We have started building our coop and have decided to use the plans from Ana White's website. We already had a 4x8 base, several 2x4's to get us started, a door and shingles for the roof. Her design calls for the door on the shorter side, but since we are using a regular size door we will be putting the door on the taller side of building. I need advice on venting, if we should insulate and certain building materials. We live in Illinois, so we have hot, humid summers and cold winters, with temps ranging from the teens (sometimes single digits or colder with wind chill) to 100 in the summer.
1. We plan to put 2 windows in which will be north and south facing. These will be open during the summer months, but what would you recommend for venting during the colder months? The door will be on the opposite side of this building from what is shown. A vent on the sides that will be west & east?
2. Insulation. How many of you insulate in the Midwest? The door will be facing the west, which is where most of our wind/weather comes from and we can get some strong winds as we do not have a wind break in our rural area. Do I insulate only that wall? Or do all 4? We don't plan on having a heat lamp out here.
3. We plan to use t1-11 siding on the outside of the building. We have been offered 3x3 panels of metal siding that was used on a machine shed. Would this be ok to use inside of the coop? Would the metal on the inside cause it to get too hot? Our thinking was that it would make cleaning much easier.
4. Nesting boxes on the outside as shown vs inside but with a door to access. Thoughts? Would I need to insulate the nesting boxes if we used them on the outside? Any tips if we hinged from the top to keep water out or is hinging from the side better?
Thanks for any tips!