Build or Buy?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by FranciscoR, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. FranciscoR

    FranciscoR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been religiously searching online and in stores for a Chicken Coop. The designs some folks have comes up with are pretty impressive. Here is my dilemma though. There are a multitude of big-box store coops. However, I find their quality questionable. There are a lot of "home-Built" ones I can buy, that look infinitely more durable. And then I could possibly build my own. Am I wrong in thinking that it would be a better investment to build my own (I've been doing projects for YEARS, and have enough tools for a business), rather than buy a $300 "kit" online?
     
  2. kueblercoop

    kueblercoop Out Of The Brooder

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    I had the same dilemma recently. I did not like the reviews of the box kits, seemed they did not hold up long. I did not want to pay a lot for a solid custom built. I went with build your own... or I should say I worked with my in laws to build it. They used reclaimed lumbar from a fence they took down but pallet boards would work as well. We did A LOT of researching, posts such as "10 things I would do different" concerning coops were helpful. I have about 250ish dollars in materials (again, much wood was reclaimed and we used hinges and other hardware we already had) and have a wonderful coop that I see used on Craig's list for between 500 to 1000.
    Just my recent experience.
    FYI: My coop space is about 4.5x4 and total run space is about 4.5 x8. 2 nesting boxes on side that cannot be seen in this picture. enclosed in 1/2 inch hardware (found best price on amazon as a prime member). Door is about 5 feet tall but peek inside is over 6 feet, easy to stand in. Ramp folds up, as in picture, to shut the coop door. window on other side and light comes though transparent roofing. all doors have double locks to ensure racoons don't enter and there is hardware cloth one foot out on the side so nothing digs under.

    Good luck


    [​IMG]
     
  3. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are handy with tools and have time, do it yourself. You will get satisfaction of the end product and I believe cheaper to DIY, just make your own design and go for it.. Look in this website and you will get plenty of ideas. I found some designs here at BYC that I liked and combined them. The only thing I regret is that I should have thought about the location a little bit more before I build it. I have been adding to it as the number of chickens and turkeys increase. can't move it outside the backyard fence without a crane. LOL
    Here is my coop after the addition


    [​IMG]

    This is the addition, on the top part is where I put the babies once they have feathers. On the bottom, I can put a hen with her eggs so is not disturbed.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
    2 people like this.
  4. FranciscoR

    FranciscoR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been toying with the idea of cutting my own lumbers. I have 2 acres myself, and have access to all the fallen trees I want on a 60acre plot (hundred of trees ranging from 20ft to what seems like 100ft tall have fallen).

    If I can get my hands on a chainsaw mill (even if bought at $175), I could go nuts building a coop, stall for future animals, etc. I have a big STIHL saw, so I've got the power needed. I am starting with chickens this year, and next year will move to add goats / horses to my acreage (ok, maybe just ponies...lol). I really think a solidly constructed portable mill would be a good investment. I could build a coop and stall, using "free" items off Craigslist for next to nothing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  5. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    you'd be much better off building your own. You get what you want, how you want it done. You get the satisfaction of doing it, and looking at the end results and thinking 'wow I did this'!

    as for cutting your own lumber, sounds like a great idea, but wouldn't you have to cut it and let it set for a while to dry and cure? You build with green lumber it's going to shrink and leave cracks......

    if you decide to buy lumber, always check for rejects and the 'cull' bin. you can get some bargains for sure. I bought enough 2x4's to completely frame my coop in for $51.....
     
  6. twfernandez

    twfernandez Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Hello, FranciscoR! I'm in the process of building my own coop right now, and I agree with the sentiment that the DIY approach will be cheaper and yield a more satisfying result.
    So far, the largest expense I've incurred has been the hardware cloth, as I have a gentlemen nearby who cuts and cures lumber as you were considering, and sells the finished boards for only $1/each, so I've been lucky in terms of getting good, inexpensive materials.
    The only this I would maybe throw out there is that a pre-built product would certainly be faster than building your own. Of course, you would know best, based on your schedule - but I think that the time involved in building your own coop should be taken into consideration.
    Sound like you have the ability to do either, which puts you in a great position! Whichever you choose, best of luck to you!
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Definitely build your own if you are the least bit handy.
    Store bought coops are overpriced, notorious for poor quality/layout and worse yet, grossly over exaggerate how many birds their building will hold.

    X2 with PapaChaz on the concern for shrinkage. You can always add wood later to cover openings between boards. I don't worry about air infiltration (big ventilation is a good thing) but I would worry if any crack approaches and inch (mink/weasels/rats).
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  8. FranciscoR

    FranciscoR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It would take a lot of time, maybe all summer. But then again, there's no rush. This is an experience I want to have with both my wife, and my 2yr old daughter. I think it's very important to have my daughter grow up not only accustomed to the outdoors, but also be self-sufficient when it comes to housing repairs, hunting, fishing, etc. If I wanted it done right away, then yes, I could order a big coop or stall to be built. Once I started looking at quality and cost, I thought 1) it wasn't terribly justifiable, and 2) this is an experience that could last her for a lifetime.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That's admirable but she's not likely to pick up or retain much about construction at 2.

    Another option is to get a storage shed and then modify it to make it a good coop. They're usually pretty tight for predator protection. They would need more windows though.
     
  10. twfernandez

    twfernandez Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    @FranciscoR, I completely agree about the experience - my wife and I are building together, and we've been having a fantastic time! Sounds like building your own coop would not only save you money, but it would be an investment in quality and love! [​IMG]
     

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