The first step in creating a playroom for your bird is obviously finding the right space.  It will be more economical to use an existing room such as an extra bedroom but you may want to consider screening in a patio or carport which will require some work.  

Before we go on, let me mention something.  Regardless of the space you decide on there is one thing that the room absolutely must have and that's a window with a view.   I stress the importance of this because a room without a window is no more appealing to your bird than it is to you.  For this reason most basements do not make good play rooms for birds, at least none I've seen.   It will be helpful if you think of this project like building a nursery or kid's den.  Think colorful, bright and cheerful.
Here are a few other things we will look at:

           Safety issues.  Importance of starting with an empty room
           Housing Cages.  Pros and Cons
           Comfort.  Would you feel comfortable?
           Supervision.   Your bird alone
           The fun part.  Toys and things


Safety Issues
Safety is absolutely the most important factor in designing a bird room.  The next step I am about to mention may sound odd and time consuming but trust me when I say it's critical.  Absolutely critical.

OK, here we go.  Before you get started, you need to remove everything from the room.  That's right, everything that isn't nailed down.  That includes all furniture such as shelves, beds, tables and chairs. All accessories including plants, drapes and even photos.  The room should be totally empty of anything that is not part of the rooms actual construction.

The reason for this is safety.  Every single item you place in the room must be well thought out and bird approved.  Think of your room as one extra large bird cage.  You start with an empty cage and are very careful and conscientious of anything that is added.  Your room is no different; it's basically a large cage.

Do not try to cut corners here by leaving a few things in the room and trying to work around them.  Furniture and accessories may look innocent enough but they can actually camouflage danger.  For example, let's say you leave one coffee table in the room because it appears harmless.  Later you realize the table was hiding an electrical outlet that your bird found while climbing under the table.  Get the picture?  Empty the room.  

Now that the room is empty you'll want to walk around noting any potential safety concerns such as thermostats, outlets, door jams, ceiling lights and switches.  You will need to make certain these are far out of your bird's reach and that nothing is placed too close to them.   

A quick note.  Make certain the room was not painted with lead-based paint.  If you have any doubts at all, you can purchase a test kit. Birds have died from chewing on walls painted with lead-based paints so do be careful.  I recommend latex paint for your walls and designs. 

When you start placing things in the room you'll want to add only items that you would put in your bird's cage, if they would fit.   In other words, you would not put a glass vase in your bird's cage nor would you put a lamp in there.  Every item added to the room must be well thought out and bird proofed.  And speaking of lamps,  I don't recommend them. Lamps have cords and hot glass bulbs.  They can be both a chewing and fire hazard.  A dear friend of mine lost her Eclectus to a torch lamp when her bird managed to climb a cage and jump on top of the lamp.

If you're concerned about the room not being bright enough you can exchange the ceiling light with a full spectrum bulb or even paint the room a sunny shade of yellow.

If you are going to add a radio or TV, you have to make certain that the cord is completely covered and out of reach.  It's not enough to "hide" the cords.  Assume your bird will get to it so you want to cover the cord.  Threading the cord through *electrical PVC pipes is a great start.  Even Macaws can't chew through PVC.

Avoid heavy items that could tip over and fall on your bird.  Shelves and cabinets must be extremely stable and may need to be bolted to walls.  Be aware of heavy accessories such as books or decorative items that could also tumble down.  Once again, if you wouldn't put it in your bird's cage don't put it in his room... at least not before making it bird proof.

Comfort
The room has to be cheerful and interesting.  Stand in the middle of the room and look around.  Do you feel comfortable?  Secure? Do you like the color? Is there enough light in the room? How's the temperature?  Which direction is the sun coming in? Are there cold or hot spots in the room?  All of these issues need to be addressed.  Birds get bored very easily, your job is to keep them busy and stimulated.

Supervision
If your bird will be left alone to play in the room, you may need to make some additional modifications such as covering baseboards or windowsills  with Plexiglas to prevent chewing.   If you do not plan on modifying the room keeping a close eye on your flock and keeping toys and furniture away from windowsills and walls will still be necessary.   Remember,  safety is key.

Cages
There are pros and cons to having cages in your play room.  The down side is that cages often take up a lot of space.  The good side is that you can incorporate them into the play area by leaving the cage doors open and packing the cages with various levels of toys and maybe a birdie bed. 

The fun part
Designing your room should be fun.  Now is the time to let your creativity flow.   You can purchase all sorts of play-gyms and toys or you can build a few of your own.  It was only through trial and error that I came up with the idea of using natural branches in our bird's room.  I remember building an entire play-gym out of PVC, it was huge!  Although I was impressed my birds sure were not.  They much rather have natural wood to climb and chew on than plastics.  Remember, think bright and colorful!  The room should be full of toys for chewing and playing and lots of ropes and hard plastic chains for climbing and swinging. 

You can do several things to create a big play area for your bird.  You can hang toys, ropes and thick plastic chains from the ceiling.  You may want to buy ceiling guards to protect your ceiling from chewing.  Here are a few tips and ideas:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                    Maximize the space.                                                                                                                             Start from the ceiling and work your way down.  This                                                                           is what I refer to as "layering" your room.  For example                                                                       hang swings and ropes from the ceiling so your bird is                                                                         climbing vertically as well as horizontally.


 







         Layer from the bottom up.
         Place a play-tree full of toys under your
         hanging ropes and swings so your birds
         can climb up or down to play. Again, this
         maximizes the play space.  Notice that
         this tree is heavily equipped with toys.
         Each "layer" should be a play station
         of its own.  Continue layering throughout
         the room.                        
                                                                         


                                                                               
                                                                                Flooring.
                                                                                I recommend using vinyl flooring in your room. 
                                                                                Ceramic tiles or concrete can cause injury if
                                                                                your bird happens to slip and fall.  Here, I put
                                                                                down vinyl self-sticking tiles from Home Depot.                                                                                   It was very easy and inexpensive to do.                               


               Including Cages.
               If you are going to put cages in the
               playroom you want to approach them as
               yet another separate play station.
               Layer the cage  with toys both vertically
               and horizontally. Leave the cage door
               open so your bird can climb in to play
               or nap.




     A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS
       Rotate toys in the play room at least once a month to prevent boredom.
  
       Be extra careful using hooks to hang toys.  I recommend using eye hooks in the ceiling and                   securing toys with stainless steel quick links.  You may also want to consider using ceiling                     guards.
      
       If you are using chain to hang toys you should make certain it's stainless steel.  I don't find the  
       look of metal chain appealing, you can hide it by threading the chain through a PVC pipe.  A great         alternative is hard plastic chain it's both decorative and  useful and comes in several colors.

       Give your room a personal touch by painting it with bright colors.  You can draw a few trees and          plants to give it a jungle theme.  Not artistic? Try tatouage which is an easy rub on application.

      A small water fountain will provide your bird with calming sights and sounds but make certain              the cord is secure.  We ran our plug through a PVC pipe and then hid the pipe far behind the                 fountain itself. 

       Don't leave anything to chance.  Don't assume your bird can't reach things such as a radio.  In              addition to keeping it far out of reach you will want to make it bird proof so that if your bird              does happen upon it, there will be no danger.  PVC pipe can also be used to cover radio cords.
      
       Keep toys and ropes away from doors. Your bird could climb up the door or even catch a foot in          the door jam.  If you leave the door open I recommend putting a door stopper below so that the            door will not move at all.         

      Rope can be used as a form of transportation for your bird by stretching the rope from one                 side of the room to the next and even draping it from the ceiling.  Instead of buying rope from             bird stores I looked in the
I  remember the day my husband and I discussed housing our birds in their own room rather than putting their cages in our family room.  My first reaction wasn't a
good one. I thought he was trying to stash my birds out of sight and
out of mind.  Granted I do have a tendency to have bird stuff all
over the place.  As it turned out, his intentions were more than good.
Providing our birds with their own room was the best thing we ever
did.  Not only was our great room spared of huge cages and toys but
more importantly our birds really enjoy being in their own room, 
sort of like rowdy teenagers with their own place to hang out.


The ultimate decision


At first we thought about turning one of our guest rooms into an aviary but after much thought and consideration my husband came up with the idea of converting our third car garage into a room.  Of course this was an easy  sacrifice for my husband since that was my parking space.   In reality our guest rooms were a bit too small and the garage offered us high ceilings and a good 400 square feet of space to work with.  Plus, the location provides the birds with a quiet sleeping environment regardless of how much noise we make inside the house.

We eagerly got busy doing our homework.  We headed to the book store in great anticipation of finding ideas from bird books or magazines.  Our search turned up nothing.  We then jumped on the Internet searching for photos or articles about bird rooms and still ended up empty handed.  I even posted questions on a few message boards, seeking the advice of other bird owners, but even they had very few suggestions.  So, we were on our own.  

We knew the first challenge we faced was figuring out how to turn a plain garage into a safe, comfortable, fun, environment for our babies.  We had to be concerned about fresh air, insulation you name it.  We decided to approach the room not as a place for our birds but an extension of our home. 

We hired two different contractors.  The first one installed all of the essentials such as walls, doors, plumbing, lighting, heating/cooling, flooring, and alarm system.   The concrete floor had to be covered in decorative vinyl tiles, just like you find in many kitchens and baths.  The walls and even the garage door had to be heavily insulated to keep out any environmental fumes or sounds .   The room had to be a livable space fit for children, after all our "fids" (feathered kids) would be living in there.  

I oversaw all of the construction myself.   Not only did the room have to meet my expectations it also had to be given a  stamp of approval by the city's building inspector before the "children" moved in.
Next, the second contractor,  Maury Stevens,  had an even  bigger challenge turning the space into a fun bird friendly environment.   His focus included safety and design.  Everything had to be bird proofed from the electrical components, to the walls.

After putting our heads together Maury designed a mini rainforest where our birds can safely play, climb, chew, eat and nap all day long!  We really are proud of our bird room and we were recently honored with a mention and photo of it in Bird Talk Magazine.

Now, I realize that we all can't depend on Maury to build birdie rooms although he did build one for Donna (Skye the Hy's Momma) and her room even has a TV!  The point is, you too can provide your bird with his own play area.  It doesn't have to be huge and it doesn't even have to be indoors.  You just have to be willing enough to expand your bird's world.   
How to Build a Bird Room
How To Design Your Own Bird Room
Noelle's Macaws "Kharma" and "Signal"
"Scarlet" My Solomon Island Eclectus

Conclusion
Creating a special playroom is an excellent way to expand your bird's world.  Whether your bird is a Macaw or a Budgie, he will greatly appreciate having his own room. Your bird can enjoy hours of fun in his special place.  Do remember that bird rooms should not replace quality time you spend with your bird.  I make certain my birds are taken out of their playroom daily.  Whether we are going for rides in the car or just having them join us for dinner, they need to spend time with us.  We hope this has helped inspire you to want to create a play room for your own bird.    

Yellow pages and found a local rope supplier.  I spoke with the owner and explained that I needed the rope for my birds so it was very important that the rope was "untreated."  The owner was happy to help me and I purchased 25 feet of rope.
It's one inch thick and 100% all cotton in a multi color!  Although it was a special order it was still much less expensive than purchasing it from a pet supplier.
If you have birds of different species you will want to make certain they get along before letting them loose in the bird room. Most large Macaws do not mix with smaller birds unless they were raised together.
Putting down newspaper will help keep your bird room clean.  I also use plastic table clothes which you can purchase at the .99 cent stores. 
FLY BACK
      By Angela Rodriguez-Williams
  Contributing Editor: Donna Schultz
                                            How to Build a Bird Room
                                                Part I- Indoor Aviaries
Click Here For Part II - Outdoor Aviaries
Click Here
See inspiring photos of indoor Bird Aviaries created by our members!!!
Natalie's room
Malibu & Samson, playing hide and seek.
Note-Electricians suggest that when using PVC to cover electrical wires we should make certain it is the nonmetallic PVC which is used specifically for electrical wiring. It's usually gray in color as opposed to the white PVC pipe used for water sprinklers.