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Technical coop building question. - Page 3

post #21 of 294
Hey, I'm in Massachusetts, too! Definitely build it with a substantial pitch especially if you're planning on the polycarb panels. Remember the back to back to back blizzards a few years ago? Snowload can put substantial stress on a roof and we often get wet snow that sticks. Having a decent pitch to the roof helps prevent the snow from accumulating.

Personally, I used metal panels over a plywood roof with 2x4 rafters for the roof of my coop and run.
post #22 of 294
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkALittle View Post

Hey, I'm in Massachusetts, too! Definitely build it with a substantial pitch especially if you're planning on the polycarb panels. Remember the back to back to back blizzards a few years ago? Snowload can put substantial stress on a roof and we often get wet snow that sticks. Having a decent pitch to the roof helps prevent the snow from accumulating.

Personally, I used metal panels over a plywood roof with 2x4 rafters for the roof of my coop and run.

Yes, I remember those storms, I didnt see my mailbox for weeks!  I think Im going with a solid roof instead of a poly roof. Partly because of the snow factor and also because my husband did not like the look of the poly roof.  Im pitching it 1' higher in the front than the back, I hope that will be sufficient.  If it gets really heavy snow we could always rake it off.  

So question, if you're in MA may I ask where you got your chicks?

post #23 of 294
I got my chicks from my local feed store. I picked up a couple pullets from a breeder at the Northeast Poultry Congress held annually at the Big E fairgrounds. It's this weekend, but I have to miss it this year.
post #24 of 294
Thread Starter 

Ok, I have a bunch more questions:

 

On a side note I changed my overall dimensions from 8x16 to 8x14.  My reasoning was if my coop is 8x4 I can house 8 to 10 chicks (this square footage does not count the nesting boxes which will be outside 8x4 space)  so if my entire run including space under coop is 8x16 or 128 sq ft this is enough for 12 chickens.  I will not have 12 chickens in an 8x4 coop so Im making the whole run a little smaller 8x14 which still gives enough room for the max my coop could hold.  Also, my land is sloped and this will minimize how much I have to dig or build up for the foundation.  Also this will make my roof 10x16 instead of the massive 10x18 and will be easier with dimensional lumber sizes etc.  So back to the questions:

 

1.  My coop and run will face North, no choice.  It will back up to woods.  My land is high on the west and lower on the east.  I wanted to orient my coop with the coop on the east and run to the west but this will require that I fill in alot of soil or build steps or retaining wall to be able to comfortably reach the coop door for cleaning etc.  Its about a 24" drop from one side to the other.  So with my design of having the coop start 2' off the ground the bottom of the door would be at least 4' off the ground (2' of foundation and 2' feet run under coop)  I am only 5' tall. Id either have to build it up with rock and soil etc or build steps.  I wanted it this way because the winds come out of the west and the run would get a little late afternoon sun this way.  So if I make the coop on the right side it would be better for the height factor because the footing would be practically on the ground so the door to the coop would be a little more than 2' off the ground or more or less waist high for me.  What would you do?

 

2.  Do you think concrete block or cinder block with some gravel for footing will be sufficient?  We have a shed that is 8x12 built this way and have had no issues with settling etc.  

 

3.  I want to paint my coop, my DH thinks we should stain.  He said since its basically on the edge of the woods that the paint will get moldy looking??? and not last.  Thoughts?

 

Going today to Lowes to try to purchase lumber and concrete block.  Not sure if I can manage this on my own.  I will have to rent on of their pick up trucks and unload everything myself in 75 minutes.  Hmm, I should have kept my 18 y.o. son out of school today. :rolleyes:

 

Sorry for the super long post, I really need all of your help as this is the first time I've ever attempted to build something.

 

Thanks

post #25 of 294
You have already done the hardest part of building anything. BELIEVING YOU CAN DO IT!!

I think you should build the door so it is easy to get in and out of. I visit/feed/clean my coops usually twice a day often times more and you want it comfortable for you and your family to do so.

Cinder blocks and gravel is an excellent base. Sand works well too.

I'm in a really wet environment and have tried both paint and stain with similar results. I recommend doing what is visually appealing to you. It doesn't take long two or three years from now to throw another coat of paint on and freshen it up. If you stain it you can always paint it later. If you paint it you can never stain it.

Goodluck and trust yourself.
post #26 of 294

Did you build the existing block foundation shed, so that you know how far underground the blocks go??

Frost heave would be a concern in your climate, depending on if your coop building is 'off the record'(from building codes) and how solid you want it to be long term(like decades long). 

 

My 16x16 coop shed(here when I bought the place) is set on concrete piers, that I believe go below frost line, but it is not tied down to the foundation so it a 'portable building and thus does not create any property tax burden.

 

It is between 18 and 30" off the ground, there is a 'porch' with a couple steps at the entry door.

 

Just some thoughts, hope it helps.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #27 of 294
My thoughts for you are about the late afternoon sun. I don't know if that will be the only sun they get? It kind of sounds like it, if there are woods behind and you are concerned about mold. If that is the ONLY time they will get sun, then I would go for it. But around here, I prefer to shade mine from that afternoon sun, at least in the summertime. They are nearly roasting when the days are hot, and the sooner some shade starts to come in, the better. But for you, if they are having shade all day, then a little bit of sun towards evening won't hurt. However, placing the coop on the west side will give them a nice block of shade.
Chicken math:  "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it!" + "If you go looking for trouble you will find it." =  "I got up here, now how do I get down?"
Reply
Chicken math:  "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it!" + "If you go looking for trouble you will find it." =  "I got up here, now how do I get down?"
Reply
post #28 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnie View Post

My thoughts for you are about the late afternoon sun. I don't know if that will be the only sun they get? It kind of sounds like it, if there are woods behind and you are concerned about mold. If that is the ONLY time they will get sun, then I would go for it. But around here, I prefer to shade mine from that afternoon sun, at least in the summertime. They are nearly roasting when the days are hot, and the sooner some shade starts to come in, the better. But for you, if they are having shade all day, then a little bit of sun towards evening won't hurt. However, placing the coop on the west side will give them a nice block of shade.

Good point.

My run is west of coop and get scorched in the late summer days, no trees close enough to shade it....

........and doesn't get sun until afternoon in the winter as it's shaded by the coop itself which is kind of a bummer.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #29 of 294
Thread Starter 
Bostick, aart and finnie, thank you for the replies.

So thinking on this but you made valid points and I think Im probably going to orient my coop to the west side. They wont get much direct sunlight but its scorching out there in the middle of summer so thats probably a good thing. Just wasnt sure if chickens needed direct sun for vit D etc. They will have some direct sun when they are out and about but that will probably be mostly on weekends when I can closely supervise. When the leaves are off the trees they will get more sun.

Also good point about stain. I checked at Lowes and they have some really nice stains so I think Ill go that route. Didnt realize they have pigmented stains that almost look like regular paint. Now to get me and DH to agree on color.

My other shed is just sitting on 4 4x6x8's stacked up. Only one is partially in the ground. They sit on about 4 to 6" of gravel though. So it doesnt need to last 30 years. DH says we are downsizing in 4 to 5 year. I'll believe that when I see it. Hope I can take my coop!

Got everything I need to get started at Lowes today. Had to rent one of their pick up trucks to get it home and had to unload it myself, but it's all good, built some muscle.

Learned a couple more things today:

1. The Lowe's guy, Roland, was super helpful.
2. 4x8 pieces of plywood are not only heavy but super awkward for a 5' tall 115 pound women to carry.
3. Cement blocks are also back breaking.
4. Driving a 4x4 pick up truck for the first time-super fun.
5. Sending pictures periodically to my DH who specifically told me not to do it alone----priceless smile.png All he kept replying was "OMG"

The weather has turned a bit here so probably no digging today.

I'll have dozens more questions so stay tuned and thank you all for your continued help and support.
post #30 of 294
Thread Starter 
So for those of you like me who have no idea what they are doing, I'll break down exactly what I bought today and how much it costs. I go almost everything I need to get the basic framing done and plywood on the roof. Haven't bought roofing material yet still not sure if going with metal or shingles. Here goes:
4x8x16 cement block 10@1.14 $11.40
8x8x16 cinder block 4@$1.63. $6.52
60 pds gravel bags 2@$4.26. $8.52
4x8x1/2 plywood 6@$19.25. $115.50
2x6x16 PT lumber 3@$13.07. $39.21
2x4x10 lumber 2@$4.13. $8.26
2x4x8 lumber 54@$2.61. $140.94
3 1/2" exterior screws 1 lb. $8.38
2 1/2" exterior screws 1 lb. $8.38
1 5/8" exterior screws 1 lb. $8.38
4' level $15.48

Grand total with tax $394.16
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