building problem

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by newchickmom, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. newchickmom

    newchickmom Songster

    Nov 8, 2007
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Has anyone besides me have very soft ground?
    The spot where our new coop is going has very soft ground and I was wanting to know how to make a sturdy foundation for it. The coop is going to be 16 x 24 plus seperate 16 x 20 runs on each end of it.
    Does anyone have any ideas???
  2. seymojo536

    seymojo536 Songster

    May 16, 2007
    Central Ohio
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Well, first of all a building that size will need to be set properly into the ground (beyond frost depth), either on a full foundation or by means of having the structure be pole-built. (I.e., *not* just propped atop cinderblocks lying on the ground). I cannot stress enough the fact that your foundation or post foundations MUST BE securely below frost depth - in Indiana I would guess that to be at least 3' but you should check.

    By 'soft' you mean what -- all sand? Newly fluffed up, unconsolidated topsoil on a normal firm subsoil? Or do you mean Chronically Damp?

    The first two are not a problem, they just require you to have somewhat broader and/or deeper footings than you would otherwise.

    The latter, though, if it's what you mean, is going to cause large amounts of ongoing headaches unless you either a) relocate the coop to higher ground or b) spend a LOT of money on ditching and having sand/gravel/roadbase/whatever trucked in. It is a big mistake to put a coop in an area prone to wetness or flooding -- even if the coop floor is high enough to stay abovewater (which will always be a worry) having the runs frequently wet will make them stink to high heaven and is also not very kind or healthy for the chickens.

    Hopefully you meant one of the other kinds of 'soft', though [​IMG]

    Good luck,

  4. nautical_bouy

    nautical_bouy Songster

    Mar 23, 2008
    Beaver PA
    Any options will be expensive and require a lot of labor or a backhoe.

    In my opinion, your two best options are, one,,,
    every 8' dig down 4-5',,,, 2-3' wide and pour concrete pads.

    Option two, this is done here for patios and porches many times due to the amount of ground water we have,,
    build a 6'' thick floating slab with lots of re-bar in it.
  5. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
    You could not just put posts 2 feet+ deep with cement in the holes?
  6. Greyscale Rainbow

    Greyscale Rainbow In the Brooder

    Jul 7, 2008
    Bristol, England
    We have somewhat uneven ground which is also on a slope. We found a couple of spare concrete lintels (long story) in our garage and put them down. Works a treat!


    The red crosses indicate where the legs of the coop are - the whole coop is about 2 foot off the ground.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  7. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Quote:No problem! Build it just west of my garden.
  8. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    Find out how deep the frost gets each winter, (try your county extension office or perhaps your road commision, dept transportation) dig a bit deeper and pour a concrete footing for each post.
  9. greggy

    greggy Songster

    Jan 22, 2008
    Reed City, Michigan
    In west Michigan we have primarily sandy soil. I decided to build my 8X12 coop on a free standing deck type foundation using pressure treaded wood. I did not set my posts in concrete although that is an option. Just make sure that they are set deep. Mine are 30 inches or so, well below the frost line for this area.
  10. newchickmom

    newchickmom Songster

    Nov 8, 2007
    Lafayette, Indiana
    We have very soft, rich topsoil and moles and is very easy for the chickens to dig in. It does not flood though (thank goodness). We decided to go with concrete floor after seeing how the old shed that was there had sunk about 4" on one corner, but I don't know how deep to make the foundation or what should go under the concrete (if anything)
    Someone said something about a floating slab. is that a good idea for this ground condition?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: