Step By Step Instructions For Building A Doghouse

Have you decided to build a doghouse on your own after all the deliberation and planning? If so, don’t put it off any longer. For one thing, it is best to introduce your pet to a doghouse as early as possible. You can even have it ready before finalizing the adoption, but not before zeroing in on the dog you want to adopt. The doghouse should be custom-made for the dog to suit its size and needs.

If you postpone the project, there’s every possibility that you or someone else might talk you out of it. Building a doghouse is an adventure anyone can try, and it usually turns out to be a rewarding experience in the end.

Here’s a simple yet practical DIY doghouse project for you:

This basic design shows the components of the doghouse structure. It stands on four short legs and the raised platform ensures protection from dampness in the ground and maintains warmth during winter and ensures proper ventilation and air flow around the structure and allows water drainage. The dimensions are suitable for a small dog, but it is adaptable.

doghouse design

Materials required:

  • Nails (16d for base, 8d for house and short roofing nails for shingles)
  • Exterior Siding 4 x 8 set of 5/8-inches
  • Paint/stain
  • 8-ft long 2 x 4
  • 10-ft long 2 x 4

Tools required:

  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Table saw
  • Circular saw
  • Eye and ear protection
  • Dust mask
  • Paint brush/spray gun
  • Hammer

Cut out the different parts of the main structure:

The sides, roof and the bottom are the three main parts of the structure, but you can cut the pieces out from a single piece of 4”x8” sheet of siding with a thickness of 5/9”. The floor gets a double layer for extra strength and stability.


Measure out and mark the different pieces on the siding. Carefully cut out the pieces. The arched doorway needs a circular saw for cutting. Arrange the pieces in their right places.

Cut out the pieces of the platform frame

Now you need to cut out the frame for attaching theses pieces to. The pieces of the platform frame come from the 10’ long 2×4. You’ll need two pieces of 22-7/8 inches length for the sides and two of 20-3/4 inches length for the front and back of the platform. The four legs are made from 6” long pieces cut out from the remaining porting of the 2×4.


Front – 20-3/4”

Back – 20-3/4”

Sides – 22-7/8” x 2 pieces

Legs – 6” x 4 pieces


Assembling the platform

  1. Smoothen the bottom part of the 4 legs
  2. Attach the legs to the two ends of each of the side pieces of the frame that are 22-7/8” long, using 16d nails.
  3. Attach the 20-3/4” long front piece and 20-3/4” long back piece of the frame in such a way that they overlap both ends of the 22-7/8” long side pieces.
  4. Now place one of the bottom pieces on the prepared platform in such a way that its short sides measuring 20-3/4” are aligned with the back and front ends of the frame.
  5. Fix the bottom piece on to the frame with 16d nails.


If all the measurements are accurate, the bottom piece should fit the over the frame with no edges overhanging. You should make sure of this before nailing in the piece. Do not saw off any extra overhang without double checking.

  1. Nail in the second piece of the bottom over the first.
  2. Level the raw edges flush with the frame.

Assembling the sides:

The sides should have partial frames for stability. These pieces are cut out of the 8’ long piece of 2×4.

  1. Cut the 8’ long 2×4 piece lengthwise to obtain 2 pieces of 8’ long 2×2 pieces.
  2. Cut out 4 pieces from these 2×2, each measuring 12 ½ inches long. These are for the sides.
  3. Mark top and bottom and inside and outside surfaces on each piece of the sides.
  4. Attach the frame pieces to the short ends of the sides on the inside, making sure that they are flush with the side edges and at the top edge. Use 8d nails for these.

There will be a 3 ½” space without the frame at the bottom end of the side. It is for the overhang when the sides are attached to the platform.

Fixing the front and the back:

  1. Measure the slanting edges of the front and back pieces.
  2. Cut out 4 pieces of 2×2 measuring 2” less than the length of the slanting edges.
  3. Attach them to the slanting edges with 8d nails.
  4. Fix the front and back pieces to the platform and to the sides.

Now you have your box-like structure of the doghouse ready. Next comes the roof, but before it goes in place, inspect the interior of the structure and straighten out any imperfections.

Fixing the roof:

  1. Take one piece of the roof and attach a long piece of 2×2 along its top edge measuring 31-7/8”. It should be flush with the edge leaving a 5” gap at both ends.
  2. Fix this roof piece to one side and half portion of the front and back pieces of the doghouse.
  3. Fix the other roof piece snug with the fixed section and nail it in position all around.

It is possible to attach this section with hinges, but it is nailed in position in this simple design.

Making the roof waterproof:

You can either pave the roof with shingles and fix them in place with roofing nails or use aluminum sheeting to cover the top. Both will serve the purpose, but shingles are aesthetically pleasing and better at providing insulation.

Painting or staining the doghouse:

This is the last item on the agenda and you can let your imagination lead you here. It is your choice whether you want the doghouse to stand out or blend with the exteriors of your house. Make sure that use good quality materials because there’s every possibility that the dog may lick and chew on parts of its house.

After all the structural works are complete, you may want to spend some time furnishing the doghouse making it more inviting and cozy, before presenting it to your pet.

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