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Project Ideas: Garden Club

Dog House with Roof Top Deck



An interesting twist on a typical dog house, you can build this outside structure either as a simple house with platform or go all out and add an upper sun deck with stairs.  The dog house itself is a hybrid between building a simple box and proper frame building construction.


Skill Level: Intermediate.
Time: 1 day
Cost of Materials:  About $175; with optional Stairs and Deck About $225. Dec 2012



  • 1  Workforce 16 oz. Hammer  SKU 676-9541
  • Stanley Tape Measure  SKU 124-187
  • 1  Carpenter’s Pencil  SKU 703-552
  • 1  Johnson Rafter Square  SKU 895-3701 
  • Ryobi Circular Saw  SKU 720-623
  • 1  Ryobi Miter Saw  SKU 749-8651  Roberts Utility Knife w/Blades  SKU 289-888
  • 1  Johnson 48” Level  SKU 376-116
  • 1  Ryobi Drill  SKU 430-040



  • 1  2x4x8’ Pressure Treated  SKU 167-929
  • 2  2x4x10’ Pressure Treated SKU 124-380
  • 7  1x6x8’ Pressure Treated SKU 155-4008 
  • 2x3x8’ Stud SKU 845-000
  • 2  4’x8’  Panel Siding SKU 524-514
  • 1  4’x8’  15/32” Plywood SKU 166-073
  • 1  1# box 3” Galvanized Nails SKU 393-5281 
  • 1# box 2” Galvanized Nails SKU 446-3781  1# box
  • 1 1/4” Galvanized Roofing Nails SKU 193-631
  • 2  10’ Drip Edge SKU 587-995
  • 1  Bundle Roof Shingles SKU 929-226

For Optional Stairs, Top Deck and Railings:

  • 2  1x6x8’ Pressure Treated SKU 155-400
  • 5  1x4x8’ Pressure Treated SKU 155-395
  • 5  2x2x8’ Pressure Treated SKU 302-477
  • 1  1# Box Deck Mate 3” Green Screws SKU 734-920

Step 1:  Frame out the base. 

Cut (3) 2x4 PT studs 5’ long, and (2) 2x4’s PT studs 4’ long.  Frame a box with 1 board as a center support and you will have a 48” wide by 63” long base to attach the floor boards on top.  Use 3” hot dipped galvanized nails here.


Step 2:  Attach the platform floor. 

Cut (11) 1x6 PT boards 48” long.  Nail in the 2 end floor boards first, then evenly space the rest of the floor boards about ¼” apart.  Use 3” galvanized nails here as well.


Step 3:  Frame out the house side walls. 

Since this house needs no rafters, we will pitch the side wall top plates to match the roof pitch.  We can do this by cutting the wall studs at an angle.  Cut (4) 2x3 pieces each 39” long for the top and bottom plates.  Then set your miter saw to 18.5 degrees.  Measure out and mark a 2x3 stud at 2’.  Cut this stud so that the 18.5° extends rather than reduces the length of the stud.  Repeat this twice so you have 3 left side angled wall studs.  For the 3 right side studs, repeat as above but mark the initial length at 3’.  Assemble the walls with 3” nails through the top and bottom plates.  The third wall stud should be centered.

Set the left side wall frame on the platform along the left rear edge and nail it in through the base plate with 3” nails.  Cut one 2x3 piece 31” long and set it along the back platform edge.  This represents the rear wall length.  Set the right wall against this board and measure the front edge so it also sits 31” in from the left wall.  Nail this right wall on to the platform using 3” nails.


Step 4:  Frame out the front and back walls. 

Cut (2) 2x3 pieces 8 ½” long to serve as the front bottom plates on either side of the door, which is a 14” wide opening.  Rather than measure the studs and top plates, mark the lengths and angles by holding a roughly 33” top plate in place between the side walls and setting the studs in place one at a time.  You will need studs at each end, one in the back wall centered, and 2 framing the doorway in the front for a total of 7.  Assemble the wall frames and nail them both to the platform as well as the side wall studs using 3” galvanized nails.


Step 5:  Cut the siding into (3) pieces 41” square and one at 41x29”. 

Set the front piece in place and mark the outside edges.  Also mark the doorway cutout against the studs.  You can make the height any dimension you want, but follow the roofline angle for your cutout.  Nail the siding in with 2” galvanized nails and repeat with the other 3 walls.  As an option, you can cut leftover siding into corner strip accents as shown in the picture above.


Step 6:  Cut 1x6 PT boards

Cut 1x6 PT boards to create a 2” overhang roof edge on all sides and nail these boards to the top plates.  Cut the plywood into a 4’ square and set it on top of the roof edging.  Scribe the actual size and cut the lines to fit.  Nail the plywood roof in with 2” galvanized nails.


Step 7:  Install the shingles

Set, mark and cut drip edge to length and nail into place along the roof perimeter, starting at the left wall and working your way up.  Install the shingles, using a starter strip along the left wall edge.  Use the utility knife to trim the shingles to fit.  Always work up from the lowest roof edge.




Optional Rooftop Deck and Ladder:


Step 8: Deck Frame

To make the perimeter upper deck frame, cut 2x2s to match the outside edges of the roof and assemble the frame with 3” deck screws.  Cut (2) 16” 2x2 deck support pieces.  Set the frame on the roof, bring the low end up to level and use a piece of scrap wood to prop it in place.  Set and mark the final height of the supports as they sit vertically on the roof extending up to the inside corner of the frame.  Cut and screw these supports into the frame.  You can now screw the supports in to the roof on the low side, and the frame directly onto the roof on the high side.  Remove the scrap piece.



Step 9: Cut 10 board to length

Cut (10) 1x4 boards to length front to back, space them evenly and screw them onto the deck perimeter frame. Cut (22) 9” 2x2 baluster pieces for the railing.  Screw in 5 on each of the front, back and left sides evenly spaced on the outside of the decking.  We will use the rest of them later.



Step 10:  Create stair landing

Using 2x2s, make a box 12”x18” to serve as the stair landing.  Attach this with screws to the right rear side of the platform.  Use a roughly 3’ piece of 2x4 leftover from the platform to construct a prop column running vertically from the right rear platform corner up to the landing.  Cut (5) 1x4s 12” long to finish the deck.  Now you can attach the remaining balusters and cut 2x2 railings to fit the entire perimeter.



Step 11: The ladder

The ladder is built from 1x6s.  Cut one end of a 1x8 at a 45° angle.  Set it on the platform edge near the front and scribe the corresponding length that reaches the landing.  It should be around 5’ with the scribe at 45°.  Now make a duplicate so you have 2 identical stair stringers.  Each stair tread is 9” wide, and set at a 45° angle so they become level when the ladder is installed.  We used 6 treads, but for smaller dogs you may want to make more.  In any case, attach 1 tread at the very top and bottom, and space the rest evenly up the ladder.  Set it in place and screw it into both the landing and the platform.



Now that construction is done, you may paint, stain and/or decorate your pet’s new home any way you desire.  Let your imagination go wild.  “Ruff” can’t wait for his new porch umbrella!  I think that a bigger doggie bed is in the cards as well.


We hope you like this one,


George_HD_CHI and Chris_HD_CHI.




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Posted 2012-12-07T15:59:26+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI Chris_HD_CHI

I am sure the neighbors with the play structure (kids) are pleased to know that the Pitbull looking dog can now jump the fence with this deck being higher than the fence.

Posted 2012-12-31T13:51:46+0000  by gibsonclan

This is a really cute idea.  But open stairs or ladders like that are very dangerous for dogs.  there should be some type of backing under the stairs. 

Posted 2013-01-03T04:40:20+0000  by Angeln

Thats actually my dog. the dog house was just placed next to the fence for the pictures. thanks for the concern pal..... 

Posted 2013-01-11T19:20:21+0000  by osoriojd

Love the dog, love the house. Thanks for the inspiration.

Posted 2013-01-29T00:34:31+0000  by kimpossible
I have been looking for the plans for this dog house since I saw a picture of it on Facebook last summer! Thank you for sharing. We'll make a few safety modifications to it since we won't be able to keep the kids off of it...thank you, thank you, thank you!
Posted 2013-02-24T15:28:09+0000  by Lisavkinder
Can you tell me what the final dimensions are? We have an 11month Alaskan Malamute who will probably be about 3ft at the shoulders and 4 to 5ft long and 115lbs. I want to be sure this house is the right size. Thanks.
Posted 2013-02-24T15:45:26+0000  by Lisavkinder
Looking at the measurements, the house may be a little small for our full grown Mal, but I don't know how to "fit" a dog house to the dog. Do you think adding 3" all around would make it about right?
Posted 2013-02-24T16:07:26+0000  by Lisavkinder

I am looking at a similar type of house, without the deck but with two rooms.  The dimension for that one are custom to the dog.

Length = dog length + 18 inches

Width = dog length + 12 inches

Height = dog height + 6 inches (tall side)

                dog height + 3 inches (short side)

Posted 2013-02-26T05:10:57+0000  by klr68

Hello Lisavkinder and klr68.  Welcome to the Community!


Matching the house size to the dog is indeed an interesting exercise.  There are a few things that come to mind in planning this out.  First will be that the size of the dog varies depending on what he is doing.  For your Malamute to enter and exit the home, the door way should be slightly higher in the middle than his height.  I looked up the breed standard and unless your pet is crossed with something far larger, he should be around 25” at the shoulder, and thus just under 3 feet tall at the head when fully grown.


I would make the low side wall 3’ high instead of 2’, and the high side 4’ instead of 3’.  The doorway has a slanted top line, so make the middle of that 3’ high or a little more and you should be fine.  This leaves us with the actual home footprint to assess.  A dog turning around needs less space to do so than what he needs to lie down.  Adding a foot in width would allow for easy turning, and I would estimate that another foot in depth would be sufficient for the dog to lie down facing the door.  Your best bet would be to measure your dog lying down from curled tail to front paw tip and add a few inches.  To allow for mature growth, measure the shoulder height now and compare it to the mature 25” standard.  Add a little extra length as needed if your Malamute is still shorter than a mature dog.  I understand that these are rough estimates.


Because you have changed the roof height, the ladder now needs to be longer.  I would not want the stairs to be any steeper than they are now, so allow extra platform space for this.  As this whole assembly gets larger you may want to consider making the ladder a separate item that attaches to the deck from the side and runs down to the ground instead of constructing a large enough platform to accommodate it.


As you can see, the materials list will change as the dimensions get larger.  This will apply to the deck design as well, though you can save a little decking by making the ladder come up the side rather than run front to back.  The look will be different but that platform is already quite heavy to move in its current small size.


Please let us know if you have any further questions about this or any other projects you may be working on.


We are here to help,




Posted 2013-02-26T17:53:26+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
@gibsonclan-you are absolutely right. They better move it before those lil brats start throwing things at that precious baby. #ihateignorantassholes
Posted 2013-04-04T15:31:28+0000  by smg27
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