Cooping with Stress- Coop Build

Kraftcrazychick

Songster
5 Years
Apr 8, 2015
279
55
143
Yes, I made a chicken joke.

This will be my main thread for my journey on constructing my coop. My daughter came up with the name Hensylvania, so that's what it's called.

I am going to begin this by saying that I have done building before. I don't consider myself a beginner but I am not an expert either. So far (with my father's help) my husband and I framed and finished our basement and by myself I have built two tables and two shelves.

With that out of the way I will follow this up by saying building a coop is HARD! Harder than smooth finishing drywall (which was torture at the time) and coping baseboard moulding.

Before I began to build I drowned myself in the internet. I looked at the the coop pages, all the pre-fab kits, the pinterest crack, and all the different features. After digesting and thoroughly confusing myself I drew out my plan on quadrille paper. I drew the front, back, sides, angle of the roof, even the aerial of the inside lay out.

I took this coop as another challenge. It was my challenge to myself of how skilled at building and how resourceful I could be. I decided to tear apart pallets and ask my Father in Law for scrap. I gave myself a ridiculously low budget (which I have already blew) and got to work.

What I did not realize is how stressful it is to build something with another person. My husband offered to help and it's been a bit of a typhoon. Communication is really put the the test when there is more than one person working on something. The last builds I did on my own, at my pace and with my own guidance.

Even after I had laid out all the plans and gave dimensions things did not run smoothly. Something so simple as where to place a screw, if you're using a screw instead of a nail, or if you are placing the 2 x 4 broad or thin side out, all needs precisely laid out. Sometimes it was two brains going at it two different ways and coming up with a jumbled mess.

Don't get me wrong. I do appreciate the help and I could not do it all without him- but it's nerve-wracking. The order of operations is all effed up. We are having to backtrack and I'm wondering if this will be an even worse disaster than the crappy ***** shed that came with the house.

Step 1.

Buy 8 ft studs for the outer framing (just the outside box) and legs. Assemble outer square on legs. This we did last week.

Price:
$30

ERROR- Can't climb up 4 ft to get into coop to clean out. On paper it looked good. Practice- not so much.

Step 1.5 Cut 1 ft off each leg.

Step 2.

Rip apart 6-7 long pallets I got from work for the stringers (basically the size of a 2 x 4) and use the strips across as filler/siding. In the process I bruise the crap out of my arms carrying and moving the wood in and out of the van.

Price:
Bruises and scrapes- I bruised the crap out of my arms. If people didn't know me they may consider I was being abused.
Funny looks from men at work- which is not necessarily new. (I suppose it's not common place for a woman in a dress to don work gloves, a hammer and a pry bar at the same time.)

Step 3.

Continue framing the walls, putting in 2 x 4s inside along the walls and attach plywood to the back of the structure. Use strips of pallet to plank the coop floor.

Price:
Free- all from scrap and pallets.

ERROR- The legs don't seem very stable and if you sit on the floor, it sags.

Step 3.5

Buy more wood to finish the framing. Buy the screws I recommended in the first place (ugh). Buy latches and hinges for doors.

Sandwich another 2 x 4 onto the legs for stability. The front ones go straight over top of the other other. the back ones are added to make an L shape. We can't sandwich those since we attached the plywood to the back to stabilize the standing structure.

Price :
$70
A bit of sanity

To be continued.....
 
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Kraftcrazychick

Songster
5 Years
Apr 8, 2015
279
55
143
We have spent the last few weekends pretty dedicatedly working on the coop. It's taken a whole lot of time. Things that make sense on paper sometimes are not so easy to execute in reality.

There was lots and lots of math involved in determining the angle of the cuts for the nest box and the roof. In the end both turned out okay. I know A squared + B squared = C squared by heart but that does not give you angles. Just the length of the rafter. I had to consult google on finding the two opposite angles of the right triangle. In my defense geometry was 15+ years ago and the teacher sucked.

Last weekend we framed out the walls and build the partial second story which adds more square footage and also holds their roosts. The second story is about 20 inches above the primary one. I used 4 2 x 4s for the roosts with two put on their side. That way they can decide which they like better. I have found at least one chicken that likes to sleep flat in my group. We also added a 5th support leg under the house for support, installed linoleum flooring and framed out the openings for windows, the chicken door and a few vents.

Price:
Leg support- on hand
Flooring- $30 for a 6 x9 piece at Menards

In the middle of last week I built the windows. I know most people buy or find old windows but the sizes I wanted were much smaller than that and much cheaper. I cut grooves in some 2 x4s and bought some glass pieces to size- that way I wouldn't have to cut them and crack them by accident. I miter cut the 2 x4 and slid the glass into the grooves. I mitered the corners to make it easier, glued, screwed and used silicon to seal the edge. Two single pane windows that are 14 x 16 cost about $10.

Price:
Glass Panels- $4 each
Lumber- On hand
Silicon sealant- $3

Originally we had decided and were persuaded to use the plastic corrugated roofing for the coop. We thought it would be cheap and easy. Cheap is not the word I would use for it. Since our coop is 8 x 5 we would need four panels. And hardly anyone mentions the accessories needed for installing it. To properly install it you also need special screws with washers to prevent leaks and under supports shaped like a C and a wave- so you don't get gaps in between for bugs and small animals. Add up the panels with the under supports and washers and it cost much more than you think. 3 panels alone for us was $63.

We ended up returning the panels and went with shingles instead. We had a partial roll of tar paper left by the previous owners of the house and my father in law gave us extra shingles that he had in his shed. We ended up buying drip guard, an utility knife and extra tar paper but that was much cheaper than the panels alone. It would have been less if we didn't need to buy a new utility knife- ours was badly rusted.

My husband was the roofing master yesterday. After my father in law dropped off the shingles we went to work. I told him all the tips the internet and youtube told me about roofing and he climbed up and got it down. I was there for managerial and ladder support. Also I picked up the box of roofing nails he dropped twice. There may still be nails in the grass somewhere...

Price:
Shingles- Free
Tar Paper- $16 (and just so you know the sizes to buy it are either jumbo or extra jumbo >.<)
Drip edge- 3 pieces at $6 each
Utility Knife and extra blades- $14
Roofing Nails- I don't remember- perhaps $4?

Total for supplies above including ones we haven't used yet $183- which may go down depending in if we bought too much caulk, etc.

Also, I would like to recommend to the whole wide world that GRK screws become your building demi-god. Those things are fantastic. There is no predrilling or drilling to make sure your screws are countersunk. These babies do it all by themselves. The time and headache saved is so worth it. I will preach to the world about their amazingness and will probably buy them for any future projects.
 
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