This is a summary of the project summaries. Each one includes links and pictures from posts on the Yellow Cottage Homestead blog. You can read the summaries for an overview of each project, and click through to the individual posts if you want more details.

Visit the Projects page to scroll through all of the projects, or pick individual ones below. Click or tap on the heading or photo to visit that summary.

More project summaries will be added over time. Here are the ones available so far:

Bee Shed

Converting a potting shelter into a shed for beekeeping equipment.

Duck Island

Building a floating island for the ducks in the pond.


Deck-related projects.

Duck House

A project to build a custom duck house.

Berry Cage

Building a berry cage in the vegetable garden.


Assembling our greenhouse, and updating it with shelving, irrigation, etc.


Planting trees around the property, and measuring the heights of select trees.

Cat House

A project to build a shelter and feeder for the family of feral cats that adopted us.

House Electrical

Electrical work in our house.


Projects related to our workshop.


Various construction projects related to beekeeping.

Garden Plumbing

Various plumbing projects around the homestead.

Chicken Run

A project to build the fence and netting roof of an outdoor run for the new chicken coop.

Chicken Coop

A big project to build a new chicken coop.

Potato Planters

A simple project to build three potato planters.

Bee Shed

Converting an old potting shelter into a shed to store beekeeping materials.

We inherited an old potting shelter in a corner of our property near our beehives, so to avoid having to lug hive boxes and such from the back of the workshop, we decided to enclose that shelter to make a shed.

February 2021

The old potting shelter near the beehives:

March 2021

I straightened some posts, and added weed mat and rubber flooring:

Then I added framing to the walls:

And framing for shelving:

Then I could add corrugated cladding, with clear panels as windows in the center:

Framing for the doorway:

April 2021

Making the door:

Cladding the door:

May 2021

Finally, some finishing touches, including the shelving and a mirror:

That concludes this project; it’s unlikely there will be further changes of any significance, but I’ll update this summary if there are.

Duck Island

Building a wooden island for the ducks to use in the pond.

January 2021

To provide a more protected place for the ducks in our pond, I had the idea of designing a wooden island:

Some progress on building it:

Working on buoyancy of the island, so it’ll float:

Tweaked to put the buoyancy tube underneath:

February 2021

Completed construction:

Installation in the pond, and planting grasses:

Some more pictures of the installation, as captured by the pond cameras:

That’s it for now. I’ll update this summary with any future enhancements.


Deck-related projects.

August 2019

A project to assemble an aluminum gazebo on our deck:

Another project to build a pool deck extension off our main deck, enabling easier access to our seasonal above-ground swimming pool:

That’s it for now. I’ll update this summary with any future deck-related projects.

Duck House

A project to build a house and feeder for ducklings and ducks on our pond. For weekly posts on the ducks themselves, check out the ducks category of the blog, and/or the weekly Flock Friday blog posts, that cover the ducks, chickens, and wild birds.

This is a summary of the plans, design, construction, and installation of the duck house, with links to the individual blog posts about it.

January 2019

We have a nice large pond at the homestead, and enjoyed the occasional visit by migrating wild ducks. In January 2019 we decided we wanted permanent residents, and ordered four ducklings for delivery in May. So, it was time to get started designing a house for them. Here’s where it would be situated:

February 2019

My custom design for a duck house:

Starting construction, one of the first steps was to cut the floor and wall panels:

Lots of progress on assembling the walls and roof:

March 2019

A bunch of tweaks and trim work:

Building the doors, including the innovative four-part maintenance door:

Adding battens:

April 2019

Starting to paint the duck house:

Adding door hardware:


The house includes LED and heat lamp lighting and other electrical features, including Wi-Fi:

I added vinyl tiles to help waterproof it:

May 2019

With the construction complete, I next hand-excavated the location next to the pond:

Installing the floor joists:


Some preparation for ducklings (and chicks):

Introduction of the first ducklings to the duck house:

June 2019

I also introduced a new weekly series on the blog, Flock Friday (that’s a baby Bert on the left):

(Check out the ducks category, or in ascending order, or the weekly Flock Friday blog posts, for more pictures of ducklings.)

July 2019

An addition to the duck house was covered in one of the Flock Friday posts: adding the feeder tube:

When the first ducklings were getting old enough to go in the pond, I made and installed a ramp for them:

That’s it for now. This page will be updated with any future enhancements to the duck house.

Berry Cage

Building a berry cage in the vegetable garden.

November 2018

To help protect our blueberries, strawberries, and others from birds, I built a fully fenced enclosure within our existing fenced veggie garden. As with many projects, the first step was a delivery of materials:

To maximize the useful space, I also added a new bed within the berry cage area:

Adding the first pole to support the roof:

December 2018

Lots of poles and beams:

Adding fencing wire:

Building the back gate:

January 2019

And more gates:

And yet another gate, between the chicken run and veggie garden:

Adding welded wire roofing:

February 2019

Finally, replacing the exterior fencing wire:

June 2020

I added some bird netting to the veggie garden berry cage fences:


Assembling and updating our greenhouse.

October 2018

We’ve long wanted a greenhouse to help extend our growing seasons, so I purchased and assembled one:

An empty greenhouse isn’t very useful, so we added a potting bench and basic wire shelving:

January 2020

To increase the capacity of growing space, I built some custom wooden shelving. Here’s the framing for a shelf:

The back shelves underway:

February 2020

Once the shelves were completed, I stained and installed them:

I also included a sink:

March 2020

In order to support soil moisture sensors in the greenhouse, I added a weather station that also includes wind, light, and rain sensors, plus indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity:

To irrigate the plants, I installed pipes and taps:

April 2020

A fun aerial shot of the greenhouse via my drone:

Starting to install irrigation misters:

And finished:

That’s it for now. I’ll update this summary with any future greenhouse enhancements.


This is a summary of tree-related posts on the blog.

October 2017

We’ve planted lots of trees over the years, and I find it interesting and helpful to measure how they grow over time. When looking at trees all the time, the slow growth isn’t always evident, but actually comparing numbers and photos really makes the growth more apparent.

I started measuring a selection of trees we planted in September 2016, and again the following year, with the idea of measuring the same trees at around the same time every year (click the link or image to see the original blog post):

March 2018

But wait, there’s more! We planted some new border and feature trees in the field:

September 2018

The following year, measuring the tree heights again, with some modifications:

We have a lot of wild fir trees at the back of our property, with new ones self-seeding, so about once a year I dig up a few suitably-sized ones and transplant them to more useful locations:

October 2019

Another year, more tree height measurements, with extra columns to show the differences:

March 2020

A stroll through the woods on the east side of our property:

May 2020

More transplanting fir trees, next to the pond:

September 2020

Tree height measurements for 2020:

I will extend this summary post with subsequent measurements and planting posts.

Cat House

A project to build a shelter and feeder for the family of feral cats that adopted us. For weekly posts on the progress of the cats themselves, check out the cats category of the blog.

This is a summary of the initial steps, and the big construction project itself, with links to the individual blog posts about it.

September 2017

We chose to get a couple of feral cats to live in our workshop, to keep it free of rodents. But we didn’t choose to have outdoor feral cats — that just happened.

One day we looked outside and saw what we initially thought was a rat, but turned out to be a kitten… in fact four of them, and their mother (click the link to see the original blog post):

October 2017

To give the kittens some shelter when feeding them, I bought and assembled a prefab kitty condo:

December 2017

An initial attempt to provide an automated feeder suffered the wrath of raccoons, so I devised a raccoon-proof feeder:

As winter rolled around, I bought a heated shelter for them to live in:

January 2018

I also modified the feeder, to put the food dish under cover:

February 2018

But I wanted a better solution, so I sketched a plan for a custom cat house and feeder:

Construction started with the floor, naturally enough:

I did refine the plans a bit, though things changed a bit more during construction:

The walls were next, with insulation sandwiched between plywood sheets:

More walls, and platforms:

The roof also has insulation (on the shelter side):

March 2018

The entire front of the shelter side can be slid open, to maintain the interior:

April 2018

The cat house was designed with an old west theme, so has fun facades at the top:

Although the walls are just sheets of plywood, I added some extra trim to make it look like board-and-batten siding:

May 2018

I didn’t do any work on the cat house in May, but I did post an update on the feral cats in their old feeder and shelter:

June 2018

Back to work on it, I started painting:

And more painting:

And finished painting:

Next was roofing, leveraging skills from building the chicken coop:

July 2018

Then adding the windows, doors, and feeder:

At last, after some final touches of decorations, electrical, and carpet, it was time for installation:

It didn’t take long for the cats to explore the new structure. They started eating there very quickly:

And explore the shelter part:

August 2018

An exciting development was a couple of cats first sleeping in the shelter:

I added a camera to the feeder side, and tweaked the food pipe:

Some more modifications, to add a light strip and protective barrier around the feeder camera:

And tweaked the feeder tube:

September 2018

A barrier for the shelter camera, too:

I replaced the automatic feeder with an internet-connected one, so I can remotely dispense food to have more control (and thus reduce the incidents of leaving food overnight to attract wildlife):

December 2019

A related project, that I’ll include here: I built a platform for two cat cabins under our main deck, expanding the capacity of heated shelters:

I also added a back door to the feeder area of the cat house, enabling them to escape if the main entrance is blocked:

January 2020

Also related, I added another heated shelter in the breezeway next to our workshop:

November 2020

To provide an emergency exit from the upper level, I added an upper back door:

That’s it for now! I don’t anticipate any more modifications in the immediate future, but will update this post if I do, and the blog of course.

For numerous cute pictures of the cats (and not so cute other visitors), follow the weekly Caturday blog posts!

House Electrical

Electrical work in our house.

There probably won’t be many projects in this collection, since I’d usually prefer to pay a professional, but there may be some. For now, just one.

September 2017

We got some smart switches, and I hooked up a couple (and was unable to hook up two more):