Foundation for coop


11 Years
Feb 12, 2008
Rocky Mountains

The ground is finally ready to dig for the foundation. We are going to be moving a 8x8 shed in for the coop. I was planning to dig in and put some cinderblock under the shed for the foundation.

How deep should I dig the foundation for the shed?

And is there any reason to leave the building higher than ground level or should it be flush with the ground?

What else do I need to know about this process?

We set up a shed like this before and used only one layer of block, but that was just a shed and this is going to be a henhouse! Vastly more important, don'tcha think?

My neighbors just used one layer of cinder blocks. It was more for leveling the structure then support. In fact they did'nt use the blocks on one high side.
I did'nt use the blocks for my coop but the ground was already pretty level. My foundation is treated 4x4's placed on the ground and then used pea rock to fill in the spaces between the joist's. The flooring sits right on top of joist's and pea rock. This makes for a very solid floor.
I would always have the coop up higher than the ground if I had that option. One heavy rain and you will regret putting it flush.
Yeah, my ground is not quite level. I need the block to level it. I like the idea of pea rock or gravel under it.

Is there a reason to elevate the shed more than a few inches? I don't want anything trying to live under the shed.

I guess you should consider your climate. What can mother nature do to you?? Do you get heavy rains and snowfall?? If not then I would say that an inch or 2 would do. Mine is elevated to about 4 inches. That has worked really well for me except for when we got a heavy snow. I really should have shoveled that doorway out.

I also worried about varmints getting under the coop. Not only living there but also predators digging out my pea rock. So I put down hardware cloth. I was already putting this around my run so I just continued around the coop. I layed it on the ground and used a 2x4 to bend the edge to attach to the coop. This made about a 3 inch strip that I stapled to the joist's on the coop. The rest laid on the ground and I used landscape staples to attach to ground.
I would really recommend using the pea rock. I packed it in tight. Walking over it and pressing it together and then added more till it was level with the top of the joists. The foor is very solid under foot and distributes the weight of the coop to help prevent it from sinking on one side. I also feel it would be much harder for mice to be able to get in. Then the hardware cloth is there to prevent big and small varmints from getting under the coop.
Sounds like a good setup. I wanted to run hardware cloth around the bottom of the henhouse to keep predators from trying to go through the siding. A little more hardware cloth on the ground won't hurt.

Rain & pooling won't be a problem at all - there's a decent grade and we don't get much rain - but the snow can get deep. I'd have to set it up on stilts to keep it clear of the snow, tho.
Shovelling will be a necessity.

I will aim for 4-6" of rise at the front of the foundation & then fill in with gravel.

I'm hoping I can use the tiller (set to go shallow) to loosen the soil, then just rake it out, do a little digging, and set the block. I bet it's not as easy as I'm hoping it will be!

You got that right, it's never easy!!!! Good luck with your coop and chickens!
P.S. I've used a tiller to lower a small hill and move the dirt. Alot less work then digging through hard soil.
We used our tiller and dug down deep. Then we just tilled in several bags of Portland cement. My husband and friends sat out there and misted it with the hose for a couple of hours. It sat up very well. We let it dry and sat the playhouse/turned coop on it. Works great..
Tilling in cement! Interesting idea!!!! Hmmmm. How did they get it level???

Glad to know I'm not the only one using a tiller. The area has some soddy brome grass, and I was dreading trying to spade it up.

Guess if I get out there and start now, it will be one step closer to done. SIGH.
We've had one warm sunny day and I'm already tired of digging.

I never dig holes anymore, if I need to plant a tree I pull out the tiller...If I need to level out a small hill...I pull out the tiller....No sense breaking you back digging with a shovel when the tiller will do the job in 1/10th the time with next to no effort.

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