simple bird house plan

Things You Should Know About Choosing DIY Birdhouse Plans

If you are a DIY woodworking enthusiast or are a bird lover and are looking to build a nice birdhouse to attract birds in your backyard, then you have landed in the right place. In this article, we will discuss everything that you need to know about building birdhouses – right from why you should consider building one to the basic birdhouse guidelines, choosing the right birdhouse plans, finding free resources online and much more.

simple bird house plan
Example of a free & very detailed woodworking birdhouse plan.

Rapid urbanization has led to the decrease in the trees and green areas in our surroundings. As a result, birds do not often get suitable places to set up their homes. That is why building birdhouses and keeping them in your backyard or garden is a great idea. It offers the birds a shelter and provides them a safe place to stay. Birdhouses are designed to resemble a hole in a tree and as long as they are perfectly built with enough space; birds will definitely be attracted to it and will make it their home.

The very first thing that you need to consider when choosing birdhouse plans is, if it is the best one for the bird you are trying to attract. Carry a research about the birds that are present in your locality and accordingly decide on the type of bird you want to occupy your birdhouse. This little research will help you in choosing the correct birdhouse plan.

Factors that you need to take into account include:

  • The size of the entrance hole – this is the one through which the bird will enter to nest in the house.
  • Safety features – you must provide ventilation holes and use bird friendly materials to build it.
  • Size: the floor size of the bird house must be as per the bird’s nesting requirements.

Typically, the diameter of the opening of the birdhouse is in the range of 1-1.5” and is generally positioned near the top of the front of the house and is at a distance of 5” from the floor. This is just a general guideline. There are various resources online which will provide you with the exact dimensions of birdhouse suitable for different birds.

The best material to use for making birdhouses is natural wood, like redwood, pine or cedar. It is important to remember that you should not paint or varnish the interior of the birdhouse as it will turn the birds away. We must try to keep it as natural as possible and if you do want to paint the exterior make sure to use only non-toxic paint. Typically, birdhouses should have slanting roof so that when it rains, water simply rolls down its slants. Also, it is advisable to not have perches on the outdoor birdhouses as they prove more useful to the predators than the birds! Once, you have decided on the basics of your birdhouse, you have to search for a suitable birdhouse plan, construct it and place it in your backyard or garden at a height of around 3 to 10 feet. Do ensure that the place where you keep it doesn’t have much human interference as some birds do not like it.

Now that you have the basics of birdhouse building in place, let us know discuss some simple DIY birdhouse plans that you can try and start with:

The basic bluebird birdhouse:

simple birdhouse
Basic bluebird birdhouse made with a free woodworking plan.

This type of birdhouse is quite simple to make and is typically made from redwood, pine or cedar wood boards which are quite easily available at home centers. If you are trying to attract eastern bluebirds, hole dimension of 1 ½” is ideal while for western bluebird 1 9/16” hole is advisable. In order to attract bluebirds to it, it is important to give it as natural look as possible. Ideally, one side of this bluebird house is kept swing-open as it offers the convenience of cleaning and keeping nests of unwanted birds at bay.

Screech owl birdhouse:

Like most birds, screeching owls also look for tree cavities to set up their nests. Since, such spaces are rapidly decreasing, these birds easily move into a man-made birdhouse. The nesting house for screech owl can be made from a single pine or cedar board of the dimensions 1″ x 10″ x 8′.

Clustered birdhouse:

In a clustered birdhouse, three or four independent units are made and are clustered together to give a condo type look. These units are actually six sided square boxes that can be made from pine or cedar. Each unit is of different length and that is why it creates an interesting look when combined.

American kestrel birdhouse

Creating a birdhouse for the American kestrel is one of the easiest woodworking projects that you can undertake.  It can be made from a pine or cedar board of dimensions 1″ x 12″ x 10′.

Wondering where you can get the plans for all these types of birdhouses? We have an extensive collection of several woodworking projects & patterns – including birdhouse plans.

The good news for beginners in woodworking is that there are plenty of other online resources that you can use for choosing birdhouse plans for building birdhouses for various birds.

Here, we have listed a few of the popular ones:

Andy’s Free Bird House Plans (

This site features various types of birdhouse plans that suits birds like flickers, phoebes, wrens and purple martins.

Shaw Creek Bird Supply (

This site will be useful for those looking for a variety of birdhouse plans for birds like for nuthatches, owls, swallows, ducks and more.

Birdhouse Buzz: (

This site has a good number of plans that will suit wrens, flycatchers, house finches, and more.

Crafts on Squidoo (

There are a good number of stylish and innovative birdhouse plans and designs with detailed instructions.

Birds And Blooms (

Finally, one essential tip before you start making your first birdhouse. Make it a point to read the instructions of a particular birdhouse plan you choose a couple of times, so that you understand the process well. Also, gather all the tools and materials that you will need to create the birdhouse before beginning the process.

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