BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance › My 4x6 Pallet Coop Build (Completed, PIC HEAVY)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

My 4x6 Pallet Coop Build (Completed, PIC HEAVY)

post #1 of 99
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

Finally getting around to posting pics of my pallet coop build. Keep in mind that this build has been an ongoing project dating back to when I first got my flock a couple years ago. First I made a 'temporary' hide.gif coop out of a tile packing crate,,,you may see a pic or two of that coop mixed in somewhere. Then I started building their real coop, but, as they say....life got in the way a bit. Three abdominal surgeries have stretched out my coop project a bit. Now I'm in the home stretch and have enough done to post some pictures, it will also help keep me on task to finish up the details that remain.

 

A couple points on my coop design, for the construction method I purchased a plan (about 20 bucks) off the internet when I googled "pallet coop plans". I didn't follow the plan exactly but that is the beauty of his method, its more of a construction method than an exact floor plan. Another goal I had was to build as cheaply as possible. My Dad, who passed away some years ago, was a master at building more with less. I wanted to sort of honor him in my mind and heart, by building in a way he would have appreciated....something nice but with as many found and free materials as possible. I will try and tally up cost as I go along with the pictures b/c I really have forgotten what I've spent....I'm guessing around 100-150 dollars.

 

Also just a moment to talk about using pallets. When researching pallet coops, you will see two main types. Those that use the pallet (whole) intact as a building block, and those that take the pallets apart and use the boards. I used the second method. You will see alot of people asking questions on how to take pallets apart in regard to method and tools, so I'll describe and show pictures of this process and tools I used. For this method try to find pallets with the longest boards possible. Now lets get started.

 

I like pallets like this because they have LONG boards, they are also held together by staples, which I find easier to dismantle. If you look in the bottom right hand corner of this first picture you'll see the type pry bar I like to use to get the boards off. 

 

AppleMark

 

After prying them apart you end up with boards like these:

 

AppleMark

 

Now you have to get the staples out...here are my favorite tools for this:

 

 

 

 

You just straighten any bent staples or nails, then pound them back through and use the nipping pliers, to pull/lever them out like this:

 

 

 

 

I don't remember exactly how many pallets I took apart but it was probably around 12-15. After you have a nice stack of boards, its time to start building. Don't throw away the other boards the 1x4's were nailed to, those boards can be used for legs, etc. All of these pallets I got for free so cost is at zero, so far.

 

Next post will show the construction of the coop's base.


Edited by auto5man - 6/11/13 at 11:36am
post #2 of 99
Thread Starter 

The coop's base construction. Start with 2x4's, its easiest to use new wood for these that are straight. Maybe about $10 of wood. Make the framework. I used 3 inch galvanized sheetrock type screws and the battery drill/driver to join this together. It's also best to make your cuts with a miter saw to get a good square cut. Careful measuring and cutting here will ensure a nice square start. Not going to tally the cost of the screws because I always keep those on hand, but if you are keeping count I probably used about $20 worth of screws on the whole project.

 

 

AppleMark

 

 

Now start laying your floor of pallet boards. Use a framing square to make sure the base is square as you attach the boards. I use 1 1/4 inch galvanized screws. If you have the kind of pallets constructed with nails, you can straighten and use these to nail your boards on if you REALLY want to recycle.  Its okay to attach the boards long, just cut off the extra with either a skill saw, or even a hand saw will work. In fact, this is probably the easiest way.

AppleMark

 

The next two pictures show the bottom and top. Place your pallet boards in such a way that the worst imperfections are on the bottom. This is clearly visible on the bottom view:

 

 

AppleMark

 

 

You will notice that in the top view the boards are pretty smooth looking and not rough like a pallet board. That's because my original plan was to paint with gloss oil paint, I wanted as smooth a surface as possible for ease of cleaning the coop out. I used a smoothing plane to dress up the rough boards, then changed my mind to use linoleum after reading a bunch of posts on BYC! 

 

 

AppleMark

The wood grain after smoothing was quite nice for a lowly pallet board! Thats all for today, the next post I'll show the wall construction and then the legs...

post #3 of 99
Looking good!
post #4 of 99
Thread Starter 

Next the 'walls' start to go up...start by using the floor as a template. Screw down two 1x4 pallet boards each end and fill in with pallet boards. After the wall is constructed flat on top of the floor, the wall is raised for a test fit. The opposing wall goes up the same way. Depending on the size of your coop, you may need additional vertical support boards. I used the table saw to rip pallet boards to thinner widths and used two per wall for vertical support 'studs'.

 

AppleMark

 

AppleMark

 

AppleMark

 

you can see my helper in the bottom right corner...

 

At this point I removed the couple screws used to hold the walls on for a test fit, flipped the coop floor over and constructed the legs. The next post will detail this construction.

post #5 of 99
Thread Starter 

The legs are fairly straightforward and I will let the pictures speak for themselves. I used recycled 4x4 posts from my neighbor's fence tear down for the legs, and the braces were 2x4's from the pallets (the inner boards of the pallets that the 1x4's were nailed/stapled to. I will say that a miter box is invaluable here for accurate 45 degree cuts, then 3 inch screws for hardware. VERY strong once all constructed and joined with screws. The base was flipped upside down, legs cut to 24 inches then bracing cut, fitted, and screwed together:

 

 

 

 

 

AppleMark

 

 

After the legs were completed, the base is flipped right side up and linoleum fitted and glued. I chose linoleum after reading so many positive posts about this on BYC regarding ease in cleaning. This piece cost me about 6 bucks maybe, it was a 'remnant' from Lowes.

 

 

And a pic showing another constant helper, my daughter. She was very excited at the progress....I was too!

 

AppleMark

post #6 of 99
Thread Starter 

One more post tonight...I'm gonna be gone for a week on vacation and this next part is sorta stand alone in regarding topic. So I took the completed base and moved it to the permanent location. My backyard has a slope so I used a 3 foot level and cinderblocks and shovel to get the base leveled. Here is the pic:

 

post #7 of 99

Looking forward to your progress.   It looks great so far!  pop.gif

post #8 of 99
Thread Starter 

Okay, back from vacation. The next picture shows re-installing the two side walls that were already built using the floor as a template. So after getting the floor/platform leveled in its permanent spot these two walls go back on. Simple at this point to screw them back on, then brace them plumb:

 

 

Next the end walls are built. Wherever additional framing is needed as backing to attach screws to, I just add them...4 corner posts are added to the side walls at this point. Also, I think I mentioned this before but when using pallet boards there is a lot of choosing the right board, cutting off imperfections (knots), etc. That being said, I used the clamps to straighten out crooked boards that were otherwise okay. Doesn't have to be perfect, I was more concerned with the visual lines....keeping the boards lines matching all the way around. There may be a quarter inch variance in the width of your boards, so keep this in mine and strategically choose where you put the boards. Not sure I'm explaining this very well, but for example, if you choose 10 boards in a row (that are a quarter inch wider) and use these to build up the end walls, your 'siding' won't match up from wall to wall. Sounds more complicated than it is, just remember to choose boards the same width when matching the end wall boards to the side walls. They should match up like this:

 

 

After getting to the top  of the wall, additional 'framing' boards are screwed in as a vertical uprights, then continue laying coarses of boards upwards to make the end eaves like this:

 

 

 

 

Next post will show cutting the roof line into the end eaves. Stay tuned.

post #9 of 99

Looking Good !

post #10 of 99
Thread Starter 

Also a couple pictures for humor. All of our chickens have names, this Buff Orpington mix my girls named Foofie because she is feather footed. She was broody in these pix and was always fluffed up and big as a butterball turkey :)

 

 

AppleMark

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance › My 4x6 Pallet Coop Build (Completed, PIC HEAVY)