Colin McGhee. MgGhee & Co. Roof Thatchers.

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Unfortunately we are unable to supply birdhouses at this time. Playhouses built to order. 1 Month notice required. 

:: Other Products Offered by McGhee & Co. ::

Things built in miniature have fascinated and delighted people for centuries. McGhee & Co. hopes that the following products are no exception. Please don't confuse them with similar items on the market. The unique charm of all our work is that it is not prefabricated or mass-produced in any way. Nor is there anything plastic or phony about it. Highly-qualifed craftsmen build each unique item by hand using traditional materials. Please contact us with any inquiries. Directions for how to order these products can be found after each listing.

:: Children's Playhouses ::

Our Children's Playhouses stand apart from all others because of one feature - each one comes with a genuine thatched roof with a life expectancy of 40 years. The roofs are constructed using only the best Norfolk reed and the thatch is made to a thickness of 12". The patterned ridge is crafted with care and the whole roof is secured against bird penetration by using 3/4" galvinized wire netting.

The houses are built by fully qualified carpenters using 3" X 3" timber for a rigid frame work. The cavity walls are insulated and the exterior is protected by an undercoat and two coats of Sandtex paint. The floor is suspended on joists and consists of pine floor boards that have been smoothed, stained and varnished. The height to ridge is 10', ceiling height is 6'6", and weight is 1.5 - 1.75 tons.

We've done our best to capture the charm of a typical timber-framed cottage by paying careful attention to detail. The ledge and brace "stable" doors have traditional black cast iron fittings. The windows are "leaded" and even have ready fitted gingham curtains.

Safety First - We've taken extra care over safety factors. The windows are made from laminated glass. All stains and varnishes are toxic free. And the doors are designed so that they cannot be locked from the inside.

Please contact us to order a playhouse.

Children's playhouse.

Children's playhouse.

:: Tudor Tree Houses ::

We can build and thatch a tree house just like our Children's Playhouses (see above), or we can simply thatch the roof of an existing treehouse.

Please contact us to order a tree house.

Children's playhouse.

:: Birdhouses ::       

Unique, thatched designs built by hand to Audubon specifications. Each style is designed to be a practical and appropriate house for a particular bird (or bat or butterfly), as well as an aesthetically pleasing addition to your yard. The houses are easy to clean and fully weather proof, with slanted roofs for maximum rain run off. Thatch is one of the best insulators and will keep birds warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Celtic Cottage Wren House (top photo) - The house Wren is often seen around human dwellings. He may be a plain gray-brown color, but he has a colorful personality. Wrens build nests in a variety of cavities but appreciate a box. Males will build several false nests during mating season before choosing one. A nesting territory is usually a half to three-quarter acre. A Wren is one of the few birds that will nest in a cavity dangling from a limb. Hang your box on a tree or a side of a building. Wrens love the backdrop of heavy shrubs and lots of trees. You may specify door color on your order and customize your cottage with a shamrock or a thistle hand painted on the chimney.

Tudor Wren House (middle photo) - You may specify stain color and door color on your order.

Rustic Bluebird Box (bottom photo) - This colorful bird is in danger of extinction! Competition for nesting sites with aggressive birds like the European Starling, House Sparrow and Bluejay have contributed to the decline of the bluebird population. The Bluebird used to make it's home in wooden fence rails. The trend in recent decades to replace rotted wood with steel posts has left the Bluebird with fewer suitable housing choices. Thankfully, certain protective efforts by orinthologists and backyard enthusiasts have bolstered the comeback of this delightful bird. These houses feature a predator guard on the entrance hole which prevents racoons & squirrels from making off with the nesting eggs as well as a side door that opens easily for observation or seasonal cleaning. Place your box low to the ground, 4' to 6', on a fence post or a small tree near roadsides, garden borders or orchards. Bluebirds like to nest near open fields on forest edges. They like a sunny location. Face the entrance hole towards the south, out of the wind. Many people like to create "Bluebird Trails" and encourage neighbors to join them. Placing houses spaced 200 to 400 yards apart entices colonies even though the male is very territorial. Competitors may use one or two boxes but the rest will be left for the bluebirds.



Thatched birdhouse.

Thatched birdhouse.

Thatched birdhouse.

:: Books & Craft Supplies ::


Interested in building these bird houses on your own? Learn how in Colin McGhee's book, Rustic Birdhouses and Feeders, available from With this beautifully illustrated guide, you can create that quaint Celtic cottage look in your yard, no matter where you live. Colin shows you how to make charming and functional birdhouses and feeders for bluebirds, chickadees, wrens, owls, and even bats and butterflies, using simplified thatch-roof techniques, basic woodworking skills, and decorative painting touches. All projects are designed to Audubon specifications. Explore the fascinating history and techniques of thatch, learn which reeds and grasses in your area are perfect for thatching and how to cover store-bought feeders with thatch to make them something special.

Click here to order a bundle of high-quality thatch to use when working on your own projects. Each bundle is approximately 60 centimeters in circumference and 4 feet long and is enough to thatch between 15 and 20 bird houses. $45 per bundle.

:: Dog Kennels and Other Structures ::

:: The Celtic Cottage Mailbox ::

Thatched dog kennels and more.The ultimate kennel for the dog that has everything. Built to the same standards as our playhouses but measures just 5' x 3' 10" at the base with a height of 7'. McGhee & Co. can also build thatched gazebos, kiosks, saunas, and just about anything else you can think of. Please contact us to order.

Celtic Cottage Mailbox.The Celtic Cottage Mailbox ($240). This sturdy thatched mailbox makes a charming statement at your entrance. Fully weather proof and handcrafted by McGhee & Co. The thatched roof is slanted for maximum rain run off and will last for many years. Click here to order.

Copyright © 2002 - 2004, McGhee & Co :: Phone 845.721.0443 or 888.842.8241 :: Fax 540.886.0007 ::