Lopco Blogs

When a Doghouse is NOT a Doghouse

When people hear the term ‘doghouse’ many connotations may come to mind.

One may think of the structure that Snoopy used to be depicted to be sleeping on in the old ‘Peanuts’ cartoons.

The picture of a more traditional type of doghouse may also be thought of, the kind that is a roughly built, literal, small, one-room, “house” in the backyard with a singular opening on the front of it for both entry and exit.

Then, of course, there is also the kind of doghouse which I would venture to bet that hardly anybody in a relationship would enjoy finding themselves in and trying to work their way out of, as the cliché of finding oneself in their romantic partner’s doghouse typically means that somebody is unhappy with their partner.

Although these are certainly all viable, there is another ‘doghouse’ that not as many may be familiar with, but if you happen to have one on your home, your mind may go directly to as a definition of the term “doghouse”.

This particular variety of doghouse is one that actually serves as an entrance to the basement of one’s home and is also often referred to as a ‘bulkhead entrance’.

Though very different than the traditional bulkhead entrance in that when many folks think of a ‘bulkhead’, they often think of a unit made out of steel, fiberglass, or other material that is situated toward the ground and able to be opened (usually having a set of double doors or in some instances a ‘hatch’ opening), the doghouse bulkhead is still thought of as a bulkhead entrance nonetheless.

For those that do not have a basement, there is a chance that you may have absolutely no idea what a bulkhead is to begin with.

A bulkhead simply is some type of structure that serves as an outside entrance to one’s basement and is made up of two major parts:

1) Stairs that lead into the basement

2) Some type of buildout protection above these stairs, providing security and guarding against elements of weather

As mentioned, a good portion of the time the bulkhead is a unit built closer to the ground and is likely to not be very elaborate.

The doghouse, however, is much more built out than the units which simply serve as a set of doors leading to the stairs heading down to the basement.

A doghouse bulkhead is one that is built up to some degree, many times to mirror the way the rest of the house looks.

Doghouse bulkheads tend to have some type of roof, siding that matches that of the house, and a regular entry door which opens up leading into it.

Depending on the beholder, doghouse bulkheads are often viewed as more attractive than their bulkhead door cousins.

Construction of doghouse bulkheads is a bit different than simply fabricating and installing a bulkhead door ground unit, as there are potentially several construction elements involved – i.e., roofing, siding, painting, etc.

Adding a doghouse bulkhead after the house has already been built can be even more challenging, especially if the intent is to do so in a fashion that makes it look as though the doghouse bulkhead has always been there.

Some of the benefits of doghouse bulkheads are that they can be opened without having to bend over or lift up a heavier door, they can provide storage on their interior walls, and serve as a bit more comfortable access point for getting into the basement from the exterior of the home.

While not necessarily being the first thing that one envisions when hearing the term ‘doghouse’, for many people having a doghouse on their home is a feature which they truly enjoy and are VERY happy to have!

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