How to Build a Birdhouse
Construct a Cozy Little Home for Your Winged Neighbors
A birdhouse is a wonderful way to attract beneficial wildlife to your yard. However, not all birds use houses to rear their young. Birds that seek homes for their nests are cavity dwellers. These birds look for natural cavities in trees to raise their babies. Fortunately, there are many bird species that will nest in birdhouses. Making a birdhouse does require an understanding of the type of bird you want to attract, along with some basic DIY skills. This birdhouse plan is specifically designed for bluebirds and is perfect for a beginner DIYer.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Miter saw or hand saw
- Cordless drill
- 1 1/2-inch hole saw drill bit or 1 1/2-inch spade drill bit
- 1/8-inch drill bit
- Phillips screwdriver bit
- Paint brush
- 1 Pine or cedar board, 1 feet by 6 feet
- 16 1 1/4-inch exterior wood screws
- 1 1-inch zinc-plated hook and eye
- 1 1-inch zinc-plated hinge
- Outdoor paint
Cut the 1-foot by 6-foot pine or cedar board into the following dimensions:
- Back: 13 1/2 inches x 6 inches
- Front: 9 inches x 6 inches
- Roof: 7 1/2 inches x 6 inches
- Sides: (2) 9 inches x 6 inches
- Floor: 4 inches x 6 inches
Drill Entrance Hole
Attach the 1 1/2-inch hole saw bit or 1 1/2-inch spade bit to your drill. Drill the entrance 1 1/2-inch hole centered 6 inches above the bottom of the front board. This hole needs to be precise because it allows enough room for the bluebird to enter through. Set the front of the box aside.
Line up the Side
Line up one of the side boards with the long side floor board.
To make attaching it easier, turn the side wall and floor on the side. The side wall should be perpendicular to the floor. Stack the other cut pieces of woods underneath to help keep it in place. Pre-drill two holes through the bottom end of the side, about 1/2 inch in from the sides and 3/8 inch from the bottom (it doesn’t need to be precise, it just needs to catch the floorboard for a secure attachment).
Attach Side Wall
Attach the side board to the floorboard with two 1 1/4-inch exterior wood screws.
Attach Front Wall
Flip the pieces over with the side you just attached to the left. Place the front of the house on the assembled floor and left side. Pre-drill two holes on the bottom, about 1/2 inch in from the sides, and two holes on the left side 1 inch from the top and bottom.
Again, it doesn’t have to be precise, just as long the screws will attach securely through the front piece to the bottom and side. Attach the front piece with two 1 1/4-inch exterior wood screws on the bottom and two on the side. Leave the right side free. It will become the clean-out door.
Flip the birdhouse so the front of the house is facing down. Place the back board on top, aligning the bottom and sides with the frame underneath. Pre-drill and attach two screws on the bottom and side in the same manner as described earlier.
Slide in Side Wall
Set the frame upright. You will need to slide in the remaining side piece. This piece will not be attached to the frame with screws, but needs to be set in place in order to maintain spacing as you attach the roof.
Place the roof board on top. Pre-drill and attach with the wood screws on the front and left side of the frame. No screws are needed on the right side where you slid in the side piece.
Lay the birdhouse on its front to secure the roof through the back wall with two screws.
Flip the house onto the side, with the unattached side facing up. Center the hinge on the side board, making sure it catches the roof board. Attach with the small wood screws that come with the hinge. This hinge allows you to open and close the side wall so you can clean out the box after the birds have nested.
Attach the hook and eye latch toward the bottom on the front or the back of the house.
Paint the birdhouse an earthy, natural color. Bluebirds are more likely to nest in boxes in earth tones that resemble the trunk of a tree. To hang, place the house 5 to 10 feet high on a post facing an open field or yard. You can attach it directly to a fence post with exterior wood screws.