How to Build a Birdhouse
Construct a Cozy Little Home for Your Winged Neighbors
Written by Debbie Wolfe
Image by The Spruce / Debbie Wolfe
- Working Time: 1 - 2 hrs
- Total Time: 1 - 2 hrs
- Yield: 1
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated cost: $20
A birdhouse is a great way to attract beneficial wildlife to your yard. However, not all birds use houses to raise their children. Birds looking for a home for their nests tend to live in the cavity. These birds look for natural cavities in the trees to raise their children. Fortunately, there are many bird species that nest in birdhouses. Creating a birdhouse requires some basic DIY skills as well as an understanding of the type of bird you want to attract. This birdhouse scheme is designed specifically for bluebirds and is perfect for the 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
- 1 Pine or cedar board, 1 foot 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
1. Cut Wood
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
If you do not have a miter or handsaw, many home improvement stores will cut the wood for you.
2. Drill Entrance Hole
Attach a 1 1/2-inch hole saw bit or 1 1/2-inch hoe bit to your drill. Concentrate the entrance 1 1/2-inch hole 6 inches above the bottom of the front board. This hole must be precise as it gives enough space for the bluebird to enter. Set aside the front of the box.
For a Cleaner Cut
A hole saw is easier to use and will give you a cleaner cut.
3. Line up the Side
Line one of the sideboard with a long side floorboard.
To make attachment easier, move the sidewall and floor to the side. The sidewall should be perpendicular to the floor. Keep the other chopped pieces of wood down to help keep them in place. Pre-drill two holes through the bottom end of the side, about 1/2 inch from the sides and 3/8 inch from the bottom (it doesn't need to be precise, it needs to hold the floorboard for a secure attachment).
5. Attach Side Wall
Attach the sideboard to the floor board with two 1 1/4-inch exterior wood screws.
6. Attach Front Wall
Flip the pieces to the side you just added to the left. Place the front of the house on the assembled floor and to the left. Pre-drill two holes on the bottom, about 1/2 inch from the sides, and two holes on the left, 1 inch from the top and bottom.
Again, this does not have to be accurate, just as long as the screws will attach securely to the bottom and sides of the front piece. Attach the front piece to the bottom and two sides with two 1 1/4-inch outer wooden screws. Leave the right side free. This will become a neat door.
7. Attach Back
Flip the birdhouse so that the front of the house is facing down. Place the back board at the top, aligning the bottom and sides with the bottom frame. Pre-drill and attach two screws on the bottom and sides as described earlier.
8. Slide-in Side Wall
Set the frame straight. You have to slide into the remaining side piece. This piece will not be attached to the frame with screws, but it needs to be installed to maintain spacing while attaching the roof.
9. Attach Roof
Place the roof board up. Pre-drill and attach the front and left sides of the frame with wooden screws. Where you slide into the side piece, there is no need for a screw on the right side.
10. Secure Back
Place the birdhouse in front of it to secure the roof through the back wall with two screws.
11. Attach Hinge
Turn the house to the side, with the detached side facing up. Center the hinge on the sideboard, making sure it holds the roof board. Attach the small wood screws that come with the hinge. This hinge allows you to open and close the sidewall so that you can clean the box after the bird's nest.
12. Attach Latch
Attach the hook and eye latch to the front or back of the house.
13. Finishing Up
Paint the birdhouse in a clayey, natural color. Bluebirds are more likely to nest in boxes in earth tones that resemble the trunk of a tree. For hanging, place the house on an open field 5 to 10 feet high towards an open field or courtyard. You can attach it directly to a fence post with external wooden screws.