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Need advice on Coop building materials

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CluckyInKY, May 31, 2016.

  1. CluckyInKY

    CluckyInKY Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2016
    Utica, KY
    Let me start by saying by this... My husband and I are NO carpenters. He is a farmer, so he has an adequate supply of tools & resources. We just finished building our run last week (2 weeks of solid rain during planting season gets any farmer antsy). It's an 8x12 & fully enclosed. That was a struggle us notice carpenters.
    Now, the fields have dried up and my help is busy playing catch-up with the crop. My 6 chicks are growing up extremely fast & I basically need to build something on my own with little or no assistance, and I need to do it in a hurry.
    I plan on doing a 4x8 coop, raised off the ground. It will not be located inside our existing run. What materials for the outside walls should I use? Or is there a simple plan out there that someone would like to share with me? I'm not completely helpless when it comes to figuring out the "putting together" aspect... But I want to make sure I buy the right materials. Who would have guessed that Home Depot carries so many different kinds of plywood? And I read somewhere on here that you could use 1x4's instead of 2x to save on cost. Is this accurate? After we spent our whole coop & run budget on the run alone, I need to cut costs where I can, but I don't want the coop to collapse the first time a mild breeze rolls through. PLEASE PLEASE HELP!
     
  2. CluckyInKY

    CluckyInKY Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2016
    Utica, KY
    Also note: I do have access to plenty of pallets from all the seeds & chemicals we get for the farm.... but that seems very time consuming. If I use pallets, won't I still need to build a frame? Or no?
     
  3. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    You want to use an exterior grade plywood with exterior rated glue this rating will be stamped on the wood along with the surface grading and I would use treated plywood for the floor... The 'toxicity' of new treated wood is far removed from what it used to be so don't fret using it on the floor or even for the entire coop if you choose...

    Don't use deck sealer to seal the wood it's useless, a good primer and exterior paint job is far superior... For the floor you can coat it with a roof coating like BlackJack 57 roof coating...

    If you want to do it on the cheap CDX plywood is probably the best option, it's standard exterior construction grade but still needs to be painted... Also it's not the best looking lots of crack and knot voids, but it's significantly cheaper than A or B rated sanded exterior plywood...

    Yes, you can use 1x lumber to save cost, but consider using 2x3s they are cheap and offer more bite for screws and nails as well as more structure...

    **Edit pallets can be used and a lot of people do use them, for me personally I like building new to my design vs designing around used pallets... But, if you have the time I have seen some nice pallet builds...

    As for plans start Googling lots of plans out there some better than others... But, be aware the smaller you make it the more you have to consider the layout to make it all fit....
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  4. CluckyInKY

    CluckyInKY Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2016
    Utica, KY

    Thank you for all of this advice. We only have 6 chicks right now, so 24 square feet is all that is "required" for them (from what I have read in other forums). The 4x8 even allows for a few extra... And the hubby can add on for me after harvest. Seems like the 4x8 would be the biggest I could go without adding a lot of extra cost. And I figured that even with the cheap CDX plywood, I could always go back and cover it with something more appealing later. We have a ton of 1930's barn wood we salvaged, but after our last barn wood project, I know how time consuming that is- not one of those boards is straight!
    Do you think I should utilize a couple of pallets for my sub floor? Or is that not a good idea? I should probably just stick to a plan. Lol
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    If I had all the time in the world and money was so tight I could not even consider buying wood, I would probably consider pallets... Otherwise for me I consider pallets mostly penny wise and dollar silly for projects like this... Just too much time trying to make them work and/or fit into a design I would be happy with... I much prefer using the pallets for other things like storing hay/straw off the ground in the barn...

    On the other hand you can get a real rustic barn look by siding over the CDX plywood with the pallet boards...
     
  6. azjustin

    azjustin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    Necessity is the mother of invention, $$ is a very common driver.

    Who cares if you're not a carpenter? Take that barn wood you have laying around and screw/nail it to the pallets. The end result will last longer and probably be stronger than the crap wood or plywood you can buy anywhere. If you want it weatherproof, tack a layer of roofing underlayment or used billboard material, on the outside of the pallets and then attach the barn wood. Pallets for the floor are usually ok, but leave a nice area for rodents, keep that in mind when you build it.

    It doesn't matter what it looks like, as long as it serves the purpose. Crooked boards? LOL, check out any framed out house these days and you will probably further appreciate the 80 year old lumber...

    Just make sure you attach it to the ground, that is typically the downfall of home built structures.

    I'm no carpenter but can slap together just about any small structure with materials "just laying around" in an afternoon, and it will still be standing in 10 years easy. I didn't learn by reading, but by doing it and not being afraid it wasn't going to work.

    I assure you that the chickens will not care about the end result as long as they're sheltered.

    Make it happen!
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  7. CluckyInKY

    CluckyInKY Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2016
    Utica, KY
    Thanks for the suggestions! I drew up a design last night that I believe I can handle. I'm only nervous about framing the windows and doors. If I'm doing a 4x8 structure with a lean to roof (seems like the easiest way to include ventilization). what size should I do the roof to have a decent overhang?
    And I think I've decided to ditch the pallet idea all together. Going with regular lumber and CDX for now... Just to get my girls out of their brooder ASAP. I can use the rest of the summer to decide how to make it pretty. I've got an artful eye, so I know I can make it look good somehow. Right now, I just need to worry about the structure.
    Thanks so much everyone for helping me out- don't know what I'd do without BYC!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    I'm big on deep overhangs, can protect the ventilation from weather and add shade....I'd go 1-2 feet.
    Top hinged windows are good too, opening outward, you can leave them open all summer and they protect from most rain coming into coop.
     
  9. CluckyInKY

    CluckyInKY Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2016
    Utica, KY
    Yes, I definitely want a large overhang @aart! Summers in Kentucky are HOT and very humid- in the heat of the summer, the heat index can get up to 115-120 degrees! And our winters are cold- snow, ice storms and low temps that go on for days. Protection from the elements is key, for sure.
    Good idea on the window. Where do you find those? And what is the appx cost? We replaced the windows on our home last year, so I was just planning on using one of the old ones that I saved. I was just going to have it open from the outside and apply hardware cloth to the inside... Another reason I need a large overhang!
    Do you have any further suggestions?
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    My windows were already in place, structure was framed with sills but just some old slider sections cleated in place, I removed cleats and added hinges.
    Look at My Coop page.
     

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