Congrats, your siding project is finished, and your exterior is looking brand new! But you are stuck with some extra panels of siding and wondering, "What should I do with my leftover siding?" The answer is simple: a DIY birdhouse to match your exterior! Even if you don't think you are a handy craftsman, a birdhouse is a perfect project to make you feel like a pro.
Part 1: Supplies
Before you start your DIY birdhouse, you will want to gather all supplies needed. You don't want to be halfway through and realize you didn't get the right nails or don't have the correct drill bit size!
In this project, we used:
– Leftover 6" trim in Terra Bronze
– Touch-up paint in Terra Bronze
– Hand saw or compound Miter Saw (ask a friend or neighbor!)
– Tape measure
– 7/32" & 1/4" drill bits
– Electric drill
– 2" screws
– 3" galvanized finish nails
– 1 ½" hole saw
Part 2: Measuring + Cutting Down Leftover Siding
Look over your birdhouse plan and begin to measure and mark the various lengths needed for the birdhouse. We cut out all of the required pieces for the birdhouse from one piece of leftover trim with a Miter Saw. Once all pieces are cut to size, lay them out to double-check you have enough of the various sizes needed before moving on. Note: the bottom part you may need to cut shorter/longer than the instructions based on the thickness of your siding as the side pieces will go around the bottom piece. Our trim is 1" thick, so we adjusted our measurement to accommodate.
You will end up with one 13.5" piece, three 9" pieces, one 7.5" piece, and one 4" piece.
Part 3: Pre-Drill Holes
Before you begin, set up the unassembled pieces into the birdhouse to ensure everything is aligning correctly. On the front panel, mark where you will need to screw that piece into the side and bottom pieces.
First, let's make the ¼" holes used for airflow inside the birdhouse to prevent it from getting too warm for the bird and her eggs during the summer. These holes can be about 1" from the edge. When the airflow holes are complete, drill the hole on the back piece. This hole is for hanging or mounting your birdhouse - feel free to skip this hole, adjust its position, or add more depending on how you would like yours to be displayed. We drilled ours 2" from the top and directly in the middle of the 13.5" piece.
Next, change out the drill bit to the 7/32" bit to pre-drill holes in your cut-out pieces for the 2" screws; this will prevent the siding from splitting if you were to drill in the screw without a hole.
Once the 1 ¼" holes are finished, you will need to measure where the entrance hole will be. Start by measuring 2 ½" from the top and then find the horizontal halfway spot (ours was 3") and mark where you will need to drill the hole. Using the 1 ½" hole saw attachment, begin to push it through the wood slowly. Take your time with this step to help avoid splitting the siding or creating rough edges. You may need to use a small piece of sandpaper to smooth it out to make it safer for birds to enter and exit.
Before the final assembly, we used our touch-up paint in Terra Bronze to give the Diamond Kote® finish you love!
Part 4: Assemble
Time for the moment of truth: assembly! Start screwing the side pieces using your pre-drilled holes to the large back piece - we recommend doing this at the edge of a table to help the drill have more clearance when in use. Continue by adding the bottom, front, and roof of the birdhouse. Do not attach one of the side pieces, as you will use nails to create a hinge (this will allow you to clean out old nests easily).
On the back, you will screw the roof of the birdhouse into the back siding panel. Using the 7/32" drill bit, pre-drill holes, and then screw in the screws.
For the last side panel, you will be using nails to attach. Note: you do not want the bottom nail to go all the way in, so you can easily slide out as it makes a stopper for the hinged panel.
Show It Off!
Whew, the hard work is over, and now it's time to show off your brand-new birdhouse. This birdhouse is perfect for hanging in your favorite tree, or you can mount it to a backyard shed or fence; either way, you are about to make a bird very happy.
If you want to post all about it on Instagram, make sure to tag us and use #dkbirdhouse so we can "ooh and ahh" in the comments.
P.S. – did you know we are currently holding a home photo contest to win a $250 Visa® gift card? You can submit your Diamond Kote home, and you can even include your birdhouse for us to show off on our social channels.