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¼ sheet (2' x 4') ½" outdoor grade plywood
1 piece 1" x 2" (3/4" x 1 3/4" finished) x 8' pine (furring strip)
1/8 mesh HDPE (plastic) netting, 20" x 22 ½' (optional, see below *)
20-30 1 ¼" coated deck or exterior grade screws
1 quart flat water-based paint or stain, exterior grade
1 pint water-based primer, exterior grade
1 tube paintable latex caulk
5/16" Monel ® or stainless steel staples
1" x 3" x 28" board for roof (optional)

table saw or handsaw
variable speed reversing drill
Phillips bit for drill
tape measure or yardstick
caulking gun
staple gun

1. Measure and cut plywood into three pieces:

    26 ½" x 24"
    16 ½" x 24"
    5" x 24"
    (optional: paint interior surfaces twice with dark color).

2. Measure and cut furring into one 24" and two 20 ¼" pieces.

3. Screw back to furring, caulking first. Start with 24" piece at top. Roosting chamber will be ¾" deep.

4. Staple the netting to inside surface of back, starting at the bottom. Be sure netting lies flat (curve down) and does not pucker.

5. Screw front to furring, top piece first (don't forget to caulk). Leave ½" vent space between top and bottom front pieces.

6. Caulk around outside joints if needed to seal roosting chamber.

7. Attach a 1" x 3" x 28" board to the top as a roof, if desired.

8. Paint or stain exterior three times (use primer for first coat).

Optional Modifications to the Small Economy Bat House
A. Wider bat houses can be built for larger colonies. Be sure to adjust dimensions for back and front pieces, ceiling furring strip, and netting. A ¾" support spacer may be required in the center of the roosting chamber for bat houses over 24" wide.

B. 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 improve ventilation and permit movement of bats between houses. Two pieces of wood, 1" x 4" x 4 ¼", screwed horizontally to each side will join the two boxes. 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. Leave a ¾" space between the two houses, and roughen the wood surfaces or cover the back of each with plastic netting. Do not cover the vents. A tin roof covering both houses protects them and helps prevent overheating. Eaves should be about 3" in southern areas and about 1 ½" in the North.

C. Ventilation may not be necessary in colder climates. In this case, the front should be a single piece 23" long. Smaller bat houses should not be used in northern areas.

D. Instead of plastic netting, you may scratch or groove the interior surface prior to painting. Use a sharp object to create horizontal grooves spaced approximately 1/4" apart, 1/16" deep, but not so far as to penetrate the first glued layer.