Here’s the finished product. Cost about $1,500 (I was shooting for $500 - Oops).
The story of the build goes:
Buy house in Northern California.
Think it would be nice to have chickens.
Don’t ask wife.
Discover http://www.backyardchickens.com/ Learn first mistake people make is to buy chicks before coop is built.
Decide on small coop inside a big run (because of hawks).
Something like this:
Try to figure out plans for coop.
Buy coop (from antique store for $185).
Try to figure out plans for run.
Continue to watch chicks grow.
Buy plans for run from here: http://www.thegardencoop.com/
Modify plans by making it twice as big and incorporating the retaining wall along the back.
Buy tools (sweet!).
Attach hardware cloth.
Definitely use these to attach hardware cloth (I tried everything).
Put it together.
And none too soon.
Put on roof.
Add roost (an old fence post).
Brick entry for the rainy season.
Solution to retaining wall.
View with top door open.
Automatic waterer from http://chickenfountain.com/ Since I bought this and use the deep litter method, I only go into the run once a week to refill their food.
My kids get the eggs.
After dinner I let them out. They always go home to roost (but you knew that).