I had been researching coops for over a year and finally narrowed down on a design. It borrows heavily from both Boisemarker's & Wichita coops. I really liked the look and feel of these, the sloping shed roof, the human access door to the run, the layout and how everything seems easily accessible and all under one roof.
I have gained so much knowledge and learned so much by looking through all the coop designs listed on this website that I wanted to return the favor. A picture truly is worth a thousand words when it comes to figuring out how to do or build something and seeing the pictures people have uploaded while building their coops has helped tremendously.
The area we wanted it in our backyard has a slight slope so I had to use the tiller to dig down the high end and pile that dirt on the low end to level it out a bit before starting on the foundation. I used regular cinder blocks dry stacked (not mortared in).
I filled the cinder blocks with dirt and placed cinder block caps on top to get a good flat surface for the wood foundation. We live in a wooded area with lots of chicken-eating-varmint so I wanted to make this thing a fortress. No one really demonstrates how to attach the hardware cloth to the foundation securely so I did it my own way. Ideally I wanted the hardware cloth to go under the blocks. But that would mean lifting the blocks up and after leveling them (time consuming process!) and I wasn't going to jostle them and screw that up. I ended up bending the sheets several inches up the sides of the inside of the blocks then lining all around the edges with broken brick that I had.
Here's how it looked after lining the edges with bricks . I overlapped the sheets of hardware cloth several inches and zip tied them together.
I filled it with dirt & leaves from a compost pile, hopefully it will be filled with worms & grubs by the time the chicks move in. I didn't put weed cloth down because I didn't want to block worms & creepy crawlies from coming up from underneath as the chicks would love that. If any weeds start to sprout the chicks will take care of those as well.
Now if a fox or raccoon can dig under this foundation, up through the hardware cloth lined with bricks and then through more dirt then I hate to say it but it might just deserve a chicken as a reward! Of course I hope this never does happen - time will tell.
Framing started next. Here's a shot of one of the corners. I used a Kreg pocket hole jig on the 4 corners on the foundation.
Here it is all 4 walls framed out, 8 feet tall in the front and 7 feet in the back.
With the rafters added. I used hurricane straps and some toe nailing.
Roofing OSB and tar paper down.
My father in law had some extra metal he offered to me for roofing! On it goes.
Laid it all out first to make sure everything lined up.
Then started on the coop on the far right side.
Late afternoon sun makes it glow!
I sloped the floor about an inch towards the front to help drain water when cleaning it out. Thanks for the design tip!
Working on the exterior nesting box. I was going to have it sectioned into 2 separate boxes but after seeing and reading about some "community nesting boxes" I think I'm going to try that out first. I've cut the partitions already so I can put them in easily and make boxes if needed later.
Bok bok they grow up SO FAST! Here are 4 of the 9 that we have in our flock.
Shot of the inside.
Nesting box complete. Instead of having the lid lift up I built it so the side falls down. I thought about this a lot and was torn on which way to do it. I've read about hinges leaking on the roof-lift-up design and preferred to have a solid immobile roof. I'm glad I did it this way, it ended up working perfect. It will also help when cleaning out the nesting box as the whole side will let down and I can scoop, scrape, clean and sweep it all right out with no obstacles in the way. I'll add a small board along the bottom so when you drop the side to get eggs the nesting fluff won't fall out. This design also makes it easily accessible to my young daughters without them having to climb on a stool or ladder to see inside and or get eggs.
Finish our house please!
Some painting and some hardware cloth goes up. Both doors almost finished.
I'll add more photos later...