Building a birdhouse

Make a birdhouse and enjoy watching the nesting birds right from your own yard or garden.

Step-by-Step Directions


Cut pieces to size for birdhouse. From a 1" X 6" X 4' cedar board cut: 2 pieces 4" square (bottom & spacer), 2 pieces 5 ½" X 8" (front & back), 2 pieces 4" X 4 ½" (sides), 1 piece 4 ¾" X 6 ½" (roof), 1 piece 5 ½" X 6 ½" (roof). To allow for bottom drainage and air holes, drill holes near corners of bottom piece – hold or clamp wood to keep it from spinning as you drill.


Front and Back: mark top center of front and back board (2 ¾"). Now, measure down from each side 2 ¾". Draw a line from center mark to side marks for pitch of roof. Cut on line (this will be a 45-degree, angle cut).


Roof: cut one board shorter since we are butting edges together and not mitering at the point of the roof. Make the piece shorter by the same thickness of the board you are using, ¾" in this case.


Entrance Hole: drill an entrance hole using a 1" spade bit (or size bit for the type bird you hope to attract). The hole can be located in the middle of the front of the birdhouse about where the roof overhangs the sides.


Assembly: use a premium adhesive like Loctite® PL Premium® Advanced. This adhesive is extremely strong and has high initial tack, minimizing the amount of bracing/nailing needed until the adhesive takes hold. It is water and weatherproof and ideal for outdoor use. Apply adhesive to one edge of birdhouse bottom, align to bottom of one side. Use an awl to start pilot hole for finish nails. Cedar is very soft and easy to hammer into. Use a 4" X 4" spacer placed under top end of side piece to help steady while nailing.


Attach front and back pieces to bottom following directions in step 5 – glue & nail.


Align second side piece in place (no glue) and attach with nails about 1" down from top on each side. This allows door to swing open for easy cleaning. To make a latch: hammer a finish nail into the side edge of the birdhouse front, close to the bottom (only nail in about ¼") and bend nail over to hold “swinging” side in place.


Apply Loctite PL Premium Advanced adhesive to top edges of birdhouse and align shorter roof piece flush with back, overhang in front and align upper edge of roof to peak of house. Glue second roof piece (larger piece) aligning the upper edge of this second piece with top of the secured piece. Set nails and fill with wood putty.


To hang, mount on a pole, post or attach screw eyes and chain (near peak). The birdhouse is flush on the back so you can also mount it directly to a tree or fence using "L" brackets. If attaching to a flat surface, you can glue it in place with Loctite PL Premium Advanced. Brace in position until the adhesive dries.


  • By nature, cedar is a little rough and that is part of the charm of using cedar, so don't over sand. Your cedar birdhouse will weather and look rustic over time.