Building your own dog house is an inexpensive way to create a special and customized house for man’s best friend.
In this article you do not need to worry about unraveling the plan of a dog house because it is integrated into the following simple, short and practical 14 step processes that just about anyone can follow to build his own dog house.
Before setting out to build a dog house it is essential that you have a general understanding of the most important material (in this case wood), that you will use to build the dog house.
This knowledge will help you in making the right decision when choosing wood type to build a dog house that will last some years.
When building your own dog house you can choose between 2 durable options of either wood or plastic. Both have their strengths and weaknesses:
- Wood is an excellent choice if you are concern (and you should be) about the insulation for your dog house from cold and heat.
- An easier material for getting the job done if you are going to build the dog house yourself.
- The sturdy nature of wood is perfect for a jumpy and chewing dog like yours.
- Wood wears out over years and therefore may require some yearly maintenance such as painting.
- Vulnerable to termite infestation.
- Wood tends to absorb dog odors over time.
- Plastic is very durable and far more light weight compared to wood.
- Easier to clean up and does not tend to absorb the dog’s odors like wood.
- While plastic also provide some measure of insulation, it is however not as good as wood and may therefore require additional insulating material.
The post will be working with wood. The best wood to use for outdoor furniture must be able to withstand the ravages of nature – the harshness of the sun or drenching rains – on a long term.
It is therefore essential that you have some basic understanding of different wood types so that you will be in the best position to choose the best wood type for building your dog house.
An excellent wood for outdoor furniture like a dog house must have some resistance to insect infestation and rot.
There are 2 major ways that woods tend to resist rot. Chemical compound found in some woods such as cedars, cypress, redwood offer rot resisting barriers that is offensive to agents of decomposition like bacteria and bugs.
While wood types like ash, birch, pine and spruce have little or no resistance to rot.
The other way that woods that are excellent for outdoor use prevent rot resistance is through physical barriers. Some wood types such as black locust and white oak have a structure called tyloses which fills up the pores of the wood thereby shutting moisture and decay causing agents that thrive in moisture from getting into the wood.
Wood types fall into 2 general categories: soft or hard wood. This is based on the structure and type of the wood and not its durability.
- Soft wood – They are not weaker than hard wood but are generally less expensive than hard wood because they come from coniferous trees which grow quickly.
- Hard wood – They come in a variety of grain patterns, texture and colors and are therefore very good in making good looking furniture, however they could be quite pricey.
Some types of soft woods are: cedar, fir, pine, spruce and redwood.
Some hard wood types: ash, birch, cherry, mahogany, maple, oak, popular, teak and walnut.
Some common wood types used in building dog house include:
The wood type that will be the best for building your dog house will depend on the temperament of your dog and your climate. If your dog like to chew then a sturdy wood type will certainly be an excellent choice.
In the post we will be working with cedar (however you can use any wood type of your choice) for a number of reasons:
- Cedar is good for areas with high humidity.
- Generally used for outdoor projects like building exteriors, decks, furniture, etc. because it is good at handling moist environment without rotting.
- The dimensions or size of cedar is unaffected by weather, temperature or humidity conditions. This means that unlike other wood type cedar does not get warped by exposure to moisture.
- Cedar is able to resist insect damage far better than other wood types.
The content of this article would work perfectly for a medium sized dog however you can easily scale the size to accommodate the size of your dog either bigger or smaller.
- Tape measure
- Circular saw
- Work bench (or 2 saw horses)
- 10’ cedar 2×4
- Safety goggles (glasses) – make sure to use this in order to prevent wood debris from getting into your eyes.
- A bag of 16d nails
- A bag of 8d nails
- 4’x8’ sheet of untreated cedar plywood siding
- 8’ cedar 2×4
- Cedar shaving
- Hand file
- 1 gallon of exterior wood primer – you apply the primer before painting
- 1 gallon of exterior enamel paint
- Roofing shingles
- Roofing nails
The first step in building your dog house is to measure your pet’s height, weight and length and add 12 inches to the height, 18 inches to the length and 9 inches width in order to get the dimensions of your dog house.
A medium size dog of about 25” height, 23” length and 21” width will require a house dimension of 37” high, 41” long and 30” wide.
Because a dog’s body heat warms the house, it should be just big enough for your dog to stand in and turn around easily.
Put the 10’ cedar 2×4 on the work bench and cut it into 8 pieces with the circular saw:
- 2 pieces that twenty two and seven eight inches long (22 -7/8”).
- Another 2 pieces that are twenty and three quarter inches long (20-3/4”).
- Cut the remaining 4 pieces each into six inches long (6’’).
The dog house will be fitted with legs so the house can stay some inches above the ground. This will help to prevent water from getting in and also protect the dog from the cold ground in the cold periods of the year.
With the circular saw ground (i.e. rounded the edges) one end of each of the 4 (6’’) pieces, these will become the legs of the dog house.
Then take 2 of the legs and 1 of the 22 ‘‘7/8 pieces and line up the flat edges of the legs (the rounded edge in the other direction) with the edge of the platform side (22 ‘‘7/8) and nail the 2 legs to the 22 ‘‘7/8 using the 16d nails. Repeat the step for the other side. These 2 pieces will be the 2 sides of the platform.
The 2 20’’3/4 pieces will be used as the front and back of the frame, place the 2 side pieces of the legs from step 2 above opposite each other with the legs inside and nail the front and back pieces to the sides pieces that contain the legs.
Put the 4’x8’ plywood on the work bench (or saw horses) and cut it according to these dimensions:
- 2 bottom pieces of 20’’3/4 inches by 25’’7/8 inches.
- 2 roof pieces of 31’’7/8 inches by 21’’7/8 inches.
- 2 side pieces of 16’’ inches by 25’’7/8 inches.
- One back piece of 22’’ inches wide and 27’’ inches high.
- One front piece of 22’’ inches wide and 27’’ inches high.