Ways & How

How to Build a Dog House

How to Build a Dog House

If you are somewhat handy with tools, then you will find it easier to figure out how to build a dog house. A sturdy, weatherproof outdoor shelter for your pet is a good DIY project that you can tackle in a weekend. There are pre-fabricated doghouses available but compared to the cost of building your own, there are often terribly marked up. You can use most kinds of wood, even recycles ones that have been salvaged from old building. Should you prefer to just buy new pieces from the home improvement shop, steer clear from pressure-treated wood just because the chemicals used in the treatment process are actually toxic to pets and should not be used for the surfaces with which they could come in contact with. Begin your dog house project by determining how large you need it to be. Of course, it depends on how large your dog is (and whether he is expected to grow more). A dog house should have enough space to fit in the food and water bowls, and there should be enough room to allow him to turn around freely. Once this is done, it’s time to go through the following steps:

  1. Create the square base frame for the dog house (in the dimensions you need) using four pieces of 2x4 boards that have been cut to size.

    Top it with a ½” sheet of plywood so that you end up with something that looks like an open box.

  2. Using more 2x4 boards, create the frame for the side walls and the rear. Include a center stud to support the three walls and dry-fit before nailing everything together.

  3. For the front wall frame which will feature the entrance, use more 2x4 boards but leave out the center stud so that you have a gap.

  4. Measure ½” plywood sheets and cut them to size to come up with the four walls. Nail these to the corresponding wall frames. Make sure that the edges of the plywood fit tightly together, so that you don’t get any gaps in the corners.

  5. Take a jig saw and cut out the dog house entrance through the middle of the front wall. The hole should be big enough to let your dog get in and out easily.

  6. Take the square base you had assembled earlier and position it so that the open side faces down and the platform is on top. Dry fit the walls on top of the base and mark their positions. Nail each wall to the base by driving through the bottom of the wall frame.

  7. To create the roof frame, you will need some 2x4 boards to make struts, ridge boards and rafters. Don’t forget to figure in the overhang. Naturally, the mitered end of the rafters will depend on how steep you want the roof pitch to be.

  8. For the roof itself, you need to secure some plywood fascia boards to the roof frame. The fascia will hold the shingling later.

  9. Measure and cut 2x4 wood to create overhang rafters and fasten the roof frame to the dog house structure. Use triangular pieces of wood to cover the gap formed by the pitch of the roof (both front and back).

  10. Installing the shingle on the roof can get a bit tricky because any mistake will cause rainwater or snow to get inside. Just remember that the shingles should overhang the roof itself by about an inch on all sides, and that the bottom shingle row has to be two shingles thick. Nail the shingles into place one at a time and use a sharp utility knife for trimming so that the shingles are even with the sides of the plywood fascia roof.

  11. Once the shingles are done, the fun part begins: decorating the dog house. Customize it by painting with the colors of choice and for a nice touch, add a name plaque right over the entrance. Don’t forget to lay down a scrap piece of carpeting to make it cozier for your pet.

If you’ll notice, we have taken rather generalized steps on teaching you how to build a dog house. That way, you can figure out the proportions of the structure on your own. By always keeping the size of your dog in mind, you will find that the building process is partly intuitive, especially if you strive to keep your design as simple as possible.


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