Coop renovation - please help me!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Meesh, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. Meesh

    Meesh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2008
    Rocky Mountains
    Hi - I am converting this old porch into my coop. It is an old building that we plunked down over our basement well, and the whole building is going to be moved in a few weeks. In the meantime, I'd like to clean it out and move my 5 wk old chicks into it.

    [​IMG]

    I found the missing front door and will be installing it ASAP. The glaring problem is that there is no back wall on it. It used to sit up against a mobile home originally.

    [​IMG]

    FIRST ISSUE:

    I am going to site it in my old garden, it will be facing the road & sidewalk so I'd like the front to look reasonably nice. The back will have a door to the enclosed chicken run. I would like to have egg boxes on the front that I can get to from the sidewalk. So I need to either:

    Build the missing back wall to include a door and egg boxes and use this as the front of the coop, and somehow make it look nice

    OR

    Add egg boxes onto that existing building front, and build the back wall to be the access to the run area. I am leaning toward doing it this way, because the front of it already looks nice.

    Also consider the back of the building does not have a nice looking eve because it was made to sit against a house. I am not sure how to make the roof look good without doing a LOT of work, pulling back roofing and adding an extension... Though in thinking about it, I could make a nice roof extension and porch over the sidewalk to deal with the missing roof eve. Hmmmmm. Tempting thought, though it sounds like a lot more work. [​IMG]

    So, those of you knowlegable about construction, which option will be better to build, look nicer, etc? I obviously need to get that back wall built before the chicks can move in, so I'd like to get busy on it this week. Errr, probably tomorrow actually.

    SECOND ISSUE:

    The walls are covered with plaster, but it's delapidated around the edges by the back wall (see second photo). I think that will be OK since I am going to build a wall there. Should I cut the plaster back and then build the wall? Or do I frame the new wall right over the plaster? How do I cut plaster??

    That's it for now. I am sure I will be asking more questions as I go along.

    Cheers,
    Michelle
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    That's a really cute little building, it will make a super attractive coop! [​IMG]

    To me, the biggest issue is actually the lack of a roof overhang on the wall-less side.

    The only 'quick fix' I can think of would be to carve back the plaster (it's really plaster, not sheetrock? sheetrock would make your life easier...) and inset your new wall so that its outer surface is flush with the edge of the roof, and then pry the roofing back (is it shingles or tin? tin would make your life easier...) and sneak in a very narrow strip of tin, or even a strip of flashing, so that you have at least *some* overhang. Would be wise to put right-angle flashing underneath it on the top edge of the wall as well.

    But that will still entail a fair bit of aggravation, and will not be the most attractive or structurally ideal arrangemnt.

    So actually, I think if it were me I would be inclined to still use the wall-less side as the back (run) side of the coop, but build a roofed porch that actually sits a few inches HIGHER THAN the existing structure's roof. This would allow you to keep the existing roof flush against a taller wall, exactly as it's already designed to be. Thus simplifying attachment of the new wall. I'd personally try to flash the junction of the roof with the new wall, but if you put enough overhang on that side of the higher porch roof it will not be so much of an issue.

    So you'd end up with something that seen from the side would look kinda like:
    ___________
    ______________| |
    | | |
    | | |
    |_____________ |_________ |
    | | |
    | | |
    | existing bldg | open porch
    ________|______________|________|_____________________

    (please pardon some things not lining up exactly, my ASCII art skills are growing rusty <g>)

    Does that make sense?

    On the one hand it would be a bigger project with more materials required, but on the other hand it would be *simpler* and much more straightforward, give you some cover over the coop-wards part of the run (size of porch is totally discretionary, the point is to get that wall and a slightly overhanging roof up there), and it would look much better and be much more structurally robust and long-lasting. IMO.

    Just a thought, anyhow. GOod luck,

    Pat
     
  3. Meesh

    Meesh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2008
    Rocky Mountains
    Thanks Pat. [​IMG] Brilliant ascii rendition!!

    Yes, the guy who built it does lots of plaster work and it's actually plaster. My brother said I could nail my wall studs right over the plaster... So that means I can put up that wall fairly easily.

    Your ascii art is really good - that's exactly what I was thinking, too. It will be begging for a porch & deck to be added on, and if I make it with a nice rail around it and a gate, it should be a great place to store a deckbox for feed and sundries.

    Yes, more work, but really not that much more in materials (hey, free building). And DH will be happy that it looks nice.

    One more question: should I frame in a window above the nest boxes??? I didn't know if the hens would like that or not.

    I posted a plan for my framing. PLMK if this look good. Red are studs, the blue are doubled header boards (whatever they are called). Looks like about 16 boards to me, plus a sheet of OSB. Guess I could try sheet rock on the inside.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Michelle
     

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