How to Make a Dog House With an Opening Roof

A well-made dog house is a place for a dog to relax after a long day of burying bones.
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If a man's home is his castle, the same can certainly be said for man's best friend. Dogs enjoy languishing in their yards, digging for things unseen by human eyes, and taking a break in a well-constructed dog house. Housekeeping is as important to the dog's home as it is to man's, and a hinged roof creates easy access when the time comes to give Pete's domicile a good cleaning.

Flipping Its Lid

Step 1

Use the jig saw to cut the pallet so that it measures 20 inches by 24 inches. You'll be using the pallet to raise the floor off the ground. This is especially helpful in areas of inclement weather.

Step 2

Cut two panels for the front and back of the dog house. The roof will attach to these panels, so they'll need to be peaked. These panels should measure 20 inches wide, by 20 inches high, by 28 inches at the peak. Measure this ahead of time, and draw it out with a pencil. Always measure twice and cut once. Sand the panels once they're cut to remove any jagged edges.

Step 3

Cut an archway from the bottom of the panel of the peaked panel that will become the front of the dog's house, using the jig saw. The size of the archway will depend on the size of your dog, and should be no larger than what is necessary for him to enter the dog house. The house you're constructing will accommodate a large dog, and for this example the archway should measure 14 inches wide, centered, by 18 inches high at the highest point of the archway.

Step 4

Sand the entryway to remove any rough edges

Step 5

Cut two panels for the roof. Each should measure 22 inches by 30 inches. Sand all edges.

Step 6

Lay one of the 20-by-24 panels on top of the pallet. Attach it by placing a line of wood screws, approximately two inches apart, around the outside edge. For the dog's protection, sink the screws.

Step 7

Attach one 20-by-24 panel to the pallet using the wood screws and drill, forming one side of the dog house. On the opposite side, attach a second 20-by-24 panel. The side panels should be flush with the ground at the bottom of the house, so that the pallet creates a raised floor. Place the screws approximately two inches apart for maximum stability.

Step 8

Attach the rear peaked panel to the dog house. This is the panel that does not have the entryway arch cut into it. Use the drill and wood screws to attach the bottom of the panel to the pallet. Make sure the bottom of the panel is flush with the ground. Use the hammer and 8d nails to attach the rear panel to the two existing sides. Place the nails approximately two inches apart to stabilize the panels.

Step 9

Attach the front panel using the same method as in step 8. The end result will look like a dog house without a roof.

Step 10

Attach one roof panel to the left side of the roof. The roof should overhang approximately three inches on the front and back, and over the side. Use the hammer and 8d nails, spacing the nails approximately two inches apart.

Step 11

Attach the hinges to the attached roof panels using the included hardware. Place one hinge at each end of the roof panel, where it meets the front and back panels of the house. Place the third hinge at the roof's center.

Step 12

Place the remaining roof panels on the right side of the roof, and attach the hinges utilizing the remaining hardware. This will allow you to open the roof for housekeeping purposes, as well as to add straw and bedding to your dog's new home.


  • Keep all tools away from children.

  • Set all nails properly in order to protect your dog from any exposed nails.


  • For a seamless look, paint your dog's house to match your own. Use non-toxic paint.

  • For a more attractive look, and for better insulation, add roof shingles.

Items You Will Need

  • One wooden pallet
  • Three plywood panels, 20-by-24, 3/4-inch thick
  • One 4-by-8 sheet plywood, 3/4-inch thick
  • Jig saw
  • Wood screws, 2 inches in length
  • Drill
  • Nails, 8d, 2 inches in length
  • Coarse (40-60) grit sandpaper
  • Three hinges and accompanying hardware