Green Roofed Dog Veranda




Introduction: Green Roofed Dog Veranda

About: Working my dream job in the Telecom industry, so chances are, i'll never have time to respond to comments or messages, nothing personal.

My primary motivation for building this is to create a shaded space for my dogs to rest when out in the yard with the added benefit of providing real estate for an additional herb/bee/butterfly garden. My dogs are spoiled rotten and sleep in bed with my wife and I, this is a spot for them to rest when playing in the yard, it is not designed for a dog to live in. I had no plans and simply designed as I went, so follow along and ask any questions as needed.

Step 1: What You'll Need

2x6 inch ACQ pressure treated lumber
1 inch PT CDX plywood half sheet
2 lbs 3 inch deck screws
2 lbs 2 inch deck screws
Construction adhesive
Pocket hole jig (optional)
Framing square
Drill & bits
Table saw
Hole saw
Staple gun
Assorted woodworking paraphernalia (clamps, cords, etc)

Most of this stuff I had laying around, the wood came from disassembled garden boxes from our previous residence, so I can not give an accurate board footage used. Fasteners should be chosen for compatibility with PT lumber.

Step 2: Let's Start

We start by ripping some of the 2x6s down to 2x3s

From these 2x3s we cut;

2 24 inch pieces
2 32 inch pieces
4 30 inch pieces with one end of each beveled at 22.5 degrees. (uprights)
2 44 inch pieces with one long edge of each cut at a 22.5 degree angle and the ends snipped at 45 degrees. (stringers)
2 44 inch pieces

I want to add that proper precautions should be taken when working with PT lumber, use a dust mask when sawing, and wash your hands before eating and drinking.

Step 3: Framing

First note that all joint are secured with fasteners and adhesive unless otherwise noted, Also all holes are predrilled.

Build the frame by laying out the four 30 inch uprights in pairs, on edge, and securing the pairs together with the 24 inch pieces placed 4 inches up from the bottom (square end), the bevels on the uprights should appear as in the picture. Be sure to check for squareness.

Now join these two end pieces together with the 32 inch pieces placed on the inside of the frame. That is our basic structure.

Step 4: Roof Support

The roof support needs to be very strong, the roof could weigh up to 300 lbs following a rain storm.

To build the roof support, the 44 inch long beveled stringers are attached on center with the bevels of the uprights on the outside. If we stopped here all the weight would be supported by 12 screws, bad idea. The two additional 44 inch long pieces we cut are attached on top of the stringers and uprights, creating an L beam that transfers the load to the uprights. At this point I placed a scrap of wood across and sat on it to test the strength, everything was okey dokey.

Step 5: The Roof

The roof is built from 2x6s to give depth to the garden bed

Start by cutting four rafter pieces 21 inches long with a 22.5 degree cross cut at one end of each.

Also cut a ridge piece 44 inches long from a 2x6

Attach the rafters to either end of the ridge piece with pocket screws, alternately toe nailing is an option.

Place the roof on top of the house frame and square everything up and screw through the L beams into the rafters to attach the roof. The edges of the roof are cut from 2x6s to fit (approx 41 inches long.)

We will come back to the roof in a bit.

Step 6: The Decking

The decking is cut from 2x3s 24 inches long, they're spaced 1 inch apart, I used aluminum square stock to keep everything aligned (scrap lumber would work as well) and fastened with a single screw and no adhesive at each end. Some custom cuts are needed around the uprights.

Step 7: Back to the Roof

Take the inside bottom dimensions of each side of the roof box, subtract half an inch and cut panels to fit from the sheet of CDX plywood. Fit the panels into the box and secure them to the L beams with a couple of screws.

Back to the saw; using the panel measurements, cut some 2x2 inch battens to hold the panel in place, the batten for the top must be beveled to match the roof pitch.

Using these battens fix the panel to the roof frame, I attached the battens to the plywood with screws and construction adhesive, but used only screws to attach it to the roof structure to allow eventual replacement if needed. If you wish additional waterproofing of the plywood can be done now, I brushed on a coat of water seal because this plywood had already spent the three years since the hurricanes sitting behind my shed.

For drainage we'll drill a couple of 2 inch holes along the bottom edge of the panel and fix nylon screening over. Along the top ridge, for the comfort of the dogs, caulk was used to seal the cracks to prevent dripping.

Step 8: The Soil

It's important to have a light weight, well draining potting media, I've hopefully accomplished this by combining equal parts commercial potting soil with perlite, with the addition of a slow release fertilizer, following label directions. The soil is spread into the box using care not to compress the media, moistening it to keep it in place. I used 6 cubic feet total planting media.

Step 9: Planting and Watering

The choice of plants will vary with geography, universally the choice will need to be small, drought tolerant plants. My choices were based also on the desire to attract butterflies, bees and to spice up my life..

My plant list

Bronze fennel
Lemon Balm

One plant I did not use but I think would work all alone to lovely effect in the proper climate wold be perennial peanut.

Because of the pitch of the roof watering must be done with care until the roots tie the soil together, use a fine rose watering can or, if using irrigation, micro sprays, and water the plants until established, 1-2 months. After this period, if irrigation is ended then the population dynamics will change and the less drought hardy plants will succumb and be replaced by the tougher plants. The choice is entirely yours.

Hope you enjoyed the project.

The Instructables Book Contest

Participated in the
The Instructables Book Contest

Be the First to Share


    • CNC and 3D Printing Contest

      CNC and 3D Printing Contest
    • Puzzles Challenge

      Puzzles Challenge
    • Make it Move Challenge

      Make it Move Challenge



    9 years ago on Step 9

    Positively LOVE this idea!! We have 5 whippets so I'd either have to make a couple of rather long ones, one huge one, or 3 mediums. Just wanted to comment on your plant selections you may or may not be aware of. Please do not take this as any criticism....all would be beautiful choices. The bronze fennel can become a pest if allowed to seed out. I planted a bronze fennel 3 years ago totally unaware it would come back. Well, it did and grew to 7 feet tall. It also is one of the major food sources for the eastern black swallowtail caterpillar. We ended up raising quite a number of caterpillars from eggs to full grown butterflies. They were gorgeous and my husband not being raised in the country, had never seen the entire process so it was fun for me to introduce him to this miracle of nature. They also love parsley. Just thought I'd warn you before all your baby plants are decimated overnight and I'm not exaggerating. I allowed them to eat the bronze fennel all they wanted and would move them off my parsley. One suggestion you might check into are sedums AKA "ice plants". There are literally 1000's of different sedums ranging from ground covers 2" tall to big plants (4+ft tall) w/ huge flat flowerheads that are quite beautiful, attract hummers and butterflies but would be too large for the roof but I have probably 2 dozen varieties of the smaller ones, some are trailing, creeping, all bloom, range in color from bright greens to dark burgundies w/ pink, yellow, red, orange, flowers. Never seen a true blue but I bet there is one. I'd be happy to share w/ you if it's possible. You may contact me at They consume tiny amounts of water. I made a leaky birdbath into a sedum garden, and also have a strawberry pot w/ a different variety in each niche. Some have grown down to the ground and are now spreading. I'm letting them. They are beautiful, practically carefree, and all so different. might know them as "Hens and Chicks". In the South, just about everyone's Grandma had a big pot of them! I'm definitely gonna try your beautiful idea. I just hope the whippets don't decide standing on the roof is the idea in which case, I might just plant sod up there for them to lay on. LOL! Jen

    camping crazy
    camping crazy

    10 years ago on Introduction

    I built one of these a couple of days ago using this instructable see my instructable dog house for claustophobic dogs thanks for all the ideas


    13 years ago on Step 9

    i built somthing simalur to this a year ago exept mine was round and about 5 feet wide it provides good shade and is cool in the summer working on adding som paneling to part ill cut it in strips.and then space let the breeze thrugh but help block the sun


    14 years ago on Introduction

    try planting catnip up there so Sandy can have have some friends to chase around!!


    14 years ago on Introduction

    OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!! MY DOG LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What kind of dog is that? My family and i adopted him as a shelter puppy. We think he is A boxer/collie mix, but maybe you know?

    Gunk on Floor
    Gunk on Floor

    14 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool, it's got a nice design to it that compliments your yard, and it looks great as a dog veranda.


    15 years ago on Step 9

    A good idea, clear instructions. I would suggest that you add some type of water proofing membrane to the plywood base and sides of the plant area's, otherwise it will rot out in a year or so and you get to rebuild it again. try rolled, or a black jack type found at any hardware store.


    wow you are as bad as me! we built a seperate ramp off our deck for the dog so she dosnt hurt herself running up/down steps


    15 years ago on Introduction

    As my dear dead granny used to say; "You're a soft 'apeth"


    Reply 15 years ago on Introduction

    Er..."you silly little thing"?

    apeth is the local pronunciation of "half penny's worth" = a small amount.

    Soft can mean soft-hearted or soft in the head, depending on context.


    Reply 15 years ago on Introduction

    Oops, got my apostrophes mixed up.