How To Build a Doghouse

If you have a dog that loves going out in the backyard, there is no better accessory to dressing up your property and making your pooch wag its tail than a doghouse. A properly assembled doghouse can be the showcase of your backyard, plus they are fun to build. For less than $300 you can build a doghouse that will keep your pooch cozy for years and years.

What You Need: Materials and Supplies

  • Roofing Shingles
  • Framing Nails
  • Carpet
  • 2x4s
  • 1/2' Plywood
  • Paint
  • Roofing Paper
  • Hammer
  • Tape Measure
  • Jigsaw
  • Utility Knife
  • Circular Saw

Building a Base
Using your 2x4s you can nail together a base. This makes your doghouse sturdy enough to handle any bad weather and also keeps your pooch off the grass when they're lounging inside. This will be the floor of the doghouse. Depending on how big you want your house to be, you can make a square or rectangle base with the 2x4s, with one stud in the middle. Nail the boards together and nail a sheet of plywood on top.

Construct Four Walls
Again using 2x4s, construct your four walls. Four 2x4s for each wall with plywood for the exterior wall is enough to make a strong wall. For your front wall, use a jigsaw to cut your entrance door. Make sure it is large enough for your dog to easily walk into, yet tight enough to keep the elements out.

Nail the walls to the outside of your base.

Building Your Roof
If you have got to this part, great job! Aside from painting, carpeting the floor and customizing the doghouse, the roof is the last part of your job.

  • Decide how high you want your roofline to be before you cut SIX more 2x4s down to size. You'll need equal length pieces (three for each side.) Also, decide how much you want your rood to hang over your two side exterior walls.
  • Building a roof can be tricky. Use the end of your existing frame to measure how long you want your roof to be. You will have to make a notch in each rafter so it can rest on your wall to assure the frame will hold your rooftop.
  • Make sure each 2x4 has a notch in the same place. They should be the same size. You want these rafters to come together at a point to make a “peaked” roof.
  • With a friend's help, put one notched 2x4 in each side to make a peak. Hammer it into your wall so that both 2x4s should be touching at the top. Do this with the rest of your notched 2x4s then lay a top beam across your six notched 2x4s and hammer it in.
  • Now you can lay two pieces of plywood to make your roof. If you have done this all correct you should have what looks to be a doghouse

Laying Down the Roof
If you live in Southern California where it barely ever rains, you can just lay a coat of paint on your top plywood for the roof. However, if you live in the rest of the country, you're probably going to get some rain at some point and want to keep mold and mildew out of your investment. Shingles are the easiest and most affordable way to do this.

  • Use your roofing paper to cover the entire top of your doghouse. Use either staples or small roofing nails to attach.
  • Shingles are 12 inches long. Let them hang one inch off your roof and work towards the peak as you hammer them in. Use a utility knife or razor blade to trim off the edges.
  • You're going to use two layers of shingles. The first layer is nailed in upside down (smooth side up). Cover the entire roof, start from the bottom and work your way toward the peak. Make sure it creases over the peak.
  • This time lay the rough side up and start hammering the shingles in. *Overhang is normal; you can clean it up with a utility knife.

Now you can decorate and paint your doghouse until you're blue in the face. Your doghouse is complete!

However, if you're not too handy with swinging hammers and measuring 2x4s, don't get upset, your dog can still have a doghouse. There are tons of styles of doghouses available from trusted online retailers. Many of them require very little assembly and can be snapped together in minutes. Check out some of the most popular style of pre-made doghouses HERE.

By Sean Bowes
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