Duck house: building walls & roof

I spent the last five days working on building the duck house, and finished the primary construction on the walls and roof.

You may recall from last time that I cut the floor, walls, and studs.  So I started work by assembling the front (west) wall and its studs onto the floor, laying it on its side to nail through the floor:

Duck house wall & floor

When I built the cat house, I built the floor, walls, and roof as separate pieces, screwed together on installation, with the floor attached to the floor joists. This time I’m building the floor and walls as a unit, with the roof and floor joists as separate pieces.  The floor joists will be a little heavy, being made out of treated 2x4s, and the roof will be heavy, with the rafters and shingles, but the walls will be heaviest, which is why I attached the thick floor to the joists last time.  But having the floor attached to the walls makes construction easier, and should make transportation when installing easier too, since the floor can rest on the cart, and hold everything together better. That’s the theory, anyway. We’ll see!

Anyway, I next assembled framing for the back (east) and middle walls:


Then attached the framing to the floor:


I joined the studs with top plates, angled to match the slope of the roof:


Next was the nesting boxes, the top of which also serves as the shelf in the storage area:


There is a hole through the shelf for a feeder tube, which is supplied by a jug that will contain food:

Shelf & feeder tube

I made a wall to separate the cupboard from the rest of the duck house, with a 1’ square hole for a “treat hatch”; a small door through which I can toss mealworms to the ducks, without having to open the maintenance door. Plus side walls too:

Shelf & food jug

A view from the other side, showing the treat hatch and nesting boxes:


The hole for the jug is closed with a couple of bits of plywood, that will eventually be screwed into place; these also hold the pipe in position:

Jug hole closure

This is the feeder tube, or will be in due course; I’ll add a cap to the end, and cut large holes on top from which the ducks can eat.  In addition to the above hole closure, the pipe is supported with a brace below:

Feeder tube

To finish the back wall, I added boards to act as doorstops, and plywood for the wall:


I also cut cupboard doors from plywood.  The walls and doors will have trim added later:

Cupboard doors

Here’s me, all bundled up for the cold. The front of the shop isn’t insulated, so it was about freezing temperature in there:


Next up was the south wall, which features a large vent (that will be covered with hardware cloth wire), with a vertically sliding door. Here you can see the vent cover leaning on the wall (which again will have trim later), and a recessed wall below the vent:

Vent recessed wall

The bottom of the recessed wall has a sloped board for drainage:

Bottom of recessed wall

Here is a view from inside of the vent and wall:

Inside vent

I added some extra framing to the front (west) wall, to aid attaching decorations later (to be determined), plus made a vertically sliding door that the ducks will use to access the pond:

Duck door

Time for the roof! I placed some thicker plywood on top, and used scraps of wood to help figure out the desired size of the eaves:

Figuring roof size

Once I determined that, I cut the roof panels, using a jury rigged structure to hold them in place. Here’s one side:

One side of roof

Both sides of roof, held in place with clamps:

Both sides of roof

To help join the two halves of the roof and provide some rigidity, I added a couple of small rafters out of 2x4s. Here’s one:


A view inside, showing both rafters etc (the plywood in the back is the vent cover):

Inside with rafters etc

I realized that my design was missing an important feature: an awning for the duck door. Not sure why I hadn’t included that, having made awnings for both the chicken coop and cat house. Perhaps thinking that the ducks don’t mind the wet, but I still don’t want any more moisture going in the duck house than necessary. So I built a simple awning, much like on the cat house:

Making awning

Here’s the awning installed above the duck door (again, it’ll have trim and roofing later):

Awning installed

Finally, I added a small vent above the maintenance doorway; ducks need lots of ventilation:

Vent above maintenance door

That’s all for now; time to do some paying work. I’ll probably resume working on this next weekend, or thereabouts. Next up is starting on adding the trim. I’m hoping to finish that and get it painted by the end of March, but we’ll see how much time I can spend on it.

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