Building a doghouse with style

The typical ready-made doghouse is nothing to bark about, so here’s an alternative for the beginner-to-intermediate woodworker who would like a little more style. It can be built in a weekend and costs about $200. Roomy enough for a large-breed dog, it’s made from three sheets of plywood. Redwood lattice battens and a shed roof create the rustic ranch-house look. A little arbor of 2-by-2s above the door adds interest and provides shade. The removable asphalt-shingle roof makes cleaning inside easy.


Tape measure




Circular saw


Electric drill

Tin snips



2 sheets of 3/8-inch rough cedar plywood

1 sheet 5/8-inch exterior plywood

1 pound 1 1/2-inch deck screws

Three 8-foot-long redwood 2-by-4s

Four 8-foot-long redwood 2-by-2s

2 quarts exterior paint or stain

Twelve 8-foot lengths of redwood lattice

1 tube all-purpose panel adhesive

5/8-inch wire brads

Two 10-foot lengths metal drip edging

1 box 5/8-inch galvanized roofing nails

1 pack asphalt shingles

1. Following the diagram at right, cut and paint plywood sides (A, B) and panels for the rear (C), front (D), floor (E), and roof (F). Sketch out front opening.

2. Following the diagram below, cut and screw four 35-inch-long 2-by-4s to the underside of the floor panel so it sits off the ground. Check that floor height matches the sketched front opening’s bottom (4 1/8 in. from base of front panel), then adjust sketch if necessary and cut opening.

3. To make it easy to screw the panels together, reinforce each side-panel corner with one 2-by-2 that will run from the floor to 1/2 inch from the top edge. Screw side, front, and back panels to the floor.

4. Center roof above the structure and use screws to attach two painted 46-inch-long 2-by-4 rafters that flank the exterior of the side panels. To keep the roof from sliding to the rear, attach three painted 6-inch-long 2-by-4s that butt against the exterior of the front panel.

5. Referring to the diagram below, build and attach with screws (from the inside) the arbor of 2-by-2s. Add the painted lattice trim with panel adhesive and wire brads 6 to 8 inches apart and paint over them.

6. Mask roof edges with metal drip edging, attaching it with roofing nails. Also use roofing nails to attach asphalt shingles, working up from the roof’s bottom end.

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