First coop build

JmeV

Chirping
Aug 31, 2020
30
106
56
Good luck! We’ve been working in building a coop too. We also bought all of our materials in September. It’s expensive!
When my husband and I embarked on building our structure, I cruised Facebook marketplace and Craigslist for free materials. I picked up a lot of great lumber (and some that ended up in the firepit) and even some rolls of wire for free. We were on a very tight budget, though.
 

3KillerBs

Crowing
Jul 10, 2009
3,674
6,985
496
North Carolina Sandhills
In retrospect, I kind of wished I had dug in posts with concrete. Anyway, at this point, I wanted to get a level wood base and go from there.
Where are you located? What's your climate like? (You can add your general location to your profile to help people give targeted advice).

In my location here in the steamy southeastern US, even ground-contact-rated treated wood disintegrates due to termites, carpenter ants, in less than 10 years so dug-in posts are a bad idea and sheds/coops/etc are commonly put on blocks, but up north in a different climate the same posts will be fine but frost heave will play havoc with blocks. :)
 

Machseven

In the Brooder
Aug 15, 2020
32
45
33
near Richmond, VA
When my husband and I embarked on building our structure, I cruised Facebook marketplace and Craigslist for free materials. I picked up a lot of great lumber (and some that ended up in the firepit) and even some rolls of wire for free. We were on a very tight budget, though.
I had a budget, but I've blown it. Somewhere in this thread I'll tally my costs for posterity.

I wanted to get it built earlier than now, but I definitely wanted to finish by Christmas when the grandkids can see the chickens that will hopefully like this coop. That led me away from trying to do it with free wood.
 

Machseven

In the Brooder
Aug 15, 2020
32
45
33
near Richmond, VA
Where are you located? What's your climate like? (You can add your general location to your profile to help people give targeted advice).

In my location here in the steamy southeastern US, even ground-contact-rated treated wood disintegrates due to termites, carpenter ants, in less than 10 years so dug-in posts are a bad idea and sheds/coops/etc are commonly put on blocks, but up north in a different climate the same posts will be fine but frost heave will play havoc with blocks. :)
Virginia. True four-season environment. It's not as termite-ridden as South Carolina where we used to live.
 

Machseven

In the Brooder
Aug 15, 2020
32
45
33
near Richmond, VA
Continuing - the roof.

The plans really frustrated me here. I'm not a carpenter, and I didn't understand the plans for the roof. I understood making the frame, but the spacing pf the joists was tailored to the supporting frame, and I think it was intended that the joists would be screwed into the ends of the studs. You may have noticed I put a 2x4 on top of the frame. The plans didn't have a solid piece on top. Pieces were to be cut and screwed in between the roof frame and the studs. If that sounds confusing, it did to me too.

This video by Home Renovision made more sense to me. It's a shed roof on a slope, just like I was trying to do. I adapted this concept and followed it for the most part. I used hurricane strips to secure the frame to the top of the studs. Some videos out there will teach you how to cut birds'-eyes for the joists, which looked interesting and honestly not that hard, but this was simpler IMO. It's just a chicken coop!

I didn't take any pictures of the frame before I started adding plywood. I recruited some help to nail in the plywood. Notice I used 16" spacing for the joists, different than the studs. This was to help keep the plywood edges on seams.

IMG_20201108_092359926_HDR.jpg

I used the rolling roof material recommended in the video. I also got a starter strip. I put the drip-guard around the perimeter. I was never quite sure if I should have put the drip-guard over the roofing on top side, ultimately I did it first.
IMG_20201108_143903365_HDR.jpg

IMG_20201108_155423358.jpg

IMG_20201108_155421466.jpg
IMG_20201108_162757610.jpg



At this point I realized I didn't have enough of the rolled roofing to finish. I used up my last piece of starter roll, and ultimately decided to finish with shingles that I had in the garage. It's just a chicken coop! While the rolled material was probably the cheapest way to cover the roof, it wasn't cheap and I didn't want to buy another $90 roll for just a few feet.
IMG_20201108_170102601.jpg


IMG_20201109_140137955.jpg
 

Machseven

In the Brooder
Aug 15, 2020
32
45
33
near Richmond, VA
I built the door. I used a Kreg jig for joining the cross-pieces of the door. It works, but it's sagging just a bit and dragging on bottom.

I fussed a bit about how to do the hinges, ultimately lining up the edge of the round part with the between the door and the frame. It turned out pretty good I think.

IMG_20201114_171745523.jpg
 

deidreg

Songster
Jul 6, 2020
473
1,709
166
Connecticut
Color me VERY impressed! Thanks for sharing with us. Well-built coops are a big investment of time and treasure, but worth it for the health and safety of your flock, ease of care, and peace of mind. You're off to a fantastic start. :thumbsup
 

Machseven

In the Brooder
Aug 15, 2020
32
45
33
near Richmond, VA
Oh - about the plywood!

I got untreated 15/32" plywood for the roof and coop. The plans called for different sizes, including some 3/4". That stuff is expensive!! For my little coop, 15/32" is plenty, I'm pretty sure. The roof took 3 pieces of 4x8's.
 

3KillerBs

Crowing
Jul 10, 2009
3,674
6,985
496
North Carolina Sandhills
I built the door. I used a Kreg jig for joining the cross-pieces of the door. It works, but it's sagging just a bit and dragging on bottom.
I can't reply in detail because I'm about to clock in to work, but you need diagonal bracing to keep the door straight and square.

Old-fashioned screen doors from my childhood often had this in the form of wires with turnbuckles attached to screw eyes.
 

Machseven

In the Brooder
Aug 15, 2020
32
45
33
near Richmond, VA
I can't reply in detail because I'm about to clock in to work, but you need diagonal bracing to keep the door straight and square.

Old-fashioned screen doors from my childhood often had this in the form of wires with turnbuckles attached to screw eyes.
My buddy told me the same thing! I will probably do this. He got a kit at HD and it worked forhim.
 

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