We started with a basically useless-to-us structure that came with the property when we bought it - a 4-foot tall doghouse with three and a half sides and a fairly significant shade extension. This area housed, as you can see from the photograph, mostly construction and lawn junk - as well as a makeshift archery range.
What I wanted for a coop was something a bit more discreet - nothing that screamed "chicken coop!" or was a horrible eyesore of scavenged parts. It needed to be secure but cost was definitely a factor, so if a feature wasn't really needed right now, or ever, it wasn't considered for this phase of the project.
The first thing we did was cut off the existing roof in strips, being careful to preserve the existing lumber in the rafters for reuse. The roof was decayed, and so was discarded.
Next, we attached 4x4 posts in the corners to support the new roof, extending the height of the structure by a bit over 3 feet, as well as some 2x4's for stability and to serve as an anchor for the walls. The old rafters and hardware were used to secure the roof. All lumber used in this part of the project was either scavenged from the old roof or obtained cheap (or free!) from Craigslist.
Next, we put up brand new siding for the walls, and plywood for the roof. This part went pretty fast.
Then, we painted to match the house - and put the siding on the roof, so it matched the run extension.
Next, we trimmed the degraded shingles on the run and added flashing to prevent future water damage. Next, my husband made me a door and paved the way for the step that really took the longest - the hardware cloth. I mean, this took forever. So many places to measure and cut screening for - I think my hands will be forever scarred! We opted to attach the cloth with staples in two different sizes (large ones for corners and approximately every foot and then medium-ish ones every three inches). This was far cheaper than it would have been to buy a hundred bolts and washers. I also added a L-bracket along the width of the new structure where it meets up with the shade portion, so it routes water away from the seam.
We added a nice window for ventilation in the middle of the structure.
Constructed a perch-y thing out of "seconds" wood we had leftover and some branches from a nearby dead tree - complete with removable poop board. I really like it because it can be picked up and moved outside for deep cleaning (or looking for hidden eggs, hehe).
And then we moved the chicks in!
In the near future, we are going to make a prop-able cover for the vents, but for now it should be okay. The chicks have another 5 months before we can expect eggs for them, so sometime between now and then we also want to make the it so the egg boxes accessible from the outside.
All in all, we spent less than $300 - and most of that was for the new siding, the shingles for the roof and all of the hardware (nails, hinges, latches, etc).
That's our coop! If you have an odd structure or unused storage shed on your property - I hope this gave you some ideas!
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