This dog house is a plywood 2’x4’x4′ with a removable lid for easy clean-out or adding cedar shavings. The dog house will easily hold an 85# mom and 9 puppies, or a pair of 10ys (a 100# male and his 90# sister), or 2 moms and 2 puppies. Skill level is moderate. If you can run a skill saw and a screw gun, you’re aces.
- 1 sheet 1/2″ exterior grade plywood for floor/roof
- 1 sheet 1/4″ exterior grade plywood for walls
- (or you can use 1/2″ walls and 3/4″ roof & floors, which I did on the second generation because they last longer)
- 6ea pressure-treated 2″x4″x8′ studs (rip lengthwise to make 2″x2″ because 2″x2″ in lumberyards are often already twisted)
- 1 1/2″ exterior screws
- 2 1/2″ exterior screws
- deck sealer or latex paint (optional)
- 1 bale cedar shavings
- Tape measure
- pen or pencil\
- circular saw with wood blade
- safety glasses
- screw gun (drill)
- 36″ pipe clamps or a helper
- paint brush (optional)
Initial Wood Cuts
You can have your lumberyard make the initial cuts, unless you can get them square on your own. Whichever thickness you decide to use, the roof and floor will take more of a beating than the walls.
Initial 2×4 Cuts
Start with ripping 5 of the 2x4s lengthwise — you can buy 2x2s, but ripping 2x4s will give you a nice flat edge and will not warp as much as the 2x2s
Building the Palace
The lid is removable. Therefore you have to reverse engineer the doghouse to fit inside and under the lid. If you start with a 48″x48″ piece of 1/2″ plywood as the roof, everything else will fit inside and under. A 2″x4″ ripped is not actually two inches by two inches, it is actually 1 1/2″x1 1/2″. So if you start with cutting the lip pieces, the first two will be 2″x2″x48″. Take 3″ off to get your shorter sides — 2″x2″x45″.
The floor, walls, and sheathing must fit inside the lip with room to spare. Starting with the space inside the lip of the roof lid — 45″x45″… the floor should be 44″x44″ to accommodate the 1/4″ ply on 4 sides and 1/2″ clearance. The 2″x4″ PT runners are to keep the whole box off the ground or dirt and can be inset by an inch just for looks..
Now you have the measurements for the length of the walls — 24″x44″ for two of them and since the walls are 1 1/2″ wide each — or 3″ for two, the shorter walls will be 24″x41″. The walls are 24″ tall, 21″ studs plus top and bottom rails are 1 1/2″ ea, or 3″ total — to equal 24″ tall, the same height as your exterior 1/4″ sheathing. The door can be framed in with scrap 2″x4″s or 2″x2″s — you can make the door any height or width — but I use 2ea 2x4s on top of the bottom plate, then a 2×2 on each side of the opening — and the opening is roughly 12″ wide and 16″ tall.. Build this, screw it all together, then mark the plywood from the inside to get the exact position — remove the plywood to cut out the door with a circular saw if you can do drop cuts.
Now for the wall sheathing. Your 1/4″ exterior plywood will need to be cut down to fit. The 24″ should hold true – minus the width of a saw blade, so flush with the bottom of the floor, as the lip will hide any shortages. If built right you will need 2 ea 1/4″x24″x44″
2 ea 1/4″x24″x41 1/2″ (41″ plus the width of 2 sheets of 1/4″ or 1/2″) But it might be more accurate to screw on the sheathing flush on one side and then use a pencil to mark your cut on the other side.
Finishing the Puppy Palace Olympic weather sealer can be tinted like paint or left like stain. You can also paint with latex. If your dogs chew, don’t use pressure treated wood — but then you MUST seal because it will rot quickly with weathering and dogs living in and around the dog house. A bale of cedar means the dogs are dryer, smell nice, and have fewer or no fleas. The removable lid makes removing cedar — or messes — much easier. And finally if you have little dogs, or puppies, you’ll want to put concrete blocks in front of the door until they are big enough to get in and out without help. And these are great for taking pictures as well.. The seal boys of the TRAIN litter on TOP of the puppy palace for pictures….