By Sophie Norris
A DIY-loving dad has created an epic three storey PALACE complete with swimming pool for his pet pooches – with enough rooms and cool gadgets to rival MTV’s Cribs.
Aaron Franks started work on the elaborate open plan doggy home two years ago using spare wood in his backyard but over time has added a swimming pool, water dispenser, tunnels, two security cameras and three swings.
While dad-of-three Aaron admits his wife Toni was unaware of the sheer scale of his project beforehand, despite being ‘shocked’ at the finished home, she now loves it.
The 40-year-old has splashed $1,500 on the madcap project and even has a monitor in his own bedroom so he can watch his four pitbulls play.
In a guided video tour, Aaron films himself wander through the doggy home, showing off the decking, seats, three entrances including ‘doggy doors’, pirate wheel, and rope toys hanging from masts.
In one unintentionally hilarious moment, the dad can be heard describing the mammoth elaborate set-up as ‘it’s pretty simple’.
Aaron, from Union Town, Pennsylvania, said: “I was trying to find a way to let the dogs have their own space to play.
“In our garden we have an upper deck and lower deck and we had some extra room.
“I decided they needed somewhere to hang out and have their own spot.
“Over the past two years, I’ve added something every couple of weeks and it’s just built up.
“I’d have some spare wood or materials and add two or three bits at a time.
“It was finished structurally earlier this year but I’ve spent all summer painting it.
“The whole thing was around $1500 in total and that includes the cameras. The paint alone was the most expensive part, costing $500.
“For the summer, I added the swimming pool so it’s easier for them to cool down and it allows me to wash them easily instead of taking them through the house.
“The kids told me I should put a TV in there for them. Two of the dogs actually love watching TV – anything with animals on like Animal Planet – but I think that’s a little too much.
“My wife has been very supportive of the project and I kept some things in there a surprise until it was finished.
“I don’t think she realised what I was building at first. She was shocked when she saw the finished thing.”
The chef started his luxury pooch pad in 2015 and claims despite the project slowly developing over two years, his wife remained ‘supportive’ and loves the final product.
As his kids grow up, he is investing more time in his pets by making sure they’re the hottest hounds in town.
Aaron said: “What I built for the dogs is like a mini version of what they had. I wanted it to be similar to the kids’ play area.
“When the kids were little they had their own swing sets and pool off the decking. They had a pool just like the dogs.
“I’ve still got a bit more room towards the other end of my back yard. I’ve always wanted to build a tall prison-style watchtower for them so they can look around.
“We have 6ft-tall security fences all around the house so they can’t see other people or dogs passing by at the moment.”
Despite admitting a TV in the play area might be a step too far, Aaron has his own multi-monitor CCTV system so he can spy on his furry friends from bed, or while reading the newspaper in his lounge.
Aaron said: “The dogs absolutely love it and because they have their own flap and can come in and out as they please.
“They’ll run around until early hours of the morning and they love it.
“Our yard is just average sized for people in this area but a lot of people don’t do much with theirs.
“I think, why waste it? I try to use as much space as possible.
“The pirate wheel is a replica of one I have up in my porch. I painted it all for them myself but the one I have is off a real ship.
“Even though it has been painted over summer and I’d say it’s finished, I’m sure I’ll have to add more additions in the future.”