How to Build a Hanging Birdhouse
Everything You Need:
Tools: Drill and 1/16" bit, Spade bit sized for desired entrance hole, Jig saw or circular saw, Carpenter's square, Cordless screwdriver, 1 6 redwood or cedar, 4d galvanized finish nails, Exterior wood glue, Shoulder hook, Screw eyes (2).
Note: Cut all pieces from 1 6 cedar lumber. The actual measurements of dimensional lumber vary: Make sure the lumber you select measures 5 1/2" in width.
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Step A: Cut the Bottom & Sides of the House

1. Cut a 4" square for the bottom of the house. Trim diagonally across each corner, 1/2" from the corner, to allow for drainage.

2. Cut two 4" 5 1/2" pieces for the sides of the house.

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Step B: Cut the Front, Back, & Roof

1. Cut two 5 1/2" 8 3/4" pieces, one for the front and one for the back of the house.

2. On each piece, mark a point 2 3/4" down from the top on each adjacent side. Draw lines from the center point down to these side points, then cut along these lines.

3. Cut one 5 1/2" 6 1/2" piece and one 4 3/4" 6 1/2" piece for the roof.

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Step C: Drill the Entrance Hole & Score Grip Lines

1. Mark a point on the front piece, 6 3/4" from the lower edge, centering the mark from side to side. Place the tip of a spade bit on the marked point and drill an entrance hole. Begin at low speed, and gradually increase the speed as the bit enters the wood.

2. Use a wood screw or an awl to make several deep horizontal scratches on the inside of the front piece, starting 1" below the entrance hole. These grip lines help young birds hold on as they climb up to the entrance hole.

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Step D: Attach the Bottom

1. Apply wood glue to one edge of the bottom piece. Set a side piece in place, so the bottoms of the two pieces are flush. Drill pilot holes and secure the pieces with 4d galvanized finish nails.

2. Apply wood glue to the edges of the side and bottom. Align the front piece and adjust until its edge is flush with the face of the side. Drill pilot holes and secure the front to the side, using 4d finish nails. Repeat this process to attach the back.

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Step E: Install the Pivoting Side Wall

Put the remaining side piece in place, but do not glue it. To secure this piece to the front wall and back pieces, drive a nail through the front and another through the back wall, each positioned about 5/8" from the upper edge. This arrangement allows the piece to pivot.

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Step F: Add the Roof

1. Apply glue to the upper edges of one side of the front and back. Set the 4 3/4" 6 1/2" roof piece on the house with its upper edge aligned with the peak of the house.

2. Apply glue to the 5 1/2" 6 1/2" roof piece and set it in position. Drill pilot holes and drive nails through the roof and into the front. Repeat to secure the roof to the back of the house

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Step G: Add the Finishing Touches

1. Drill a pilot hole in the edge of the front piece, placed about 1" from the lower edge of the house. Screw in a shoulder hook, positioning it to hold the side closed.

2. Sand the birdhouse smooth, and then paint or stain it as desired.

You can embellish this basic birdhouse many ways. There are, however, a few important things to keep in mind: Don't paint or apply preservatives to the inside of the house, the inside edge of the entrance hole, or within 1/4" of the face of the entrance hole. And remember, some birds are wary of bright colors, so stay within medium tones as you choose paint and ornaments. If you live in a warm climate, avoid using black or other very dark colors- absorb heat and can make the house too hot for birds to inhabit.

3. Attach screw eyes through the roof, near the peak. Attach chains to the screw eyes and hang the birdhouse.

Bird Diameter of Hole
Carolina Wren 11/2"
Chickadee 11/8"
Downy Woodpecker 11/4"
House Wren & Winter Wren 1" to 1/2"
Nuthatch 11/4 "
Titmouse 11/4 "