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14 DIY Dog Houses (Plans + Blueprints): How to Build a Dog House!

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Dog DIY By Kelsey Snyder 14 min read March 9, 2021

DIY dog house plans

Dog houses are more than just a shelter — they’re your pup’s home away from home. Even if it’s only a spot to snooze during a backyard barbecue, you want your dog’s house to be both comfortable and durable

Buying a dog house is always an option, but premade houses are often pricey and hard to transport. This has led many owners to build their own DIY dog house from scratch.

Building a dog house DIY style allows owners to address any of their dog’s specific needs, add extra insulation when needed, and end up with a long-lasting lair any pup will love.

Let’s check out a few doggone awesome DIY dog house plans and blueprints to see if this is a paw-ject you’d like to undertake for your four-footed friend. 

14 Fabulous DIY Dog House Designs

We’ve scoured the ruff real estate market for the best DIY blueprints, so let’s see what all the tail-wagging is about.

1. Insulated Dog House 

This DIY insulated dog house by April Wilkerson is cute as can be, and it is customizable to suit your dog’s size and needs.

It’s warm enough for use in cool climates and can be situated on a covered porch or fully outside, depending on if you use waterproof materials or not. The relatively small opening compared to its size is ideal for keeping the cold out, too.

While it’s an eye-catching design with easy access for cleaning, it does require serious carpentry skills and tools to pull off.

The insulation can be bulked up or dialed down to suit your climate, however, and the customizable size makes it an all-around versatile choice that can be used as a double dog house as well. If your dog is a chewer, you want to make sure the insulation is fully enclosed, however.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Materials Needed:

  • Waterproof wood glue
  • 2” x 4” wood pieces (amount will vary by size)
  • Plywood
  • Beadboard
  • Wood screws
  • Wood nails
  • Insulation sheet material (of your preferred thickness)
  • Hinges (amount will vary depending on the roof access design you choose)
  • Pet-friendly paint (optional)

Tools Needed:

  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Carpentry square
  • Pocket hole jig
  • Drill
  • Woodworking straight edge
  • Nail gun
  • Marking pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Box cutter

2. Beginner’s Basic Dog House 

The Lowe’s Beginner’s Basic Dog House has a one-size-fits-all design and is suitable for most breeds, though it can be sized up or down as needed. The classic dog house look fits in any backyard motif, and its all-weather design will withstand the elements.

This a great template to follow if you’re confident in your building chops but not advanced enough for heavy-duty carpentry.

You can easily tweak the design to fit your needs, as the roof materials can be swapped or insulation can be added depending on your area’s weather. The large opening is an area of concern in cooler climates, however, as you may need to install a wind-blocking cover or door flap.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Supplies Needed:

  • Nails
  • 40” x 8” x ⅝” sheet of exterior siding
  • 2” x 4” x 8’ board
  • 2” x 4” x 10’ outdoor-rated board
  • Shingles

Tools Needed: 

  • Hammer (or nail gun)
  • Square
  • Circular saw
  • Table saw
  • Paintbrush
  • Measuring tape
  • Marking pencil

3. DIY Dog House With Deck

This pawesome decked-out DIY dog house by Jen Woodhouse is a pup’s dream hangout. The insulated interior keeps your pup cozy in cooler months, while the outdoor deck is great for summertime snoozing in the sun. 

These good looks aren’t easy to attain, however, as this design requires builders to be comfortable in their carpentry skills, given the numerous cuts it requires. The plans are easy to follow, but the tools and skills needed aren’t too common.

As-is, the plans are designed to fit most medium-sized breeds, so you will need to scale up for jumbo-sized pups. This is a heavy design, too, so make sure you assemble it where you want it to be, to avoid back-breaking lifting.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Supplies Needed:

  • Eight 2” x 4” x 8’ boards
  • Seven 1” x 4” x 8’ boards
  • Two 2” x 2” 8’ boards
  • Fourteen 1” x 6” x 8’ boards
  • One 1” x 2” x 6’ board
  • Pocket screws
  • Wood screws
  • Brad nails
  • Wood glue (waterproof, ideally)

Tools Needed:

  • Miter saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Table saw
  • Drill
  • Pocket hole jig
  • Nail gun
  • Marking pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Square

4. Reclaimed Pallet Dog House

Silverline Tools’ reclaimed pallet dog house is a clever way to repurpose old pallets you find lying around. It’s a straightforward, no-frills design that’s perfect for outdoor use in moderate climates.

The example fits most breeds, though you’ll have to scale it up to suit giant breeds. The lack of insulation is a concern for small fries and short-haired breeds, too, so you may want to look into insulating it.

The amount of cuts and refinishing involved in this dog house aren’t for the faint of heart. De-nailing the reclaimed wood pallets can be an arduous process, as can sanding it down if the pallets have any rough edges. A waterproofing finish is ideal for preserving the pup palace against the elements.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Supplies Needed:

  • Wood pallets
  • Wood glue
  • Wood screws
  • Paint (optional)

Tools Needed:

  • Miter saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Tri-cut saw
  • Square
  • F-clamp
  • Sander (if necessary)
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Marking pencil

5. Large Dog House

Emit Salazar’s large dog house design is a cozy nook for your pup to unwind. The adorable porch accent and windows add touches of charm, while the sturdy build makes it a lasting home for your pup.

The large door access is certainly cute, but it isn’t ideal during cold winters. So, you may want to install a removable door flap to keep things warm during cold snaps.

This is a time-consuming project with the maker stating upfront it took him 30 hours to complete. It consists of various cuts and building techniques that require advanced woodworking skills.

This is another heavy project, so you’ll want to build it where you intend for it to be to avoid the struggle of moving it.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Supplies Needed:

  • 2” x 4” x 8’ boards 
  • 6” x 6” x 8’ boards
  • Plywood
  • Transparent plexiglass (for windows)
  • Silicone filler for window sealing
  • Metal roofing material
  • Metal roofing nails
  • Deck boards
  • Deck screws
  • Brad nails
  • Wood stain 
  • Caulk
  • Wood glue

Tools Needed:

  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Handheld saw
  • Nail gun
  • Screwdriver
  • Sander
  • Caulking gun
  • Drill
  • Clamps
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Straight ruler
  • Square
  • Measuring tape
  • Marking pencil

6. Mini Ranch Dog House Design

Sunset’s mini ranch dog house plan is a simple yet stylish design that won’t cost you an arm and a leg to build. The metal roof stands up to the elements, while the small wooden overhang provides a touch of protection from rain that may try to whip inside.

The size is adequate for small to medium-sized dogs, but you’ll have to resize it to accommodate larger pooches. This design does require some woodworking, but not as much as some of other options listed here.

It’s rather straightforward and doesn’t require as many cuts as some blueprints. The end product is adorable, with slight human-like touches providing additional personality

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Supplies Needed:

  • 2 sheets of ⅜” plywood
  • 1 sheet of ⅝” plywood
  • Three 2” x 4” x 8’ boards
  • Four 2” x 2” x 8’ boards
  • Two 10-foot metal drip edging lengths
  • Twelve 8’ lengths of lattice
  • Panel adhesive
  • Paint or stain of your choice
  • ⅝” wire brads
  • Pack of asphalt shingles
  • ⅝” roofing nails
  • 1 ½” deck screws

Tools Needed:

  • Circular saw
  • Electric drill
  • Tin snips
  • Hammer
  • Square
  • Protractor
  • Tape measure
  • Marking pencil
  • Paintbrush

7. Cute Crooked Dog House

The crooked dog house by Ana White is a quirky pick that howls with style. The design is made for a medium-sized dog, though you can size it up as needed to fit your pooch.

It is functional as well as fashionable, with the slight overhang blocking potential drips, and the heavy-duty roof defending your pup against the elements.

As this is an irregular shape with a multitude of cuts, this project requires above-average woodworking skills. Framing will take a bit of time and close attention, especially with the non-parallel trim areas.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Supplies Needed:

  • 2 ½ sheets of ½” exterior plywood
  • Eleven 2” x 2” x 8’ boards
  • Four 1” x 3” x 8’ boards
  • One 1” x 2” x 8’ board
  • 2 ½” pocket hole screws
  • 1” nails
  • Wood glue
  • 2” woodscrews
  • 3” woodscrews
  • Paint or stain of your preference
  • Asphalt shingles

Tools Needed:

  • Table saw
  • Nail gun
  • Drill
  • Paintbrush
  • Square
  • Marking pencil

8. Portable Dog House

Roughley’s portable dog house is a modern take on pupper real estate with a simplistic, squared design and mobility. Its wheeled nature is great for scooting around a patio or deck, and the thick walls are well-insulated against the wind and cold.

This project is designed for large pups, though it would work well in multiple medium or small-sized fur friend families too. The small deck is perfect for pups who like a little sun in their life, though the lack of a door overhang is a bit of a drag in the rain.

The modern look of this dog house does require a fair amount of skill to pull off. It requires you to make specialized cuts and use advanced building techniques that other options do not.

The interior may need an additional layer of plywood to hide the insulation as well since some curious canines might find it too tempting not to scratch or chew.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Supplies Needed:

  • 2 sheets of 2400mm x 600mm cement sheeting (roughly 7’ 10.5” x 2’)
  • 1 sheet of 2400mm x 1200mm x 3 mm plywood (roughly 7’ 10.5” x 4’ x ⅛”)
  • 2 lawnmower wheels (or similar wheels for portability)
  • 2 galv hinges
  • Strips of wood trim
  • 2” x 4” x 8’ for framing
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Wool insulating materials
  • Liquid nails
  • Caulk
  • Waterproof wood stain or paint

Tools Needed:

  • Circular saw
  • Table saw
  • Caulk gun
  • Nail gun or hammer
  • Clamps
  • Drill
  • Impact driver
  • Dremel

9. Log Cabin Dog House

The DIY Network log cabin design gives your dog a cool place to hang out. It isn’t as insulated as some other designs, however, and its stone floor and wide door opening make it less than ideal in colder climates. It’s a great place to catch a nap, though, and the cool stone will feel great during the summer.

For a log cabin, it’s rather straightforward. The cuts are somewhat repetitive, making it an ideal pick for those with some construction skills.

The heavy-duty filling with chinking compound might seem hard, but it’s much easier than struggling with nails and screws.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Supplies Needed:

  • 4” x 4’ landscaping timber
  • Metal roofing material (or asphalt shingles)
  • Plywood
  • Chinking compound
  • Pavers
  • Wood glue

Tools Needed:

  • Table saw
  • Radial arm saw
  • Wood chisel
  • Tape measure
  • Marking pencil

10. Modern Dog House Plan

The DIY Creators’ modern dog house plan is a solid choice for most dog breeds. It’s spacious, allowing your dog to comfortably turn around and stretch out, while the Plexiglas windows let sunlight in and keep the elements out.

The floor plan also works well if you have multiple small or medium doggos. The large door opening on this design will need a cover during the winter months to stay cozy.

The plan does require you to cut down a lot of wood, but the setup isn’t too complicated. The multitude of skills needed do earn it a hard rating, however, as working with metal and plexiglass can be challenging for those who’ve never worked with these materials.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Supplies Needed:

  • ¾” plywood
  • 1” x 6” x 12’ wood strips 
  • 2” x 2”  trim
  • Plexiglass
  • Sheet metal roofing (you can use asphalt shingles too)
  • Aluminum capping (if using metal roofing)
  • L-brackets
  • Roofing screws
  • Wood glue
  • Nails
  • Decking screws
  • Pocket hole screws
  • Stain or paint of your choice

Tools Needed:

  • Circular saw
  • Miter saw
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • Nail gun
  • Clamps
  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Metal shears
  • Marking pencil

11. A-Frame Dog House 

The DIY Network A-frame dog house plan has the classic canine look with a heavy-duty finish.

The sturdy roof repels the rain, making it an excellent choice for a backyard relaxation station. This plan is intended for a medium to large-sized dog, though it could easily be tweaked to fit your doggo.

This design needs some skills to pull off, but it isn’t as labor-intensive as other DIY options. The plans are easy to follow, and wood glue can be used to make the house weatherproof and make the construction process easier. 

Difficulty Level: Medium

Supplies Needed:

  • 2” x 2” x 6′ boards
  • 2” x 4” x 8′ pressure-treated board 
  • ¾” sheet of exterior plywood
  • Asphalt shingles
  • 15-pound asphalt felt roofing paper
  • Roofing cement
  • 1 ¼” wood screws
  • 3” wood screws
  • ¾” galvanized roofing nails
  • ⅜” galvanized staples
  • Paint or stain

Tools Needed:

  • Jigsaw
  • Circular saw
  • Miter saw
  • Drill
  • Staple gun
  • 1 ⅜” spade bit with spur cutters
  • Paintbrush
  • Utility knife
  • Sandpaper or sander
  • Hammer
  • Framing square
  • Clamps

12. A-Frame Dog House For Under $75

This affordable A-frame dog house design by ScottfromScott is a simple way to keep your canine covered.

Suitable for small to medium-sized puppers, this hound hut is insulated against the cold and has real shingles to block out rain, snow, and wind. This model does not contain a floor which isn’t always ideal, though a plywood floor can be added without much fuss.

This build does require some building skills, but it isn’t as tricky as other DIY designs. Basic cutting and hardware abilities are needed. It’s easily customizable as well, allowing you to craft a bigger house as needed with some tweaks in measurements. The opening, for instance, could use some widening for plumper pups.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Supplies Needed:

  • One sheet of insulating foam board 
  • Two sheets of 7/16” oriented strand board
  • 2” x 2” x 6’ strips
  • Asphalt or fiberglass shingles
  • Two 10’ sections of 2” drip cap
  • 1 ½” roofing nails 
  • 2 ½” galvanized nails or screws 
  • 2″ galvanized finishing nails 
  • Caulk
  • Exterior waterproof paint

Tools Needed:

  • Circular saw
  • Drill or nail gun/hammer
  • Paintbrush
  • Measuring tape
  • Marking pencil

13. Contemporary Dog House DIY

This DIY dog house design by Modern Builds is a beautiful bungalow with plenty of space for dogs of all sizes. You could scale it up to fit two jumbo puppers, but as is, it’s got enough room to cover multiple small or medium pooches.

The sturdy design utilizes construction adhesive to help ensure an air and watertight build that repels the outdoors.

This is one of the trickier builds on our list of DIY dog house plans, and it isn’t for newbie builders. It’s very labor-intensive with all the required cuts, and handling plexiglass isn’t for everyone.

The good news is, it’s highly customizable, and it’s sure to last, especially if you add some all-weather shingles on top.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Supplies Needed:

  • ⅝” plywood
  • 1” x 2” furring strips
  • Pallet wood
  • Plexiglass sheets
  • Waterproofing stain
  • Nails
  • Construction adhesive

Tools Needed:

  • Circular saw
  • Sabre saw 
  • Jigsaw
  • Nail gun
  • Straight ruler
  • Square
  • Clamps
  • Caulk gun
  • Paintbrush or sprayer
  • Measuring tape
  • Marking pencil

14. Primitive Wild Dog House 

This dog house design by Primitive Survival Tool is a rustic, interesting-looking shelter for your woofer.

It’s as close to nature as it gets and provides ample space for your dog to unwind. This is not a shelter for cold-weather climates, and we would not recommend it for high-wind areas.

Made with truly natural materials, this design isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a lot of hands-on labor, and special care must be taken to avoid a flimsy end product. If you’re not convinced you could pull it off correctly, you should stick to other options that won’t risk your pupper.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Supplies Needed:

  • Timber
  • Vines or twine for tying
  • Bamboo
  • Mud
  • Grass or sod

Tools Needed:

  • Handsaw 
  • Shovel or post-hole digger

Dog House Roof Ideas

Arguably, the most important part of a dog house is its roof. What good is all your hard work if it’s not covered and protected?

The ideal roof material will vary based on your environment. For instance, a DIY dog house for indoors would be fine with a fabric roof, while an outdoor oasis will need something stronger like wood.

A few noteworthy roof options are:

  • Asphalt shingles
  • Aluminum 
  • Slate shingles
  • Excess siding

Also, if you intend to devise your own dog house design, consider making the roof overhang the sides by several inches. This will help protect the walls from rain and moisture, and it will also help keep the interior dry better too.

dog house diy

Dog House Dimensions: How Big Should Your Dog House Be?

When making a dog house, you must pay close attention to size, ensuring your pooch has enough space not only to lay but to turn around comfortably and have enough space between him and the door.

A dog house is useless if there is too little room between him and the outside, as rain and cold can easily invade and potentially saturate any bedding inside. 

A good way to measure is to consider his dog bed and add a little wiggle room around it — roughly a foot in front where the door would be. You could also use your dog’s crate as a good starting point.

Don’t forget to consider your doggo’s height too! He needs to be able to stand comfortably while in his house (even if he needs to duck his head a bit when walking through the door).

If you plan on also putting together a DIY dog pen or DIY dog fence that your dog house will be placed within, keep those dimensions in mind too to ensure your pup has plenty of space.

Weather Woes

For your DIY dog house, keep your location in mind when selecting a design and choosing the materials. This will help ensure your dog’s new home works well, keeps him comfortable, and that the house lasts too.

If you live in Florida, for instance, you will need far less insulating than a dog house in New York. Similarly, waterproofing will be a must in rainy Seattle, while less necessary in a desert environment like Phoenix.

Finally, you may want to consider the color paint you use (if any). For example, if you live in a warm-and-sunny climate, you may want to choose a very light color to help reflect some of the sun’s blasting rays. On the other hand, a dark-colored dog house will stay warmer in cool climates.

***

Whether you choose to go the DIY route or buy complete, your doggo will love his new abode. Have you ever built your own dog house? Did you use any of these plans? We’d love to hear in the comments below!

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Written by

Kelsey Snyder

Kelsey is a K9 of Mine contributor who has worked with dogs as a shift runner and office manager of a boarding kennel. When she’s not writing, she can be found throwing a ball or losing at tug of war. An animal lover to the max, she lives in South Jersey with her husband, her five dogs Boomer, Taj, Batman, Maya, and Moxie, some kitties, and two grumpy turtles.

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