you aren’t familiar with hardware cloth, here’s what it looks like:
QUESTION 3: Shelves and flooring. I’m thinking EITHER solid pieces of plywood, OR lathing like what you’d find under a mattress. Kind of like wooden decking but spaced a bit farther apart:
Using lathing/decking instead of solid plywood for the shelves & floor would allow for better drainage when it rains, and also make it easier to tie deck cushions on for the kitties to relax on.
I’m going to make a roof out of Lucite which I’ll screw to the frame.
QUESTION 4: Any ideas on creating a door for the enclosure so I can reach in and collect stubborn cats or clean up puke or adjust shelf cushions? I’m thinking something simple like a hinged frame attached to the middle portion of the enclosure, kind of like this:
It’s also going to have a hole in the top [the enclosure, not the door] for the eventual connector tunnel to the house. But I’m worrying about that later since it’s not set in stone.
Thanks for any advice you can provide!