The way we have it figured, if your dog has to live out in the yard, it can at least live in relative luxury. Check out this posh doghouse built by two of our creative experts, Steeltoes and Newf at the Garden Club forums. You could even let the dog take your old house while you move into this one. After all, even most people houses don’t have a top deck.
Below are complete instructions for building your own canine condo. The deck and stairs are optional, so if you’re not sure about your commitment to giving your dog the full downtown living experience, start with the house itself. When you’re done with that, take a moment to properly feel the satisfaction that comes with having made something useful. If that’s a feeling you like, rest assured that there are always opportunities for more.
- 1 day
- 1 1# box 3” Galvanized Nails
- 1 1# box 2” Galvanized Nails
- 1 1# box 1 1/4” Galvanized Roofing Nails
- 2 10’ Drip Edge Flashing
- 1 Bundle Roof Shingles
- For Stairs, Top Deck and Railings (optional):
- Tape Measure
- Carpenter’s Pencil
- Rafter Square
- Circular Saw
- Miter Saw
- Utility Knife
- 48” Level
Step one: Build the platform
The base of the doghouse will be a frame built of three parallel boards capped at the end with two shorter boards. For the parallel boards, cut the two 2x4x10′ boards into 5′ lengths. For the end pieces, cut the 2x4x8′ board into 4′ lengths. Use 3″ nails to attach the end pieces to the 5′ boards, centering the third 5′ board as a support for the floorboards. The result should be a rectangular frame 48″ wide by 63″ long.
Step two: Floor the platform
Finish the platform by giving your dog a place to stand. The slats of the floor can be made by cutting eleven 4′ lengths from the 1x6x8′ boards. Attach them to the frame using more 3″ nails. The best way to ensure that they all fit is to secure the two end boards first. Once those are nailed in place, you can arrange the other nine evenly between them, leaving roughly a quarter inch between each.
Step three: Build side walls
To accommodate the pitch of the roof, we’ll need to make one side of the house taller than the other. Set your miter saw to 18.5 degrees. On one of the 2x3x8′ studs, mark off a 2′ section. Cut up from the mark so that the resulting stud is 2′ long plus the wedge left by the cut. Repeat until you have three studs that length. Those are the vertical studs for the left wall of the house. For the right wall, you’ll need three more studs, these marked at 3′ and cut at the same angle as before.
Cut two of the remaining 2x3x8′ studs into four sections, each 39″ long. These will form the upper and lower frames of the house. Evenly space the 2′ vertical studs—one at either end and the third in the center—along one 39″ stud and nail them into place with 3″ nails. Attach another 39″ stud to the angled ends at the top. Repeat the process with the 3′ verticals to create matching wall frames.
Now it’s time to put the wall frames in place. Align the shorter wall along the left side of the platform, flush against the rear edge, and attach it by nailing through the frame with 3″ nails. Cut another length of 2×3, this one 31″ long, and place it along the back edge of the platform with one end abutting the lower corner of the newly raised wall. At the other end of that backboard, raise the taller wall. Measure the distance between the front of the two walls to ensure that they’re also 31″ apart, then fix the right wall to the platform using more 3″ nails.
Step four: Add the front door and back wall frame
From one of the 2×3’s, cut two segments 8½” long. Along with the 31″ piece from the last step, these will form the bottom of the front wall, with a 14″ gap for the front door. Vertical studs—cut, again, from a 2×3 stud—will rise from each end of these frame pieces, with a single vertical stud centered in the back wall of the house as well. To ensure the best fit, cut two more 2×3 studs, these roughly 33″ long, for the top of the frames. Hold these in place between the tops of the left and right walls, and measure off the vertical studs by placing a long piece across the already established walls. Then hold each of the stud pieces in the intended position and mark them against the pitch of that board. That will give you the exact height needed and the angle at which to cut the stud for that position.
Once you’ve cut all seven vertical pieces (one for each of four corners, two for the door frame, and one centered in the back wall), it’s time to assemble the frames. As before, nail the vertical studs to the bottom sections, being careful to order them according to height. Then nail the completed frames in place, attaching them to both the platform and the previously built walls.
Step five: Wall the frames
Cut the siding into four pieces: one at 41×29″ and the other three at 41″ square. Place two of the square pieces against the front and back wall frames and mark off the doorway and outside edges. Cut along the marks that you made so that the siding fits the frame. The remaining square piece is for the right wall; the shorter piece is for the left. Nail each piece into place using 2″ nails.
Step six: Add the roof
To create a roof, cut the remaining 1x6x8′ board into two segments, each about 43″ long. Place them along the pitch at the top front and top back frame of the house, leaving 2″ of overhang at each edge, and nail them to the wall frames using 3″ nails.
Cut the plywood into a 4′ square and place it on the roof edging. Mark off the exact size and cut the plywood for a closer fit. Nail it into place using 2″ nails.
Set, mark and cut drip edge to length and nail into place along the roof perimeter, starting at the left wall and working your way up. Install the shingles, using a starter strip along the left wall edge. Use the utility knife to trim the shingles to fit. Always work up from the lowest roof edge.
Want to add a rooftop deck and ladder to your doghouse? Check out the full instructions in the Garden Club forums. Don’t want to build your own? The Home Depot offers a wide variety of pre-made houses for your pooch.