Introduction: Guinea Pig Penthouse

We recently got our son a rescue guinea pig for Christmas, you can see Carrot (and Gates!) in the pictues above. I started his housing as a a large reptile tank because that's what I had. That was OK but it had to be set on a stand of some kind and all of the pet supplies (hay, bedding, etc) was not organized.

I really wanted to build something that looked like furniture and could contain all of Carrot's supplies out of sight.

Approximate bill of Materials

1 + 1/2 sheet of 3/8" plywood.

Box of 1/2" high quality wood screws & Wood glue.

2 sets of hinges

Qty 4 small non marking casters

Tools used

Table saw

Skilsaw w/ plywood blade

Belt sander

Router w/ Circle Jig

Brad nailer for trim

Makita drill & impact combo


43.5" W x 21.5" D * 39" H

Step 1: Basic Order of Operations

Get all materials in hand.

Clean work area.

Make basic dimensional drawing with any customizations based on wood available, etc.

Measure 2x and make all cuts for cutlist.

Assemble by ripping strips of scrap plywood to 1" * 1".

Clamp sides and bottom in place, apply glue when you clamp, if desired.

Countersink & drive screws every 1' or so.

Remove clamps and repeat to finish assembly.


Qty 2 sides 20" * 36"

Qty 1 penthouse floor 20" * 42"

Qty 2 vertical supports 24" * 18"

Qty 1 bottom 43.5" * 20"

Qty 1 front 6" * 43.5"

Qty 1 back 36" * 42"

Step 2: Router Work & End Weekend 1 Day 2

Router work

    Round all edges except front face.

    Layout center locations for all "windows". I tried to make them high enough that Carrot would not be tempted to chew or climb out.

    Use router and cut all holes.

    Change back to rounding bit and round hole edges.

    Sand until time to make dinner!

    End Weekend 1 Day 2

    Step 3: Finishing Work

    Weekend 2 Day 1

    Sanding all edges here rough.

    One more quick check for rough edges, sand as necessary.

    Repeat to desired smoothness.

    Use shop vac and clean well.

    Use shop compressed air and blow off piece outside.

    Use tack cloth if have one and remove any dust.

    Apply Stain Prep with rag. Wait 15 min.

    Apply Stain with new rag. Go over with dryish stain rag to remove any drips or pooling.

    Wait 4-6hr and re-apply Stain.

    Wait overnight

    Weekend 2 Day 2

    Lightly sand with 400.

    Apply food safe Butcher block oil with new rag. Go over to remove any drips or pooling.

    Wait 4-6 hrs and re-apply.

    Wait till dry.

    Allowed to dry another week in garage until odor had dissipated.

    Bring inside and finally move Carrots stuff in!!

    Step 4: Finished Pictures

    Finally, move Carrot in!! All supplies fit underneath, so that criteria was met. With the doors closed it looks furniture-esque and matches the wall nicely. The design incorporated a gap along the top of the doors, that makes a natural handle to open the doors, it worked out well.

    The height is convenient to pick him up and maintain his bedding & food. He is not a climbing guinea pig at all, we don't worry that he will climb over the short, 6", walls.

    I'm happy with the way it turned out, thanks for looking. Let me know any questions in comments.

    End Weekend 3