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Building A Simple Wooden Birdhouse

Building A Simple Wooden Birdhouse main article image
Posted on March 2, 2021 by Heidi Fust

I don’t think there is anything better than watching a bird family fly in and out of a birdhouse that I built in my backyard. I never get tired of seeing who’s flying in to visit. Have you ever thought about building a simple wooden birdhouse for your yard, deck, or garden? 

Add the beauty of the birds to your yard and build your own simple wooden birdhouse. I also find that birdhouses can be desirable gifts.

This is a relatively straightforward project that will add a beautiful handmade item to your space and be practical for our feathered friends. Adding birdhouses will attract more birds to your property. It will also be an enjoyable focal point in your yard to watch the birds and their habits. As well as adding to the pleasant chirping noises from baby birds.

Benefits of birdhouses for kids

If you have children, birdhouses will be very informative to them as well as educational. A birdhouse can be used for a STEM project, teaching woodworking skills, or incorporating daily journaling by recording bird behavior. If your children love to see nature in their own backyard, building a simple wooden birdhouse with them will really be exciting. 

hanging wooden birdhouses in the spring

Birdhouse Building Factors

Constructing a birdhouse does seem like a simple project. Still, many details must be considered to attract specific birds. Understanding what nesting birds need and how best to meet those needs in the type of constructed birdhouse is critical. 

Factors that influence which bird will use a birdhouse or a nesting box include.

  • The location of the birdhouse
  • Hanging, wall-mounted, or on a post
  • The mounting height
  • The style and shape of the birdhouse
  • The entry and exit hole size.
  • The total depth of cavity and height of the house
  • Overall interior space.
  • Materials used to make the birdhouse.

Begin by making a plan

When starting a project, the most important thing is to start with a plan and end results in mind. There are several birdhouses online with styles and design ideas to research. To build the best birdhouse for your space, discover which nesting birds are most common in your area.

A well-built birdhouse will be a popular place for nesting birds to raise their baby birds in a safe and sturdy place for many generations. To make a comfortable birdhouse consider the following;

  • Ventilation holes for temperature control.
  • Drainage holes to help reduce waste, water and to help improve ventilation.
  • Extend the roof slightly over the entry hole to keep the rain out.
  • Use only natural-untreated materials.
  • Use non-toxic paint that is safe for wildlife. 
  • Avoid structures that make it easier for predators to access the nest.
  • Include a hinged roof or side door that can be opened for clean-up in the off-season.

Adding these details will ensure that the birdhouse you are building is safe, comfortable, and attractive to birds.

A simple wood birdhouse plan

This birdhouse plan below can be used to attract bluebirds, swallows, chickadees, nuthatches, warblers, wrens, and other birds to your backyard or garden. This simple wooden birdhouse will be made from one board, a few tools, and some hardware to assemble.

Tools Needed 

  • Safety glasses 
  • Ear protection
  • Screwdriver or powered drill
  • Hand saw or powered table saw
  • Spade Drill bit to match desires size entry hole
  • Sandpaper (optional)

Materials Needed

  • 1 nontreated wood board – 1in x 6in x 5ft (2.5cm x 15cm x 150cm)
  • Screws

Step 1 Cutting the board.

Cut the 1×6 board following the size guide below. If desired, you can sand the pieces smoothly after cutting. 

simple wooden birdhouse design paln

Step 2 Creating the entry hole. 

Measure the entry hole height for the desires species of bird. Using a spade bit, drill the entrance to the birdhouse to the diameter needed for that species. 

Entry hole size for wood birdhouse

Step 3 Predrill holes. 

Using a drill and a correct size drill bit for the screws you are using, drill pilot holes for the screws. This will help prevent the wood from cracking or splitting when drilling the screws. Countersink the heads of the screws. 

Step 4 Assembly

Start by screwing the floor to the back wall of the birdhouse. Repeat with attaching the front wall to the floor. 

Place each side piece in and screw them in place.

Next are the roof pieces. You can add hinges to one roof panel for easy access. Or you can remove one of the side pieces when it is time to clean it out for the next batch of birds. 

Adding a perch is optional. It does allow the bird easier access inside and to rest comfortably, but it is not needed. I like providing a perch and find that the birds use it often. To add a perch, you can use a dowl of wood 2-3″ long. Drill a hole 1.5″ below the entry hole and glue it in place. You can also glue on a square or triangle piece of wood large enough for the bird to land on if you would not like to install a traditional perch. 

Wooden birdhouse mounted in tree

Step 5 Painting or decorating

Linseed oil is an excellent finish for a birdhouse. It reveals the beautiful grain in the wood and helps protect it from the weather. If you prefer to paint your birdhouse, use non-toxic paint if you prefer a particular color. 

Gluing rocks, sticks, or shells is another way you can decorate your birdhouse. 

Step 6 Mount or hang the birdhouse. 

Mount your new birdhouse in an area that is best suited for the species of bird. Most birds prefer their house to be in a more concealed location. They also enjoy branches or another structure so they can keep an eye on their nest and the babies inside. 

The higher you can hang your birdhouse, the more protection it will have from cats and other predators. Face the entry away from the winds, which will also help keep the rain out. 

I hope you have been inspired to build your own birdhouse. I would enjoy seeing yours and hearing what birds moved in. 

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Really want to try out this project - thank you also for the detailed measurements and the helpful information per type of bird!

What an amazing idea! Thank you for sharing this detailed tutorial :)

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