Dog house plans and blue prints
Doghouse design can be important if you live in a cold climate where the temperatures drop below zero. The floors and walls of the dog house should be insulated. 2" styrofoam insulation is very cheap and easy to work with. If you are using 2 x 4 framing for the dog house, its very easy to cut pieces of styrofoam to fit in the wall cavities and underneath the plywood floor. You could also use fiberglas bat insulation, but this is more messy to work with and you have to seal it up well so the dogs dont pull it out. Using styrofoam insulation and providing a straw on the floor will keep your pets very warm.
Once you start insulating you need to be careful with ventilation. Make sure you dont seal the dogs in. Usually doghouses have an opening in the front and a seperate sleeping compartment with its own opening. If you have several dogs in the dog house it might be wise to provide a 4" round hole near the roof line above the sleeping compartment to vent the build up in humidity. The 4" round hole just allows you to install a standard dryer vent. If the entry and exit doors are large enough, these alone should be more than enough to get rid of any built up humidity. The dogs themselves are not stupid either, they will get up and move if they find themselves getting too warm
If the climate is really cold, one suggestion might be to provide a heated floor in the sleeping compartment. The simple and cheapest way would be to lay down a suitably sized heating pad on the floor of the sleeping compartment. Then cover the heating pad with a 1/4" plywood sheet that fits from wall to wall so the dogs cannot chew on the blanket. Route the electrical cord out through a hole in the floor and plug it in. You will need to experiment with settings to see how your dogs like it. If you are not comfortable with having electricity in the doghouse, then an old fashioned straw floor is great. Straw is hollow and makes an excellent warm and soft bedding material.
The whole dog house should be slightly above ground so that dampness does not get into the wood and start rotting the dog house. To raise the dog house you should build the whole thing to rest on concrete blocks. Do not make the dog house out of pressure treated lumber to get around the rotting issue. Pressure treated lumber used to made with compounds of arsenic. Newer pressure treated lumber is less toxic but its not worth taking the chance if your pets chew on it. Use regular pine or fir construction materials and apply a coating of paint or water sealer on the outside to protect it. You can also use vinyl siding or cedar shakes to protect the doghouse from the elements.
If you can afford the extra cost, building the entire doghouse out of cedar is an excellent idea because cedar has insect resistance as well. There are also doghouses available in kit form that you can put together yourself, or purchase fully assembled. Here are some examples from EBay that may be suitable for your pet.