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Can I really do this myself????? Coop dilemma...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Merrymouse, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. Merrymouse

    Merrymouse Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Jan 8, 2017
    Massachusetts
    So, Im going to attempt to build a coop. I've never built anything in my life. Can I really do this? Ive helped my husband install hardwood floors so Ive installed baseboard and used a mitre saw, circular saw, drills, levels etc. I know I will need help with the heavy stuff. Im what you would call vertically challanged at 5' 1" and no one has accused me of being musclebound :) Im sure I will need help with huge pieces of plywood and roofing materials that probably outweigh me. I can enlist my husband and my 18 year old son to help too but I want to try to do most of it on my own. I think I can do it if I had a good plan. Its going to be expensive for materials so even though I know I will make mistakes I want a good plan to keep these at a minimum. Im still in the initial planning stage and planning on doing a modified Wichita style coop. I want my coop to be 8x4 and my run 8x12 ish. So my coop would be 32 sq ft and run would be 128 sq ft counting the space under the coop. I may make the run a little smaller but I was figuring the plywood comes in 4x8 sheets so I based my dimensions off of that and the fact that Im planning 6 to 8 chickens. So Im struggling with roofing material. My coop will back up to the wooded area of my lot which is deciduous trees so the back of the coop will get winter sun but the whole thing will be shaded in summer. So I was thinking clear-ish corrugated roofing panels would allow the warmth of the sun in winter but also keep out the element but I like the look of a solid roof better. So does anyone know where I can get a basic plan that I can tweak and work off of. Mostly Im worried about a materials list. I know there is so much to think about as far as materials go and I can't wrap my head around that part of it. Ive been scouring the pages here but I would really like to have a plan and materials list to eliminate guess work as much as possible. So this is the very beginning of my epic coop story, it could really go either way, epic success or epic failure. So far, does anyone see any major concerns with my plan? Im open to suggestions and all advice is welcome. Im sure this will only be the first of about a bazillion "please help me" posts. So Im going to rely on all you expert chicken keepers out there to walk me through this. Also I live in MA so the frozen tundra that is my backyard may hold me up a bit even though I want this done yesterday so I can order my chicks. Thanks all :)

    Please refer to this link for the rest of my saga. Im such a newbie to this forum stuff and I should have kept everything on one thread. Sorry, see you on the other thread:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1148526/technical-coop-building-question

    Hope that works, I clearly dont know what Im doing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  2. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Of course you can do it! I would enlist the help of your son, after all he owes you....

    You are on the right track, thinking about lumber dimensions, My coop is almost framed up and it is costing me more because I fit it in to the area I had, and its odd sized, I knew this going in though.

    Make it bigger is my best advice, I have never built something, garage, house etc and said later I wished I would have made it smaller...

    My coop is freaking huge, while its only 160 sq ft it has 12 foot ceilings, 3 working windows ( An expensive mistake when building my house I have been saving for 8 years) all this for 6 birds!


    Good luck

    Gary
     
  3. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh ya, WELCOME TO BYC!!!

    Gary
     
  4. moparchicken

    moparchicken New Egg

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    I just built a coop this summer,I converted the bottom level {aprox. 6x5} of my kids old n unused ply gym it was a heavy duty one I built about 12 years ago,it was a good starting point you can get them for free I see them in CL you just have to remove them,I left the upper level & slide intact still have some children come over from time to time,other wise I would have cut the upper level off & lowered the roof down,that was the biggest challenge with the roof still on the upper level had to figure out a way to keep water from entering.
     
  5. Merrymouse

    Merrymouse Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    So I just went out and bought the tools I need to get started. Planning planning planning. We actually had a break in the weather and it's been in the high 50's for the past two days, if only I had my plan on paper perhaps I could have started. Darn![​IMG]
     
  6. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northwest Hills of CT
    You can definitely do this! Just measure twice and cut once! You're not building a house, just a coop. So if you make a mistake, change the design a bit to compensate. Walls don't have to be perfectly straight, or plumb. Most importantly, take lots of pics and share them with us so we can see the progress!
     
  7. Merrymouse

    Merrymouse Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    775
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    Jan 8, 2017
    Massachusetts
  8. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    [​IMG]

    Well it sounds like you're pretty good at planning, judging by the way you put some real thought into it to work out the logistics. And you mentioned that you do have some experience working with wood. That's pretty much all I had when I built mine, I had never built anything bigger than a garage workbench before, never a structure of any kind, and it came out OK. As for cost I think that if you look at the prices of an equivalent sized commercial coop you will find that when all is done and said, building it yourself you will be saving money. Commercially built walk-in coops of similar size to what I built start at around $1,600. My coop and run combined cost less than $1,000. Granted, I was able to use the chain-link fencing panels and some of the welded wire from my previous run, but the saving on the coop alone were substantial.

    Take a look at the coops section and you will find a number of design ideas, and many include plans along with the step-by-step of the construction itself. Have fun.
     

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