Bring your birds and plants together with this green-roof birdhouse.
Created by Gary Baltz, article by Dottie Baltz
This is a clever container idea that also provides a cooler environment for your feathered friends. Best of all, this eco-friendly project takes just a few short hours to complete.
What You Will Need
- 7/8-inch-thick wood
- Exterior wood glue
- Two 1-1/2-inch wood screws
- 38 1-1/2-inch nails
- 2 x 7-1/4-inch-long piece of flashing
- Six 1/2-inch copper flashing nails
- 3-inch metal brace with screws
- Clear silicone
- 1/8-inch drill bit
- 1-3/8-inch or 1-1/2-inch hole saw
Saw, Hammer, Clamp, Drill, Ruler, Pencil
- Cut two pieces of 7/8-inch wood (we used thick rough-sawn cedar) as shown in Diagram A. You will need these for the birdhouse front and back.
- Cut two side panels measuring 3-3/4 by 6 inches and one bottom measuring 3-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches (Diagram B). Cut about 1/4 inch off each corner of the bottom piece to allow for drainage.
- Cut two roof panels for your birdhouse, measuring 7-1/4 by 6-1/2 inches (Diagram C).
- Next, cut the edges of the roof that will hold the soil in place. Cut two right-facing gable pieces and two left-facing pieces as shown in Diagram D. At this time, you'll also need to cut two gable end pieces that measure 3 by 7-1/4 inches, as shown in Diagram E.
- Finally, make a cleat (this block of wood will go on the lower back of your birdhouse) from scrap lumber by gluing two pieces together so that the result measures about 1-5/8 inches thick by 4 inches long by 1 to 2 inches wide. Use a clamp to hold the pieces together until the glue is dry.
- Taking one of the panels you cut from Diagram A, measure 5 inches from the bottom center of the panel, and make a small X. Drill through this area using your hole saw to make an entrance hole for the birdhouse.
- Glue the front and back panels to the side panels from Diagram B so that all pieces are flush on the bottom. Once the glue has set up, hammer in two siding nails along each side.
- Take the bottom panel of the birdhouse and tightly fit it up inside. Drill two pilot holes and then attach each side with the wood screws.
- Run a bead of glue along the peaked edge of the top of the birdhouse base and center the roof panels on top. Secure the roof with two nails along each roofline, for a total of eight nails. Once the roof is in place, attach the long metal flashing to the center of the peaked roof using a bead of silicone and six flashing nails. This will prevent water from leaking in on your nesting visitors.
- Run a bead of wood glue along the edges and attach the gables and the ends to make a box to hold the soil. Use at least two nails on each piece of wood to secure it.
- To hang the birdhouse, attach a metal mending brace to the back of the top near the peak of the roof. Glue the cleat you made to the bottom of the back of the birdhouse so that the birdhouse will hang flat against a post or tree.
Here are a few extra tips to make your project a success.
- For winter, put your house in the garage, or just replace plants in spring.
- Succulents are a good choice because they do well in shallow soil.
- Moss is a good plant option for birdhouses that will be in shade.
- Put drainage holes in the overhanging area of the roof to avoid root rot in wet weather.
For more of Dottie's projects, visit her Web site.