This Project is for the birds..#6

  • Advertise with us
Project by Brad_Nailor posted 06-19-2008 03:54 AM 2310 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
This Project is for the birds..#6
This Project is for the birds..#6 No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
Zoom Pictures

Hey everyone
Here is the next and what I thought would be final edition for this little project. I sealed the whole birdhouse with a cedar tinted Olympic ultimate waterproofing sealer. I love the way it came out, the toner gave the whole project a nice even cedar tone. I set a 6 X 6 post in the recipients garden and mounted the house. They have a large backyard with allot of feeders and bird baths, so allot of bird activity! Here are the pictures..

And here’s a shot with me in the frame to give you an idea of just how big this thing is, I’m 6’-2”...

OK, so you get that warm feeling when you finish a project and the people you made it for love it…well not so fast! I went there last weekend to take some better pictures with my camera… the recipients of the birdhouse wanted to send it in to a bird watching magazine that does a column on bird houses. Everything looked fine from their deck..I was surprised at how large it looked from far away. The more I looked at it the more I noticed some ripples in the shingles near the ridge board. I thought it might just be an optical illusion but I took a walk over to see. To my horror, the closer I got the more the destruction was evident. Apparently the front roof had leaked and the MDF that I used as a substrate had swelled to three times its normal size! I could reach up and pinch it with my fingers and water would come out like a sponge. All the edge trim had popped off the edges of the roof, and the rows of shingles were still glued together but had buckled and rippled under the soaked and swelling MDF. All the dormer roofs were exploded with rippled shingles and trim going in every direction. How depressing it was to see my HOURS of careful gluing and placement, a rippling horror show. The back roof (that has no penetrations) was totally intact and fine. Now before everyone calls me an idiot for using MDF, I felt if I sealed all my gaps at the intersections with silicone, and I slathered all the MDF that was exposed with waterproofing, it should have been OK. I guess I was wrong. I couldn’t use anything treated (bad for the birds), and anything but solid wood would have delaminated. In hindsight I should have taken John up on his offer to send me some barn steel. Or maybe I should have used a piece of plexi for a substrate. So needless to say I have been quite bummed out at the fate of all my hard work. I guess the moral to the story would be listen to that little voice in your head that says “MDF isn’t waterproof”.

I got a report yesterday that the ripples sort of disappeared when the sun dried things out but the trim is still all over the place and the dormer roofs are exploded. I am going to have to fix it. I guess I will have to try and round up some seamed metal roofing..I should be able to salvage the cedar dormers…SIGH!


13 comments so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3791 days

#1 posted 06-19-2008 04:08 AM

some lucky bird out there is going to be very happy!

View john's profile


2370 posts in 4404 days

#2 posted 06-19-2008 04:19 AM

Sorry to hear about the roof leaking David but it still looks great . I really like how the finish came out .
That house will be full of birds in no time . I guess i will stick to using steel .

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View Richard Williams's profile

Richard Williams

162 posts in 3815 days

#3 posted 06-19-2008 04:59 AM

Lucky you. You know what you are doing buddy. Dave, I spent many hours designing my solar heated duplex birdhouse only to find out that it gets too darn hot for the birds. Internal temperatures exceeded 115 degrees two weeks before spring officially arrived here. I had to shut it down because of that. However, your design and functionality far exceeds mine. Great job there Dave. Good luck to the birds. Bye.

-- Rich, Nevada,

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3790 days

#4 posted 06-19-2008 06:14 AM

Great project. Thank you for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4322 days

#5 posted 06-19-2008 01:55 PM

Great looking birdhouse, & I feel bad about the leaking problem.

Maybe you could change to OSB board, which is waterproof.

Using Steel may cause an overheating problem.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 3739 days

#6 posted 06-25-2008 07:43 PM

Great project.

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4100 days

#7 posted 06-25-2008 07:45 PM

wow…that is amazing…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View bayouman's profile


94 posts in 3688 days

#8 posted 06-25-2008 10:23 PM

Love the detail and color.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4044 days

#9 posted 06-25-2008 10:29 PM

You can also try some aluminum metal flashing material under your roof structure to keep the moisture out.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3980 days

#10 posted 06-26-2008 03:40 AM

Thanks for all the nice comments everyone! I figured I would share the pain..I found a picture that my wife took the dreaded day I discovered the destruction…


Heres a link to the full size picture.
You can see the shingles around the dormers and just about everywhere have let go, and the dormer roofs are destroyed. The screw heads are sucked into the swelled MDF. I am going to do it over in barn steel (with a little help form John)...I think I can salvage the perches and dormers.

@ Dick…I didn’t even think of OSB…but does it come in a 1/4” thickness?


View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2029 days

#11 posted 09-01-2013 08:23 PM

So this post is approx. 5 years old now and I just ran across it. I did go back and check the other 5 chapters of this story, and I didn’t see a follow up to the final repair. I was wondering what was the final outcome?

NEAT HOUSE by the way. I really like it.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3980 days

#12 posted 09-13-2013 02:19 PM

The designer of these style houses John, was nice enough to send me some barn steel standing seam metal roofing. I took the house apart, covered it with a plastic bag, and brought the ruined pieces home. I was able to salvage the dormers, and I fabricated a new roof, sprayed it a nice shade of Hunter green and re installed it. Looks great..not quite as cool as the shingles…but it still looks really nice.

It’s holding up well..the house still looks great…took a while for the smell to go away..the birds didn’t start nesting in it for a couple years after i put it up.


View oldnovice's profile


6895 posts in 3390 days

#13 posted 09-13-2013 05:12 PM

This is a good looking birdhouse and, IMO, the wrinkled roof makes it look “lived in”.

My uncle in Germany would have really liked to see this as he was an avid birdhouse builder but he never built one that size as his “shop” was a 2’x3’ table without any power tools.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics