Hello all, I've been reading the forums and have found them very useful so far. I have wanted to get a few chickens for almost ten years now. I'm finally in a position where I have the time, space, and budget to do so. I'd like to get a coop set up in time to get a few chicks in the spring. I have several factors to consider: 1. I live in a suburban neighborhood with a relatively small backyard. City ordinances allow chickens as long as the neighbors don't oppose it. Our next door neighbors have a coop and several hens, so I think neighbors will be okay. 2. I'm in north-central Utah, not too far from Salt Lake City. Winters are moderate (I grew up in Minnesota, so by comparison, they're downright pleasant), although we do have cold snaps that linger in the single digits for a week or so, and summer can get hot and very dry. The backyard is west-facing, so I do think I'll need to provide some shade in the summer. 3. I am living with family for the next year or two. After that, there is a good chance I will move, so I would like something I can take with me when I leave -- in other words, not a permanent structure. 4. My carpentry skills are limited. I have a friend who is handy and willing to help, but I don't want to be a burden and would like to do as much as possible on my own. 5. I'm looking at getting 2-3 hens, possibly bantams, primarily to keep as pets, with eggs as a bonus. My 6 year old will be my "helper." She is very excited about the project and thinks anything small is "cute." 6. Budget is $500-800 or so. I know the chickens don't care, but I'd like it to look nice (and be functional, too). 7. The yard is fully fenced, although I think a bird might be able to hop the low chain link fence or slip through the gate on the side of the house. Oh, and the side gate is the only access to the back yard -- it's 4-1/2 feet wide, so I'd like to be able to fit the coop through there to move it out someday. 8. The hens won't get much free-range time, so I'd like to get a coop with an enclosed/attached run. I am currently looking at the Garden Ark plans from the Garden Coop or the Mobile Coop or Backyard Coop from Urban Coop Company. Do you think with the Mobile Coop that the girls would stay warm enough in the winter? It doesn't have a floor at all, although I could winterize by adding some panels over the screens. I've read some other threads about the Backyard Coop -- some owners love them and others think the wire floor is a bad idea. The Mobile Coop doesn't have a floor. Alternatively, I could convert an A-frame trellis that is currently in place in the yard into a coop. This would not be mobile, but it might be less of an investment, so that could be okay. The trellis is made of 2x4's cemented into the ground and with cedar wood lattice on the sides. It's about 6 feet tall and 4 ft square at the bottom. If I don't use the trellis, the coop would probably go in that far corner. Here is a photo: I'd appreciate any advice for an absolute beginner as far as the coop design goes or for what breed of birds might be a good choice for us. Thanks for being willing to share your knowledge!