The Chicken Mansion

By jpmabrey, Nov 19, 2012 | Updated: Dec 3, 2012 | | |
  1. jpmabrey
    The Chicken Mansion.jpg First of all, let me start out by saying that I have absolutely NO construction experience what-so-ever, so this little project turned out to be a huge undertaking, as the idea in my head quickly morphed into a an actual building. I didn't use any plans, other than build-it-as-you-go, pretty much because most of the material was donated to me. This project has taken me over 4 weekends, and I know that some of you could have built this a heck of a lot faster, but remember, most of this was donated, and what I had to buy had to wait for me to get the funds necessary to be able to purchase what I needed. I've already spent almost $800.00, and I still have quite a ways to go. Deck Screws are EXPENSIVE! Not to mention subfloor, treated wood, and etc., etc., etc. Luckily for me MOST of this was donated, otherwise I NEVER would have been able to get this far.

    Let's start off with the base - I got lucky and was given a bunch of treated 2 x 10's, so that's what the base, or floor of the coop was made from. I sunk 4 x 6's in the ground 36" and reinforced it with concrete, just to give it a little added stability. Plus, I needed to get below the frost line, just in case. It does get a little chilly here in Illinois.

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    Next, I added R30 insulation in the floor, since it is raised off the ground 24", I wanted to make sure that the coop stayed nice and warm in the winter, and cooler during the summer. I thought about using R38, but R30 did the job quite nicely.

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    Now that the base was installed, I used 3/4" plywood for the subfloor, and started mounting the studs in place for the walls. I used treated 2 x 4's for the base, and bolted them to the floor with 4" Lag screws. Now, I haven't even bought the windows yet, so there is no framing for the windows cut out, but I knew that our local Re-Store would have some that I could use, I just hadn't made it that far yet.

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    Now for the roof. And this was the tricky part. I wanted to have a gambrel roof, and the reasoning behind this is that I wanted to have that extra space inside in the event I ever transformed the building into something else. So, trying to figure out a 29/12 pitch and a 6/12 pitch without any prior experience was an enjoyable task to say the least. I ran purlins and a ridge so I could eliminate the need for a common rafter, and set them on top of a treated header.

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    Now for the windows - I got lucky and got both of these ginormous windows for next to nothing at our local Re-Store. Now that I had the windows, I had to cut the frame and install my framing for the windows, which knocked me back a day or two. But once the windows were installed, it really started looking like the coop I had imagined in my head.

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    And now, I just finished adding the door, and the outside nesting box. Pictured below are the 8-hole nesting boxes with a slant roof to eliminate any possible chance for water leakage.
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    And here is the door I built with the added steps, still have to finish a lot here, but it's slowly getting there. Today I'm putting the shingles on the roof, so hopefully it will start looking a little more finished....lol.

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    Now the fun part! Started putting the shingles on, and got the drip edge installed, which was oh so much fun. It has not been that easy getting the shingles to lay flat, especially since it was 37 degrees outside when I was putting them on! But other than that, it's starting to come together quite nicely. Next, I'm putting the siding on, which someone I know has generously donated enough vinyl siding to complete this little project of mine. Next picture I'll show the inside of the coop with the insulation installed, before I put the walls up!

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    And here is the coop with the roof finished, as well as the roof over the nesting boxes. I added 30# asphalt paper around the outside to act as a moisture barrier and vapor barrier before I put the siding on. A little overkill, I know, but I think this will ensure that my girls will be plenty warm in the winter, and cool in the summer, as well keeping out any water. Let me just tell you, I have no idea how to put a cap on a roof, and even with Google, trying to cut asphalt shingles to make the caps was not an easy task. Needless to say, the cap of the roof is not exactly perfect, but I'm sure it will do as it is intended. Now it's time for the siding!

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    And here's the other side of the coop, almost done!
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  1. jpmabrey
    Thank you for all of your comments! It has not been an easy task to do this, especially since as I've mentioned before that I have absolutely NO construction experience whatsoever. Let me just say that Google has been my best friend, as well as the people at Lowe's.
  2. Bogtown Chick
    Congrats on figuring the run and pitch for a rafter, let alone for a Gambrel Roof. That was tricky for mine and I didn't even get it right...just close enough I guess. Looks great and what a nice place for your chooks, you've started there!
  3. jpmabrey
    Thank you! More pictures to come and I'll provide as much detail as you need. I'll have to write it down, and then type it, because I honestly don't even know where to begin. It was a very long process, and is still going on. Hopefully I'm done before it gets really cold. My goal is to have it done by the end of this month, maybe the first week in December.
  4. rbuck4x4
    That is so very nice, please post more pics, along with as much detail as possible....
  5. Stumpy
    Looking good so far -- can't wait to see it finished.
  6. jpmabrey
    Here are the measurements.....
    It sits on 4 x 6 posts on the corners, each buried 36" in the ground, reinforced with concrete. The bottom of the coop is 24" off the ground, with the floor measuring 6' x 10'. It has a 29/12 pitch on the lower rafters, and a 6/12 pitch in the uppers. Running purlins and a ridge opens the inside rafters giving it an additional 3-1/2' in height, making the total height 9-1/2' from floor to ridge. It also features an 8-hole nesting box which is featured on the outside of the coop. (Picture coming soon) Any feedback would be great! It will house 25 chickens: 4 Aracaunas, 5 White Rocks, 5 Black Astrolorps, 5 Silver-Laced Wyandottes, 5 Red Stars, and one Buff Cochin.

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