Building a run, lumber types to use

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tororider, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. tororider

    tororider Chillin' With My Peeps

    375
    2
    141
    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    If I am going to be building a run, can I use all 2x4's or do you think the upright supports should be 4x4s? Should all the lumber that comes into contact with the ground be pressure treated, or if I paint it, can I get away with regular dimensional lumber? Thanks
     
  2. nccountrygirl

    nccountrygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2007
    Sanford N.C.
    We used 4x4 pressure treated post for the support and pressure treated for any thing that touched the gound, we also used 2x4's for the rest of it.
     
  3. cjdeere

    cjdeere Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Feb 29, 2008
    Hannibal, Missouri
    Well, I know more about building than I do chickens so... In my experience any time you contact the ground with any type of wood it should be treated wood. You can use 2x4's for the run framing but for supporting corners I would recommend 4x4's. You don't want to have to remove a 2x4 from the ground and replace it with a 4x4 later. Anyway treated 2x4's and 4x4's aren't that far apart in price to justify using all 2x4's. I hope I've helped and not confused [​IMG]
     
  4. tororider

    tororider Chillin' With My Peeps

    375
    2
    141
    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    The only reason it would make a difference is I have an abundance of 2x4s, not pressure treated, so 4x4s and pt lumber I will have to buy.
     
  5. cjdeere

    cjdeere Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Feb 29, 2008
    Hannibal, Missouri
    I see,,,Well, it would last for a little while but you would be replacing wood before you know it and would end up costing you more in the long run [​IMG]
     
  6. tororider

    tororider Chillin' With My Peeps

    375
    2
    141
    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    I am not going to cement anything into the ground as I am hoping to move in a couple years and want to take the coop/run with me. I am going to build similar to the plans designed by Chrystal and the garden coop. It will be backed up to my garage on its east side. I will be placing it on my grass, at least until the chickens tear up the grass inside the run. I was hoping that by sealing/painting the 2x4s that are to come into contact with the ground I can eliminate the need to buy pt lumber. If I use glue and half lap joints can I get away with using 2x4s. I know I will have to use more than if I used 4x4s on the corners, but I think I can make it work, right?????


    If I get pt 2x4s for the ground contact part, do you think the rest will work?
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2008
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    87
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I was hoping that by sealing/painting the 2x4s that are to come into contact with the ground I can eliminate the need to buy pt lumber.

    Sorry, but nope. Painting or sealing the parts on or in the ground may buy you an extra six months, is all. Really not worth the bother.

    If I use glue and half lap joints can I get away with using 2x4s. I know I will have to use more than if I used 4x4s on the corners, but I think I can make it work, right?????

    I am not clear on what you're proposing... are you saying that your run will not have anything sunk into the ground at all? If so, you *can* build it without 4x4s, yes. If you are not using very strong wire mesh (e.g. heavy-gauge welded 1x1) I would add some diagonal braces here and there to prevent racking. You will also want to give some attention to anchoring it so that it can't blow over, and something (possibly a wire skirt) so nothing can dig under.

    BUT if you want to be taking this with you in a few years, I would really very strongly recommend using pressure-treated stock for the horizontal pieces along the ground (which you will need if you have no posts sunk into the ground). If you do not, there may not be much down there *left* to move when the time comes, and believe me it is really really obnoxious to remove rotted pieces of wood from a structure like that and replace them. Another thought, for future portability, is to build the sides and top of the run as separate panels -- sort of like you'd make a stud wall of a shed -- and bolt them carefully together in a way that is sturdy but disassembleable.

    OTOH if I've misunderstood, and you are going to sink posts into the ground, you really ought to have pressure treated 4x4s for the corners. For strength and stability of the whole run. If you are dead set on substituting 2x4s, the thing to do would be to nail(or screw)-and-glue two 2x4s together along their full length to 'make' a 4x4. If you have plenty of free 2x4s I guess you could do this... HOWEVER, it will rot through faster than a 4x4 would. And if it's not pressure-treated stock, it will rot thru pretty fast where it's sunk in the ground.

    Hope this helps,

    Pat​
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Now I really don't know anything about building except what I have done. I have 3 movable coops that a set of people can lift and move once a year. I used 1x4's, 2x4's and 2x2's with lots of cross bracing and wood glue so it would not be to heavy. One is 4x8x2, one is 8x8x5 with a 8x8x4 A roof that comes off, and the last is a 4x8x5. Each has an attached hutch. I used all just cheap untreated lumber from the store and painted each piece individually, assembled, and painted again with red oak stain of some sort. The oldest which is 10 years old or so now is showing wear on the bottom against the ground because It's been dragged along the ground while moved and the paint all came off, along with litter piling up inside and it having some moss on the outside edges on the north end. Then in one move, I ran into a rock and broke a bottom 1x4 beam of the coop.

    It's a rainy, damp, moist, squishy western washington here, and I say I have about 5 years left with the coop if I continue to move it 2-3 times a year like I have. Most of it's damage comes from the moves but it's "light" and large. I say listen to the experts if you want a coop that will last longer than 15 years. I was 12 at the time so I was underfunded and under knowledged. However, I am still happy with the structure.

    For an idea on what I am talking about, this one is about 3 years old and serves as a run/breeder coop .
     
  9. raindrop

    raindrop Chillin' With My Peeps

    712
    4
    151
    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    What about metal T-posts to provide something in the ground for support, then can use cross-bracing, etc for the rest so it is portable. You can get T-posts out of the ground and take them with you as long as the ground is soft.
     
  10. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    the plans designed by Chrystal and the garden coop.

    Where would I find this garden coop plans??Thanks Dixie
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by