5 Free Bat House Plans

Green bat house near top point of house

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Attract bats to your home by using one of these free bat house plans to build one. Why would you want to attract bats to your yard? Bats are great at getting rid of mosquitoes, they eat thousands of them a day! If that's not enough bats also pollinate plants when the bees are tucked in for the night.

You could just put up a bat house and hope for the best, but there are several things you can do to better attract them. Basically, you'll want to recreate the feeling of a cave. The inside of the bat box should be warm and dark and have an unfinished interior so they have a surface that they can hang onto when they're inside. If you already have bats, giving them a home of their own will discourage them from nesting in other areas of your house.

When deciding where to place the bat house, there are a few things to consider. You'll want to make sure that it's near a water source and in a location that doesn't get very much sun. Hang the bat house at least 15 feet off the ground so the bats can easily find it.

Building a bat house is a very easy DIY project that just about anyone can do. It's also a quick project taking just an hour or two.

  • 01 of 05

    $20 DIY Bat House

    A bat house hanging on a white house
    Yellow Brick Home

    This bat house looks so good; it's almost like placing a piece of modern art in your home. This single-chamber bat house is built out of cedar and plywood and measures 18" wide and 24" high. The inside of the house is grooved, so the bats have a nice place to hang and rest. All the supplies cost less than $20, making it a budget project that doesn't look like one.

    $20 DIY Bat House from Yellow Brick Home

  • 02 of 05

    Bat House Build

    A black bat house on a fence

    Dunn Lumber 

    This well-thought-out bat house plan has been designed after a lot of research on why bat houses fail or succeed. This large bat house measures 26 inches by 18 inches. It's a three-chamber bat house, so it can hold a ton of bats at one time, around 70 of them. The inside of the bat house is textured with a crosshatch pattern cut into the interior wood pieces before assembly.

    To finish, everything is painted black inside and out, so the bats have a cozy place to live. This plan is a little more detailed, so it will take about 2 to 3 hours to build.

    Bat House Build from Dunn Lumber

  • 03 of 05

    How to Build a DIY Bat House

    A bat house hanging on a tree

    Thrift Diving 

    Kids can get involved in building a bat house, and this free plan uses a Build Your Own Bat Cave learning activity so kids can learn to build while learning all about bats at the same time. Besides the building directions and photos, there's also a video that takes you through the whole process.

    Plywood, cedar fencing, and cedar boards are used to build this bat house. It has a unique interior made of mesh and is painted black, so it's extra cozy for the bats. It's all finished with a coat of stain to protect it from the elements and a stencil of a few bats just for fun.

    How to Build a DIY Bat House from Thrift Diving

  • 04 of 05

    How to Build a Bat House

    A bat house on the side of a building


    To build this simple bat house, you'll need just two cedar boards cut into a few different pieces. It has an excellent sleek design that would look great on the side of your home. Along with the material list and building instructions, a great video takes you through this simple project.

    How to Build a Bat House from WoodLogger

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Build Your Own Bat Box

    Two bat boxes in a garage
    100 Things 2 Do

    This detailed tutorial will take you through each step of building a bat house. The notched inside gives the bats plenty of room to hang on and rest. It's also tightly sealed to protect them from predators. There are lots of other tips here that you won't want to miss.

    Build Your Own Bat Box from 100 Things 2 Do

  • How large should a bat house be?

    Bats need a space at least 24 inches tall and 14 inches wide, with an opening at the bottom, preventing the accumulation of bat droppings. The taller and wider, the better.

  • How high should bat houses be?

    Erect a bat house at least 12 feet off the ground and 20 feet from tree lines, structures, and other obstacles.

  • What is the best basic design for a bat house?

    Bats like to nest in trees, ideally in tight spaces like the space between bark and a tree trunk. This tightness keeps it warm for their babies. To mimic its natural habitat, make narrow wooden chambers about 20 inches tall (in a 24-inch tall bat box). Each thin section inside the house should be at least 3/4-inch to 2 inches wide, spanning the length of the box. Paint the box dark and roughen the wood inside, similar to tree bark.

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  1. Bat houses. Georgia Department of Natural Resources.