Join us as Cole Lunde from our Lake Union store walks us through this DIY dog house that your family dog is sure to enjoy. To make this an all-weather dog house, we’d recommend adding a roofing material of your choice (metal would work great). 

Grab your materials and let’s get started!

Step 1: Cut lumber 

Remember, safety first! Take proper safety precautions by wearing hand and eye protection throughout this DIY project.

Start by organizing your lumber and cut the sizes needed to assemble the dog house. Refer to the cutting diagrams below and, using a track saw, cut the pieces you’ll need throughout the project. 

When you’re done, you should have the following pieces:

Dog house base

PT (pressure-treated) two-by-four:

  • One (1) rear ledger at 36” 
  • One (1) front ledger at 29”
  • Two (2) rim joists at 43”
  • Three (3) joists at 45”
  • Two (2) blocks at 12 ¼”
  • Two (2) front blocks at 2”

Non-incised PT four-by-four:

  • Two (2) posts at 26 ½”

Four-by-four ½” ACX:

  • One (1) piece of 36” x 48” with 3 ½” square notches on front corners

Side walls 

8’ two-by-four SPF wood

  • Two (2) bottom plates at 24”
  • Two (2) top plates at 48”
  • Eight (8) studs at 21”

Lower front wall

8’ two-by-four SPF wood

  • One (1) header at 29” 
  • Two (2) bottom plates at 6 ½” 
  • Four (4) lower studs at 21”

Lower rear wall 

8’ two-by-four SPF wood

  • Two (2) top and bottom plates at 29”
  • Four (4) lower studs at 21”

Upper front and rear walls 

8’ two-by-four SPF wood

  • Two (2) bottom plates at 36” with opposite 35° bevels
  • Two (2) center upper studs at 11 ⅜”
  • Four (4) upper plates at 18 7/16” with opposite 35° and 55° bevels

Roof framing 

8’ two-by-four SPF wood

  • One (1) center ridge at 57”
  • Ten (10) rafters at 27 ⅜” with parallel 35° miters
  • Four (4) bird blocks at 9 ¾”
  • Four (4) roof blocks at 10 ½”
  • Twelve (12) roof extension blocks at 4 ½” 

Two-by-four fascia

  • Four (4) front and rear fascia at 33” with parallel 35° miters
  • Two (2) side fascia at 57”

½” CDX

  • Two (2) 60” x 30” with 35° bevel on the downslope side 

Corner trim 

One-by-three trim

  • Two (2) at 25 ¾” with 35° miter on one end
  • Four (4) at 23 ¾” with 35° bevel on one end

Step 2: Assemble dog house base

Every structure—even a dog house—needs a good base to stand on, so to get us started, we will begin by assembling the base of the dog house. 

Start by attaching the rim joists to each end of the 36” rear ledger using an impact drill and framing screws. With your preferred marking tool and tape measure, draw a line 3 ½” from each end of the rear ledger and mark an X on the center sides (this indicates where the joist for a future step should be in relation to the line). Next, draw a line 17 ¼” from one end and mark the long side for a joist.

To start putting these together, grab the three (3) 45” joists and draw lines at 24” from the ends, marking the short sides for the blocking pieces. Next, using 3” wood screws, attach two (2) joists at the 3 ½” lines on the rear ledger. Then, add the center joist to the rear ledger at the 17 ¼” mark.

Once the joists are secured, use the 2” front blockings to connect the rim joists to the side joists with 3” wood screws and insert the blocking at the 24” marks on the joists. 

Tip: A quick way to make sure your corners are square is to compare diagonal measurements. Those two measurements should be the same.

To finish assembling the base, attach the posts at the front with 3” framing screws. Since you need to know where to the drill screws for the floor of the dog house, you can line up the floor on the base with parts of the side and center joists visible and draw lines on the floor where they are. Use these lines as your guide to drill the 36” x 48” ½” ACX to the frame with the 1 ⅝” framing screws.    



Step 3: Assemble dog house side walls

Note: Complete this step twice, one for each side wall. 

Lay the bottom and top plates (from the “side walls” section of the cut list in Step 1) down on your work surface and mark at 11 ¼” and 22 ½” on each plate from one side. Be sure to mark the long side of the line for the studs. 

At these marks, connect studs to the plates with 3” framing screws. Once completed, check for square by comparing diagonal measurements as you did with the previous step. 

Remember to repeat this step to complete the other side wall.


Step 4: Assemble lower front wall

To assemble the lower front wall, start by marking the header 6 ½” from each end as well as the stud location on the outboard side of the line. 

Next, we’re going to screw the studs to each end of the header as well as at the marked locations with wood screws. Finish the lower front wall by securing the bottom plates to the ends of the studs using wood screws.

Tip: If you experience splintering or splitting, try pre-drilling with a drill bit, or drill screws in at an angle.


Step 5: Assemble lower rear wall

For the lower rear wall, draw lines at 10 ½” from each end of both the top and bottom plates. Mark the shorter side of the measurement for the studs. Finally, join the lower studs to the top and bottom plates using 3” framing screws.

Step 6: Add siding to front and rear

Cut the siding panels according to the diagram.

Tip: If cut precisely, you can use spacers of scrap two-by-four framing lumber with a piece of siding attached to square up framed walls using siding panels before joining them to other walls. We cut the front and back siding to 3/8" long on both sides to meet up more cleanly with the siding—this makes the corner trim optional. 

Also, a helpful trick is to cut the siding panels with the grooved side of the panel facing down on your workstation. This will help create cleaner cuts and make it easier to lay out the design.

With an impact driver and 1 ⅝” framing screws, connect the siding to the front, rear, and side walls. You can also use a two-by-four spacer to maintain proper spacing.

Pro tip: For a more polished look, you can bevel the top edge of the side panels at 35°, but if you decide to skip that, cut a ¼” shorter to make the siding fit together cleanly.

Step 7: Join lower walls

Now it’s time to start putting the structure together. Stand up the front, rear, and side walls in the proper arrangement and join them to each other through the studs and top plates using 3” framing screws. Once connected, secure them to the floor joists with the 3” framing screws.

Then, add 3” framing screws through the front and rear siding into studs of the side walls as well as the long top plates to the top of the posts at the front of the dog house.    

Step 8: Assemble upper front and rear walls

Note: Complete this step twice, one for each side wall. 

Locate the bottom plate, center upper stud, and two (2) upper plates for this section. Using a marking tool, mark the center upper stud 1” from one end and mark the long side of the measurement for the top plates. 

Attach the center upper stud at the center of the bottom plate (13 ¾” marked on the long side) with 3” framing screws. Mark 7” on the bottom plate and the outboard side for the stud. 

Then, drill 3” framing screws into the top plates to secure the center stud. Next, use 3” framing screws to attach these upper front and rear assemblies to the lower assemblies. 

Note: You will need to verify that the center stud is square by comparing it to the siding. If the upper front or rear assemblies are not square (do not line up with the side walls), gently pull the side wall to the desired side so that it’s flush. 

Finally, use 3” framing screws to secure the upper front and rear walls to the upper studs of the side walls.


Step 9: Assemble dog house roof framing

Tip: We have found that it’s easier to attach the center ridge to the center studs of the upper front and rear walls. That allows the rafters to hang down as you drill them in place. Do not fasten down the ends of the rafters until the blocking is in. This will maintain spacing and keep things more square. The roof sheathing can also be used to keep the assembly square if cut accurately.

With a marking tool and the 57” center ridge in hand, draw lines at 4 ½”, 15 ¾”, 27”, 39”, and 51” from one end. Be sure to mark the long side of the lines for studs in a future step. Then, carry the marks to the opposite side of the ridge because you’ll need them on both sides later. (You can flip the center ridge and repeat the step above for better accuracy.)

Attach the center ridge to the upper studs of the front and rear walls and screw the rafters to the center ridge at the locations marked from above with 3” framing screws. 

Now, it’s time to work on the bird blocks! Grab the four (4) 9 ¾” bird blocks and mark lines down the center lengths of the board end to end. You can use your tape measure or a similar straight edge to draw this line.

From each end, you will also need to make two marks, 4 ⅞” and 2 ½”, which will leave you with intersecting marks at three different spots. Using a 2” hole saw, drill holes at these three locations. 

Next, cut the soffit screen to the width and length of the bird block and staple it in place. You can now repeat this step for the remaining bird blocks. 

Once you’re done with the bird blocks, attach them between the rafters at the edge of the top plate of wall framing with 3” framing screws. 

Tip: Bird blocks split easily, so use three screws in the configuration shown for easy assembly.

Between the remaining rafters, screw the roof blockings with the 3” framing screws and secure roof joists to the top of the side walls.

Using your impact driver, drill 3” framing screws to secure the blocks at the top (near the center ridge) and at the bottom (close to the end). They will need to be square with the rafter, so if it looks off, that’s normal!

With the roof framing in place, locate the front, rear, and side fascia that was cut earlier. With an impact driver and trim screws, attach the front and rear fascia to the center ridge and extension blocking.

Note: Something to keep in mind is that the ends of the fascia will go beyond the edge of the roof. That’s part of the design, so don’t fret!

Next, you’ll drill the side fascia to the ends of the rafters and front and rear fascia using trim screws. You can use a straight edge (or speed square) to line up with the plate of the roof. (Clamps are useful to adjust both sides to the correct height if you don’t have a second person helping.) 

To wrap up this section, attach the roof sheathing. Locate the two (2) ½” CDX cut earlier. Using 1 ⅝” framing screws, drill each piece into the roof frame.

Note: If you plan to add a roofing system, beveling the upslope side to get a clean joist is not necessary.


Step 10: Add corner trim (optional)

To finish up the dog house, you can opt to add trim. To do this, attach the front trim and rear trim to the faces on the corners using trim screws and impact driver. The edge will be flush with the edge of the side walls and butted up to the floor. 

Then, do the same with the side trim—edge flush with the face of the front and rear trim.

Note: Cole installed a metal roof to protect the wood before using the doghouse. Protecting the roof by installing a metal roof or using shingles is needed before outdoor use! 

If you enjoyed this project, be sure to check out our DIY Dog Bed and DIY Mid-Century Litter Box!