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Creativity in the Time of Covid

What did you do during lockdown? I spent a lot of time hibernating in the basement where I tried to design and create some new products. You will be seeing some of these ideas come to life in our Etsy shop in the next few weeks. I hope you like them.

One thing I have been asked for several times at craft shows and on Etsy messages is if I make birdhouses for smaller birds. I’ve also had a lot of enquiries about installing my birdhouses on a post.

Well, I’ve listened and have come up with several options that should suit most needs.

First, the birdhouses…

I’ve designed and created these following the specifications and recommendations of the Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.

I targeted nuthatch, chickadee and wren houses because I love it when chickadees come to our yard. They might be the friendliest bird around. They let you know they are there by their peep sound, and they will get close to you if you are statue still. Some folks (not me yet) have had them eating straight out of their hand.

So, I have come up with two different houses to suit these smaller birds.

Our chickadee house has a depth of approximately 6″ down from the entry hole, which is 1 1/8″.

Our nuthatch house has a depth of approximately 8″ down from the entry hole, which is 1 1/4″.

They also have different mounting abilities.

In our Etsy shop, you’ll find:

  1. A chickadee house that sits on top of a 4” PVC post.
  2. A chickadee house that can be mounted to a tree/wall or flat surface.
  3. A nuthatch house that sits on top of a 4” PVC post.
  4. A nuthatch house that can be mounted to a tree/wall or flat surface.

Pictured below is the full range of styles and colors available.

Image: The full collection of new PVC birdhouses…and our mascot Polly in the front. These are unique, in that they are all made with PVC.
Back row left: Post mount nuthatch houses.
Back row right: Post mount chickadee houses (post mount back row center).
Middle row: All hanging nuthatch houses.
Front row: All hanging chickadee houses.

Image: Chickadee (left) and Nuthatch (right).

My material of choice is PVC, or Poly Vinyl Chloride. I have worked with this material since the early 1980s. I am also a woodworker who loves to work with soft woods such as cedar, pine and fir. Some of my products on Etsy have a combination of both PVC and wood, or as I like to call it: PVCedar!

PVC may be a little more expensive than wood, which is typically used for birdhouses, but wood prices have gone way up since the pandemic began, and there has also been a shortage of western red cedar boards.

All of these new bird houses are made completely of PVC, no wood at all!

I use a mixture of hollow PVC shapes as well as cellular PVC trim boards. Both are weatherable, and have been designed and made specifically for outdoor construction.

The PVC Birdhouse Collection

The Post Mount Birdhouses

The Nuthatch house has an entry hole of 1 1/4” and is approximately 8” deep from the hole down to the base.

The Chickadee house has an entry hole of 1 1/8″and is approximately 6″ deep from the hole to the base.

There is a ladder on the inside to help the fledglings get to the entry hole to be fed.

The decorative base is fused to the base of the house, and can sleeve over a 4” x 4” PVC post.

The PVC roof is our signature design shaped to mimic a country thatched roof. We paint the roof with three coats of latex paint, and a coat of varnish.

For cleaning, the roof can be removed by releasing three screws. 

Tip: Gluing a small piece of 4” x 4” PVC into the base will also allow you to sleeve the bird house over a wood post.   

Flat/Wall Mount Birdhouses

These entry holes and depth are the same as the post mount models

There is a ladder on the inside to help the fledglings get to the entry hole to be fed.

The PVC roof is our signature design shaped to mimic a country thatched roof. We paint the roof with three coats of latex paint, and a coat of varnish. See the picture above for the roof color choices. Or let us know if you would like a specific color.

The house has a trap door on the bottom for cleaning, held in place by a long pin, and hinges with two stainless steel screws. An eye bolt on the bottom will help to open the door.

The trap door may also be screwed to the top of a wood post. On the back of the hanging birdhouse there is a length of chain that is riveted to the body that can be used with a hook, to hang the house on a tree or a flat vertical surface.

Features of the Chickadee and Nuthatch Birdhouses

Top Left: Back View of hanging house, same for both chickadee and nuthatch houses.
Top Middle: Inside view of ladder, same in all houses.
Top Right: Base of PVC post mount on both the chickadee and nuthatch houses. This slides over a PVC post. You can use a little silicone around the inside edges if the base feels lose. A PVC shim can also be glued inside the base that would allow it to slide over a nominal 4” x 4” wood post.

Image Left: Trap door, same for chickadee and nuthatch houses. Pull the side pin and open the trap door for occasional cleaning.

Remove the bottom eye screw and set the trap door on a wood surface. Drive two screws into the top of the wood to mount on top of a wood post.

Mounting your birdhouse (our post and pipe)

Images: Post mount chickadee birdhouse, shown with burgundy roof, sitting on top of a PVC 4” x 4” post (left); Flat/wall mount nuthatch birdhouse, shown with trap door pin location, eye screw on trap door base, hanging from a hook in a tree, plus our Sadler seal of approval (right).

We are developing a full line of PVC feeders and planters that will sit on top of a PVC post. Don’t have a post? No worries, you can get one locally at a Home Depot or Lowes or your local fence company.

We also supply a pipe and post system, where you pound a steel pipe (supplied) in the ground that has aluminum brackets attached (also supplied) and the PVC post will slide over the top of the pipe.

Images: Step 1 (left) – Pound steel pipe in ground; Step 2 (middle) – Slide PVC post over pipe; Step 3 (right) – Mount bird house on post.

This is a great system if you (A) don’t like to dig holes, (B) don’t like to mix concrete, and (C) want the ability to move the unit to a different location any time.

If you have any questions about our new products, please contact us.

Find these products, and much more, in our Etsy shop: MyRetirementGig.etsy.com.

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