How to Build a Modern Birdhouse

This summer I built a modern birdhouse and I can’t wait to see who moves in!

What I like most about this birdhouse is that the materials I used were items I already had available around my workshop (2×4’s) and by adding a couple of angles to a simple design the birdhouse took on a modern design.

BUILD-modern-birdhouse

I’m excited about how it turned out. Anyone can build this birdhouse as it is simply building a box and adding an angled roof to it. Feel free to customize this design as much as you’d like and if you build one send photos to us as we’d love to see it!

Here are some photos of the birdhouse build as well as the finished project.

Materials:
8 pieces of 10 1/2″ cut 2×4’s
1 18×20″ piece of MDF or hobby wood for the roof
1 12×12″ piece of plywood for the base
30 deck screws
1 small hinge

Tools:
drill/driver
wood glue
measuring tape
sealant or paint

Cut Your Wood

Trim your 2×4’s into 8 pieces that are 10 1/2″ in length.

Sand the Edges

Sand the edges of your 2×4 pieces. We used the RIDGID Jobmax oscillating tool with the sanding attachment which made quick work of any burrs or splinters. Sandpaper and a block also work.

sand-edges-oscillating

Layout the Design

Layout the 2×4 pieces as shown to make sure they fit together nicely. We only went with two levels but you can go as high as you’d like. We’d suggest maxing out at three levels.

build-birdhouse-top-level

Add the Roof

Layout the roof and make sure it fully covers and extends past the edges of the birdhouse. We had to attach two pieces of white pine hobby wood but it’s best to stick to one complete piece.

layout-roof

Assemble the Sides

Pre-drill two holes into each end then attach pieces by first applying wood glue and then use deck screws which are water and corrosive resistant as this birdhouse will be used outdoors.

drill-holes-birdhouse

Attach the Door

Cut the last piece of 2×4 into a shorter 6″ length so there is room for an opening. We wanted to be able to swing the door open and have better access to cleaning out the inside but you can glue and screw this piece on permanently if you’d like.

We also matched the hinge to the screw heads so it would have a nice brass finish all around.

birdhouse-hinge

Attach your birdhouse base to the sides with glue and screws which are driven in from the bottom.

birdhouse-base

Paint or Seal

Use a waterproofing sealant or paint your birdhouse to protect it from the elements.

sealant-birdhouse

We attached the screws through two paint sticks then glued those sticks to the roof. It wasn’t ideal but our roof material was too thin to screw through. Make sure you install the roof at an angle to not only ensure the modern look but also make it function for water run-off.

screws-roof

Finish the Door

Attach a paint stick piece to the door which will serve as a latch to keep the door from swinging open on it’s own. You simply reach in and turn the latch and the door will swing out.

open-birdhouse-door

Say Hello to the Birds

Let the bird’s know you are open for business and enjoy!!!

bird-on-birdhouse
birdhouse-front-new
back-birdhouse
birdhouse-bird-sitting

As seen in
Built by Kids Press - New York Times, Webby Awards, Real Simple, Popular Mechanics, InStyle

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  • Nayar0768
    30 Nov ’11 at 5:15 pm

    I build bird houses.first I do research to find out what each species prefers.then I build it to the specifications for that certain type of bird.I build a design that is pleasing to the eye.if this is the bird house of the future I would not want it in my yard. it looks like something that someone lazy would have tried to put together.

  • Roberta
    19 Dec ’11 at 11:06 am

    I love the look of this birdhouse. It’s modern and recycles materials. Great job! I’m going to give it a try. Thanks, roberta

  • Built by Kids
    19 Dec ’11 at 11:37 am

    Thanks Roberta! Send us photos! We’d love to see how your’s turns out.

  • Mel Lunny
    25 Apr ’12 at 11:53 pm

    I love this birdhouse and i think it’s a VERY APPROPRIATE post on a website called BUILTBYKIDS.COM. I would love to have it in my yard if I made it with my child AS IS THE POINT OF ALL PROJECTS ON THIS SITE. If it’s lazy to make simple things such as this to get your kid interested in woodworking then I’m more than glad to be “lazy”!

  • Bailey_shoby
    6 Jun ’12 at 10:09 pm

    My godson will love building this! A few things: one, the size of the hole can be very specific for birds; do you know who this would attract? Secondly, I’d be very careful that the space at the top is not big enough for a racoon to reach into.

  • URL
    13 Jun ’12 at 9:34 am

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