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Purchasing vs Building?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Wife and I purchased a very neglected and run down 6 acre farmette a couple years ago and got into chickens by accident.  While the number of chores/projects/repairs/necessities around the property has no end, unfortunately the checkbook does.  As well as my time. 

 

I'm trying to weigh out the time vs cost of building my own shed for a second coop, probably around the 12'X8' size.  I don't need anything fancy as my birds are livestock and not pets.  Just need a safe, clean place for them to sleep at night and get out of the weather, lay eggs, or grow until time to butcher.  I'm finding used sheds online for $500 - $850 in various degrees of rotting.  Also, the used shed require me to go get them or having them delivered for a fee.

 

If anybody who's faced this problem can share their experience and if they would have done it the same way, I'd appreciate it!! 

post #2 of 20

Don't I feel your pain on the never ending (growing) to do list.

I prefer building but a fine coop can be made from a garden shed that the big box stores carry with some modifications.

I assume you've looked at the free section on craigslist for lumber.

The big box stores like Lowe's also often have pallets of cull lumber that is warped or split. That's how I've built my last 3 buildings.

They mark down the wood at half price when they put it in the cull yard. If a pallet sits there for a month, you can bargain with the manager. I've gotten them to sell it for 20 cents on the dollar.

From time to time, there's all kinds of stuff out there. Siding, treated lumber, 1X, 2X, 4X etc..

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #3 of 20
I prefer designing and building my own coop. To me, it turns out to be cheaper in the long run because you can design it to your specific needs and not have to modify an already built coop. I find that prefab. coops are way too small, also. You could also redesign the inside of a shed to meet your needs, but, again, I find it cheaper to start from scratch to meet the specifics of my designs.
That's just my thoughts, others may have other suggestions and ideas.
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When I don’t measure up to much in this life
Oh, I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ (forgiven ~ Sanctus real))
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When I don't fit in and I don’t feel like I belong anywhere
When I don’t measure up to much in this life
Oh, I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ (forgiven ~ Sanctus real))
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081999/chickenlover200s-new-chat-thread/10#post_16651351
Please join my chat thread. AND check out the Weekly Peep it's back! Thanks!
~CL200~
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post #4 of 20

:DWe faced the same issue and for us, it was a better option to build. We wanted to make it big and roomy with space for the brooder babies as well as space for the big girls.

We utilized used wood, screws that were already on hand, used sheets of plywood, cheap plastic dishpans from Wal Mart, free pallets, bought some roof shingles for cheap at Lou's Bargain Barn and even found used white vinyl siding so the coop goes with our house. Craigslist is a great place to find leftover building materials at a cheap price.

I think the whole project cost $200 bucks, not including the fencing. It took four days to build. It's beautiful!

Welcome to our humble homestead

"A Better Place To Be"

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Welcome to our humble homestead

"A Better Place To Be"

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post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenCanoe View Post
 

Don't I feel your pain on the never ending (growing) to do list.

I prefer building but a fine coop can be made from a garden shed that the big box stores carry with some modifications.

I assume you've looked at the free section on craigslist for lumber.

The big box stores like Lowe's also often have pallets of cull lumber that is warped or split. That's how I've built my last 3 buildings.

They mark down the wood at half price when they put it in the cull yard. If a pallet sits there for a month, you can bargain with the manager. I've gotten them to sell it for 20 cents on the dollar.

From time to time, there's all kinds of stuff out there. Siding, treated lumber, 1X, 2X, 4X etc..

 

I live right in the middle of Philly and Baltimore, so stuff like free lumber on craigslist is few and far between and unless I'm constantly hitting refresh and am 10 minutes away from where the free stuff supposedly is, it is gone by the time I get there.  I've been through that a few times. 

 

I've never seen pallets of cull lumber in the box stores around here either (I've actually looked as I needed scraps for another project a year ago and didn't want to spend the money for "good" wood).  Every once in a while you'll see a few boards in a cart, but that's about it.

 

Thank you very much for the suggestions.

post #6 of 20

You might want to ask the lumber department manager if and when they discard cull lumber.

Around here, Home Depot has better/straighter lumber than Lowe's so not as much to cull so they usually just have a cart on the shop floor. Lowe's, on the other hand has a lot of split and warped lumber that fills pallets so they have a place out by the garden sheds where they store it.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CluckerCottage View Post
 

:DWe faced the same issue and for us, it was a better option to build. We wanted to make it big and roomy with space for the brooder babies as well as space for the big girls.

We utilized used wood, screws that were already on hand, used sheets of plywood, cheap plastic dishpans from Wal Mart, free pallets, bought some roof shingles for cheap at Lou's Bargain Barn and even found used white vinyl siding so the coop goes with our house. Craigslist is a great place to find leftover building materials at a cheap price.

I think the whole project cost $200 bucks, not including the fencing. It took four days to build. It's beautiful!

 

Just out of curiosity, what did you use the pallets for?  I've seen pallet sheds online and always wondered how sturdy they were.  The picture attached to this post is what I think of when I hear pallet and shed!

post #8 of 20

I found most of my stuff under the "materials" section on Craigslist.

The free stuff is gone as soon as the user posts the ad!

Pallet wood was used inside the coop to cover the Styrofoam we used as insulation.


Edited by CluckerCottage - 6/20/16 at 9:36am

Welcome to our humble homestead

"A Better Place To Be"

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Welcome to our humble homestead

"A Better Place To Be"

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post #9 of 20
A shed type henhouse is nice but not absolutely necessary. Your chickens won't hate you if you don't give them a fancy little $1,000 coop from TSC or a delivered $3,000 shed from Home Depot.
I still use open air roosts in 3 of my pens. 2 pens are simply roost bars under the eves of my shed. 1 pen has free standing clothesline type posts with a piece of tin across the top with 2x4 between the posts for a roost bar. Nest boxes can be milk crates, buckets, dish pans, anything to hold some straw. Run a $50 roll of chicken or welded wire around it and you have a quick, low cost pen that can house several dozen chickens.
Think tarp hung between trees with sawhorses underneath for roosts....
PVC pipe frame covered with tarp (hoop style) that's the latest fad on the internet...
Pickup truck ladder rack with a tarp or tin over it...
Old Ford van...
Your friends won't think you're poor white trash. They'll say "You got chickens? Cool! I always wanted chickens so I could have fresh eggs."

Several years ago I bought a pasture with an abandoned Winnabago parked under some trees, with a nest of crackheads living in it. I ran the dopers off but the Winnabago continues to sit there being an eyesore, and unfit for human use. I'm seriously thinking of throwing up a little fence around it and turning it into a henhouse. It has shelves, cabinets, drawers etc for laying eggs in and could probably sleep several hundred chickens.
My chickens really need to get on down the road to a new home. As it stands now, instead of having BackYard Chickens, it's like my chickens have FrontYard Humans.
If some is good then more is better and too much is just enough.
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If some is good then more is better and too much is just enough.
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post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenLegs13 View Post

A shed type henhouse is nice but not absolutely necessary. Your chickens won't hate you if you don't give them a fancy little $1,000 coop from TSC or a delivered $3,000 shed from Home Depot.

Several years ago I bought a pasture with an abandoned Winnabago parked under some trees, with a nest of crackheads living in it. I ran the dopers off but the Winnabago continues to sit there being an eyesore, and unfit for human use.

 

I'm not interested in something "cute" from TSC as my birds aren't pets and certainly don't want to drop $3K on a shed.  Hence my post about building it myself or purchasing something used.  Typically every 25 days I hatch 90+ birds.  I want a place where I can put brooders all in one spot and my lone incubator.  Just get a little bit more organized.  I like the idea of turning the Winnabago into a chicken coop and I'm sure you could do it in a way that was "cute" if you really wanted to.  But for me, right now, that's not in the picture.  The property I purchased was run down, the previous owners had 8 sheds/barns in the back yard ranging from 8X10 to 20X40 that were all falling apart and I had to remove each one.  By remove, I mean fill with some newspaper and light a match to.  The place was a dump and the neighbors hated living beside it.  The place looks a million times better now and I want to keep up the clean (for lack of a better word) appearance it has now.

 

I am very jealous of all the really cool things people have repurposed as coops or hen houses, but I want something boring that matches the other barns and the horse fences on the property. 

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