DIY Coop Proce Sanity Check

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ejcrist, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2015
    Desert Hills, AZ
    I'm working on a design for a 8'LX8'WX6'H coop with a gable roof and a 8'WX20'LX6'H roof covered run. The roof will actually extend from the coop building to the run so it's sort of like all one structure. This will be to keep a flock of about 6-8 birds. I know it's a little larger than necessary but I'd rather err on the side of too big rather than too small. I live in North Phoenix, AZ so of course it gets hot in the summer so that's why the covered run is important to me. Anyway, I'm just in the rough draft stages at this point and my estimate is running up around $1,000 for everything. Does that sound about right or excessive? I'm new at chickens so I don't know what others consider high. I looked into the commercial coops but they were all way, way too small and cost a pretty penny to boot. So I'm thinking even though $1k sounds like a lot it's probably not all that bad when you consider what storage sheds and commercial coops cost. Even the cheapest 8'X8' wood shed with bad reviews at Homeless Depot costs about $800 before tax and delivery, and then you still have to get the paint, shingles, and floor for the particular shed I'm thinking about. Also that doesn't include a run. So I'm pretty sure I'm on the right track but I'd welcome any comments.

    Thanks, Gene
  2. Oglan

    Oglan Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 18, 2015
    New Hampshire
    I am currently building an 8x8x8h coop with a pitched roof, I purchased 95% of supplies to build it and I am only into it for around 450.00. and almost done, looks like I may need to purchase a couple more things totaling around 100.00 more. I had windows given to me though. not sure what you are putting in your coop.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Keep in mind you are not building a shed to house a riding lawnmower or car. The flooring does not need to support much weight. Also people tend to build everything 16" on center. Not needed for external buildings, 2ft on center will suffice. Rafters again only need 2ft on center if sheathing with plywood. If putting tin or polycarbonite roof on then 16" on center and leave out the sheathing. I'd never purchase an actual window for a coop. A round or square hole covered with hardwire cloth is all you'd need for ventilation and if just lighting then cover it with plexiglass. To close open windows think shutters. Think of the savings to frame the walls 2ft on center with 2x3's.

    Runs are simple to put together. 4x4 pressure treated posts covered by something like 2x4 14 gauge welded wire is what your looking for. The posts can be a close as 4 ft apart but can also be as far as 8ft. To provide support for wire you'd bridge the spacing with one or two pressure treated 2x4.

    Depending on snow load for your area and how much you will or will not scrape off the snow dictates the size of rafters. Up north where I am an out building designs at 50ft per square foot for snow. The number is reduced by the amount of roof pitch. The load is for horizontal not at the angle (length of rafter. Using right triangle geometry and sides of a (rise), b (run) and c (slant) you calculate the load on C of from 50lbs load on B. There is a quick carpenters trick for joists/rafters for 16" on center but it's better to go by a chart and this chart gives choices of spacing so excellent reference:

    Much built is far over built and pricier than structurally required. Costs can be greatly reduced without jeopardy of making an unsound structure. Outbuildings 30lbs per sqft is very generous when thinking chicken coop floor that only one or two people would walk into (I'd use 2x4 for 8ft span). Designing a roof with pitch of 45 degree (12/12) at 30lbs would actually support 43 pounds per square and that does not take into account any sliding off. All I'm saying is 30lbs design is likely still far overbuilt but still far undersized as to what most people assume is needed.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Here in Michigan we have snow load to consider, and I don't mind overbuilding a bit either. Why a floor? As long as you have a dig-proof skirt, a dirt floor is fine. Make sure that drainage is good first, and some gravel or fines as a base works too. Big openings with hardware cloth over are best, and check your Habitat Restore for bargains on doors, etc. Predator proof and well ventilated, and shade, and build as big as possible. You might consider insulating the roof if it's going to be shingles, to help with heat. Shade trees and shrubs possible? Mary
  5. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2014
    Look for seconds and as-is lumber. Perfectly usable but drastically discounted in price. Salvaged windows can save you a lot.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Pretty much on target.
    Egghead_Jr makes some excellent points in reducing that cost with some structural stretching.
    Tho the increase in hardwarecloth mesh for a hot climate coop may make that moot.

    You may want to go with an open eaved shed roof to facilitate ventilation instead of a gable roof.
  7. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2015
    Desert Hills, AZ
    Thanks for the input everyone. Like Egghead said, I have to remember I'm building it to house chickens and not me. With these ideas I think I can trim a few bucks off the total. Thanks again for your help.


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