A Guide to Building Dog Homes, Bird Homes and More Garage Projects!

Home improvement can be a daunting task for any new homeowner, but simple woodworking skills can lead to some excellent, cheap, beautiful extensions, such as a dog house, a bird house, simple shelves or a window box. By using safety techniques, reading the instructions, and researching ahead of time, you can develop these tasteful home improvements and learn how to do more.

Do-it-yourself (DIY) Safety

First and foremost, be sure to follow safety tips when working on any project. When buying woodcutting equipment, read manuals before moving forward. Similarly, read labels of paints, stains and other materials you buy as well. Invest in a fire extinguisher before starting any project and make sure it is readily available if something were to go wrong. Also, dress for success with safety goggles and gloves. Take your time when completing a project. Take extra time, as well, to prepare your work station, making sure you have good light, level ground, ventilation and no spills.

A Simple Shelf

One of the first, and best, ways to start with woodworking is creating a simple shelf. These projects can teach you basic woodcutting techniques as well as leveling and measuring techniques. Typically, they can be less involved for a first-timer. Your first shelf can be either a fashionable "floating" shelf or a stand-alone shelf. As you gain more experience, you can also build drawers into your shelf units, or design more complicated shelves for unique spaces.

A Window Box

Fresh herbs can be expensive. Many people turn to window gardening to solve these issues. Creating a window box can supply you with fresh herbs, and also create a classic look of your home from the outside. Typically, it is good to have holes for drainage, and to replace wooden window boxes every few years as to avoid mold. Also, once you've built and attached your window box, there are a wide variety of gardening tips that will help you grow beautiful window gardens.

Dog Houses

The beauty of dog houses is that they can be as simple, or as complex, as the owner wants. One can create a simple wooden dog house, or an alien space-station-style dog house with solar panels. Regardless of your plans, it is important to keep the needs of the animal in mind. Measure the dimensions of your dog, and make sure it can turn around both ways with ease, and that it doesn't have to crouch to get in. The dog house should be raised a bit off the ground to ensure water will not be running through it on rainy days. Also, be sure that the dog will not be left out in extreme weather (either hot summers or cold winters) and that it will always have water.

Bird Houses

Bird houses can be a beautiful addition to any home. Before building a bird house, you may want to research the songbirds of your local area, and take their dimensions into account in the design. You can attach a birdhouse on a tree, or attach it to a metal poll out of the ground. It is a good idea to create a hinged side that can open for yearly cleaning.

Other Projects

There are plenty of other projects that will enhance your woodworking skills. Making small tables and storage crates can also be good practice for the new DIY guru. Always keep safety in mind when working on new things, and imagine each stage in steps. As you learn and practice, you may be able to work without a design, however, it is best to look at similar designs first to give you a basic idea about how to build what you want.