Introduction: Simple Doghouse 1.0

About a month and a half ago, I welcomed a new member in my family, Max a very nice and sweet little Silky Cocker. :o) I quickly realized I needed a doghouse for Max since he is staying in my enclosed backyard during the day, when I'm not home. Of course I could've bought a doghouse at my local pet store but since I already had some plywood sheets , I thought it would be more fun to actually build one and write an instructable from it.

Step 1: Gather What You Need

In order to build your own doghouse, you'll first need some basic but essentials tools:

  • saw with a miter box
  • hammer
  • multi-bits screwdriver
  • file
  • tape measure
  • ruler
  • protractor
  • a pair of compasses
  • power drilling / screwing machine

The following tools are not obligatory but strongly recommended:

  • nailing gun
  • jigsaw

That's about it for the tools you need, so now here is for the materials you need:

  • plywood sheets (I chose 1/4" tick)
  • 2x2 studs
  • one drywall bull nose (to rainproof the roof)
  • screws
  • nails
  • 8 L shape braces and 2 T shape braces

I didn't specify any dimensions in the following instructable' 'since you can size the house to your dog's size.

Once you gather all the tools and the materials, you can begin the construction of the doghouse: let's go to step # 2 !

Step 2: Putting Together the Framing

Get some 2x2 studs and cut four identical sections that will be used for the length of the house, four identical sections that will be used for the width of the house and six identical sections that will be used for the height of the house.

Get two length section and two width section and assemble it together with the help of 4 L shape brackets and some screws as shown as the second picture. This will be the bottom of the frame.

Redo that same operation and this will be the top of the frame. You now have two identical sections, top and bottom. (see third picture)

Now you can get the six remaining sections and screw them perpendicularly to the bottom section with some longer screws, then screw the top frame on the opposite side, as shown on the picture bellow.

The main framing is now done. It is not very rigid by now but it will gradually improve once we nail the siding to it in the following steps.

Step 3: Front and Back Siding Assembly

Now that the framing is done, we can start putting the siding together: first the front and back siding.

Measure the total width and height of your frame from the previous step and report those dimensions on one sheet of plywood ; you now have two rectangular shape (back and front siding) drawn on the plywood.

Now draw two isosceles triangle centered above each rectangle with the help of the ruller and the protractor.

Once the front and back shape are drawn you can cut it with the help of the saw (or jigsaw) and nail it to the back and the front of the frame.

Step 4: Roof Support Assembly

Now that the front and back siding are in place we are going to use it to install some roof support, where we are going to nail the roof once in place in step # 8.

Take some left over 2x2 studs and cut four identical pieces we are going to use as the roof support (see second picture for the details)

Cut also two small pieces we are going to use as a reinforcement. (see picture below for the details)

Now nail one reinforcement piece and the two roof support on one side so it flush with the top of the side as indicated on the picture below. Repeat for the other side with the remaining pieces.

Finally, screw one T bracket to the reinforcement and to the frame as indicated on the last picture. Repeat for the other side with the remaining reinforcement piece and the T bracket.

Step 5: Left and Right Siding Assembly

Now that the front and back siding is done, we can install the left and right siding.

Measure the total width and height of your frame from the step # 2 and report those dimensions on one sheet of plywood ; you now have two rectangular shape (left and right siding) drawn on the plywood.

Finally, cut it with the help of the saw (or jigsaw) and nail it to the left and right side of the frame.

Step 6: Create an Opening

Now that all the siding is in place, and before the bottom is in place, it is a good time to cut an opening. First, carefully trace it on the side you like with the help, among other things, of the pair of compasses. (see picture 2)

I didn't center the opening so it makes a better shelter.

Now cut the opening carefully with the saw (or jigsaw) following the lines you previously drawn.

Step 7: Nail the Bottom

Now that the opening is done, we can install the bottom side.

Measure the total bottom length and width of your frame from the step # 2 and report those dimensions on one sheet of plywood ; you now have one rectangular shape drawn on the plywood.

Finally, cut it with the help of the saw (or jigsaw) and nail it to the bottom of the frame.

By now the whole structure should be pretty rigid.

Step 8: Roof Assembly

Let's cut and install now the roof pieces.

Measure the total length and width of each roof sections from the step # 4 and report those dimensions on one sheet of plywood. I add some more extra inches / centimeters to those measurements so the roof sections extends beyond the whole doghouse footprint.

You now have two rectangular shape (left and right roof) drawn on the plywood.

Finally, cut it with the help of the saw (or jigsaw) and nail it carefully to the roof support studs and to the frame on the top left and top right side of the doghouse.

Step 9: Finishing Touches and Final Thoughts

The doghouse is now almost completed. You still have to cut and nail the drywall bull nose so it covers the gap between the two roof section thus making the roof rainproof.

Finally you have to either paint or stain the whole house to enhance the look and above all protect it from the weather. I chose to stain it since I had some left over stain and since I thought it will age better within the coming years even though I believe paint would have looked better...

I also had some handles for easy handling. I have yet to draw some letters in the name of MAX...

Despite the fact I have zero skills in carpentry, I was pretty happy with the result. I originally wanted a roof section with hinges so I can have access inside the house for easy cleaning but didn't really knew how to do it while retaining some rainproofing. That's it ! Of course, any comments are welcome.


AngieGreene8 made it!(author)2016-02-17

I used the plans on and built my dog a doghouse VERY cheap and easily! It was the best decision I've ever made. To my family and I, it just made economic sense to build a DIY doghouse. We spent a fraction of the cost of buying an expensive pre-built one that just have to be assembled anyway...why pay inflated prices for material? The guide on that website is so very easy to follow and it doesn't matter if you're a total beginner like us. We were on a very small budget and found so many wonderful plans for our was hard to pick just one, but the one we chose is terrific! We actually built the one that is featured on the website's homepage. Our dog finally has the doghouse we've dreamed of and it was VERY affordable!

hetricks made it!(author)2014-04-25

My son put roofing shingles over the wood on our dog's house.

ANCO+222 made it!(author)2012-12-19

Really great plan, when I looked at the step by step guide I thought "Now this looks easier than it's going to be, I constructed the frame in my shed which is fairly large and it worked out deadly, but as I made a fairly large one I had to take it apart to get it tout the shed door lolol but it was even more straight forward then to complete it,,
If only all assembly and construction instructions were as easy to follow as these,,,great house,delighted,,Buster loves his new pad,he says WOOF WOOF (THANKS CHRISMAKE)

jkrever made it!(author)2012-11-26

I like it !!!

IdahoDavid made it!(author)2006-12-05

That is a fine looking dog.

animal+lover made it!(author)2011-11-20

Chrismake's dog is so cute.

thecodfather14 made it!(author)2010-04-11

I put a hinge on the back panel i could put the blanket and toys in easyer but thank u so much thi helped

chrismake made it!(author)2010-04-11

That's a good idea 1 Do you have any pictures ? Post them here !

led235 made it!(author)2009-10-30


awang8 made it!(author)2009-02-14

Looks absolutely awesome! I wish my dad would let me get a dog... Actually he did let me get a dog but the RSPCA shelter doesn't have any good dogs... Also, I don't think I can afford all these materials.

Quote from dad: "Why would you build a doghouse if you can buy one for 30 bucks?"

Response from me: "Cause it's cheaper and funner and awesomer"

Response from dad: "It's not funner. It's hard work to make. And it's not awesomer, it's too... Different. And who cares about the extra savings? I can afford it you know."


ktalex made it!(author)2009-09-08

ur dad sounds like a real buzzkill.

Parakeet+Crazzzy made it!(author)2008-12-12

congrats! your i'ble is on a public guide by me!

chrismake made it!(author)2008-12-12

Thanks ! ;o)

Whaleman made it!(author)2007-09-23

Aww, such a cute puppy! It makes me wish my dad would let me get a dog =( Oh well, I could make one, then he would have to get my family a dog!

bdl made it!(author)2007-09-17

Crash2108says: That must've been why he thought it necessary to add steal brackets Crash2108, Some really questionable spelling there. See! Not nice is it?

mrbob1000 made it!(author)2007-08-19

thats a pretty little cavachon there... i have one. my family got ours from some menonites in pennsylvania

gebbetje made it!(author)2007-06-17

this is no cocker, this looks like en foofoo!

vphilly made it!(author)2007-02-22

He did confess to a lack of woodworking skills, so maybe cutting him a break is in order?

Zoso made it!(author)2006-12-06

Another way would be to make the entire roof assembly removeable, held on with ball catches somewhat like a pop-off panel on a yacht.

Suppafly made it!(author)2006-12-06

You could either hinge it at the bottom or put a hinge under on side of the roof.

chrismake made it!(author)2006-12-05

theRIAA, LasVegas -> No I let MAX outside during the day but I let him inside the house - out of the cold - during nighttime. colinj -> That's right, thanks for the tip ! IdahoDavid -> thanks, but I knew by posting a picture of the dog, it would overlook the actual dog house ! ;o) screaminscott -> thanks for your constructive remarks

screaminscott made it!(author)2006-12-05

For a structure of this size, he doesn't need the frame to support the plywood skin. The plywood has enough strength to support itself. The framing is mostly to provide a place to put the screws and provide some extra stiffness. So the framing for the roof doesn't need to be connected to the framing for the body. He probably didn't even need a miter box to make the 45-degree cuts.

Crash2108 made it!(author)2006-12-05

That must've been why he thought it necessary to add steal brackets.

colinj made it!(author)2006-12-05

If you make sure to put the dog house on top of something (like a couple of 2x4s or some bricks and not have it sit directly on the ground it will keep the floor from rotting out too quickly.

LasVegas made it!(author)2006-12-04

Great job! By "enclosed backyard," I hope you mean "out of the cold." I wouldn't be kind to make a pet stay out in the cold, even with a small shelter.

theRIAA made it!(author)2006-12-04

awwwwwwww, you dont let him sleep inside? D':

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