Build a better birdhouse

Start with our directions for a basic wood shell, then embellish as you like. Get the free plans and design ideas

Shed-roof birdhouse
Photo: Noel Barnhurst

This shed-roof birdhouse, sized for small birds such as wrens, chickadees, and bluebirds, incorporates bird-friendly characteristics: the deep overhang, perchless entry, openings for air circulation, and easy access to the interior for cleaning. It's built from rough-sawn redwood, but you can substitute other woods. The birdhouse is based on a design from Howard Rathlesberger, a member of the California Bluebird Recovery Program: CBRP, 2021 Ptarmigan Dr., Suite 1, Walnut Creek, CA 94595.

TIME: About an hour

COST: About $5


4 feet of 1-by-6 redwood fencing

25 inches of 1-by-8 fencing

15 1½-inch woodscrews

Two eightpenny nails


You don't have to be a woodworking whiz to build the shell: it requires only straight cuts that you can make with a handsaw, saber saw, circular saw, or table saw. You'll also need:

Electric drill

Drill bits

1¼-inch paddle bit

Tape measure

Straight-edged ruler or combination square


Next: Directions


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