Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Alice's New Patio

For a few years I've wanted to build an outdoor cage for Alice on top of our one-story porch roof so she could go in and out through the window in her room.  It finally happened this year!!

This has been a major undertaking.  The first thing that needed to happen was the porch needed to be re-roofed.  We had that done first thing this spring.

The next obstacle was the power line that attached to the house right above where we wanted to build the cage.  It would be too close to the cage to meet code, so we had an electrician give us some options.  In the end, we chose to have the power line buried.

But before we could bury the power line, we had to dig up the broken concrete between the garage and the house, since the power line had to go through it.  Hein started in on the project by hand, but our neighbor Dennis Kinstler volunteered to come over and remove it with his skid loader.  He had it done in half an hour!

Then we found out the ground there was really wet and stayed really wet after rain.  So the electrician brought his trenching machine back out and dug a trench across our driveway and we installed a drain tile.  We need to have someone fix up our driveway now, but there's not a gigantic hurry now.

So FINALLY Roger Meyer (architect and main builder of Rusty and Iris' cages) and Hein could get going on Alice's "patio."  They worked while Alice and I were at work so her royal highness wouldn't be disturbed.

 They laid out the baseboards first, then our roofer had to come back to attach them properly to the rubber roof.
 Then they erected the frame.  Here's Roger, hard at work.
 Once the frame was up the black plastic mesh could be put on the inside of the cage.
 Bit by bit it went up.
 Here Hein is putting the window screen on the inside of the ceiling of the cage.
 On the sides the screen went on the outside to keep bugs out and avoid Alice's talons.
 Hein trimming excess black plastic mesh off the roof.  We later realized we needed screen on the top of the roof also, otherwise all the pine needs and cones would fall through the mesh and land on the screen and we couldn't clean it out.  So we took off the plastic mesh, laid down another layer of screen, and put the mesh over top.
 We put down some outdoor carpeting and put in some temporary perches and it was ready for Alice to give it a test run.  Here I am watching Alice explore her patio for the first time.  I'm in the window to her room where she can go in and out.
 Running over to check out the bow perch.
 Nice view!
 Her royal highness seems to approve.


  1. Karla,

    Thanks for the update to Alice's patio. Nice job. I'm sure Alice loves it.


  2. those are great pics of alice new outside patio room. thanks alot for the pics karla. critterwatcher

  3. Karla, this is going to be so fabulous for Alice to be outside. You'll probably have a hard time getting her to come back in! (food bribes) And you know all of us owl fans would love to see a live broadcast and tour when you have time. Thanks to you and all the workers who try to make the owls' lives as normal as possible.

  4. We still need to add the pet door and perches, so we're working on that today. Then I'll try to think about a tour...maybe Sunday?

  5. Alice looks so happy - and so do you. What a lovely thing you and your husband and friends have done for her. Of course, Alice would not have expected less! I look forward to seeing your online tour. MapleOwl

  6. How wonderful! Such a great addition and she must love it! Thanks for providing the pictures.

  7. Alice does look happy! So glad you and Hein were able to do this for her! All the best.

  8. She's so lucky, I am wondering if it is possible for you to put a table and chair there so you can join her watching the nice view while you are having a cup of coffee or tea.

    1. We did put two chairs in there so we can hang out with her and enjoy the best room in the house. Astroturf on the arms of the chairs so it's an appropriate perching surface for her too.

  9. Amazing pics of Alices patio. Thats an interesting post. It was worth visiting your blog. Hope to visit again.
    patio, gazebo