Are we crazy? Moving an old brooder house 10 miles. Pics included

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Kristib2pea, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. Kristib2pea

    Kristib2pea Chirping

    Apr 14, 2008
    I would really like to get the opinion of some of you veteran coop builders out there. My SIL and I are trying to make preparations to get chickens. She lives on an acreage and has plenty of room, I live in a small town, who sadly has an ordinance against chickens.

    Anyway, we've been offered an old brooder house, if we move it off her place. We also might be able to buy, reasonably priced 200 feet of 72' chain link fence. It is over 12 years old and has some bent poles, etc.

    Obviously it is going to be a lot of work to move the building which is about 10 X 16. Plus if you look closely at the pictures there is quite a bit of rot in the rafters and in the back wall and floor.


    There was an old ice house by the back corner, it has rotted the boards out and has started sinking here.

    Lots of rotten wood and mildew.

    The floor closest to where the ice house was is gone as well.

    Chain link fence~

    The cement slab that we plan to put the house on.

    My question is do you think this is worth fixing up? My SIL and I are planning on doing a lot of work ourselves, but there is a lot we can't do without the help of my husband and his brother. They have their own home improvement business and so it is not a question that they can't handle work of this type- although they do more siding, windows, etc. than framing, roofing, etc. But their time is limited as they already work long hours on their own jobs.

    So I am wanting honest opinions. I have my doubts about jacking up and moving a building that has some obvious rotten spots- but at the same time, I think even with repairing, it might be more cost effective and less time consuming once we get it moved than building from scratch.

    What do you think about the cement slab? It is not very level.

    The chain link fence? Would we be better off just buying 72' fencing that has the 1" X 2"openings and using the existing poles?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated....especially if you've moved a building before.

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  2. So Cool! Windows, too! And it has personality, a history, and to be able to spiff it up and create life and joy within, again, I'd say YES!!! And the fencing is quite easy to save, I do so all the time:) I just stand on the buckled area and straighten it out by my weight (which has increased as I hit middle age!) so I've gotten a lot of fencing for very cheap prices:) Recycle, its a great plan!
  3. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia
    I personally would take the chain link. You can bend those pole's back out.

    As far as the little broody house goes, not real sure about that. Depending on how rotten the wood is it may fall apart if you try to move it. Why not let dh look at it and see what he thinks. Goodluck in what ever you decide to do!!
  4. 92caddy

    92caddy Egg Lover

    May 18, 2007
    Portland, IN
    I would bust my butt and get both. I would love to have that brooder, I would do whatever I could to get it moved, you may want/have to cut in half or pieces to move, but one way or another I would have it moved. Just my thoughts.......
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It pretty much comes down to how much rot and *where*. If the frame of the building has pervasive rot -- the sills, the corners, where the rafters rest atop the walls -- then it may be better to just let it go. But if the rot is confined to that one part of the floor and a few wall boards, that's not *so* bad.

    What shape are the roof boards in, can you tell? I ask because the shingles are welllll beyond the end of their lifespan [​IMG] so it seems likely that at least some roof damage has occurred. You WILL have to replace the shingles (tear off, because they're so extensively messed up, and then replace either with new shingles or something else e.g. roof tin), but if you have to replace much of the roof *decking* too, then that is another big headache and expense.

    Have your husband look at it and see what he thinks it'd cost to repair, and how structurally-stable he thinks it is for moving. (If it's too thoroughly rotted in crucial places you may not be *able* to move it)

    The main thing IMO about the concrete slab is, does it move with the season (does it heave in winter). If it does move significantly it may not be wise to put a sizeable building on it, as doing the seasonal tango is going to gradually work the building's joints apart. If it doesn't, I don't see it as being all that difficult to use cement blocks or etc to shim the corners level for a building to sit on, and then trim out below to meet the uneven slab. It would be a bit of a nuisance, but probably not that big of a one considering how nice a concrete floor is and how expensive it'd be to pour a new one [​IMG]

    It is, again, a significant job to relocate all that chainlink (esp. since the posts are probably concreted in, urgh!, and will have to be re-dug-in at your place plus reassembling all the bars and re-stretching the fence) but it does make a nice fence and if the price is a lot better than buying wire fencing I'd go for it.

    You have a WHOLE BIG LOT of work cut out for you with this... but it can most certainly be done [​IMG] Good luck,

  6. Renovating an older building is twice the work of a new build (been there, did that) and moving a building that is not in peak condition will be a huge task, and could prove costly.

    For example, would it fit under the power lines on the route ( there is a hefty fee for trailering lines that must be moved). Can you acquire/rent a trailer big enough; how will you lift the building (cranes are mega-expensive). If it were me, I'd suggest that the SIL scavange the building for usable lumber and cut down and bundle the fencing. You are going to be uber-busy with the coop and run. Hubby and I are completing our coop/run now after a lengthy and challenging winter. It is more work that I had dreamed- well worth it, but still... if you can save enough money to make the extra effort worthwhile that's one thing, but if moving the building causes you endless work/grief/expense I'd build from scratch, using recycled materials where available.

    That said, you're starting on a wonderful adventure and you're going to have chickens!
  7. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    It's a beauty of a brooder house. I'd be like you and want to move it. My dh would say - what are you crazy [​IMG] The truth probably falls somewhere in the middle. If the wood is not rotting, then it's more likely do-able, but if the wood is rotten in too many places, you might want to build/buy a new shed.

    Good luck either way!
  8. Solace

    Solace Songster

    Apr 16, 2008
    Rutherford County, NC
    Instead of moving the building have your husband and his brother take it apart. Then reuse what wood you can to create a 'new' rustic brooder house.

    As for the fence I'd take it. It's easy to make use of the used materials.

    In the end it's a win win on both fronts.
  9. hiddenmagnolia

    hiddenmagnolia Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    South Louisiana
    I agree with solace.It might be cheaper just to take the building apart. And reuse anything that you can save. The fence and posts yes take it down and dig them up we have recycled fence.
  10. Riparian

    Riparian Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    Heres my suggestion.

    If it were me I would move it as is, get a pressure washer and pressure wash the inside.

    There is a product called Virkon, its a disinfectant that kills Virus's, bacteria, spores and fungi. We use it in our pig barns and I used it on the cellar of an old farmhouse that I just moved in to. It works really well. I used a sprayer attachment on my pressure washer that sprayed it out as a pink foam. Let it sit, then rise it off. The pressure washer will expose all the boards that need to be replaced, you can do that after it is dry. The pressure washer will make the inside of that coop look like new again.

    After all that, get some fans going and hopefully its a real hot day and you can dry it out within 24 hrs.

    Anyway, thats just what I would do. I think its a nice coop, dosent look to bad to me. If you can move it I would, I personally would rather leave it where it stands than take it apart.

    Good luck.


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