A New Home for Lucy–Modern DIY Dog House

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

I’ve always considered myself a dog person. Growing up I HATED cats.

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But, you guys, never say never. Growing up, I said I would NEVER have a cat and IF I ever did, I wouldn’t like it. Now fast forward past a long story about vicious animals and a ton of mouse turds in our kitchen ceiling (if you want to know the whole story, just ask…I’ll tell it), and now, we have PET…that’s right PET…cats. How did this happen?! Like, they go to the vet and everything…PETS.

Spring Front Door Refresh Worthy of All the Heart Eyes

So, in order to save some of our dignity (you know…after I said I would NEVER…then I did), we discussed getting another dog (because then I could say I was still a “dog person”), but never could bring ourselves to get one. Then one day, Lucy came into the picture.

She showed up skin and bones and filthy. After she stayed around for a week or so, we took her to the vet to see if she was microchipped…no luck. And we posted it all over Facebook and never heard a peep back from anyone claiming her. So, we took her in.  She really loves Danny.  And laying in people’s laps.

Only problem was…we weren’t really prepared for a dog, so we didn’t have a dog house ready for her. And that’s kind of important.

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So I reached out to Jen Woodhouse from The House of Wood to see if she would want to help me with some plans for Lucy’s new house. Jen is like the best at drawing plans…and designing furniture…and singing…and blogging…I was kind of starstruck working with her. #fangirl

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Thankfully, she was happy to help me with the dog house and drew up some plans for it. You can click over here to her site for the full building plans. But first,  I have a picture and video (YES, VIDEO!!) tutorial, but all the dimensions and details can be found in the plans on Jen’s site.

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

NOTE: You will see Lucy in these pictures on a tie out.  As some have questioned this, let me be clear that she is ONLY on a tie out right outside my shop while I am working in there.  That way, she can come inside with me, or go outside as she wishes.  She always has water available and she enjoys just sitting outside my shop door and watching the cats run around the yard.  She comes inside with us when we are inside the house and she only stays outside (under shelter and in a LARGE lean to by our barn–not tied up) while we are at work all day.  Lucy is well taken care of.  Now that you know Lucy’s daily schedule and living conditions, here’s the details on her dog house 🙂

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For this build I used all the basic tools:

Miter saw

Jig Saw

Table Saw

Drill

Kreg Pocket Hole Jig

Nail gun

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Nothing fancy was required for this build. But, I will warn you…it’s big and it’s heavy and it’s best to build it outside or you won’t be able to get it out of the door. You’ve been warned 🙂

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I wanted Lucy to have a place to lay outside the house on those hot summer days. The inside is mainly for winter time when it’s cold (it’s insulated, too…more on that further down). But in the summer, I thought she would like a nice deck to chill on.

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So first, I built the deck. This is the easy part. I assembled the frame just like the plans show from 2x4s and screwed 1×4 slats in for the top.  You can see more in the video 😉

DIY Dog House with Deck

Before moving on, I moved this outside and stained it with outdoor stain and sealant. It’s easier to finish the deck before attaching the house…especially if you are doing two tone like I did. But it’s not required.

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Then, I assembled the house frame according to the plans. Meanwhile, Lucy enjoyed her new deck. See? I knew that was a good idea 🙂

I screwed the back frame together first with pocket holes and screws, then attached the side 2x4s and the front frame.   You can see more on this in the video below and in the plans. (You guys!!! I MADE A VIDEO…so go check it out at the end of the post and tell me what you think 🙂 )

DIY Dog House with Deck

I set the frame in place to make sure Lucy would fit. Good news…she does!

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Then, I screwed the house in place. You could use pocket holes and screws here, but I just “toenailed” screws in at an angle through the frame into the deck.

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Then, it was time to add the siding. This is where it starts to actually look like a house. In order to make it a little more airtight (it gets cold in the winter, here, so we wanted to keep her warm), I used tongue and groove 1x6s instead of regular 1x6s. Either works fine, though.

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

I nailed on the siding along the sides of the house first, and as I got to the top, I marked along the boards where they needed to be trimmed to fit the angle and cut it with a jig saw.

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Once the sides were finished, I added slats on the back. Once I got to the top, I ripped the last board to fit. I beveled the board at a 15 degree angle when I ripped it, so it would follow the angles on the side.

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

Then, I added the front slats the same way, leaving the door open and beveling the top board to fit.

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Next, I primed and painted the house. Because I was doing a two tone house, it was easiest to paint now. But again, depending on your color scheme, you can paint it later.

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

I painted the house in the same paint I used for my front door refresh—Sherwin-Williams Snap Dry in Anchors Aweigh. I love this navy color. Paired with the wood, it looks like of mid century modern…or is that just me?

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Once the paint was dry, I added some door trim and a canopy. I also made a small “toy box” with some scraps and screwed it into the front of the house. I would plant flowers here, but Lucy has a tendency to eat everything in sight (she actually was chewing on the house frame when I was seeing if she fit in it…), so I skipped the flowers haha.

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

This isn’t in the plans and is totally optional, but in order to keep Lucy warm in the winter, I chose to insulate the house. I stapled insulation between the 2x4s in the frame, then lined it with ¼” plywood. I added the roof without insulation (I was in a hurry), but will go back before winter and do the same on the roof. This should keep Lucy nice and warm 🙂

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

Lastly, I added the roof slats just like the plans show and finished them in outdoor stain and sealant.

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

As a finishing touch, I made Lucy a little sign for the front of her house and a floating dog bowl shelf for the side from some scrap pieces.

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

Then I talked Danny into helping me move it and realized it was way too heavy, so we drug it across the yard. Whatever works, right?

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I think Lucy likes it 🙂

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

What do you guys think?? The house will be in a lean to by our barn, so it shouldn’t really ever get wet, but if yours will, I would recommend maybe adding shingles to the roof for a little more water protection.

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

I’m pretty sure Lucy has the brightest dog house (or actual house for that matter) in the neighborhood. Only the best for our Lou 🙂

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

Check out the video below for more of Lucy’s reaction to her new house and for a few more building details. Also, be sure to click over and get the plans from Jen’s site if you plan on building your own! Thanks so much again to Jen Woodhouse for the plans for this build!!  If you aren’t already following her, you should be (and honestly, if you aren’t already following her, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!).  Her builds will blow you away!

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Oh yeah, one more thing…be sure to pin this for later 🙂

How to Build a Modern DIY Dog House

Until next time, happy building!

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23 Comment

  1. […] and happy Monday! I’ve got a treat for you today – I teamed up with Shara from Woodshop Diaries to bring you the plans and tutorial for this adorable DIY Doghouse with […]

    1. Reply
      Laura
      July 6, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      The dog house is beautiful! I’ve enjoyed watching your projects come to life. I’m looking forward to trying some of them for my home and pets. And it makes me happy that Lucy found you and is now part of your family!

      1. Reply
        Shara, Woodshop Diaries
        July 10, 2017 at 2:15 pm

        Thank you!! So glad to have you following along! And we are so glad to have Lucy in our family 🙂

  2. Reply
    Linda
    June 12, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Sorry, dogs belong inside with the family they are part of, not outside. Will unsubscribe.

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      June 12, 2017 at 9:43 am

      I’m sorry this has offended you. But, the only time Lucy is actually outside is when her family is not home…while we are at work all day.

    2. Reply
      sheri
      June 16, 2017 at 10:00 am

      My dog loves being outside! This comment is absurd.

    3. Reply
      Jamie
      June 16, 2017 at 10:31 am

      For thousands of years dogs have survived outdoors. Dogs have fur! They belong outside. My dog loves being outside and we try to let him in from time to time. He hates it! Will bark, cry, and scratch the door until we let him out. I sometimes forget some dogs are wimp and might need inside, but not my dog and looks like not yours either. I will be subscribing because you’re not torturing your dog by putting him in an environment not suited for him.

  3. Reply
    Tiena
    June 12, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Lucy looks very happy with her new family!! You have shown that you care very much about her well being by building her such a nice doghouse, taking her to the vet, loving her,
    etc. Thanks for giving a stray dog a home!!

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      June 12, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Thank you 🙂 She’s such a sweet dog and we are lucky to have her!

  4. Reply
    Sydney
    June 16, 2017 at 8:55 am

    As a long-time dog-lover, breeder, owner….. I have to ask you to NOT tie her outside, especially with a collar. In many states this is illegal, because it is dangerous for the dog. At least use a harness, but perhaps you could use your wonderful creativity to build her a play yard with some fun fencing?
    She is a gorgeous dog, and her eyes speak volumes. You are VERY lucky to have such a dog.

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      June 16, 2017 at 9:21 am

      She is on a tie out right outside my shop ONLY when I am working in there. She can come inside with me, or go outside if she chooses. While I am working in there, I check on her CONSTANTLY and make sure she has water available. Most of the time, she just watches the cats play. She comes inside when we are inside, and is outside under shelter in a LARGE lean to (not tied up) next to our barn while we work during the day. She is happy and healthy and spend as much time with us as possible. 🙂

    2. Reply
      sheri
      June 16, 2017 at 10:06 am

      Sydney, your comment is clearly coming from a good place, but I remind you that a photo is only capturing one second of someone’s existence. Shara obviously cares about her dog and I’d add that her dog is VERY lucky to have her as owner.

  5. Reply
    sheri
    June 16, 2017 at 10:09 am

    I love this project. My dog loves to be outside, but I’ve been thinking about building something like this for her so she’d have even another place to lay out of the sun. She’d much rather be hanging out in the backyard watching the birds and squirrels than inside with me while I’m working and cleaning. She HATES when I vacuum! 😉 Anyway, awesome project! Lucky dog!

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      June 16, 2017 at 10:24 am

      Thanks so much Sheri!! I made this with a deck so Lucy could lay on it up off the ground, but wasn’t sure if she would use it much. Now I wish I built the deck bigger because she’s hanging out on it all the time! Lucy LOVES to watch our cats in the back yard. Dogs are so funny…they all have their own personalities. Thanks for the sweet comment 🙂

  6. Reply
    Sarah
    June 16, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Not sure what kind of dogs the first lady is thinking of, but most love to be outside. Especially dogs Lucy’s size. Bless you for taking her in and giving her such a happy home. Only on the internet can you be criticized for taking a dog into your family and building her such an incredible doghouse. I need to do the same for my dog!

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      June 16, 2017 at 11:14 am

      Thank you Sarah! I didn’t mean for this post to be so controversial. I was just excited that her dog house turned out cute and she liked it 🙂 We love our Lucy!

  7. Reply
    Mary
    June 16, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Oh my gosh! This is the coolest project, Shara! Your dog is lucky to have you! I can’t wait to see what your creative mind will think up next! xoxo

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      June 16, 2017 at 11:16 am

      Hey Mary!! Thank you friend!! 🙂

  8. Reply
    Debora Cadene
    June 17, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Love the dog house and your site. I just built one a few days ago for my critters as well. I’m sad that some folks feel the need to tell you how to take care of your own dog. You shouldn’t have to explain to anyone, why you are keeping him safe with the tie out. We can’t always keep our eyes on our pets all the time, especially if we are doing any sort of work outside and they can get into things, or disappear very quickly, especially if they are new to your home. We have a new puppy, and although I do have a 10 x 20 enclosed dog pen with the dog house inside, I also will put him on a tie out while I’m working in the yard. Now he is safe, and still has the freedom to wander around, and be close to me if he wishes. Keep up the great work Shara, I look forward to all your posts.

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      June 19, 2017 at 9:04 am

      Thank you so much! 🙂 Lucy enjoys the freedom to sunbathe and watch the cats run around, or come inside the shop with me. She’s good company out there with me while I’m building 🙂 Thanks so much for following along!

  9. Reply
    Nathan
    June 23, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Great post for people with dogs that like to be outside 🙂

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      June 26, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      Thank you!!

  10. […] And as always, I’ve got the how to for you below. AND I even have a video tutorial, too! You can find it at the bottom of this post. By the way, how are you guys liking the videos I’ve been trying to do more of lately?? Like the ones from the entryway bench, and the dog house?? […]

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