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5 Droolworthy DIY Dog Houses

By Colleen Williams
published: July 21, 2019 - updated: July 5, 2023 • 3 min. read

Summer is the best time to take on DIY projects for pets. The sunny, dry weather means you can move bulky projects outdoors and even spend time with your pet while doing them. While building a dog house may seem like a gargantuan task, pet parents have every resource at their disposal, thanks to the internet. Our Pinterest has plenty of dream dog houses to ogle, most of which have free floor plans online. If you’re not the handiest, find construction tutorials on YouTube or purchase an eBook. Hands-on learners can even find classes in their community on basic construction skills; check a local community college, rec center, or home improvement store.

When picking a dog house to DIY, it’s important to keep in mind a number of factors. Make a budget for materials and your time – many a project has been scrapped or left unfinished after it dragged on too long! Consider the weather before building a dog house, especially in extreme conditions. An insulated dog house is best for pups who love the snow, while others may prefer an indoor structure or more of a sun-shade. For the pet who has everything, there are some spectacular luxury dog houses, many of which include air conditioning, mini chandeliers, or dog swimming pools.

1. Dog House with rooftop deck

DIY dog house with deck

A twist on the classic design, this idea comes from Home Depot. Perfect for the construction newbie, instructions include a supplies list, budget and timeframe. If you’re looking for cheap dog house plans, we recommend this simple structure with a budget of $225 – only $175 without the deck and ladder – and an estimated build time of one day. Personalize your pup’s home with paint, landscaping and signage; weatherproof paint and wood stain will cut down on upkeep.

Protect your pet

2. Stylish Small Dog House

Add a bit of style to your home with this DIY so stylish even your pup won’t realize it’s a dog house. Best for smaller pets – the triangular pieces should be as high as your sitting dog – and trendsetters, keep it indoors as a statement piece or add weatherproofing to place outside. While the original design is left unfinished, you could paint the triangular panels for some extra flair. Another cheap dog house, the project estimate is $30 and 7 hours; these figures could vary depending on your pet’s size and the extent of customization. If you don’t own power tools – you’ll need a circular saw and electric drill – many home improvement stores offer them to rent.

3. Open Air Dog House

DIY open air dog house

This design is more of a veranda or sunshade than a traditional dog house, great for keeping hot dogs cool in summer weather. Great for the pet parent on a budget, this cheap dog house costs under $100 in materials. Keep in mind that you may have to rent or purchase power tools – this plan requires an electric drill, table saw, and staple gun. Many home improvement stores will cut lumber purchased from them for free. Place the dog house in a shady area of your yard or garden; for added shade, train vines to grow along the latticework!

4. Classic Dog House

DIY classic dog house

An oldie but goodie, this classic dog house design can be scaled up or down depending on your pet’s size. Shelters for large dogs can be difficult to find; often a DIY dog house is a pet parent’s best bet. Budget about $100 for this project, depending on how big your dog is. Tools needed include a table saw, circular saw, and hammer. Customize the paint job to match your own home, or add insulation if your area has harsh winters.

5. Double Dog House for Large Dogs

DIY double dog house for large dogs

If you’ve got an extra-large pup or double trouble, it can be difficult to find a dog house to fit your needs. These dog house plans are simple and straightforward, with step-by-step instructions for construction. At $275 – if you want to include heat lamps the total is $303 – this large dog house is still a steal compared to similar prefabricated structures.

If you enjoy building your own dog house, then you are a great candidate for pet insurance. Get a quote and make sure you’re covered for future injuries or illnesses.  

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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