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Cement Footer for Coop Wall w/DL?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I tried searching out some information so forgive me if I missed a thread that already answered this question.


I've finally finished fencing in my garden with a rough cut red oak fence.  Now I'm going to start working on the run/coop this spring that will attach to that fence.  The plan is something along the lines of 10X8 and tall enough to comfortably walk around in.  My thought was to pour a concrete footer/perimeter ~2 feet deep.  I would then put concrete blocks on top of this about 2 feet high off the ground then put the sill plate and build the coop up from that foundation.


I won't have a floor since I'm doing DL.  Most of my searches were about pouring concrete floors or footers/foundations for elevated coops.  Does anyone have experience with this?  I was going to approach it like a retaining wall basically.  It's all red clay where I live and it gets very very wet.  My hope was to keep critters out, keep some water out (my put a water barrier down), and provide a foundation that won't heave or cause problems for the coop structure above.


I guess my question is, any problems going this route?  Any smarter way to do it?  I'm going for long term so I don't have to rebuild it in the near future.  If I decide to stop doing chickens I'll just pour a floor and use the structure as a potting shed.



post #2 of 4
As long as you put the footing of your knee wall bellow the freeze line in your area you should be fine, you are essentially building a crawl space type foundation...

Since a coop will have vast amounts of lamentation and air flow, I personally would not put down any vapor barrier, let the ground breath and drain normally... If you have moist ground as you claim it might be beneficial to water barrier the outside of the knee wall and put some drainage around the outside just like they do for houses, to prevent rain water from pouring past the walls into the inside...

My coop is setup with a 2' tall give or take concrete knee wall and even a cement floor and I use the deep litter method but because the building is 'sunk' when it rains a lot, water seeps in and the litter gets way to wet and stops working until it drys out, best to prevent that if possible...
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I just checked real quick and our frost line is 30".  That will be fun to dig by hand.


I'm hoping to keep the drainage issues down so that I don't have to worry about soppy or stinky DL.  With the wall effectively going 30" below grade depending on how thick the concrete is poured I suspect it will stop some water.  I can add an additional layer of rocks between the earth and the exterior of the concrete wall below the ground level if that would help solve that problem.  I can also do earth | rocks | plastic | concrete.


My ideas are mostly from reading this isn't the world I normally work with so it will be a first time doing something of this nature.  I'm looking forward to it.

post #4 of 4
Originally Posted by FishNFowl View Post

Thanks.  I just checked real quick and our frost line is 30".  That will be fun to dig by hand.

Check your local Home Depots rental (check multiple ones as well as the bigger equipment they rent varies drastically by location) you should be able to rent a little backhoe very reasonable that will be worth every penny for this job, they will even deliver and pickup for a small fee...
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