Coop roof and insulation questions??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by austinfarm, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. austinfarm

    austinfarm In the Brooder

    Jul 1, 2010
    I am trying to design an affordable chicken coop, but I am not a builder. I am not sure the correct way to do things. I have a couple questions.

    Question 1:

    If I am going to use corrugated tin on the roof, do I have to use plywood underneath it or can I just lay it over a frame of 2x4s?

    Question 2:

    I live in south eastern washington. We are considered desert. In the winter it usually gets down to the teens or 20s during the day in January or Feb. The rest of the winter is usually around 32-40 degrees. I want to get 4 Rhode Island Reds. Do I need to insulate my coop or will they be okay in a 4X4 coop? The reason I ask is because I saw someone in Parma, ID selling chicken coops and none of them are insulated. The weather in those parts is pretty similar to here. I also read somewhere that you should keep the windows wide open even in the winter? What do you think?

    Thanks in advance. I have never had chickens before so any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. u8sushi

    u8sushi In the Brooder

    May 3, 2010
    If your coop is close to the house I would use plywood under the tin to cut down on the rain noise.

    I would insulate to keep warm in the winter and cooler in the summer. Good luck Chickens are habit forming and I need a 12 step program.
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    You wouldn't NEED insulation, but it's nice to have. Most in my area sell coops without insulation, but most people in this area view them as "just chickens," pretty disposable (not MY view). I will say, in a 4 x 4 coop, insulating would be hard, because it'd take SO much of your space. And honestly, your birds would most likely be fine without it, although I certainly would NOT leave windows wide open when it's freezing and below. You want plenty of ventilation up high (above roost level), but you certainly don't want cold drafts blowing on your birds in cold weather...dead chickens is what you'll end up with.
    IMO, you should put the metal roofing on top of plywood. Metal alone tends to sweat, and you don't want moisture build-up in your coop, plus a sushi mentioned, the noise of rain would be deafening... Good luck!
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    You can just install it on 2x4 purlins(strapping, nailers, whatever ya want to call them) attached horizontally on your rafters or trusses.

    HOWEVER if you frequently get below freezing in winter, you will need to have something on the underside of the metal roof, either insulation or plywood. Otherwise it becomes a 'condensation/frost farm' and you get humidity problems that cannot necessarily be solved easily.

    You don't need insulation in your climate. It wouldn't HURT, though.

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. austinfarm

    austinfarm In the Brooder

    Jul 1, 2010
    Thank you for the replies. I was wondering what size boards you would use under a sloped roof and if you would need to cover the gaps that would make in the winter time? I was afraid since heat rises it would go right out of the coop, but if all the windows are closed that would be the only ventilation.
  6. write2caroline

    write2caroline Songster

    Jun 21, 2009
    The reason for the high ventilation is to avoid frostbite - if the coop ventilation is limited a lot of moisture is in the air and the chickens can get frostbite on their combs and feet.
  7. Coreyboy18

    Coreyboy18 Chirping

    Jun 17, 2010
    New Orleans, LA
    Quote:I am in New Orleans and I think we have similar temperatures, with the exception of the humidity. I did a galvanized tin roof on mine and the heat without a board under it seems like it would act as an oven (you know the Coleman ovens that you can buy for when you go camping?). So I put a piece of plywood underneath and it is great, absorbs the heat, helps with the sound from the rain, and I also built a gutter on it to harvest rainwater. I left the lip at the roof open to allow the heat to rise up and flow out. There's a picture to show below...


    Hope this helps!

  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:Actually, as long as the gaps are covered with hardware cloth (if they're bigger than an inch or so), you WANT the warm, moist air escaping. I know it sounds contradictory...trying to conserve heat and letting heat escape, but getting rid of that warm, moist air is what you want, especially in a small coop w/the number of birds you have. The moisture is what often results in frostbite issues...

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by