Why does a typical doghouse cost $50.00 and another one the same size cost $500.00 or more?
We are going to discuss what elements determine dog house prices.
Also how you can educate yourself so you can make a wise investment in the right product for your dog when it is time to buy a new dog house.
Here are some of the factors that may determine the cost of a typical dog house:
Materials * Design * Skills * Builder * Size
The Quality Of Materials Used – When we are looking at materials commonly used for building a dog house it usually means some type of wood however, there are a plethora of materials that can be used.
Of all the woods that may be used the most common is a softwood like pine or firwood, a wood composite, plywood, cedar or others.
There are no fast and hard rules when it comes to using one wood over another however, there are some woods that make more sense than others because of dog safety, longevity and material cost.
As with all things that involve some type of construction there is usually a good, better or best material list to choose from.
A dog house built using a softwood like firwood or pine will cost far less than a dog house made of high quality Western Red Cedar or a high quality composite material.
Of course it goes without saying the larger the house the more material is required to build it so that is going to drive up the price as well.
What type of dog house design are you going to be investing in?
The most common dog house design is the gable roof type which you can see in all types of buildings in our everyday life, of those the most common is a typical garage.
However, there are many other designs that can either increase the price of construction or keep cost lower.
A dog house kennel combination that offers an enclosed area in addition to an outside area where your dog can be part of the outdoor experience is going to be much more expensive.
These dog houses can be considered in the luxury category because they can take on the design elements of a Victorian or a Cape Cod design.
On the other hand a simple slanted or sloped roof design is much simple to make and will take far less material therefore cost much less than a dog house kennel combination or some other dog house designs.
The Skill Set – Materials aside the next item is who is building the dog house?
If you hire a handyman that also does plumbing and paint work it is not likely this person spends every day 24/7/365 designing, building and shipping dog houses.
Nothing against handymen they are great at what they do; it just may not be building a high quality dog house that is affordable.
The high quality builders will have the top of the line manufacturing equipment and the skill set to use them this is a benefit to you.
They will also have a customer base that allows for feedback so they can improve their product, it goes without saying that someone may not reach out with a 5 star review but make a lousy product and you will hear about it.
Reputation Of The Dog House Builder – Now that the materials and skill has been covered it is time to consider the reputation of the dog house builder.
Unlike the handyman they are not looking for a one and done situation, but rather building on a lasting reputation that will service customers for many years.
That is why the dog house builder is constantly evolving their process and the quality of their product.
Most people that are in the dog house business are not there because they want to get rich, because it will likely not happen, the competition is pretty stiff.
Most are in the dog house building business because they are skilled professionals that happen to like dogs and the manufacturing process.
What size is the dog house going to be?
Without sounding like Captain Obvious the larger the dog house is the more expensive it is going to be, it will require far less material to build a doghouse for a small breed dog than for an extra large breed.
Other elements that factor in the extra large dog houses is the shipping issue, most larger dog houses will require shipping in two shipping cartons rather than one.
Shipping may or may not be a major factor because many dog houses offered online are shipped for free in the continental USA.
There is one other factor regarding size that may be over looked and that is retail space, so if you are looking at a big box store the selection is going to be limited.
This is not their fault they only have so much retail space and a large selection of dog houses is going to take up lots of retail space that could be used for other products.
The Different Choices You Have For A Dog House – You could invest in a well built dog house kit that you assemble yourself, get a premade house at a big box store, consider a DIY project if you have mad do it yourself skills or hire a skilled carpenter to custom build you a dog house, most work for time and materials.
So again we are back considering materials, let’s look at a sheet of plywood which is a common wood that most people have heard of or used at some point.
Comparing prices for a sheet that is ¾” x 4’ x 8’ from a local home improvement store (¾” is actually 23/32”) a good, better and best scenario looks something like this:
(Good) Douglas fir plywood $33.98 per sheet.
(Better) Maple plywood is $49.88 per sheet
(Best) Marine grade Douglas fir sanded plywood $75.98 per sheet.
A note: The plywood doesn’t have to be ¾”it can be smaller however, depending on the size of the dog the thicker the better. An extra large dog can blow out the side of a thin wall house.
So you can see that if the dog house is built using marine grade sanded plywood it will almost cost double over the entry level Douglas fir plywood.
The main advantage of using marine grade plywood is that it is designed to withstand the rigors of being outdoors and standing up to the elements.
Properly maintained (painting or staining) this type of dog house could easily last the lifetime of several dogs.
However, if you reside in a very mild climate and have a medium size dog (we will discuss size later below) you will be able to use the Douglas fir plywood and do very well.
A word about plastic dog houses
There are a plethora of plastic dog houses that have popped up over the years trying to copy a popular design.
Just like the plywood example above there are different grades of plastic that can be used to build a dog house.
So why does one plastic dog house cost $49.95 and the exact same size that even looks the same cost $179.95 or more?
The answer is simple the quality of the materials used to build the dog house.
We are not going to get into the pros and cons of a plastic house versus a wooden dog house that is not what this article is about, it is about prices and what drives the dog house cost.
This is a great segue into….
When you get what you pay for really matters
Everyone has heard that expression at some point when it comes to making a purchase and whether the price you paid is a solid investment.
When it comes to investing in a new dog house it is no different, there are a plethora of options some are very good and others are not so much.
There are many dog house builders that will look at a price point and work from there, if that price point is $99.00 then you are getting design quality and materials that meet that $99.00 price point.
Then there are the not so great plastic dog houses that will be in the $50.00 price range, it does not take a Rhodes Scholar to realize that this type of home is not going to last very long.
Especially if you reside in a harsh climate, in the desert Southwest the sun will destroy a cheap plastic dog house in no time.
Likewise if you live in a climate that experiences extreme temperature changes and large volumes of rain or snow a cheap house will not last.
However, there are other dog house builders that may take a different approach and build a high quality product that will last for years and provide an excellent shelter for your pet without making price the top priority but rather quality.
There are those you may argue that they would love to buy their dog a top of the line dog house but just don’t have the budget for it.
That is where research and understanding the dog house process is important, not every situation requires an expensive doghouse for your pet to be comfortable.
There is also the question of priority and that segues into the next topic…
What is your dog worth to you?
When it comes to the family dog there are usually two schools of thought, one is that the dog is part of the family, we love dogs and their comfort and care is paramount.
Another school of thought is “hey it is just a dog” yes, that is a thing I actually had someone tell me that once when I was voicing concern about my dog.
It all boils down to what is the motivation for bringing a dog into your household, there is the protection angle, the …our child begged until we caved or there is the… I wanted to provide a home for a shelter dog.
There are more but those are usually the common reasons.
You don’t have to be on a crusade to provide a comfortable environment for a dog, just have an understanding what you are getting yourself into especially if it your first time.
It is not just going to be the price of a dog house that you will need to consider, there is also medical cost, food and other miscellaneous costs.
Not all situations require an expensive dog house option
Continuing on with the care and comfort for your pet it doesn’t mean you have to invest in a high dollar home, there are a lot of different options that will not break your bank.
The key to getting the most value for your dollar is doing a little research that is based on your current situation, some of those factors will include but are not limited to:
What the climate is like where you reside, are there extreme temperature changes or peaks?
If you reside in the northern part of the states chances are you are going to experience freezing temperatures, rain, harsh blowing wind and snow.
If that is the case then it is important the dog house can withstand snow load and you may want to consider adding an insulation option or invest in an insulated dog house.
Another option that is the ultimate in pet care is a heating cooling system that will provide comfort for your dog all year long.
An insulated dog house with a climate control unit is the very best you can do for your dog, providing warmth in winter and cooling in summer.
What breed your dog is, including their age and health condition.
The size of your dog is paramount, the larger the dog the more the dog house will cost because it will require more material to build.
We will touch on large dog requirements a little later in the article.
Where will the dog house be placed on your property?
This can be important because if you have a protected area where the house is going to be located then you can get away with not having some important options like:
A door of some type in the entry way, most doghouses offer a vinyl flap or no door at all.
An insulation option, there are some dog houses that offer the insulation already installed or an add on.
Thinner walls in the dog house, the cheaper dog houses will have much thinner walls than the more expensive dog houses.
While on the subject of walls it is not only the thickness that matters but also what type of material that is used, a composite material can provide excellent strength as illustrated with the image to the right.
Not everyone can have an indoor dog
In an ideal world a dog house would be a non issue because the dog could live in the house with the rest of the family.
There are many situations where that may not be possible because of the size of the dog, or there may be several large dogs, a small house or if there are children that could be harmed or otherwise.
Sometimes a dog owner may not have a choice other than an outside location for their dog that is why selecting the proper dog house is important.
Dog house options that may increase dog house prices
There are some add on options that may increase the price of a dog house such as:
An upgraded door option, rather than having no door or a vinyl flap which is very common there are some models that offer a solid locking door option.
There are also dog house that come with an insulation option already installed, however, there are also models that offer an insulation package as an add on.
Proper dog house planning may save you money in the long run
When it comes time to invest in a new dog house rather than just price shop take some time to understand the what, why, where and how of the dog house process.
If you are making a purchase for the first time online or just needs some pointers we suggest you read the article How To Buy A Dog House Online it is a short read but there is valuable information that may save you time and money.
The entire process of getting a dog and providing for a shelter should be an enjoyable experience and that is why we have taken the time to provide this information and others to help with that enjoyment.
Big dogs require large dog houses that are well made
If you are an owner of an extra large breed then your dog will require some special attention when it comes to the type of dog house and of course the size.
Since the large breed dogs often lie down with a thud a thin walled dog house is not going to last very long, it will be only a matter of time before the sides are blown out.
A 120 pound huge dog is going to place a lot more stress on a dog house than a 30 pound medium size dog will.
If the walls of the dog house are made with thin cheap material an extra large dog is going to ruin them in no time, so buyer beware!
Another major concern is the size; it is paramount that you understand how much surface area your dog will require to be comfortable.
You want your dog to be able to enter the dog house, circle and lie down in comfort and then be able to exit without any issues.
There is a guide for choosing the right size dog house that will give you some insights and tips that can be a real time and money saver.
The final word about dog house prices & a suggestion
So there you have it, we looked at some of the factors that determine dog house prices and why they matter.
So when it is time to invest in a new dog house armed with this information and more from our other articles you should be able to make a wise investment, which is good for you and your dog.
Since this article is all about dog house prices we would be remiss if we did not offer a product suggestion, this is however just a suggestion and not a sales pitch.
The dog house suggestion is the Western Red Cedar Dog House.
There are solid reasons why we think this is an excellent value, we are not saying it is the best, far from it but the value is hard to beat for these reasons:
*Comes with a 5 year warranty and made in the USA that is important to some folks.
* Constructed with 100% all natural wood no chemicals are used, so you can be worry free about your dog using it!
* All stainless steel hardware is used in assembly for longevity.
Hand crafted with beautiful western red cedar that is designed to last, featuring UV resistant high density panels for the floor and the roof it is also elevated off of the ground.
This will make it easier access for your pet and allows air flow to prevent premature decay from being in contact with the ground.
The walls are engineered with 1” thick cedar boards and feature a ¼” overlap that ensures a tight weather seal to keep the cold draft out.
The entryway of the western red cedar dog house is offset from center to provide protection from direct wind or sun into the main area of the house; this gives your pet an area to get out of the elements.
With a little maintenance each year (coat of stain/sealer) this dog house would last a very long time.
We have provided a video below to explain why we think Western Red Cedar is an ideal choice.