Build Your Own Bat House

Please see document below (Bat House Video Materials.pdf) for a list of materials needed to build the bat house shown in the video.

After years of collaborative research, the Organization for Bat Conservation has compiled the key components that make a bat house successful. Building your own bat house is a great activity, but we want to make sure that your efforts prove to be successful. Let's face it, a bat house without bats is neither fun nor useful. So be sure to include these critical details when building your own bat house!

Key Components of a Bat House

Make your bat house out of:

Cedar (best choice)
Exterior plywood


Ensure that the bats can hang comfortably by:

Creating horizontal grooves (1/4 inch apart) to the entire length of the inside of the wood, both front and back.
Attach polyethylene plastic mesh to the wood on the inside of the bat house, both front and back. 


Size is important, make sure that it is at least:

  • 24 inches tall 
  • 13 inches wide 
  • 3 inches deep 
  • Multiple chambers should be 2 inches apart.


To keep the bats safe, the opening should be:

¾ - 1 inch wide
Create this smaller opening by adding a strip of wood to make the entrance smaller.


Create a much-needed temperature variance by:

Adding an ¼ inch wide air vent about 6 inches above the opening
Adding a ceiling just beneath the roof on the inside of the house


Keep the bats warm and dry by:

Caulking the seams
Using galvanized screws to prolong the life of the house


Looking for step-by-step instructions on how to build your own bat house? We have free plans for you.  We also have free plans for a slightly different model that includes photos as well.  Get creative and repurpose unused materials to make a new bat house.

We at OBC like to make things easy for you, so we also offer more details on how to build a bat house with a Simple Guide to Bat House Design

If building your own bat house doesn't sound like the route you wish to take, you can take a short cut with our Bat House Kit or buy an already assembled OBC bat house. OBC bat houses are made in the U.S.A. 

© 2012 Organization for Bat Conservation