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Floundering on my coop construction...

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

  1. Rivers

    Rivers Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 3, 2010
    I started on my coop construction a couple weeks ago. I had a flu so progress was expectedly slow, but now I am better I find that I am floundering even more.
    The whole thing has dragged out somewhat, and Ive increasingly felt I may have not designed it in either the most efficient or practical way.

    Ive used up a load more wood than I thought, its taken lots of time to put together (especially with pausing for thought as ive gone along). I originally wanted the upper half to be lifted off the lower half for easy cleaning. But the sterling board ive used is SO HEAVY!!. It takes two strong people to get the upper half off and is darn awkward. So I will now have to make a large door for easy cleaning instead. The roof was supposed to have a greater overhang on the front, but its so heavy that it makes it unbalanced and I worry about such strong uneven loads on the structure.

    There are some critical decisions to make now, perhaps why I am dawdling. I need to figure out where to make the door, how big, and weather to make it out of clear polycarbonate to act as a window?

    I have plywood sheets to attach as the front & rear walls. The door/window/vents will have to be cut into this. But I want to minimise the size as the plywood will give structural strength to the whole thing. The sides will be covered with light timber fence strips as sterling board is neither waterproof or good looking !

    I pondered about putting polycarbonate sheet in the upper segments to act as windows and leaving the door without a window. Winter is beginning now, but I also think in summer the door should perhaps be switchable for wire mesh. So there is more air flow. But Im a little confused how to incorporate it all. I dont expect you all to be able to offer much specific help without being able to see everything close up. But if you can spot any major issues, or think of any good ideas to include please share!

    I have to screw the roof down now, then tar and place felt on it. Im floundering a lot on this, as once its down I cant get it off to readjust! I also only have enough plywood to cut once.

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
  2. bakindance

    bakindance Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 1, 2010
    Ontario Canada
    How cold do your winters get? that would make a difference - ie. in terms of what can be left open to air flow

    I like the idea of a door that doubles as a window. Could you find an old window on Kijiji or at the Habitat Restore, and put it on hinges somehow? It would save you a lot of time and work - I know plexiglass is hard to work with at the best of times.

    Or maybe you could find a small window, and put it to one side, and then put a small hinged clean out door next to that. I would put the window on the side that will face south east, that would give the most solar warmth.
  3. Rivers

    Rivers Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 3, 2010
    The winter gets about -4 at the coldest. But is windy and wet for a long time.

    The coop shall be moved around occasionally, but the main spot for it would suggest the window should be right on the front.

    The frame of the upper half is only made of 2x1" (actually slightly less) pieces. So a "real" house window with glass seems too heavy. I found one the perfect size that somebody had thrown out but it was way too heavy. I do however alreadt have several ploycarbonate sheets, the type with ribs (square cross sections).

    Perhaps the front door could be made of wire mesh, and in winter I could simple tie the plastic window onto the wire to hold it in place?
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I need to figure out where to make the door, how big

    I would suggest making the door the "middle half" of that open side there, full height. Put vertical pieces of 2x4 at the quarterlines, then fill in the right and left sections with plywood as siding. Hinge your door, which will cover the middle portion of the opening when it is closed, onto one of those vertical 2x4s. Cut a good-sized opening IN the door and screw on some plexiglass as a window. Ta da. That will give you perfectly good access for cleaning, also the 2x4 will give you something to attach one end of a crosswise roost to. You will of course probably also want to add a popdoor for the chickens.

    , and weather to make it out of clear polycarbonate to act as a window?

    You probably don't want the whole door that way, for a variety of reasons, but *part of* it is fine.

    I have plywood sheets to attach as the front & rear walls. The door/window/vents will have to be cut into this.

    Instead, just run your plywood up to the 1x2 there. Make the space above that your vent openings. Hinge on a piece of scrap lumber or plywood to act as a flap that can adjustably close the vent partly. Or hinge on some plexiglas type pieces, framed in wood, and then even when some vents are shut there will still be ample light.

    If you can't get to putting siding on the chipboard end pieces right away, you might consider priming (maybe also painting) them. 1-2 thin coats NOT a single thick coat. It will survive "some while" in the weather that way. It will consume more primer/paint than you might expect because of the rough texture, but you should be able to find freebie or cheap remnants.

    Good luck, have fun, you're doing ok so far [​IMG],


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