Custom Bird House on a Roof

birdhouse 1
September 5, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

Many years ago I contracted to install a Cedar Shake roof in Sacramento...

After we finished up the project, my customer was very happy but the lady asked me if I could go for a ride, she wanted to show me a house around the corner. So we jumped into my truck and drove to a home she liked. She asked me if we could put a large birdhouse on her garage as that house has?

Now, I have seen these birdhouses on roofs before. I have roofed around them, I have repaired them, and I have even tossed them off the roof when asked, but I had never built one before, so, I was a little concerned adding this to a brand new shake roof. After a price was negotiated, I asked one of my carpenters Steve Jobe, to build it. Now, remember I said, “I’ve tossed them off the roof before”.

Well, I had kept one in the yard at my shop to use someday as a project dog house. I liked the design and thought I could use it as a pattern. It fit the needs of my customer perfectly, so Steve used it as a template or pattern, to make a new birdhouse. He prefabricated the birdhouse all at our shop and built it so the roof was detached to keep it light and easy to install. Now I hope you know, this really is not a birdhouse. We cut little doors in the side to appear as one. This keeps the customer from having to maintain it up on a roof. These are normally made for ventilating the hot air out of the garage like a dormer vent would do, but adding a gingerbread look to the home. Next, it got primed and loaded onto a scissor lift truck for delivery. With a little help myself, Steve prepared the roof and we set the new birdhouse in place, near the front of a hip over the garage, like we were asked to do.

We used pressure treated 2×4′s for the framing and with some custom roof flashings, it made the fastening of the base and walls to the roof a snap. Having the birdhouse roof detached made this project easy. The customer agreed to provide matching paint and within a few minutes of painting, the birdhouse roof was re-installed. This was a job that barely paid for itself, but seeing the eyes of the customer and her smile when she looked up and saw it, was worth doing it for her.

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