Building birdhouses is a great way to cash in on your craft skills while making functional objects that bird lovers will appreciate. Birdhouses can be used indoors as decoration, but are most often found outdoors as makeshift stopping grounds for birds. Gardeners and wildlife enthusiasts also enjoy well-constructed outdoor birdhouses that are designed to attract specific bird species.
Potential Customers for Birdhouses
- Home decorators. Home decorators like to use birdhouses to decorate as it helps add a rustic look when placed on a bookshelf or fireplace mantel.Gardeners.
- Collectors of Americana or other folk art.
- People who like to buy home and yard decor items on eBay or Etsy.
- Birdwatchers and other wildlife enthusiasts.
- Wildlife sanctuaries and state parks may need large numbers of birdhouses to attract endangered bird species and to help replace damaged bird habitats.
Drawbacks of Operating a Birdhouse Business
- Birdhouses are time intensive to make.
- There’s generally not much repeat business from your customers.
- Good potential for word-of-mouth referrals
- Operating costs will be higher because of your constant need for wood. You can opt to use recycled wood (such as asking local stores for old wood palettes) to save on costs.
- Although birdhouse construction doesn’t require a large workshop, you’ll still need to purchase some tools if you don’t already have them (a workbench, a power drill and a table saw at the minimum).
Skills Needed to Make a Birdhouse
- Woodworking skills are required for birdhouse crafting, and some metalworking skills will also be helpful.
- Decorative birdhouses will need someone with creativity to craft them who has an knack for color and design as well as painting skills
- Knowledge of birds would be helpful, as will pest-proofing techniques when constructing birdhouses. A pest-proof birdhouse should be able to withstand the invasion of squirrels and other pests, as the birdhouse needs to keep the birds safe from predators. Bird knowledge is required since you’ll be constructing different types of birdhouses depending upon the bird species. Different bird species require different birdhouse dimensions in order to feel comfortable enough to nest inside of them. You’ll need some knowledge of birds to know the exact size of birdhouse to construct for each type of bird.
Ideas for Expanding Your Birdhouse Business
- Bird feeders, especially squirrel-proof birdfeeders.
- Rabbit nesting boxes.
- Sell birdhouse templates. You can also provide decorative panels for birdhouses if you are good at art. You could sell them as kits that people put together themselves. Look in home decor and crafts magazines and books for artistic birdhouse ideas and inspiration.
- Birdhouses that are customized for larger or smaller birds.
How to Go About Building a Birdhouse
Here are the basic steps for making a birdhouse:
- Cut a 6-foot board into lengths (approximately 12 inches for the back, 8 inches for the roof, 4 inches for the floor and slightly less than 4 inch pieces for both sides as well as the front of the birdhouse). Sand the board edges to remove splinters.
- Create the birdhouse entrance by drilling approximately a 2 inch diameter hole about an inch below the top of the front board using a drill mounted with a saw bit. Sand the inside of the hole after making the cut.
- You’ll want to paint the roof board a light color in order to reflect the sun’s heat. Don’t paint the interior, and make sure to use non-toxic paint for the exterior sides of the birdhouse.
- Use nails or screws to fasten the back and side boards to the bottom board. Do the same to the two sides and the front of the birdhouse. Don’t use wood glue since it’s potentially toxic to birds.
- When you attach the roof, you may use a hinge to make it easier to clean the birdhouse. There should be a few inches of overhang on the roof to protect the entrance hole from getting rain water inside of it.