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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/469

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Modern Squabhouse Construction

��mi F. A^rthur Hazard

���GOOD birds deserve good homes, - and to do their best work they must be comfortably housed. The house shown in the illustrations is known as the "unit" squab house. For instance, if a man has but a few birds, pen No. I will be built. As soon as there has been saved a goodly number of youngsters from the best pairs, pen No. 2 will be constructed, and so on until there have been built as many units as are deemed necessary. The size of each pen is 10 ft. long and 8 ft. wide with a 3-ft. passageway in the rear, which makes the total depth of the house 12 ft.

In the construction the use of brick piers is recommended, as they will last a life time; but sound cedar posts 12 in. square may be used instead. If cedar posts are used their lower ends should be buried in the ground to a depth of 3 or 4 ft. Upon these piers are placed the 6-in. square sill. The joists are pieces 8 in. wide and 2 in. thick placed on the sills 24 in. apart between centers. As soon as the sills and joists are laid, the floor should be put down. The sub- floor should be laid diagonally, as in laying that of a house; then upon it is stretched a very fine mesh screen of galvanized poultry wire. This serves as an excellent protection against ro- dents. The top floor is laid upon this wire. Culled roofing boards or sheathing may be used for both floors, unless a better grade of lumber is preferred.

The outside studs are all 8 ft. long and by ordering them in i6-ft. lengths

��there will be less waste of material. The rafters are all cut from 8-ft. pieces. The plates are studs laid double. Another stud is placed on the floor under the ends of the outside studs to give a better bearing surface. The studs and rafters are both placed 24 ins. on centers. The roof is first covered with culled boards placed diagonally on the rafters; then these are covered with a. good grade of prepared roofing. It is not best to put on an inferior grade, such as three-ply tar paper, as this will only last 8 or 10 months. No part of the building will need repairing as often as the roof. Thin beveled siding is recom- mended for ease in working and the neat appearance of the finished job. Sheathing should be placed on the studs on the inside. If a good, warm house is desired, place sheathing under the siding also and fill the space between them and the plates with cinders.

The windows are stock sizes, which are not very expensive. These are hinged at the top on the inside and they swing up and in. By means of cords and pulleys they can be operated very easily from the passageway. This elimi- nates having to go into the pen on cold nights to shut down the windows, and possibly scaring the birds. In each gable is placed a louvre ventilator, the back of which is covered with No. i wire mesh to keep out sparrows and other small birds. These louvres will ventilate the building at all times.

The nests shown are double, each

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