How to Build a Birdhouse | House One

Everyone has scrap wood laying around the shop or garage. Why not put it to use? Building a birdhouse is a simple woodworking project that parents can include their young children in. Follow these steps to learn how to build a birdhouse with everyday materials.

Steps for Building a Birdhouse:

1. Size the Pieces

Using a miter saw and the provided cut list, cut the 1×6 board and ¼-inch plywood pieces to size. Mark the center point along the top edge of the front and back walls. From the center point, clip each top corner at a 45-degree miter to create a peak.

Cut list and dimensions for building a birdhouse

Jenn Largesse

2. Drill an Opening

On the front board, make a mark centered on the width of the board 3½-inches from its peak. Using a hole saw, paddle bit, or jigsaw, create a hole that’s about 1¾-inches in diameter.

3. Attach the Sides and Front

Set the two “sides” on edge so that a 4¾-inch-tall edge is facing upward. Apply glue to each edge. Place the front of the birdhouse onto the edges with the sides of the front setting flush with the outside face of each wall. Using a nailer, drive 1¼-inch brad nails through the face of the birdhouse and into the edge of each side wall.

Dimensions for building a wooden birdhouse

Jenn Largesse

4. Add the Back

Flip the assembly. Apply glue to the back edge of each side wall. Place the back of the birdhouse onto the sides. Drive 1¼-inch nails through the back and into the side walls.

5. Mount the Base

Apply wood glue to the bottom edge of all four walls. Position the base so that its back edge sets flush with the back wall and the front stretches beyond the birdhouse’s front wall to create a ledge. Nail through the base and into each adjoining wall.

6. Attach the Roof

Apply wood glue to the peak of the front and back walls. Place the shorter roof panel into place, flush with the tip of the peak. Nail through the roof and into the front and back wall to secure it in place. Position the second roof panel, overlapping the exposed top edge of the first panel. Nail through the roof and into the front and back walls to complete the assembly.

7. Apply the Finish

Fill all the nail holes with exterior-grade wood filler. Let dry. Sand the assembly smooth. Apply two coats of exterior paint or wood stain.

8. Add a Hanger

Drill a hole in each side of the roof along the peak. Push a piece of twine down through the hole, and then pull it through the front opening with a pair of pliers. Knot the end and then pull it back up against the inside of the roof. Repeat on the opposite side to create a loop. (As an alternative, attach an exterior-grade hook, or skip the hanger altogether and set the birdhouse on a sturdy surface.)


Cut List:

  • 1 x 6 Front and Back Wall– 2 @ 7½ inches
  • 1 x 6 Side Walls – 2 @ 4¾”H x 4½”D
  • 1 x 6 Base – 1 @ 8 inches
  • ¼” Plywood Roof Panel – 1 @ 8”D x 5 ½”W
  • ¼” Plywood Roof Panel – 1 @ 8”D x 5 ¼”W


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