How to Install a Bat House
So you decided to install your bat house on a wooden post? Congratulations! Using a post is one of the most effective ways to meet all the recommended criteria for making a successful home for bats. In the following article, we’ll take you through a step-by-step guide to installing your new Four-Chamber Premium bat house. For more information on choosing the ideal location for your bat house, see our other helpful articles, “How to Choose a Bat House Location” and “How to Attract Bats to your Bat House”.
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Time to dig! You’ll want to make your post-hole approximately 36” deep and 10–12” across. Typically we recommend using a 4x6 pressure-treated post for mounting your bat house, so the hole you dig will need to be wide enough to accommodate the width of the post.
Once the hole is dug, pour approximately 3-6” of all-purpose gravel into the bottom of the hole and level it. This is what your post will sit on top of, and will ultimately aid in water drainage after your bat house is fully installed.
Step 2: If you’re using a Post Protector purchased through BCM, locate the 4 small circular indentations, roughly the size of a pencil eraser, positioned approximately 1/8” from the bottom of the post sleeve, with one located on each side. Using a small drill, perforate these small indentations. This will allow drainage of any water that might accumulate inside the post protector, and will serve as additional protection for the wooden post.
Step 3: Slide the post protector the entire way onto the 4x6 wooden post. There should not be any additional room for the post protector to slide further onto the post.
Step 4: Each post protector includes 4 sealing washers with lag screws. Locate the small non-textured circles on the outside of the post protector. There will be 2 of these total, with one beginning near the base of the post protector between the first horizontal ribbed section, and the other located on the adjacent side between the 2nd and 3rd horizontal ribbed section.
Step 5: Using a 3/16” drill bit, drill a pilot hole for the lag screws. Attach lag screws and washers as shown above.
The BCM Pole Mount Kit above comes with two pre-cut 2x4 pieces and mounting hardware, and makes bat house installation a breeze.
Step 6: Place the first pole mount bracket on the wide side of the wooden post, matching the long side of the bracket flush with the top of 4x6, as seen in the picture. (This is the end without the post protector) Center the two counter-sunk holes on the on the post. There should be approximately a 5 ½” overhang on either side of the post when properly centered. Once in position, use the lag bolts and washers to fasten the first pole mount bracket to the post through the counter-sunk holes.
Step 7: Now measure 26” from the very top of the newly fastened pole mount bracket down toward the center of the wooden post, and mark.
Step 8: Take the 2nd pole mount bracket and lay it across the wooden post, with the bottom of the bracket lined up with the mark you just made. Now, double check that the distance from the bottom of the 2nd pole mount bracket to the top of the 1st pole mount bracket measures out to approximately 26”. If things are looking good, screw it down with the washers and lag screws.
Your pole mount bracket should now be secured and in place! You are now ready to mount your bat house to the post!
Step 9: Take your Four Chamber bat house and lay it centered on top of the two pole mount brackets, making sure that the top of the bat house is flush with the top of 1st pole mount bracket. Locate the top lip of the bat house, just above the slanted roof section.
Step 10: With the bat house in place, take one of the included 2 ½” mounting screws with countersunk steel washer and fasten the top of the bat house to the pole mount bracket, spacing the screws evenly across the top lip of the bat house.
Step 11: With the top of the bat house now secured, it’s time to fasten the bottom of the bat house to the lower pole mount bracket. Take note that the bat house will extend approximately 1” past the lower bracket. Using the remaining screws and countersunk washers, fasten the lower portion of the bat house to the bracket as seen above.
Step 12: Well done! At this point your post protector, pole mount brackets, and bat house should all be snugly fastened together. Almost finished!
Step 13: During this step, the bat house is going to be stood up in order to be positioned into the post hole. Due to the weight of the bat house, this step is best accomplished with the help of at least 1 other person. With the post protector down, drop the bat house setup into your pre-dug hole. Once fully in place, the bat house should stand (leaning) in the hole without assistance.
Step 14: Using a standard compass or smartphone with compass app, position the post so that the front of the bat house is facing southeast. This will allow for maximum solar exposure, which will help keep your bat house warm and hospitable to bats.
Step 15: Now that your bat house is facing southeast, it’s time to make sure it’s level. Using a traditional spirit level or level app on your smartphone, check all sides of the post for level.
Step 16: With the post in place, add approximately 1 bag of Quikrete to your posthole, spreading it evenly around all sides of the pole. Re-check for level. Depending on the size of the posthole, you may need additional bags of concrete and extra water to adequately mount the post.
Step 17: Once the posthole has been filled, tamp down any excess dirt around the post until level with the adjacent ground. Most Quikrete types should set in about four hours, and fully cure in a few days.
Step 18: That’s it! Shake off the dust, take a step back, and enjoy the sight of your new bat house!
- Bryan Butler