How to build: Birdhouse


Use any type of soft wood such as Pine. Cedar is also an excellent choice as it is resistant to rot.

  • (2) 3/4" x 5 1/2" x 11" - Front & Back
  • (2) 3/4" x 5 1/2" x 8 1/4" - Sides
  • (1) 3/4" x 5 3/4" x 6 3/4" - Roof
  • (1) 3/4" x 6 1/2" x 6 3/4" - Roof
  • (2) 3/4" x 3 3/8" x 7" - Bottom
  • (4) #10 x 2" wood screws

Although it's possible to nail these birdhouses together, using glue and clamps will yield stronger, more weatherproof results. Be sure to use waterproof glue such as an epoxy or Titebond II, which is waterproof cross-linking PVA glue. Even though it often rated as water-resistant, regular white or yellow carpenter's glue won't stand up to wet outdoor conditions.

Begin by cutting out the parts required for all of the birdhouses that you intend to build. The bevel on the top edge of each side member and the angled edges of the front and back members can be cut using a table saw, compound miter saw, or a handsaw. (Rough handsaw cuts can be smoothed and trued with a sharp plane).

The size of the entrance hole in the front of the house will determine the species of birds likely to move in. A good general-purpose birdhouse will feature a 1 1/2 " round entrance hole. A large spade bit or hole saw mounted in a handheld electric drill or a drill press will work well to create the entrance hole. Drill the hole in each front member before assembly.

Regardless of the type of birds you would like to attract, small ventilation holes should be drilled in the houses you build. Drill these holes where they won't be covered by the building, tree, or pole the house will be mounted to.

Begin assembly by gluing or nailing together the sides, front, back and roof of each house. Attach the bottom members afterwards using screws only, so they can be removed periodically to allow you to clean the birdhouse. As shown in the illustration, the bottom of each house is made in two parts. This allows the front half to remain in place at all times if its to be used to support any decorate elements.

Although the interior of any birdhouse should remain unfinished (bird will peck at the wood), there are many options you can use to finish the exterior. The most durable transparent exterior finishes are designed specifically to resist breakdown due to UV rays. Never use a product that contains a preservative or any other product that could be toxic to birds. Bright colors may frighten birds, so it's best to stick with pastel colors.

Be sure to practice workshop safety at all times.

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