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Can't get the floor level!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rainbowgardens, May 13, 2009.

  1. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Central Virginia
    I am about as frustrated as I have ever been.

    I am trying to set up the floor joists for my coop extention. It's going to be 8'x8'. I am, unfortunately, having to set it up on a slope. Not just any slope, but one that slopes in two directions! I am using a combination of cinder blocks and deck blocks with 4x4 posts. Half of one side is mounted directly to my other coop, (which, by the way, is not level.)

    I know the side mounted to the other coop is level. I also know the back side is level. My levels tell me that the other two directions and diagonally are only slightly off.

    The whole thing looks ridiculously crooked. I don't know if something is wrong with my levels, if I'm using them wrong, or if the whole thing is level and it's all just an opticle illusion.

    Anybody have experience with this kind of situation building their coops or sheds?
     
  2. CallyB57

    CallyB57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2009
    Northeast Louisiana
    Yes..I had to build my hen house on a slope also, and used cinder blocks, but then had to get the floor level using thin pieces of plywood or pieces of 2x4 on top of the cinder blocks, depending on how 'off' it was. After trying my hardest to get everything level, including the 2x4 studs, and not being able to, I just settled. It looks VERY lopsided simply because it sits on a slope, but it's close enough so that the chicks won't roll from one side of the hen house to the other. The easiest way to get those cinder blocks close to being level is to be sure there is a lot of loose soil beneath them..I just kept adding or taking away soil until I got them 'almost' right. I'm totally amazed at how sturdy it has become since I got the plywood sides and roof nailed down. If I use my level to check the 2x4 studs, those are not 'perfectly' straight up and down either, but this second hen house is turning out to be pretty nice, albeit a tad 'off'. If you can sit on the roof and the hen house does not collapse, you have done a great job. Just be sure the birds are not in there when you climb up on top.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Having been in this position with building a shed in the past... I'd say - don't trust your eyes. When your level says it's good... go with that.

    Do you have a picture?
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, my main suggestion (being as this is a chicken coop, not a house) would be to do the best you can and then run the siding down far enough that you can mock up the bottom edge with masking tape til it looks right and then cut in place to make it LOOK all happy and level [​IMG]

    One thing to consider, levels aren't always accurately level. To check your level (be it a bubble level or laser level -- water levels *are* always accurate but who ever actually uses one these days?), make marks that the level sez are truly level, and then test it in the opposite direction and see if it still sez it's level. Like, make a mark on post A and then another mark on post B according to the level; then go set your level at that post B mark and see if it still tells you that the original post A mark is level with it. If your level is off, you can fake it by measuring both ways and splitting the difference.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  5. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Central Virginia
    I never thought about reversing the level to see if it reads the same both ways. I'll have to re-check it.

    It must be the fact that two different slopes are converging on one corner. That corner is closest to the dirt because of the slope, and that's the side that looks too low.

    I'll go back out tomorrow, if it doesn't rain, and recheck it. Right now I need to unwind and refresh my poor nerves. I've spent four hours today trying to get it right.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:There ya go, THAT is a very smart hting to do [​IMG] It is amazing how things can sometimes be totally different the next day, sometimes right, usually easier at least [​IMG]

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  7. jonathansenn

    jonathansenn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2009
    East Dublin, GA
    Your chickens won't know the difference. [​IMG] I haven't exactly figured out if you are trying to level the floor or the post. If you are leveling the floor, level your floor joist and go with what your level tells you. It may be off if it is a short level, but not by much. Don't trust your eyes. If it's off a little it won't make a difference 8x8.
     
  8. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Central Virginia
    I'm trying to level the whole floor.
    Since I'm using cinder blocks and posts on deck blocks it's making it complicated.
    On top of that, my floor frame isn't even square. I don't have the plywood on it yet, so I'm hoping I can tweak it a bit once I get everything level.
    Oh, why don't my kids date carpenters or construction workers?
     
  9. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Central Virginia
    Okay, I found part of the problem.
    One of the boards was bowed in the middle. One end was showing level, but the other wasn't.
    I leveled out the lower end and now it all looks so much better.
    I'm feeling a lot calmer about this whole project now. I'm sure I can do this now.
    Thanks everyone for your help.
     
  10. sillybirds

    sillybirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 5, 2008
    California
    I feel your pain... I had to build my coop on a double sloping slope too!

    I used a water level, and it worked great. All it was was a piece of about 1/2" clear tubing that I filled with water. The best way to go by far in my opinion. If you want to know more details about how to make/use one, let me know.
     

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