Let’s face it – we love our dogs. And a part of that love means we want to provide a comfortable home for our furry friends. One way of accomplishing this is by ensuring they a) have a shelter when needed (dog house) and b) ensure the dog house is warm and cozy. Raising it with a concrete foundation is a great place to start.
Building An Above Ground Concrete Foundation/Pad For a More Comfortable Dog House
A concrete foundation is a large, thick slab of concrete, typically 4”-6” thick in the center, and poured directly on the ground at once. The slab’s edges are thicker (as wide as 24”) to allow for extra strength around the perimeter.
It is a good idea to build a foundation where you will be putting the dog house on top. This raised foundation will keep it off the ground, prevent the bottom from getting wet due to rain and snow, and prevent the bottom from rotting.
The size of the pad will depend on the size of the dog house. Make sure to measure the bottom sides of the dog house. You will want to make the foundation bigger than the actual dog house.
Materials Needed for An Above Ground Concrete Foundation/Pad
For your convenience, I have put some affiliate Amazon links here; items are pre-sorted, so you won’t have to waste time mucking around.
If you are building the foundation at less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), then you will need concrete grade with a higher amount of calcium to add strength.
The amount of concrete will depend on the size of your dog house. Here are a few common examples of how many 40 pounds (18.14 kg) bags of pre-mix you need for a 4″ thick slab. Remember, you’ll need gravel under the slab (see my article on Dog House Foundations for more information).
Dog House Concrete Foundation Bags of Concrete For Area 4-Inches Deep – Imperial
|Length (feet)||Width (feet)||Square Footage||# of bags of concrete mix required|
In case you prefer Metric, please use the following table.
Dog House Concrete Foundation Bags of Concrete For Area 10cm deep – Metric
|Length (meters)||Width (meters)||Meters Squared||# of bags of concrete mix required|
You will need water to mix the concrete.
Mesh Sheet Metal
Sometimes steel reinforcing in concrete is put there to strengthen it, help hold the concrete together and limit cracking. It’s not a bad idea, but not necessary on smaller pads.
You will need wood for the foundation forms. I recommend a few 2″ x 6″ building grade and wood screws to suit.
To keep the concrete from lifting the wood foundation form, you’ll need to spike into the ground and attach to the forms to hold them in place.
Concrete Mixer or Wheelbarrow
Using cement and not rocky concrete, you will want to use a cement mixer over a shovel and wheelbarrow. The shovel method is much more work, but renting or buying a mixture means you also need a vehicle to transport it home. Mixing concrete with a shovel can get tiresome, but if that is all you have, get those arm muscles ready!
You’ll need a shovel if you put the foundation in the grass or dirt. You will have to dig. Remember that you will want to dig deeper and lay a gravel bed under the concrete for drainage.
These are very useful for mixing small amounts of concrete. Similarly, you may want to use a pail for water if you don’t have a hose near where you want to work.
- Good pair of gloves
- Respiratory Mask to avoid inhaling concrete dust, which is highly toxic.
- Work coveralls or clothing that you don’t care if gets ruined
- Protective eyewear if your respiratory mask does not cover your entire face
- Closed-toe shoes that you don’t mind if they get dirty
Here are a few quick links to pre-sorted (Amazon) protective safety gear I strongly recommend you use:
The Masonry trowel is a hand trowel used in brickwork or stonework for leveling, spreading, and shaping mortar or concrete. I’ve added a bunch of links to pre-sorted Amazon and other products that will do the job and save you money. I hope you find the quick links useful.
Concrete Paint or Stamped Concrete Top
You will need concrete paint if you want to color the concrete pad and seal it, which is essential.
The stamped concrete top makes the concrete pad look flashy and modern.
In case of rain, having one of those folding gazebo tent roofs is a must. I had an issue doing my concrete because of the rain. Luckily, I had a gazebo tent (10′ x 10′) that erects in minutes, so I could save my pad from a downpour.
You can also opt for a tarp. I go for the gazebo tent because they cost about 4 x as much as a similar-sized tarp. Tarps biodegrade quickly, though, and I’ve had problems with the fibers from tarps shedding on my property, leaving microplastics all over the place. Yuck. For only a few years of use? Tarps aren’t worth it, in my opinion.
On the other hand, my gazebo has lasted 10 years (so far), and it’s just faded a bit. I’ve used it year in and year out, and it’s definitely earned the price. Considering that a tarp is only suitable for 3-5 years max, a pop-up gazebo is, in my opinion, the better, more informed purchase. After all, you’ll use it more than a tarp used once or twice before being unusable. Don’t waste your money; get something more functional to last longer.
Okay, so you have all the materials needed for your concrete foundation and the measurements needed. Let’s get to work on waterproofing that dog house!
Build your wood frame first. Once the frame is complete, based on your measurements, you need to dig in the area you selected safe for your dog house. Time to get your trusty shovel out and start digging! Place your wood foundation form in the dig area once you are done digging. Secure it down with spikes. The spikes will ensure that the concrete will not lift the wood while settling.
So, your form is in, and it is time to lay down the steel mesh and start mixing the concrete. Pour the concrete into the form to fill it. Use your nifty masonry trowel to level and even out the wet concrete.
Leave Concrete To Dry
Leave the concrete to dry for a few days. Do not cover the concrete with anything, or you risk getting mold; no one wants that. If it starts to rain, use a gazebo tent or something so moisture will not get locked in and cause mold.
Your concrete foundation is finally dry. You can remove the form if you like or leave it. My husband and I built a concrete foundation for our hot tub, and we just left the wood form in for extra support.
Next, you can paint the foundation with concrete paint if you wish. There are many colors to choose from.
If you want to go fancy, then I would go with a stamped pad on top. They come in many designs, so you’ll have lots to choose from.
Pro Tip: When the concrete is wet, make a minor groove through the center from one end to the other. This method of creating a mini channel (about 1cm or 1/2″ deep) for water to escape, should it pool.
There you have it. How to build an above-ground concrete foundation for your doghouse. The dog house is about ready to put on top of the foundation. If you haven’t already, raise the dog house off the floor by securing some wood blocks to the bottom of the house. Doing this keeps the house from sitting directly on the cold concrete. Having the house sit on the concrete will keep the floor and house cold and wet if it is raining or snowing.
Once your dog house is raised and placed on the foundation, you can then start waterproofing the house. There are a few ways to do this. Check out my article on dog house waterproofing.
Got a great idea or suggestion? Leave me a comment below.