Best plans in North America!
Here's what Ray had to say after getting his plans booklet...
"Thanks for sending your plans booklet as promptly as you did. I was really impressed--the photos of the cover on your website don't do it justice. Frankly, I was skeptical when I sent for it; I guess I expected something on newspaper stock. Had I known how professional it is, I wouldn't have hesitated for a second".
If you're handy and have some woodworking skills building a martin house is a great project. The plans have concise step by step instructions with pictures that are very easy to understand. They provide all the information you need to build a "condo-style" martin house, the type martin landlords favor. Constructing your new house is simply a matter of cutting out the pieces and screwing them together.
Studies show that martins prefer larger compartments and the T-14 has them, 6.5" X 6.5" X 11". It raises up and down nicely on the pole so you don't disturb babies, or egg clutches. Easy open doors for full section views and compartments don't have lips in the front, so it's easy to clean out the nest boxes. Offset holes and individual porches eliminate double nests and improve occupancy rates.
Here's what you get with your T-14 plans:
T-14 Plans downloaded to your computer
The pages are setup to print nicely and they are easy to read. Downloading the plans takes only minutes and there is no waiting for the mail to arrive, just think, you can start building your martin house today!
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Board and parts layoutIf you don't want to spend the time trying to figure out what size boards to purchase from the lumberyard or how to arrange the individual parts on each board to maximize the space, I have taken the time and did the work for you. Four easy to read pages with simple drawings and a cutting list.
You will get simple step by step instructions that show you how to build a martin house with 14 nest boxes. Each step has a nice photograph along with directions so it is easy to see and understand what to do. You also get further information on:
In addition, you will get "the purple martin landlords ten commandments," the ten critical things you must know for raising martins successfully. A migration map showing the purple martin arrival dates in North America and Canada is also included along with other basic and very useful information on martins.
A note: The downloadable web page documents ARE NOT scanner copies of each booklet page. Every word was retyped and combined with the same high quality pictures to create seamless navigation and replicate the easy feel and structure of the booklet. Each web page is set up so you can print them out on standard size 8-1/2" X 11" printer paper.
Here are a few examples of the types of pictures used in both the booklet and the online WebPages:
It is a tough question that many people ask themselves and although we can not answer the question for you, we can provide a way to help make it easier to understand. It is why we created the "downloadable" version of the "plan booklet," so you can find out now, not in 2 weeks or two months or after you made a martin house purchase.
The T-14 martin house kit was designed and is made by Leroy J. Troyer and developed by Andrew M. Troyer. Andy and carpenter/nephew Leroy built the T-14 after Andy moved 5 miles from his home to a new location. For 10 years after the move, Andy tried but could not attract the martins he enjoyed previously using the old style housing with 6" X 6" X 6" nest boxes. After digging in and learning what might be wrong, Andy finally figured out that the "old style" compartment size must be the problem. Andy comments in the plan booklet- "Let's just think basically. The Purple Martin is 8" long. Ask yourself how you would like to sleep in a bed only 6' square if you were 8' tall? Is it any wonder that they prefer more roomy compartments? So, the T-14 was born with nice and roomy 6" X 6" X 12" nest compartments and that year Andy and Leroy were happy to see three active nests at Andy's place. Year two brought 26 active nests, year three- 33, year four- 63, year five- 66 and year six ended with 97 active nests! Obviously more T-14 houses were built over the years with each one studied and improved upon in the Amish tradition. It was only natural for Andy to share his success with the martin houses built using the T-14 plan booklet by publishing it and then coming up with a kit. Both Andy and Leroy have become widely known for the plan booklet and their T-14 kit which are both essential elements needed to attract martins and keep them coming back.
If you are handy and have some woodworking skills building a T-14 martin house is a great project and not difficult. We used Andy's plan booklet to build our own martin house and it was a great experience. We used a radial arm saw, a power hand saw and a drill/driver but you could do it with a hand saw, screw driver, hammer and nails if you wanted to. Constructing your new house is just as simple as cutting out the pieces and screwing them together. The WebPage plans or booklet are both an economic way to get started and we know you will not be disappointed. Many boy scouts have taken on the project and built the T-14 with minor supervision so it is a project both adults and children can enjoy.
We are sure you will love building your own T-14 from the plans and when done, know you will feel very satisfied with the finished product.
For the most part, people start out looking for free plans and have little luck. If free plans are found, they are not satisfactory. Free from state or local conservation agencies, from libraries the world wide web or even from bird house books, most all are out of date, lack very critical information and are extremely difficult to read and/or build. Potential martin landlords who attempt to build from free plans end up rebuilding a house or starting completely over after learning what's really needed. This unpleasant discovery amounts to precious time lost in their adventure, right from the beginning. The most common problem with free plans is that the nest boxes are to small or the plans don't explain or illustrate any way for the landlord to raise or lower the house. Understanding what the correct nest box size is and the merits of raising/lowering the house is a must, if you want to be a successful martin landlord.
Still, others express the fact that they cannot find adequate housing to purchase locally and what commercial housing they do find is very expensive and usually does not meet current standards for purple martins, as mentioned above, lack of functional raising/lowering mechanism and small nest boxes.
1) Because their neighbor raises purple martins and they see all the fun and enjoyment that goes with having a martin colony.
2) Someone in the family, in the past, has successfully raised and cared for a martin colony and they want to get back to the family roots.
3) They love to build projects for themselves and take pride in their work.
4) They have heard the wonderful sounds martins make or seen their antics in the sky and want to bring that home to watch everyday.
5) They are in general, people who love and respect nature and want to do what they can to help the purple martin raise their babies in a secure and healthy environment.
6) Many scouts find building a martin house from our plans to be an achievable goal and well worth the effort to get their merit badges.
7) Lots of people are looking for a hobby that doesn't break their pocket books nor takes years of education and learning to get involved. They also do not like or want the "ball and chain" effect so many hobbies produce.
8) Some people want to take on the challenge of attracting martins and seeing them come back year after year.
Copyright © 1998 to present Jeffry Blair.