CDX plywood for coops a no-no?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jmc, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Strictly speaking, CDX plywood (and OSB) are NOT exterior grade products (even if the stamp shows 'Exposure 1'). They are 'permitted' to be in full exposure to elements only temporarily; until finished exterior materials are put over them. T-111, however, is 'Exterior grade' material, unlike CDX (and OSB). This, at least, according to the websites and books I have read.

    Has anyone built a coop out of CDX?

    Hope it's been painted, at least, and even then, how long, really, will it last?

    Can anyone with more years of experience address, and/or eliminate, this concern? I was planning on building another coop with CDX when I made this (unwelcome) discovery.

  2. ChickenTender63

    ChickenTender63 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2008
    Alamance, NC
    As long as you keep a good quality paint on it and keep the wood sealed, it will last longer than you need it to.

    When you look back at the houses built in the south, many of these used heart pine siding, that was not treated in any way other than a good coat of oil based paint, and many have lasted 100-200 years with only minor deterioration.

    If your willing to put forth the time and effort of painting when needed, go for it. It will be there for your kids when your done if you keep it up.

    Good luck!
  3. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Thanks, Tenders!

    So quick a reply, also.

    I sort of envy you down in NC this time of year, esp!!!

  4. FrChuckW

    FrChuckW Father to all, Dad to none

    Sep 7, 2008
    Louisville, KY

    Your winters are much like that I grew up with in Michigan, and somewhat the same here in Kentucky(Only without all the snow,just the cold)

    I have used exterior grade OSB sheets for building several of my pigeon lofts over the years. As long as you put a good sealant coat of paint on all surfaces exposed to the elements or put some sort of siding on it, it will last for years. If you use 2x4 or 2x6 framing that will give you enough room to run any plumbing and/or electrical supply lines you need into your coop. It will also give you enough depth to put in insulation. One bit of caution about the inside of your coop. I have found that using those sheets of material that have a wipeable surface (Like the kind that they use for shower stalls) it will make cleaning easier, also it will prevent the chickens from pecking at the insulation. Also, you can get sheets of linoleum for the floor. This will also aid in cleaning and sanitation.

    What I also do is use Liquid Nails anywhere wood meets wood, to secure the two pieces together even though they are nailed/screwed together. I also caulk any corners or crevices to prevent creepy crawlies from getting to my birds.

    Hope this helps
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    yup, roof overhangs and paint (done right in the first place, and kept up with as necessary) will do most of the job.

    The most vulnerable parts are anywhere the plies are exposed -- edges of sheets, holes you cut in 'em, etc. It is worth the extra care and swear words required to protect those parts as best possible... flashing, trim, caulk, more caulk, etc, as situation calls for.

    I can tell you that plywood horse jumps (the kind painted to look like brick walls and such), which are pretty universally made out of painted 5/8 or 3/4" CDX and spend much of their lives on damp ground, can generally be relied on for at least 5 years of *good* service and if repainted regularly you can get as much as 10-15 yrs out of them (although you may have to replace or add on to the bottom frame) before they start getting big ol' rot holes along the bottom edges. And that's much rougher service than a well-designed well-maintained coop will see.

  6. PassthePeace1

    PassthePeace1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I'll second that, and raise you....mixing linseed oil with the oil-base paint for the first coat, for an extra oily boost to soak in the wood. [​IMG] That's how my grandpappy always did it, and I have tried it myself with great sucess.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  7. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Very glad to get your replies, folks. Thank you all!
  8. big greg barker

    big greg barker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2008
    central maine
    I once used OSB to build a horse barn with. I put a good coat of exterior paint on it, and it lasted 20 years.
  9. ametauss

    ametauss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2008
    Shepherdsville, KY
    I'm just finishing my coop and we used CDX plywood... Painted it this weekend inside with nice thick coat of oil paint and outside was sprayed with wood sealer.... next weekend I'm painting the outside with barn paint to be sure everything is covered...

    I'm planning to paint inside every spring just to make sure it stays "clean".....

    The hard part was all the cut ends to paint well... told DH that we should have painted prior to putting it together.... that would have left me with only the ends to seal... much easier in my humble opinion... but what do I know... I'm only a girl....


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