Need help with run door not being secure enough

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bobbieschicks, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    I'm not happy with my run door - I've looked at different run pics from the coop section - but I'm still at a loss. Here's what I have and I'm hoping for some advice on what to do to secure it better/build it better:
    [​IMG]

    The door is made of 1x4s with 1/4" hardware cloth sandwiched between - the boards are finish "toe" nailed together in the corners as well as nailed to each other. I have it closing up against the inside of the 2x6 on the bottom of the run with 1/4" hardware cloth aproned out and buried in front of the door and the 2x4 on the top of the door. It's not showing up in the picture but there's 1/4" hardware cloth at the top section of the door as well. I had alot of it left over after doing the windows so I used it up on the door section.

    The problems are:
    (a) it's wobbly - I think if I add some sort of metal bracing to the inside of the door framing itself it may help reduce the wobbly - since I think the toenailing isn't working as I hoped. Would bracing help?
    (b) it pushes in at the bottom and top creating an opening that any medium size animal could get into without much trouble - no idea how to stop this short of adding additional locks at the top or bottom?

    What should I do to help secure the area better? Everyone is locked up at night, but I would still like the run to be secure as possible. I have to finish hog tying all the different levels of wire together and that will elimate the zip ties - but the door is a weak point in my design.

    Thanks!
    Bobbie
     
  2. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could move the center lock to the top and then buy a second lock for the bottom- that would prevent anything from pushing their way in through the door. If the door is wobbly, I would make a couple of wood braces- that would form part of a Z or even an X into the top and bottom halves of the door to make it stronger. Possibly screw in through the outside of the door to secure this wood, or toenail it in. This means you'll need to take your door down, but I think it's an easy enough fix! To make your braces for the top (and bottom) just lay down a piece of lumber (2X4) that is longer than your area... and lay it across where you need to brace it and then use a pencil to mark off your angles using the door frame as your guide on where to pencil it in. Only cut one angle at a time- then put that angle back on the piece and make sure it works and that your next angle you drew will fit-- BEFORE you cut the second end/angle. It's really easy. I hope I explained that in a way that helps and not confuses! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  3. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    BTW- you have a GREAT looking coop and run! [​IMG]
     
  4. stubbornhill

    stubbornhill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2011
    Shapleigh, Maine
    To leave the door swinging in as you have it, I might suggest running another board from top to bottom corner diagonaly. That should make it more stiff. As far as gapping when you push on the top or the bottom? The only thought I would have is to change your door so that it swings out. This would make extra work for you and possibly extra expense. But that way, if you were on the outside pushing in, you would have a board on the inside frame that the door would push against and would have no gap. I am sure that you will get many ideas from many different people! Lots of experience here. Your coop and run are super cute!
     
  5. zookeeper15133

    zookeeper15133 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2010
    SW PA
    Put your diagonal braces up from the bottom hinge side to the open side, then down from the top hinge side to the open side.
     
  6. ChickiKat

    ChickiKat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2011
    Eastern Kansas
    Great looking chicken home. This is similiar to a conversation I had yesterday with DH. Our current latch is at the top and I think coons could get in the bottom by pulling the frame out. I agree with the suggestion of moving your existing latch up and putting another latch low.....
     
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:I agree with this. It looks like a simple fix to change the door to open out - just pop that horizontal board off above the door so you can raise your door a bit if needed - stick the hinges on the outside - stick that horiz. board back on the inside this time. Under 30 minutes...
    This and adding a diagon. board across the door should help... [​IMG]
     
  8. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    Here's the listed suggestions - did I miss anything or will anything be redundant?

    - change the direction the door opens so it has to be pulled open rather than pushed open - by moving the wood 2x4s to the inside of the run and putting the hinges on the outside of the door/run;
    - add wooden diagonal supports from the hinge to the opposite open end; and
    - move the latch to the top and add one to the bottom

    Okay - I'll take a look at these suggestions and whether I can do them and then start working on it this weekend. The one that would be hardest to implement is the change of direction of door as I poultry stapled the hardware cloth in place and there are multiple layers of staplings there. So I may hold off on that one and see if the other 2 changes would "fix" the security issue.

    Oh and thanks for all the compliments on the coop - I can't take credit for the design, I copied ideas from the Coop section and mostly the design came from another BYC member's coop that I found in the medium coops https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=27857 and I'm really pleased with the layout and the chicks seem happy in it.

    Thanks so much!
    Bobbie
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011

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