How Much Does It Cost to Build a Dog House?

Typical Range:

$70 - $8,340

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated October 10, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

A professionally-built dog house costs $310 on average. Costs could run as low as $70 for a simpler installation or hiring a handyperson to assemble a prefab kit. On the higher end of the price spectrum, you could pay up to $8,340 or more for a high-end, custom model or dog mansion.

Average Dog House Prices

Average Cost High Cost Low Cost
$310 $8,340 $70

Cost to Build a Dog House

Labor costs for a dog house will typically run from $70 to $190 for a standard unit that houses one dog. However, labor costs can vary based on the type of structure and any additional work to prepare the site:

Large dog houses, heated units, custom structures, or high-end materials will raise the price. Find a carpenter or talk to a handyperson near you for more information. If you want your dog to have access to the outdoors but also want them to rest inside on the sofa with you, then consider a dog flap instead. Installing a dog door costs $100 to $2,000.

Dog House Materials Cost

Dog house materials tend to run between $50 and $470, but prices ultimately depend on the type of structure you choose. A dog mansion could easily cost up to $2,000 or more in materials alone. Plastic houses are often the least expensive, whereas fiberglass and wood houses tend to cost the most.

Metal Dog House Cost

A metal dog house costs between $180 and $350, not including the labor. One advantage to metal is that it won’t warp, rust or rot over time and with exposure.

Find Carpenters Near You
Talk to Pros

Heated Dog House Cost

Heated dog houses span from $360 to $460 on average. Adding a heating system costs between $50 to $150 and is sometimes recommended in places with extreme cold. In most places, a dog house does enough to protect from the elements that additional heat isn’t necessary.

Prefab vs. Custom Dog House 

Prefab dog houses are more affordable than custom models, but they're usually simpler. A professional craftsperson will build your custom model to your requirements or to suit your dog’s needs. They cost more, but there's more flexibility in terms of features and design.

Dog House Kit Prices

The cost of a prefab dog house starts at $50 and higher end models cost up to $1,000. If you want to DIY the installation, then the kit cost is all you'll pay. However, if you want a professional to do the job for you, you'll need to hire a local carpenter or handyperson. 

Custom Dog House

Custom dog houses cost anywhere from $500 to $8,340. A pro can build your dog house as large and elaborate as you want. These often include:

  • Bespoke exterior designs

  • Interior finishes

  • Luxurious beds

  • Heating

  • Cooling

  • Vents

  • A fan for good airflow. 

You can also get a dog run combined with the house, which often costs less than the cost of a dog run added later.

DIY Dog House vs. Hiring a Professional

Plenty of prefab dog houses or DIY kits exist and if you feel comfortable with building or assembling one, that’s always an option. However, a handcrafted dog house will often last longer and allow you to customize it to your dog’s needs.

It’s also important to realize that various prefab kits might not work depending on where you live. For example, a plastic dog house might not offer enough protection in a place with frigid winters or hot summers. Find a handyperson to talk to for further guidance.

Have More Questions About Your Dog House?
Ask a Pro

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the cheapest way to build a dog house?

The cheapest way to build a doghouse is to either buy a prefab plastic house or build a basic structure out of wood. However, going the cheap route isn’t necessarily what’s best for your pet. You want to invest in materials or hire a professional who can provide a structurally sound, durable, comfortable, and long-lasting space for your dog.

Where can I buy a dog house?

Pet stores, home improvement stores, and specialized companies are all places where you can buy a dog house. Your other option is to hire a carpenter or handyman to build one that’s custom to your dog. When buying a dog house, it's important to make sure it's suitable for your dog and the environment that you live in. 

Do dogs like dog houses?

Some dogs, if introduced to a dog house gently and appropriately, may like it. The dog house should be suitably sized, in good condition, safe, and appropriately heated, cooled, and ventilated. Some dogs require more positive reinforcement training to enjoy their dog house than others, and you should never place your dog in their house as punishment. 

How tall should a dog house be?

A dog house should be approximately 25% taller than a dog's standing height, from the toes to the top of its head. While this is the ideal height, a dog house can be up to 50% taller than the dog, but shouldn't exceed this. That's because a dog house functions as a den for a dog, simulating their natural home in the wild, like a wolf. For a dog to feel safe, the dog house or substitute den should be cozy and not too tall.

How do you insulate a dog house?

Insulate a dog house by placing it in a spot protected from the wind. Position it so that it's against a wall of your house to capture some heat from your home, too. Then, add spray foam insulation or sheet insulation to the walls and ceiling, but be sure to then cover over the insulation with wood or drywall so your dog can't get to it. If possible, raise the dog house off the ground a little to reduce contact with the cold, damp ground, and place plenty of thick, warm bedding inside to increase your dog's comfort and maintain their body temperature.