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If you have feathery friends that gladly stop by your house, then why not give them a place to stay? Building a birdhouse can be a fun project you can do with your partner or kids. However, it might seem like an easy project, but you should do it right. It won’t take too much of your time and you’ll have an opportunity to acquire some new skills.
Step 1: Creating a plan
If you don’t have building experience, you might find it easier to create a plan first. You can find a lot of birdhouse plans suitable for all levels online. If you’ve never worked with wood before, you can even find a kit of pre-cut pieces you only need to assemble. On the other hand, if you already have some experience in working with wood, you can make your own plan. Make sure to include all the necessary information, including the measurements, so that you don’t forget anything.
Step 2: Buying the materials and gathering tools
Usually, you can find wood and everything else you need at a home centre. You should buy a board of cedar or redwood because these types of wood are durable and weather-resistant. If you can’t find these, pine can also do the trick, but it might not last as long. Consider buying a board 1 inch x 8 inches x 8 feet which you can use for two birdhouses. Other materials and tools you’ll need include a tape measure, hammer, screwdriver, saw, wood glue, drill, galvanised nails or screws and clamps. Of course, any DIY building project requires high-quality PPE gear that will ensure your safety. This is particularly important if you don’t have experience in this type of work.
Step 3: Cutting and sawing
Once you’ve gathered all the materials and tools, you can move on to the building process. Start by marking the measurements and cutting the pieces, starting with the front and back. The number of pieces will depend on the type of birdhouse you’re building, but a typical one should have the front and back piece, two side pieces, two roof pieces and a piece for the floor. Even though birds won’t notice, you should build a symmetrical roof – just trim off the edge of one roof piece by an amount equal to the board thickness.
Step 4: Drilling the entrance
The size of the entrance hole is of the utmost importance and it will depend on the bird species. A hole that is just a fraction too small can cause your feathery friends to get stuck, while a hole just a fraction too big will enable unwelcome guests to stop by. Once you’ve figured out the hole size you need, you should mark it in the middle of the front piece. Afterwards, place a scrap board underneath the piece to prevent wood from splintering and then clamp the pieces to the surface. Then, use a drill or a hole saw to make the entrance.
Step 5: Assembling the birdhouse
The next step is assembling the pieces and giving your birdhouse a shape. Apply wood glue to assemble them, but don’t use too much because it can squeeze out once you put the pieces together. Start with the front, back and side pieces, glue them together and then nail them to ensure that everything is in its place. Afterwards, add the floor and finally the roof using glue and nails. When assembling the roof, the longer piece should be placed over the shorter one.
Step 6: Painting
When choosing the colours for your birdhouse, you should stick to natural hues that will blend with the environment. You should use toxin-free and weather-resistant paint or apply a coat of protective oil finish. Under no circumstances should the interior of the birdhouse be painted because it can be toxic and the smell can keep birds away. Once the paint has dried, you can place your birdhouse, possibly somewhere in the shade and away from possible hazards.
In just a few easy steps, you can build a lovely birdhouse. Not only will you have fun in the process, but your feathery friends will have a place to live.
Arron is architecture student and DIY enthusiast from Sydney. He enjoys browsing the web in search of fresh ideas about residential moving, storage, cleaning, clearance, waste removal, recycling, gardening, landscaping and home maintenance issues. Loves: all things spicy, barbecue, winter vacations. Doesn’t like: bad manners and narcissism.