How to Build a Gable Roof for Your Dog House

Dog in a doghouse
  • 3-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-500
What You'll Need
2x4 lumber
1x6 ridge board
Tar paper
Roofing shingles
Wood screws
Roof nails
Skill saw
Tape measure
Miter saw
Safety goggles
Work gloves

If your pet dog stays outside for any length of time, a dog house is a good way to keep them warm and sheltered from the elements. Building a dog house is easy enough if you have the right tools. Constructing a gable roof on top of the dog house is an option. It will make a functional dog house attractive. It may even match the roof on your home. With a gable roof, the dog house can be waterproofed and decorated however you choose. Since it’s so small by comparison, the job will be much easier in that you can literally stand above your work and view its progress.

Step 1 - Take Measurements

With the dog house built, begin by taking the proper measurements with the tape measure. Assuming the dog house is rectangular and fully constructed except for a roof, measure the halfway point on both short ends and mark it.

Step 2 - Ridge Board Stud

blade of a table saw

The first two pieces of lumber to affix is the ridge board studs. The ridge board is a piece of one by six that will run at the apex of the roof. The two studs will be attached vertically at the halfway point on the short ends.

Determine how high the ridge board studs will be based on the width of the house. You know the center point of the short end, and you know the slope of the roof should be 45 degrees. Take a 2 x 4 and draw a line at 45 degrees across the broad side. Hold the ridge board stud in place with one hand and the 2 x 4 with the drawn line with the other.

Put what will be the rafter roughly in place, eyeballing it so the line you drew is flush with the vertical stud. This will indicate how tall the stud should be to support the ridge board.

Step 3 - Ridge Board

Once the two ridge board studs are secured to the frame of the dog house, cut the 1 x 6 to the length of the house, adding three inches on each end, and nail it to the ridge board studs on end. On the top end of the studs, cut out a small square slot of wood equal to the thickness of the ridge board, using a jigsaw. Place the ridge board in each slot and secure it with wood screws.

Step 4 - Rafters

trailer with doghouse towed by a Harley motorcycle

The rafters should work out to be 45 degrees. The length of the dog house will determine how many rafters you need. If the dog house is four feet long, four rafters: one at each end and two, 16 inches in from each side should suffice.

With the skill saw, cut down the 2 x 4 lumber to eight equal lengths. Cut the ends off at identical angles with the miter saw. Remember, this angle reflects how it will rest against the ridge board.

Where the rafters cross the frame of the sidewalls of the house, two cuts must be made in the rafter to make a 1/2 square. This is where the rafters will rest against the wall frame. Since the ridge board extends over the edge of the studs, hold the angled end of one rafter up against the overhanging ridge board and press the rafter against the wall frame.

Trace two lines on the rafter while against the frame. This will tell you where to make the cuts so each rafter fits into place.

Step 5 - Secure the Rafters

After the measuring is done, cut the rafters to an equal size on the eave end. Use wood screws to secure the rafters to the ridge board and the wall frames. There should be four rafters on either side.

Step 6 - Plywood

Measure out the dimensions for the plywood sheet that will go on either side. Let it overhang the rafters one inch on either end.

Step 7 - Tar Paper and Shingles

Roll out tar paper over the roof to cover the plywood entirely and secure it with a few roofing nails. Shingle the roof from the bottom up. At the apex, lay the shingles in the appropriate manner.

Step 8 - Cover the Gable Ends

At each end there will be an opening. Use 1 x 6 lumber to enclose these ends. Measure the correct lengths and make the necessary angled cuts. Use wood screws to secure the siding to the rafters and the ridge board studs. Paint it to finish the job.