3 x 3 Foot Dog House Plans – How to Build an Insulated Dog House

Looking to build a simple, yet sturdy, house for your furry friend? Well look no further. Here I’m going to go through step-by-step woodworking plans for building a 3 foot by 3 foot dog house. 

In this plan I’ve included insulation in case you want to use it. If not simply exclude the internal plywood cladding and insulation steps. So whether you live in Florida or Alaska these dog house plans could be right for you. 

What You’ll Need.

A dimensioned drawing of the completed dog house plan


The type of wood you use is totally up to you. My choice would be between cedar, pine, or fir. I’ve added 10% for wastage when calculating the overall lengths of lumber we’ll need. 

You might want to add a little more or less depending on the cost and quality of lumber you end up using. Remember, when using dimensional lumber as I have here the dimensions are ½” smaller than quoted i.e. for 2×4” dimensional lumber it actually measures 1 ½ x 3 ½”. 

Framing Lumber

  • 2×4 pressure treated lumber –  Total: 25’ 1 ½” or 4 off 8’ lengths. 
  • 2×2 pressure treated lumber –  Total: 59’ 2 ½” or 8 off 8’ lengths. 

Plywood Sheeting 

½” pressure treated plywood – Total area: 3261 in2 or 1 off 3’x3’ board and 1 off 5’x3’ board. 

If you’re planning on insulating your dog house you’ll also need:

5/16” pressure treated plywood – Total area: 4778 in2 or 3 off 5’x3’ boards. 

Cladding & Insulation 

4 ½” Tongue and groove – Total area: 92’ 4” or 12 off 8’ lengths. 

If you’re planning on insulating your dog house you’ll also need:

1 ½” thick foam insulation board – Total area: 4085 in2 or 3 off 2’x8’ boards. 


  • A box of 3” deck screws 
  • A box of 2” deck screws
  • A box of ¾” deck screws
  • A pack of 1” long brads that are compatible with your brad nailer


2640 in2 felt paper and asphalt shingles. 


  • Circular Saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill & Drill Bits 
  • Impact Driver and Driver Bits
  • Brad Nailer 
  • Corner Clamps

Although not essential you might find it useful to have a miter saw or table saw for precision cuts. 

Step 1: Base 

To start we’re going to assemble the base of the dog house. You’ll need to cut 5 lengths of 2×4, 2 off 36” long and 3 off 33” long. 

Screw together the base frame using 3” desk screws, as shown in the image above. Use corner clamps if you have them to make sure your base frame is square. 

While not essential drilling ⅛” pilot holes before driving your screws will avoid any chance of the wood splitting. 

Next, take your 36”x36” ½” pressure treated plywood sheet and screw it down to the base frame using 2” deck screws.

Step 2: Side Frames 

Next up you’ll need to assemble both side frames. Start by cutting 6 off 2×2 20” long and 4 off 2×2 33” long pieces of timber. 

As before screw together the side frames in the positions shown in the drawing, using corner clamps to keep the frame square. However this time using 2” deck screws. 

This next step is only required if you’re planning on insulating your dog house, if not skip over the next bit and move onto assembling the front frame. 

If you are going to insulate your dog house then you’re going to need to clad the inside of the frames with 5/16” plywood. 

Cut two pieces of plywood 23 ½” by 32 ⅜” and fasten to the side of each of the side frames. As per the drawing above the plywood should be 5/16” sub-flush on both sides of the frame, flush on the bottom and ½” proud at the top. This should be fastened in place using ¾” deck screws. 

Step 3: Front Frame 

On to the front frame. To start, cut all the members required to make up the frame. You’re going to need 2 off 2×2 by 16 ½” lengths, 1 off of each 2×2 – 33” & 36” length and 2 off 2×4 roof beams and uprights. 

For the roof beams start by cutting 2 off lengths of 2×4 – 25 ¾” long. Then cut 60° angles onto each end in the same direction. The drawing above should make this clear. 

Similarly for the uprights cut 2 off lengths of 2×2 – 23” long. This time cut a 60° angle onto only one end. 

Once you have all your frame members cut, assemble them according to the dimensions in the drawing above using 2” deck screws. 

Next, and again only if you’re insulating your dog house, cut a piece of 5/16” plywood. The front of the dog house will include the door, so take a look at the drawing above for all the dimensions. 

Fix the plywood to the inside of the front frame, that is the side opposite the overhang created by the 2×4 roof beams. Position so  it’s flush with the bottom of the frame and flush with the inside of the uprights. Fix in place using ¾” deck screws. 

Step 4: Rear Frame 

The rear frame is almost the same as the front frame, just without the vertical members around the front door. 

As before cut 1 off of each 2×2 – 33” & 36” length and 2 off 2×4 roof beams and uprights. Assemble the frame fixing everything together with 2” deck screws. 

Cut a piece of 5/16” plywood to the same dimensions as the front frame, however this time exclude the hole for the door. 

Fix the plywood onto the inside of the rear frame again ensuring it’s on the opposite side to the door overhang. 

Step 5: Assemble the Whole Frame 

Now you’re done building up all the separate frames, it’s time to assemble them all together to form the structure of your dog house. 

Before you attach any of the frames to the base you need to fix them all together to form the outer walls. This is only really important if you’re insulating your dog house as you’ll need to be able to get inside the structure to attach 5/16” plywood to the inside of the roof. 

So assemble the font, rear and side frames together and secure them with 2” deck screws. Then cut 4 off 2×2 – 33” long for the roof cross members. Fit them in the positions shown in the drawing above and secure in place with 2” deck screws. 

Now cut 2 off 5/16” plywood boards 20 ¾” x 33”. Fit the boards to the inside of the roof cross members so they meet at the peak of the roof. Secure them in place using ¾” deck screws. 

With the walls and roof structure assembled you can now fix it all down onto the base. Make sure everything is aligned and fasten in place with 3” deck screws. 

Step 6: Fitting Insulation and Roof Boards 

There are a number of different materials you can choose from when selecting insulation board. The one you choose will depend on your budget and the level of insulation you need. 

You could even swap insulation board out for soft insulation, such as fiberglass or wool. However I prefer to stick to insulation board as it’s quick and easy and makes applying the cladding much easier. 

If you’re also going to stick with insulation board then cut each piece required according to the drawing above. We’re going to need: 

  • 4 off – Side insulation boards 
  • 2 off – Front insulation boards 
  • 2 off – Roof insulation boards 
  • 2 off – Top insulation boards 
  • 1 off – Rear insulation boards 

Fit each piece of insulation board into the frame according to the drawing. You should find they’re well fitting and should stay in place. However if anyway are loose you can use some double sided tape to hold them into the frame. 

Now cut 2 off ½” thick plywood boards 24 9/16” x 40”. Position the boards onto the roof beams of the dog house so they form the ridge of the roof. Secure them in place using ¾” deck screws. 

Step 7: Finishing off – Cladding, Roofing and Trim. 

To finish off your dog house you’re going to need to clad the outside of the frame. Here I’ve used 4 ½” tongue and groove, however you could use any other size of tongue and groove or even siding board. 

Here’s a great guide on how to clad and trim a shed, but the principles apply exactly the same to your dog house. 

Once you’ve applied your cladding and trim you need to fit some roofing to keep everything dry. Again there are a range of choices here including roofing felt and asphalt shingles. Pick whichever roofing material you prefer. For me I like to stick with roofing felt as it’s quick and easy to apply. 

Finishing Up 

I hope you found these dog house plans helpful in enabling you to make your very own insulated dog house. 

If there’s anything you think could be made clearer, or you have any feedback from your own build please let me know in the comments below.  

I'm a mechanical engineer by trade but my passions are woodworking, tools and DIY.

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