Learn how to build a dog house, including what not to do!
With my first attempt, I made the cardinal mistake of not measuring Comet first.
That first dog house was too narrow for him to turn around!
A little planning and know-how will save you both time and money so you may wish to check out Basic Things to Consider before you continue with the information on this page.
About How to Build a Dog House
Below are my free plans to build a large Basic Plywood Dog House using only two sheets of plywood.
The plans include drawings with measurements in both English and metric units.
There are a number of steps involved so it’s best to take your time.
Basic Plywood Dog House Materials
- Plywood*: Two 4 x 8 sheets of 3/8″ or 1/2″
- Lumber: 12 feet of 2×2’s or 2×4’s
- Lumber: 11.25 feet of 4×4’s
- Plywood*: Two sheets 1220 x 2438 of 9.5 or 12.5 mm plywood
- Lumber: 3658 mm of 50×50 or 50×100 mm
- Lumber: 3430 mm of 100×100 mm
Note: Use exterior grade plywood if you don’t want to have to prime and paint your dog house every so often*
- Drywall or wood screws
- Optional: Primer and paint to cover 40 square feet
- Saw for cutting plywood and wood
- Power screwdriver or hand screwdriver with phillips head
- Tape measure
- Pen or pencil for marking
- Straight edge
- Sander or sandpaper block
How to Build a Dog House: Overview
Step 1: Cut Side and Floor pieces and Framing Supports
Step 2: Put together the Sides
Step 3: Assemble Floor
Step 4: Cut Roof pieces and attach to Roof Support
Step 5: Cut the Front and Back Walls
Step 6: Attach the Front, Back and Roof
Step 7: Finishing touches
IMPORTANT: Remember to take breaks or STOP when you get tired or irritable, no matter where you are in the process of building a dog house. You will make fewer mistakes and there’s less potential for injury. Watch your eyes, your back and keep body parts out of the path of cutting blades!
Step 1: Cut Side Wall, Bottom & Frame Pieces
- Mark Plywood Sheet 1 with Side and Bottom (Floor) pieces.
- Cut the two Side walls, 24″ x 40″ (600x1015mm).
- Cut the Floor (Bottom) piece, 32″ x 40″ (812x1015mm).
- Leave the Roof pieces till later if you like.
- Cut four 2×2’s or 2×4’s (50×50 or 50x100mm) 24 inches (600mm) high.
- These will be your Framing Supports.
Note: If you use thinner plywood, you may need an extra support to brace the middle of the long sides.
Step 2: How to Build a Dog House: Assemble Sides
Screw Framing Supports to Side 1:
- Place one Support piece along the inside edge of Side 1, and tape or clamp it in place.
- Make sure the Support does not stick out past the plywood edges.
- Turn the whole thing over and use at least five screws in a zigzag pattern to attach Side 1 to the Support. In other words, screw from the plywood side into the lumber.
- Try to get screws all the way in or even recess them so the heads don’t stick out and poke anyone.
- Fasten the next Framing Support on the other end the same way.
- If need be for thinner plywood, add a Support in the middle.
- Now follow the same process for Side 2.
Step 3: Assemble Bottom (Floor)
- Place Side 1 on its long side against a chair or table.
- Decide which surface of the Floor you want facing inside.
- Lay the Floor piece, inside down, on top of the long side of Side 1 and prop it on a stable surface so the plywood boards are perpendicular, or nearly so.
- Screw them together at the Framing Supports (and elsewhere if your plywood is thick enough).
- Do the same with Side 2.
Step 4: Cut & Assemble Roof Pieces
- Cut roof pieces along lines as shown in the drawings.
- You should have 6 panels 16 x 24 inches (406 x 610 mm) and
7 pieces 4 x 24 inches (203 x 610 mm).
- Set aside these narrow pieces for now.
- Take two 2x4s (50×100) fastened together or one 4×4 (100×100) and cut at 39 inches long (990mm).
- This is your Roof Support.
- Place 3 roof panels width-to-width along one edge of this Support.
- Overlap each end by 4.5 inches (114mm).
- Screw to the Roof Support using three screws per panel in a triangle pattern.
- At a 90 degree angle, screw the other 3 panels to the Roof Support.
- Be sure to cover the ends of the previous panels.
Step 5: How to Build a Dog House: Front & Back Walls
- Saw out the doorway.
- Settle your Roof over the Sides so it’s placed the way you want (i.e., centered or with the front edge sticking out further than the back).
- Mark the inside (underneath side) of your Roof panels where they meet the Sides, then remove.
- On your second sheet of plywood, mark the bottom rectangle of Back Wall.
- To mark the peak part of the Back Wall, stand your roof on end on the plywood and match the inside Roof markings to the Back Wall rectangle.
- Trace the inside of the Roof’s upside-down V onto the plywood.
- Remove the Roof, check to make sure it looks okay and saw around the markings; you should now have a Back Wall.
- Repeat steps for your Front Wall. (Flip the Roof on its other end to get the best match.)
Step 6: Attach the Front, Back & Roof
RAISE THE FLOOR, ATTACH FRONT, BACK and ROOF
- Move your dog house to its final spot.
- Cut at least three 2x4s (50×100) or 4x4s (100×100) to fit underneath the bottom of your dog house across the width.
- Space at regular intervals under the Floor, then screw down.
- Screw the Front and Back sections to the respective Framing Supports.
- Place the Roof back on, making sure it fits well, then screw the peaks of the front and back to the Roof Support ends.
Step 7: How to Build a Dog House: Finishing Touches
- Sand the edges of the doorway and the Roof points.
- If your dog house is made of regular plywood, like Comet’s, you’ll need to prime and paint any pieces exposed to the outside to prevent rot. Optional – add roofing material.
- Make sure to coat the ends of the plywood and also cover the 4-inch (100 mm) wide Roof pieces on all sides.
- When all are dry, take four 4-inch wide pieces and cover the seams made by the Roof panels then screw pieces in place.
- With the remaining two pieces, attach to the Front peak (as shown).
- To pad the dog house floor, check out our Dog Beds page. A basic foam pad with a vinyl cover should be easy to keep clean and free of fleas while providing comfort for your dog.
Congratulations, you’ve learned how to build a dog house!