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Build a bat house

This bat house works best when mounted on a building or similar structure, where temperatures are more stable. When pole-mounting, add extra chambers or build two of these houses and pair them back to back (facing north and south). Mount pairs on two poles with a 1-inch gap between the houses to provide temperatures suitable for a nursery colony.

For more information on bats, go to

Materials Needed (makes 1)

  • 1/4 sheet ( 2′ x 4′ ) 1/2″ cdx (outdoor grade) plywood
  • One piece 1″ x 2″ (3/4″ x 1 3/4″ finished) x 8′ pine (furring strip)
  • 20-30 1 1/4″ coated deck or exterior-grade Phillips screws
  • One pint black, water-based stain, exterior-grade
  • One pint water-based primer, exterior-grade
  • One quart flat water-based paint or stain, exterior-grade
  • One tube paintable latex caulk
  • 1″ x 3″ x 28″ board for roof (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Black asphalt shingles or galvanized metal (optional)
  • 6-10 7/8″ roofing nails (optional)

Recommended ToolsBat House Image 1

  • table saw or handsaw
  • caulking gun
  • variable speed reversing drill
  • paintbrushes
  • Phillips bit for drill
  • tape measure or yardstick
  • scissors (optional)
  • staple gun (optional)

Construction Procedure

  1. Measure and cut plywood into three pieces:
    • 26 1/2″ x 24″
    • 16 1/2″ x 24″
    • 5″ x 24″
  2. Roughen inside of backboard and landing area by cutting horizontal grooves with sharp object or saw. Space grooves about 1/2″ apart, cutting 1/16″ to 1/32″ deep.
  3. Apply two coats of black, water-based stain to interior surfaces. Do not use paint, as it will fill grooves, making them unusable.
  4. Measure and cut furring into one 24″ and two 20 1/4″ pieces.
  5. Attach furring strips to back, caulking first. Start with 24″ piece at top. Roosting chamber will be 3/4″ wide (front to back).
  6. Attach front to furring strips, top piece first (don’t forget to caulk). Leave 1/2″ vent space between top and bottom front pieces.
  7. Caulk around all outside joints to further seal roosting chamber.
  8. Attach a 1″ x 3″ x 28″ board to the top as a roof, if desired (optional, but highly recommended).
  9. Paint or stain exterior three times (use primer for first coat).
  10. Cover roof with shingles or galvanized metal (optional).

Bat House Image 2

Optional Modifications to the Small Economy Bat House

  1. Wider bat houses can be built for larger colonies. Be sure to adjust dimensions for back and front pieces and ceiling strip. A 3/4″ support spacer may be required in the center of the roosting chamber for bat houses over 24″ wide to prevent warping.
  2. Two bat houses can be placed back to back, mounted on poles. Before assembly, a horizontal 3/4″ slot should be cut in the back of each house about 9″ from the bottom edge of the back piece to permit movement of bats between houses. Two pieces of wood, 1″ x 4″ x 4 1/4″, screwed horizontally to each side, will join the two boxes. To provide additional roosting space, leave a 3/4″ space between the two houses, and roughen the wood surfaces or cover the back of each with plastic mesh. (Do not cover the rear exit slots; see item 4 below). One 1″ x 4″ x 34″ vertical piece attached to each side over the horizontal pieces blocks light, but allows bats and air to enter. A galvanized metal roof, covering both houses, protects the center roosting area from rain. Eaves should be about 3″ in southern areas and about 1 1/2″ in the north.
  3. Ventilation may not be necessary in cold climates. In this case, the front should be a single piece 23″ long. Smaller bat houses like this one will be less successful in cool climates. However, those mounted on buildings gain heat faster, maintain thermal stability better and are more likely to attract bats.
  4. Durable plastic mesh can be substituted for roughening to provide footholds for bats. Attach one 20″ x 22 1/2″ piece to backboard after staining interior, but prior to assembly.

32 Comments on Build a bat house

  1. Is it possible for me to use this for an Eagle Scout Project?

  2. says says awesome // November 17, 2013 at 4:48 pm // Reply


  3. Can I use these plans for an eagle project?

  4. How long does it take to build this

  5. How long does it take to build


  7. i’d love to build this

  8. What is the :K :S :A for

  9. when you get your box done how do you get the bats to come to your box thankyou


    • the next time she gets a mosquito bite, or squeals about a flying bug she sees, tell her that one little bat can eat up to 1200 mosquitoes in an hour- and they also eat all kinds of other bugs! A bat house in your yard will keep the whole area mosquito and bug free- try that!

    • bats are cool

    • hey i got to build one for SWAG at school in science projects

  11. how much does this usually cost to build one??

  12. perfect

  13. man this is great!

  14. Optimus Prime // October 20, 2008 at 8:33 pm // Reply

    To batman, you should use plywood.

    S.(sucsess) T. (tip) Stain the boards with black stain before asembly.

  15. Optimus Prime // October 20, 2008 at 8:30 pm // Reply

    Me and my dad built a huge one with 4 layers!! We call it “Bat Condo.”

  16. what kind of wood should i use?

  17. hi i built a bathouse using some old boards off my barn.i simply staggered three planks about 1/2 apart giving me 6 slats for the bats.after 2 weeks i checked inside and there had to be at least 20 bats in there!!cost to construct…………zero!!

  18. Great instructions…maybe a photo of the completed project!

  19. umm id make it if i had bats lol

  20. coolestdudeever // April 3, 2007 at 5:09 pm // Reply

    its way more easy to glue some wooden skewers to the backboard than to try to roughen it up or attach plastic [that could potentially catch and choke a bat]. works just as well, even easyer for the bats to grab onto.

  21. Cool site. I thought you might like to have add a link about bat house plans for even bigger houses since those tend to work better. My site just happens to provide suck plans. Here’s the info:

    Scott’s Bat House Plan Page

    Good Luck,


    Scott’s Backyard Habitat Enhancement

  22. like to see other bat houses with instructions like three chambered

  23. Would like to see this in PDF format

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