Five Specifications and Five Constraints to Build a Bird House

For my project, I will be building a bird house in a suburban style. The bird house will have a moving front door, and a back panel that can be opened as well, so that the user can reach in and remove any nests at the end of the season. Additionally, I have decided to put fabric over the window so that light can still shine into the bird house, without there being a large hole where other unwanted animals could come in. In terms of the aesthetic style, I decided that I wanted to design the bird house like a suburban home, with a white picket fence and green walls, and a brown roof. I think a suburban bird house will look cute, and will look great in my parents back yard.

Since the bird house will be in my parents’ back yard, I wanted to design the bird house around a bird that can be found in their area. For that reason, the bird I chose was a Pygmy Nuthatch. As such;, the bird house is constrained by the hole size and the size of the bird house itself. The bird house will have a 1″ hole for the bird, and interior dimensions of 5.5″x5.5″ with a height of 8″. This will be ideal for the bird. Additionally, I would like to make this bird house in my dad’s shop, with his spare wood. For that reason, I am constrained by the wood he has, and the limited amount of time that I will have in his shop. A majority of his wood is 3/4″ thick, so I needed to change my drawings to reflect this thickness. Additionally, I will want to plan out my cuts beforehand so that I can make all of my cuts quickly and efficiently. Below is a CAD drawing of my bird house design, as well as the optimal layout of these pieces so that they will fit on the smallest board possible.

An additional constraint I face by using my dad’s workshop is that I am limited by the tools he has. Fortunately, he has a miter saw, table saw, electric sander, drill press, and many other tools that will make this job much easier to accomplish. All in all, I believe that my most difficult constraint will be accomplishing all of my work in the limited time I will have. I’ve realized that this project could take several hours to accomplish, where I originally expected it to take much less time. Fortunately, I will have several days in which I can drive down to their house to work on this project.

This project will ultimately be a success if I am able to get a bird to live in the bird house, and the bird house looks visually appealing as well. However, the bird house needs to have other functionality metrics in order to be a success. The moving components make up two of these specifications; both the front door and the back panel need to be able to swing open easily, but have a way to close securely when desired. For the back panel, I will have a hinge which connects the panel to the floor of the bird house, and a nail will be inserted into both pieces to keep it closed when the user is done removing old nests. Another specification will be the fence looking visually appealing; assembling so many small pieces will be a difficult task, and if the fence turns out looking nice, then it will transform the look of the entire bird house. Finally, having the bird house be rain-resistant is very important, as I would consider a bird house that is not resistant to rain to be a failure. For that reason, I will be using actual roofing material, which will keep rain out of the bird house.

These constraints and specifications have driven me toward the bird house design I currently have, and will continue to guide me as I begin constructing my bird house next week. By prioritizing these items, I believe my bird house will turn out great, and birds will be fighting over the new sweet house in the neighborhood!

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Cole Metcalf
    May 8, 2024 12:22 pm

    Hi Dylan I love the idea and project. In case something goes awry, you don’t have enough wood. the whole is too small, or any other things that you didn’t expect, what will you do to make sure that you can get around mistakes.

  • Travis Mulford
    May 8, 2024 10:26 am

    Hi Dylan,
    I really like the that you are replicating the suburban style of housing for this bird house. Will you be adding any other features besides the entry hole size to ensure other animals cannot get into the house?


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