Here is the story of my 16x20' chicken barn and loft. I began this project four years ago with only a picture in my mind of what I wanted to end up with. In other words a plan as you go project. I made all the lumber myself with a chainsaw attachement from trees on my property. All the studs & rafters are made from popple. A few beams are made from oak or elm.
I had three motivational factors. One was my grandfather and one other was my grandchildren. My grandfather was a hardworking son of Swedish immigrants. He was typical of most hardworking midwestern men. He was known as the gentle giant and anything he needed done he did himself. I was in awe of his many talents my whole life. I intended from the start to DO IT MYSELF as he would have done.
I also intended to provide my grandchildren and myself with a taste of the country life and hopefully a link of understanding and appreciation of our forefathers. Now with the building completed I feel I have succeeded beyond my expectations. We have had the grandchildren for several overnight stays, in and out of the loft. Myself and all five slept on hay up in the loft one night and were awakened by the roosters crowing, "screaming" as Iris was to say. Already memories are being formed of Grandma and Granpa's hay loft.
The third motivation was to make it as cheaply as possible. I am done and total costs are under $1000.00 which includes many cost saving and even free materials. Many items such as caulking, paint, nails, pine and cedar trim, various hardware etc. cannot be found used and add a to the final price tag. I feel I have done very well for the quality and size I ended up with. I like to make a comparison to the flimsey 8x10' sheet metal shacks offered by Menards, Lowes and other retailers. I have not priced their "shacks" lately but $1000.00 will not get you very much.
Below is a picture of the barn/coop nearing completion and pictures of the five grandkids and myself. Following pages will detail construction progress from start to finish. The coop is now being used day and night for my free range flock.