Overview

building a bat house overview image
Illustration: Carl Wiens
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Bats are very particular about where they’ll live, and their houses have to be constructed in a specific way that encourages them to nest. The inside of this house is painted black to keep it dark and warm, and the outside is a color that makes it blend in with the surroundings. The space where they go inside the house and roost is only about ¾ inch thick (with a small gap for air circulation). Still, dozens of bats will be able to live in this box and raise their pups.

When working on this project, keep safety in mind at all times. A jigsaw is better off in adult hands, but kids can help out by caulking, driving screws, attaching the netting, and painting. Make sure everyone has safety glasses on when the saw is in use, and keep sleeves away from power tools.
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape
    • straight edge
      Straightedge
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • hand clamps
      Spring clamps
    • safety glasses
      Safety glasses
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw
    • French curve and circle templates
    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with ¼-inch drill bit
    • caulk gun
      Caulking gun
    • paintbrush
      Paintbrush (2-inch)
    • paintroller
      Foam roller (4-inch)
    • scissors
      Scissors
    • staple gun
      Staple gun

    Shopping List

    1. 2-by-4-foot section of ½-inch exterior-grade plywood

    2. One 6-foot 1x2

    3. ½-inch deer netting

    4. Exterior latex paint (black and another dark color)5. Low-VOC adhesive caulk

    6. 1-inch deck screws

    7. -inch staples

    8. 3½-inch deck screws