D.I.Y. Doghouse




Introduction: D.I.Y. Doghouse

About: From solder to zip ties, lead acid batteries and LEDs, and especially Legos, putting things together has always fascinated me. The more challenging the better, because whats the fun of putting something togeth…

Zippy our dog for a long period of time had an old wire frame doghouse that a neighbor was kind enough to donate to us when she first pushed her way through our door into our house. The old house, though, was getting old and starting to sag and rest so we decided to change that. After some quick research online my mom and I decided that the cost of buying a doghouse was exceedingly high compared to the cost of actually building one. So like an fantastic mom she drove me to Lowes, and left me to get the supplies for her design while she went to go get the paint.

We drove home with a trunk full of lumber and got started that morning. Zippy did not have to miss a single night of sleeping in a house.

Step 1: 3D Model

To plan out the design I first built the doghouse using sketchup and used the measurements from that to buy the proper amount of woods and so on.

Step 2: Materials

  2x Drills - It is handy not to have to keep switching bits in and out when drilling pilot holes and screwing them in.
  Staple gun and staples
  Jig Saw
  Dremel and Bandsaw (special thanks to my grandfathers for each of these)

As for the materials a trip to Lowes, Homedepot or your local hardware shop should cover everything else:
1x box of 2" nails
1x box of 3" nails
1x roll of 4' x 8' screening
1x latch
2x hinges
Assorted shakes
1/4" Plywood - A 4' by 8' sheet covered the base and siding while a sheet of plywood from the discount bin for $1 provided the roof. It was then cut up into sections at Lowes so that everything fit into the truck.
Base - 26.5" x 41"
Small Side - 26.5" x 27.5"
Door Side - 23.5" x 41"
Roof - 2x - 26.5" x 21"
9x 2"x2"x8' wood - It turns out that they actually comes out to be more like 1.5"x1.5"x8' which we did not know going in, but it is still plenty strong enough.
Base 2x - 41"      3x - 23.5"
Verticals - 7x - 26"
Diagonals (approx.) - 1x 35"(short)  1x 47"(long)
Roof Base 2x - 41"  2x - 23.5"
Eaves - 4x - 20.5"    4x - 3"

Step 3: Base

Lay the 1.5"x1.5" lengths out onto the 1/4" plywood sheet and drill them in. The 2x 41" pieces go lengthwise with a 23.5" piece on each side and one in the middle to prevent any sagging. Be sure not to put any of the screws in on or near the corners. 

Drill everything down with 3-5 screws per segment depending on length. It is best not to drill near the end of anything to prevent any splitting of wood.

Do not worry about any edges that stick out because at the end we will Dremel/Sand everything down.

Step 4: Frame

Take the 6x 26" verticals and using 3" screws first attach one to each corner. The screw should go through the very bottom of the base and through the 1/4" plywood base into the vertical. Hold off on the other 2 verticals which we will attach later.

Step 5: Frame Cont.

First we are going to attach the 4x verticals lengthwise with 2x 41" roof segments. Then indented 2" use 2x 23.5" segments to connect the two 41" segments.

Next take the 2x segments intended for the diagonals and place them against the frame where they are going to go. Mark the angles that need to be cut off the end to make them fit snugly into the joint. 

Once the long diagonal is in place then you can use one of the 26" verticals to make a mid way support for the back side. The vertical will be cut into 2 segments: one that goes from the base up to the diagonal and another that is on top of the diagonal and goes all the way up to the bottom of the roof base. See the next step for a photo of what it looks like.

Step 6: Screening

While it seemed like a lot a 4'x8' roll of screening barely ended up covering the two sides of the dog house. We started on the far right side of the house(looking at the below picture) and worked our way counterclockwise. When wrapping the screen around the first and final vertical make sure to wrap the screen around all 4 sides so that any pressure put of the screen will not rip it out instantly. Connect the bottom of the screen to the base and the top to the roof frame. Just be sure to pull the screen tight will stapling on (it is handy to have 2 people doing it at once) and use plenty of staples!

Step 7: Roof Frame

To create a sloping roof take 4x 3" segments offset from the center as seen in the picture by 2" and drill them in. Then take your 4x 20.5" eaves and lay them across. You will want to take off roughly 15 degrees from the end of each eave segment to create a nice seam.

Then drill 2 screws per segment (8 total) so that the eaves are connected to the 3" segments and end of doghouse.

Step 8: Covering the Roof

Have patience we are getting close! Lay the 26.5" x 21" roof pieces on top of the eaves and drill away. Now cover it with shakes starting from the lowest part of the roof and working up. Use the staple gun to connect the shakes to the roof at the base so that the next layer covers the staples.

Step 9: Siding and Door

Time for the siding and doors. Take the larger siding section and draw out your door. This one was roughly 20" x 22" with an arch on top.

Attach this wall to the side opposite the door and at the 2 edges of the door at the last 2 verticals. Set these verticals up the same way as the corner verticals that were added earlier.

Next using a Dremel cut out a circle from the center of the door with a radius of 6"

Attach the last piece of siding on the remaining wall without screen or a wall already on it.

Lastly attach the door to the wall with 2 hinges. Most any hinge will do, but we put the hinge on the outside so that there is no way for Zippy or her dog collar on it.

Step 10: Painting and Finishing Touches

A couple of things here are really important that need to get done right. First is to take a Dremel and cut off all the ends of screws for obvious reasons. You will also need to sand everything down to paint it, but also remove any splinters and there are far more than you think that there might be.

Then as my mom can be seen doing paint the house with whatever color you wish and add all of the personal effects.

The lock on door is optional depending on whether you trust your dog to be left alone roaming the house while you are gone. Fortunately, Zippy has reached the point where she can walk around while we are gone.

Step 11: Finished

Zippy really enjoyed her house especially after all of her mats were added back.

I hope that you enjoyed this Instructable to and please let me know about any dog house that you have made/making. This is one of the many projects that I feel works a lot better the 2nd and even better the 3rd time as I learn to make better cuts and install everything in a better order. It all worked out, though, and I have yet to here a complaint from Zippy!

3D Design Contest

Participated in the
3D Design Contest

Hack It! Contest

Participated in the
Hack It! Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

      Game Design: Student Design Challenge
    • For the Home Contest

      For the Home Contest
    • Big and Small Contest

      Big and Small Contest



    8 years ago on Introduction

    I love this. It'd make a nice little den for the dog, and I think I could modify it to make a cat feeding station, since I currently have a small table dedicated to that to prevent the dog from getting at their food.


    This is really cool, I too am making a dog house for my two small dogs although mine is a bit more complex as I have 8-9 months to make it for a sixth form (college) project for my Product Design class. Also, to achieve the highest grade I intend to have curved outside walls that have been laminated around a jig. As mine is for two dogs and will need to be situated outside due to the size, I have decided to make it two stories high with a turfed roof. As the project is ongoing I am unable to post the SketchUp file of the product online yet but I can post some screenshots if anybody is interested.

    Once again, congratulations on this project, I hope your dog is comfy!


    10 years ago on Step 11

    You are a very good dog parent. Your structure, with only slight modifications, could be upscaled quite easily for a minihouse for a human, too. Nice job.