How to Make a Cinder-Block Dog Kennel

Updated November 21, 2016

Breeze block dog kennels are useful in areas prone to hurricanes and/or cold winters. The thickness of the walls helps to hold more heat in the kennel, especially if the entrance is covered with a thick blanket or other heavy material that is easy for the dog to push aside. Breeze block kennels can be built on a cement pad or on the ground. If you are building on a cement pad, you do not need footers.

Measure the dimensions of the kennel. Dig a four-inch deep trench that is six inches wide, making the trench the size and shape of the kennel. Mix the cement as directed on the package. Pour the cement into the trench, then level it off with a wide scraper. Lay the 2-by-4-inch board on the cement, then set the level on top of the board. Adjust the cement as needed to make the footer level.

Allow the cement footer to cure as directed on the package. In the absence of instructions on the package, allow the cement to set for at least 48 hours.

Mix the mortar according to the instructions on the package. Mortar dries quickly, so only mix what you can use in about an hour. Smear a one-inch-thick layer of mortar on the three feet of the footer, starting at the area where the door will be.

Set a breeze block on the mortar and tamp it down with the side of your hand or the handle of the scraper. Using the scraper, smear a one-inch-thick layer of mortar on the end of the breeze block. Set the next breeze block in place. Tamp the end of it against the first breeze block. Lay the level on the breeze blocks to make sure both of them are level. Tamp as needed to level them out. Repeat this process around the footer until you get to the other side of the door.

Cut one of the breeze blocks in half. Smear mortar on the top of the first layer of block. Lay the half block on the first layer at the starting point. Tamp it down. Check to see that it is level. Work the second layer in the same manner as the first layer, ending with another half block.

Work the third layer, starting with a whole breeze block. The fourth layer starts with a half block. Continue working layers until the kennel is the desired height. Allow the breeze block walls to set for at least 48 hours.

Build the door frame by cutting the 2-by-6-inch boards to fit the doorway. As you fit each side to the doorway, drill through the wood into the cement using the cement drill. Screw the cement screws into the holes.

Build the trusses for the roof by measuring the width of the kennel, then cutting the bottom of each truss to fit the width. Trusses should be placed every 24 inches. Cut the apex of the trusses. The deeper the angle, the steeper the angle of the truss. Attach flat hurricane straps to the connecting point of the trusses. The hurricane straps have at least three holes on each side of the strap. Be sure to use screws in all three holes on each side.

Align the first truss on the end of the breeze block walls. Screw the hurricane strap to the truss. Mark the holes for the cement side of the hurricane strap so that you know where to drill into the breeze blocks. Move the truss out of the way, then drill into your marks. Move the truss back into place, then screw the cement screws into the hurricane strap and the breeze blocks. Complete the rest of the trusses in the same manner.

Cut the plywood to fit the roof if applicable. Using wood screws, screw the plywood to the trusses. Each truss should have at least three screws: one at the bottom, one in the middle and one at the top of the plywood.

Lay the tar paper on the plywood, starting at the bottom and working up. You need just enough nails to keep the tar paper from sliding off, as you will be adding more when you do the shingles.

Tack the drip edge to the edges of the roof. Starting at the bottom of one side, lay a shingle on the roof. Nail about four inches up from the bottom of the shingle with three nails. Lay the next shingle on, overlapping the first shingle. Nail the shingle on. Work until you complete the first row. For the second row, start with a half shingle so that the rows are staggered. Overlap the first row by six inches. Nail along the bottom of the second row of shingles. Repeat alternately stacking rows until you get to the top. Nail the bottom and the top of the last row of shingles (six nails total). Repeat this step for the other side of the roof.

Lay a row of shingles over the top point of the roof. Nail the shingles on either side of the roof to cover the joint in the top of the roof.


Choose screws to fit the drill bit you have. If you are purchasing a new drill bit, purchase a bit for the size screw you are using.


Always use the proper safety equipment when working with power tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • Cement
  • 2-by-4-inch board (about 4 feet long)
  • Level
  • Scraper
  • Mortar
  • Breeze blocks
  • Stone cutter (block cutter)
  • 2-by-6-inch boards
  • Cement drill
  • Screwdriver end for drill
  • 4-inch cement screws
  • 2-by-4-inch boards
  • Hurricane straps
  • Wood screws
  • Black marker
  • 1/2-inch plywood
  • Tar paper
  • Roofing nails
  • Drip edge
  • Shingles
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About the Author

Cayden Conor has been writing since 1996. She has been published on several websites and in the winter 1996 issue of "QECE." Conor specializes in home and garden, dogs, legal, automotive and business subjects, with years of hands-on experience in these areas. She has an Associate of Science (paralegal) from Manchester Community College and studied computer science, criminology and education at University of Tampa.