Month: August 2013


Building a Chicken Coop: Part 2


**This is part 2 of a 4 part series.  Click here to read part 1**

Building a Chicken Coop

 

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was our chicken coop…it took 2 days.  That’s right! It only took us 2 days to get our coop into a functional state.  It may not be pretty on the outside (yet) but the chickens are all moved in.

After building all of the framing we got to work by putting OSB on the exterior walls.Coop Walls

With the new support of the walls, we were able to put our homemade trusses up.Putting Up Trusses

Add some OSB to the roof and you’ve got yourself a coop!  Coop Roof Support

We also added our door and windows.  Menards was having a door sale, so we got one really cheap.  We just bought utility windows, which are also relatively cheap.  We used 1×6 lumber to cap off the ends of the trusses.Coop Windows

We put the roofing felt on and will put shingles up, but I will talk about that in part 3.  We will also be boxing in the eves.Coop Roof Felt

 

We didn’t want the chickens to roost on the window sills, so we made a frame with hardware cloth for the inside of the windows.Chicken Coop Windows

Next, we had to build a door that the chickens could use to get into the run.  We built a guillotine style door that works with a pulley.  It only took about an hour to build and works smoothly.Chicken Coop Door Coop Door

 

After that, the chickens just needed a roost to move in.  With only a few 2x4s, we had a nice roost built in a matter of minutes.Chicken Coop Roosts

 

Sadie approves, and she is sad she doesn’t have a cool house like the chickens do!Sadie Approves

 

It will probably be a while before we get the roofing and siding on.  We are planning on using left over siding from the house, so we will have to wait until that is done.  As soon as we have more to update, I will write Part 3 of our chicken coop adventure.

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Building a Chicken Coop: Part 1


We worked very hard this weekend building our chicken coop!  I spent a lot of time designing this coop and wanted it to be perfect.  I did a lot of research and drew up my plans for a coop that could be used as a garden shed if we/future owners didn’t have chickens.

We did a lot of work and have a bit more to do, so I am going to break this into 4 blog posts.  We have not put siding or roofing on or built the run, so those posts will come later.  This is how it stands today:Chicken Coop Started

In the last post about our chicken coop, I wrote a little bit about our major considerations.  With that in mind, let’s get started!

Before we could start building the structure, we had to remove a tree.  Tree Removal

With that out of the way, we built our foundation on top of our gravel.  We built it 16″ on center with treated 2x6s.  Coop Foundation

 

We laid down 3/4″ OSB for the sub-floor.  We would have used 1/2″ but Menards was all out, and we had to take what we could get.  Luckily, the price was good and the structure will be even more sturdy.  Coop Subfloor

After a lot of research online, I discovered that the vinyl should be put on before the walls are put up.  We got a glueless vinyl so all we had to do was lay it down!  Then we were able to start building the framing.Coop VinylCoop Framing

I also did a bit of research to see how to make trusses (because I had no idea where to start).  I found this YouTube video that I used in my design: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfs4rxBeyK0

After some intense geometry, we got 10 identical trusses.

Coop Trusses

 

Now that the framing is all done, we can start putting up the OSB walls.  Check back for Part 2!

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Preparing for Chickens


PreparingforChickens

Today we are getting ready to build a coop for our chickens.  Although I recommend building a coop before your chickens arrive, we have done just fine until now by keeping them in a large outdoor dog kennel.  However, we live in town and do not have many chicken predators around.  Since we need a place for our chickens to nest and roost, the definitely need a coop soon (and hopefully we won’t look like such rednecks anymore).

DogKennelCoop

Our plan is to build a large garden shed that will be used as a coop.  When we sell our house, it can be used even if the next owners do not want chickens.  The shed will be 12’x8′ and will have a full sized entry door.  Here are some things we took into consideration:

1.  Chickens need about 4 square feet each inside the coop.  Since we have 16 chickens, that would mean making a 64 square foot shed.  Ours will be 96 square feet (just in case I want to add a few to my bunch).

2.  Linoleum flooring (which will be installed before the walls are put up) is easy to clean and should cover most surfaces.

3. Ventilation is extremely important and helps keep your chickens safe in the cold winters as well.  We will have vents and windows installed for this purpose.

4. We want a fixed foundation, but do not want it raised so that predators/nuisance animals can get under it.  For this purpose, we are putting down a gravel pad for our foundation to rest on.  This will also help with drainage.

5. I designed the interior of the coop around the nest boxes and roosting sites.  We will have one nest box for every 4 chickens and plenty of room for roosting (they require 8-10″ each).

6. We really want the coop to look nice without costing a lot of money.  I will go into details of our supplies in another post, but the coop will have the same siding as the house and will match the garage.

We are going to put the coop back behind the garage.  You won’t be able to see it from the road and it is in the back corner of the property (away from any neighbor’s homes). Coop Location

We will have to remove one tree before we begin, so that we can have a run come out the west side of the coop.  Other than that, we were able to dump some gravel into our 12’x8′ area.Coop Gravel Foundation

We have just as much gravel left, and we will work on creating a level area when we start building our treated foundation.  Tomorrow we will start the building process, so check back for an update soon!

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New Windows


Over the last couple of weeks we have been trying to prepare for siding.  We had a couple of windows left to replace before we could move forward.  We finally have all of our new windows in and most of the house wrap is on!

We had a couple of bad windows upstairs.  The two windows at the top of the stairs (one in the hall, one in the master bathroom) were actually storm windows that were glued into place.Bathroom Window Before

That just screams “energy efficiency!”  They definitely had to go, so we bought some new vinyl Jeld-Wen windows from Menards that are energy efficient.  From the back of the house, they look like this now:

New Bathroom Window New Hall Window

They are small windows, but it still lets in a lot of light because the spaces are small.

One of our favorite features of the house was the porch windows.  They swing open into the porch and can be screened in from the outside.  You can not buy windows that open all the way anymore (at least from what we could find).  Unfortunately, the previous owners did not take very good care of these windows.  We had three original windows, but had to sacrifice one for parts to fix the other two.  That meant that the front two could remain the same, but the sides of the porch had to be replaced.  We found some nice windows that slide side to side and have the same  grid pattern.  Although they definitely look newer and smaller, it was the best compromise we could come up with.

Porch Windows

 

We also added a window at the bottom of the stairs where there hadn’t been any window before.  It was quite the project (so I hear) but was so worth it.  The amount of light that is let into our living room has doubled and the stairway is so much brighter.New LR Window New Window

 

We will have to remove the plaster in the stairway because we did too much damage to save it.  This will be the messiest project we have done since we moved in.New Stairway Window

 

We matched this window to the size of the guest room window that was on the same exterior wall.  The additional window also makes the side of the house look less like a blank canvas. (I am not a huge fan of exterior walls with no windows).New Window Exterior

 

Now that all of the windows are installed, we can start moving forward with the house wrap tape.  Every day we get a little closer to siding the house, which we didn’t think could get done before next summer.

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