How to Make a Dog House from Left Over Material
If you are like me, you have a ton of left over material (wood, shingles, etc) lying around the house. With all this scrap material, I was able to build my golden retriever a dog house she would hopefully love.
- 3′ pressure treated 2×6″
- 8′ 2×4″ (2 pieces)
- 28″ of 2″x4″ (2 pieces)
- Left over Plywood:
- Floor & Roof: 1/2″ 28×38″, 1/2″ 32×32″ (2 pieces)
- Walls: 1/2″ 38×32″, 1/4″ 32×25″ (2 pieces), 1/4″ 38×32″.
- Roofing Shingles (left over from my roof being reshingled)
- Tar Paper (left over from roof being reshingled)
- Plastic Trim, AZEK brand (you can use any material, but I like this brand because it doesn’t rot from water or the elements)
- Deck Paint
- Outdoor white paint
- Wood Putty & Spackle
- Table Saw
- Mitre Saw
- Band Saw
- Circular Saw
- Jig Saw
- Kreg Jig (one of my favorite tools)
- Finishing Nail Gun
- Power Drill
Before I started to build this dog house, I wanted to make sure that I built a big enough house for my dog so I took dimensions from her bed, and measured her length & height. Another good way for good dimensions is by your dog’s crate. Since I given my crate away, I needed to be measure her and be a little creative. I came up with a square design base and it was able to pass the creative wife test. (she did pick out the pain though)
Base of the Dog House:
First piece of the dog house that needs to be built is the dog house base. I built this by taking my pressure treated wood and ripping a piece of 2″x6″x6′ in half length wise with my table saw. Next I used my Mitre saw to cut four 30″&1/2″ pieces because I needed the base floor to be exactly 32×32″. Note, when you rip your stock wood in half length wise, you will get a nice flat service on top. See below on how I assembled the four pieces:
To make this extra sturdy and super strong, I used one of my favorite tools, the Kreg Jig. It helps make pocket holes with ease, and then the screws pull the wood together very tightly. Here’s a close up picture of pocket holes:
I then screwed a 1/2″x32″x32″ piece of Plywood to the top of the base. I cut it with my circular and table saw. I prefer to use the table saw for finishing cuts because the fence helps me make an accurate and straight cut.
Frame for the Dog House:
Take the 2″x4″s and ripped them in half. I cut 4 pieces 22&1/2″ long, and then 2 pieces 32″ long. The 4 22&1/2″ pieces were used as the studs, and the 32″ sat on top of the studs to form the top plate. I also used a piece of scrap 29″ piece top plate to brace the back of the dog house, and give the wall sections more stability.
Now it’s time to cut the rafters. First, I cut 6 pieces to a length of 28″. I moved my mitre saw to 30 degrees and made the angled cuts where they would normally meet the Ridge Board. NOTE** I did NOT use a ridge board for this project. Then, I switched the 30 degree position on the other side of the mitre saw and cut the remaining 3 rafters. Remember that I ripped the 2″x4″ so I wanted to make sure the flat edge was down for all 6 pieces.
I used my nail gun to assemble each rafter section. Before I placed nailed my rafters to the frame, I made little notches with my band saw so I can sit them on the top plates. I also used large 3&1/2″ screws for extra support of the rafter to the top plate.
Once all the notches where cut, I nailed the rafters with support pieces by the top of the pitch. This helped the rafters from wobbling and stayed level with the rest of the structure. Notice in the below picture that I did not place a top plate on one side. It will be the entrance at the front so I left it open, see last section for more detail explanation.
This is a pretty easy phase that could go wrong pretty quickly if your are not careful. For the two side pieces, Nail the 32″x 25″ pieces in place. I left them an inch longer on height so I can cover the base plywood.
Next is to measure the front and back plywood pieces. Take a 2″x4″ scrap piece, you should have two from the rafters, and place it on the ground to hold up your plywood in a couple inches off the ground. Make sure it’s even on both sides. From here, use your pencil to trace your your plywood from the back of the rafters. This will give you a precise cutting line. Only install the back piece of plywood at this time as we will install the front after the roof is completed.
As you can see, I added another stud on all three sides. I don’t think I really needed it, but I like my projects to be as sturdy as possible so I added them in for extra support. Up to you if you would like to add extra studs or not.
Next, I added the plywood to roof but not before adding a full 2″x4″ for an extended soffit at rake. This provides another 3&1/2″ of coverage over the entrance.
Dog House Shingles
Before putting the roofing underlayment paper and shingles on the dog house, I nailed an AZEK trim in front of the front rafter. This allows the dog house to have an extended soffit but more importantly, looks professionally atheistic.
The shingles are easy to install. Once the roofing paper is nailed down with roofing nails, I staggered the shingles and cut extra pieces required with a utility knife for the continuous look. These shingles are very easy to install, and very easy to cut with a utility knife. The toughest part is the pitch, which just takes a little time and some more cuts with the utility knife. I decided to make my pitch shingles have of one section of shingle. I tapered the top of the single (the black section that you nail to the house) so it wouldn’t show when I put the next shingle on. I worked from the front towards the back. Remember to bend the shingle in the center so they stay down, and even use a nail gun to help keep the front corners down.
Dog House Front Plywood and Molding Installation
For the front of the doghouse, it’s time to cut the entrance for my little friend. I already have the pitch cut out correctly as described in the Plywood section above. Since I want my entrance opening to be 18″ wide, I measured the center of the plywood and made a line vertically. From there, I measured 9″ from center on both the left and right side. I then made to cuts with my table saw to 25 inches. From there, I used my jig saw to cut a curved opening section. Once I was happy with the shape, I used my nail gun to assemble to the front of the dog house. I then put trim all around the front and sides with left over MDF trim board I had because I ran out of the Plastic AZEK i used for the front trim around the soffit. I made some 45 degree cuts with my table saw so the joint fit nice around each corners of the dog house, covering the plywood.
The only thing to do from here was spackle and wood putty any holes from the nail gun and then paint. I hope you like my work, and if you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Here is another picture of the finished product.