How to Build a Large, Insulated Dog House

Keep your dog warm in the winter with an insulated doghouse.

Keep your dog warm in the winter with an insulated doghouse.

Whether your dog spends all of his time outside or just plays outside while you are away, you want to make sure that you keep him comfortable during the winter months. You don't have to create a heating system, you can build an insulated doghouse to help protect Spike from the wind, snow and cold. Depending on the size of your dog, the dimensions will vary. You want the doghouse to be large enough for Spike to be able to sit, stand, lie down and turn around.

Build the Frame

Measure the lumber for the floor and cut five pieces for the outer frame and a center board for stability. Use 3-inch screws to attach the lumber.

Apply plywood to the floorboards with 2-inch screws every 6 inches along the frame.

Measure and cut the lumber for the four walls and secure the walls with a center piece of lumber, just like the floor.

Attach the walls to the floor, and secure adjacent walls together using 3-inch screws. Use a level to ensure the wall frames are level.

Stand the Walls

Measure the plywood for the walls.

Cut the sides of the doghouse to sit flush against the frame, but cut the front and back to support the roof. The front and back should look like a square with a triangle on top.

Use a jigsaw to cut the dog door. Place the door off-center so that it falls in between the lumber frame.

Secure the plywood walls to the frame using 1 1/4-inch screws.

Insulate and Keep Warm

Measure the insulation to fit in between the frame on the inside of the doghouse.

Cut the insulation to fit tight in the space between the lumber.

Measure and cut plywood to make the inside walls of the dog house. Secure the plywood with 2-1/2-inch screws.

Construct Rafters and Build the Roof

Cut the 2-by-4 lumber to make three equally sized rafters. The edges need to be cut at a 45-degree angle.

Use 3-inch screws to secure the rafters to the plywood and to the frame. The front and back rafters should sit flush to the front and back walls, and the middle rafter should be placed evenly in between the front and back rafters.

Cut two pieces of plywood to make the roof. Center the plywood evenly to the rafters and secure them with 2-inch screws.

Cover the plywood with tar paper and shingle the roof, starting on the bottom left corner, stapling as you shingle.

Items you will need

  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Level
  • Carpentry square
  • Screws ( 3 inch, 2 1/2 inch, 2 inch, 1 1/4 inch)
  • Nails (2 inch)
  • Staples
  • 2-by-4 lumber
  • 3/4-inch plywood
  • 3-inch thick polystyrene sheets or rigid foam insulation
  • Tar paper
  • Shingles
  • Channeled plastic (optional)


  • Fill any holes with wood putty.
  • Paint the doghouse to prevent dry rot.
  • Use channeled plastic to cover the door to prevent wind from getting into the doghouse. Cut slits in the plastic to make it easier for your dog to get in and out.
  • Add blankets and hay to help create a cozy place to sleep.

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