How to Build a Birdhouse for Finches

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Finches are small birds that don't require large homes. You can make a finch birdhouse with scrap wood or pieces you buy at a lumber store. Using a saw and a few screws and/or nails, you can create a bird house for finches in no time. Once you've built your birdhouse, make sure you put it in the right place and make it safe for your new feathered friends to make their nest and raise their chicks.

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Finches don’t require large homes.
Image Credit: Andrey Sayfutdinov/iStock/GettyImages

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Think about the location

The best finch birdhouse is placed is a proper location. You want to place the door facing away from the wind (if you know the usual direction of your area's wind). Based on your climate, you'll want to keep the birdhouse out of the sun to avoid it becoming an oven or place it in the sunlight if you want it to be warm for the birds during cold weather spells.

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If you put the bird house near trees, a house roof, a trellis, or another area where critters can climb, your finches might not be safe. Make sure curious neighborhood kids don't find the finch house an attractive curiosity with easy access while you're away.

Collect your materials

Choose a rough wood so the birds can grasp it and climb onto and into it. Look for boards or remnants that are about 3/4 inch thick. Don't sand your wood smooth unless you want to do that for aesthetic reasons. Your finches will still be able to get in and out of the house.

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Buy or find enough wood to make a birdhouse that is about 6 inches tall and 6 inches wide on all sides. This will give the birds enough room to build a nest, fit comfortably inside, and warm the house with their body heat on cold nights. Buy pieces of wood that are at least 8 inches in length so you can measure and cut to fit based on your roof design.

If you have a choice, use screws to keep your wooden house together. Nails can pull out, while screws have to be unscrewed, making the house sturdier. Pounding nails incorrectly can also split your wood.

Make the finch birdhouse

Cut a piece of wood for the floor that's 6 by 6 inches. Cut three 6-inch-high walls that match the diameter of the floor. Cut the back wall about 7.5 inches. You'll let about a 1/2 inch of the back wall extend below the floor and another inch rise above the sides if you want a shed roof that leans forward.

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Screw the four walls into the sides of the floor board. Alternatively, you can place the four walls onto the floor board (it will need to be larger than 6 inches) and put the screws into the wall boards by drilling from underneath the floor board into the walls. You will need to cut a 2-inch square or round hole in the front of the house for a door about 4 inches above the floor.

Make a roof

If you create a shed roof consisting of one board that is slightly higher toward the back of the house than the front (or vice versa), you'll only need one piece of wood for the roof, and it will help water run off. You'll need to make either the front or back board of the birdhouse taller than the other side and saw the two sides on an angle to create your pitch.

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If you want a gable roof (that looks like the letter "A"), you'll need two pieces of wood. Once they are attached to each other, you'll need to seal the gap in the middle of the roof with silicon, a piece of metal, or another waterproof barrier. You will need to saw the front and back wood pieces of the house to accommodate the pitch — you don't want large gaps anywhere in the house. It is a good idea to leave a small gap on either side of the roof for ventilation no matter which roof style you choose.

Think about creating a roof you can open and shut using hinges. This will allow you to get inside to clean the house each season after the birds are gone.

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Think about amenities and security

You can help your finches by putting some nontoxic nesting material inside or on the roof, which they can use to build their nests. You can choose straw, twigs, grass clippings, or leaves. To keep critters from climbing up a pole on which you put the house, choose a metal pole that you can grease, as animals will keep sliding down if they try to climb it.

Drill two small ventilation holes toward the bottom of the house to help create air circulation using the gaps you left near the roof. You can put a perch at the front of the door to let your finches step outside and survey their surroundings or take a peek inside the house before they enter. Because the house will be small, you don't need to insulate it. Just make sure it's waterproof.

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