Okay...help boost my confidence....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MountainFarmPeeps, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. MountainFarmPeeps

    MountainFarmPeeps Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2009
    The Woods of NH
    Hello Chicken Lovers!


    I too, am a chicken lover and after stalking this website for months....have registered so I can actually join in!

    As a kid I grew up around farms and as a teenager was very active in FFA...I always knew I would return to that lifestyle when I had my own family and now, finally, that dream has come true. We've bought our dream home in the boonies on our own land in the woods and are finally settled in and ready to add a flock of locally hatched, beautiful white Dorkings to our mini-farm set up this spring.

    The only problem? My experience is in running a home and taking care of kids and animals...NOT in carpentry. I can sew, cook, grow ANYTHING...but this, this is a way first for me. My husband is a mechanic...very handy...but again, his experience is in building engines...not chicken coops!

    We are DIYers...we love to fix, grow, build our own stuff...but I'm really overwhelmed for some reason as we prepare to pick a coop plan and build a coop! Can I really do this? We are not well equipped with the proper tools, etc, we don't have a circular saw and all of that...

    I guess I could just use some practical advice, tell me that I can do this! Anything you would recommend to me, as far as the best type of coop for a waaay beginner in carpentry? I look around at the pictures of coops people here have built and you all seem like such capentry superstars!

    What tools did you need, where did you get your lumber? I'm looking to build a coop large enough for quite a few chickens...I'll also be constructing something smaller for cocks, etc..and that doesn't overwhelm me, but thinking about constructing the main coop does. I would like something which could house up to ten chickens...I live in the way North Eastern part of the country, so it has to be weather tight for winters...help!

    Any tips and "you can do it!"s would be greatly appreciated. Is it as hard as it looks? I look at the pictures of beginning framework and I'm like "Oh, we can TOTALLY do that"...then when it all starts coming togeter and the pictures show more and more of the work thats done it just looks so complicated!
     
  2. peony07

    peony07 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2009
    Ferndale WA
    You can do it!! [​IMG]
    (Sorry, no tips, my hubbie build my coop, I just watched and held nails)
     
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I am far from a carpenter, but I managed to build my first coop. Here are some of the tools that made it MUCH easier!
    --chop saw--makes it possible to do exact cuts and angles sooo easy. I could not do without this!
    --drill and "star drive" screws instead of phillips head screws. Almost impossible to strip the head.
    --circular saw--this is a basic, you will need it to cut plywood.
    If you want to do serious DIY I would suggest you pick up these basic tools and practice with them until you feel comfortable. Learn all the safety precautions necessary. You could start out with a small coop for young ones or quarantine (like 4 by 4), and then if that goes well move on to a larger stick-built coop. If your husband is a mechanic, I am sure he will pick up on building skills in no time!
     
  4. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    Alaska
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Can you saw wood semi-accurately (hand tools are fine, get something very utilitarian with few large wide teeth, or learn to SAFELY use a circular saw) and use a power drill to semi-accurately drive screws without destroying them? If not, try a small project first to practice up the skills -- shelves are always good, or make nestboxes. If you can do that already, minimally-ok, then you are ready to build a coop [​IMG]

    If you have a reasonable head for spatial things, just look at the construction pix on peoples' coop design pages and you should be able to kludge something together for yourself. Otherwise, get a book on building playhouses or sheds from the library, there are LOTS of them out there that include plans and very, very detailed instructions for building them. All you have to do is add ventilation, roost and popdoor and presto they're coops [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun, you can do it!,

    Pat
     
  6. Megs

    Megs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    i just designed and built my first chicken coop all alone!! (dad or bf built my others) it really wasnt so difficult, ok so its only 4X4X5 but it will house a bantam quad easily. the only thing i would do differently would have been to have some help so i could level it all off properly, but as i did it all alone (everyone else was at work when i did it) i forwent the level so its not completely square, still works and im proud of it.

    i just used a circular saw and hammer! it really helps to have a chop saw if your doing any angle cuts (i would have had some angle cuts had i had a chop saw). screw driver is a help to, but as i didnt have an extension cord that reached where i was working i used hammer/nails and cut my wood where i had power.

    so you CAN build one with minimal ammt of tools and exp!! that is my lesson!

    lots of people have building plans online, or look around on this forum and lots of people took photos for step by step viewing, that is how i came up with my plan.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  7. MountainFarmPeeps

    MountainFarmPeeps Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all so much. We are reasonably handy people...and I'm surprised at my feelings of doom at all of this. We are going to purchase a circular saw I think...there are waaaay too many things we have to do around our homestead here for us to not have that piece of equipment. My husband has spent the last half decade building his collection of tools related to auto mechanics. He has expensive air tools, heavy duty tools, more ratchets and wrenches and all of that jazz than you could shake a stick at....but nothing for carpentry. [​IMG] So, that's the next step. *sigh* Seems daunting!

    I'm very excited and I think I WILL get a book from the library on building a play house...that is such a good tip, THANK YOU.

    I'm so happy I finally joined. This place has served as an awesome source for inspiration and information in all this time I've been patiently waiting for it to be MY turn to get some chickens...I can't WAIT to meet my chicks this spring!! I'm so happy I'm finally so close!
     
  8. bantybev

    bantybev Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SW Michigan
    I'm sorry, but your post made me kinda chuckle. Not making fun...just that I can totally relate to your anxiety in building a chicken coop. I was in the same boat a month ago. Actually I still am. My husband is a computer tech and a wiz at anything computers. I was in health care, until recently. Some of the coops and runs I've seen on here I can only dream about. We finally decided on an 8X8 shed kit. We figured , with our limited carpentry talents, this should be an easy project. Wrong! The more I read on this forum about the need for insulation and venting, and preditor proofing, the more complicated it became. The shed kit came with most of the parts precut, but the instructions were hard to follow for us that are carpentry impaired. Some of the cuts were a bit off, adding to our confusion. The interior framing did not allow enough support for interior paneling over the insulation (and who knew that even though the kit had 2X3 studs, you can't find said 2X3 studs at the lumber store to add the extra bracing you will need for interior paneling...lol?) The kit also didn't include roofing. We managed to fumble through that on our own, although it probably took 3 times longer than someone who knew what they were doing.
    We did finish the "shed" part with nothing more that a jigsaw, drill and hammer. We even got most of the outdoor run built. Unfortunately, we didn't get the interior or the gate done before "Old Man Winter" forced us to put out meager tools away for the season and I STILL have chickens in my sun room. [​IMG]
    There is a really funny thread on here about building your chicken coop....you should read it before you start. The most important part for those of us that aren't blessed with carpentry skills is a sence of humor.....and a lot of tylenol. Hope your marriage is solid....this can be a true test of any marriage.

    Read this for a good laugh, and in a short while you will be able to relate to most of it [​IMG]

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=140561
     
  9. bantybev

    bantybev Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 11, 2009
    SW Michigan
    Oh yeah! Good Luck! if we can do it you surely can too!!
    [​IMG]
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:LOL. It happens, it's okay, and it really *isn't* IME a good predictor of actual doom once the project is begun [​IMG]

    If it makes you feel any better, I am fairly handy in the stickin'-things-together department (although I am not a fan at ALL of plumbing work [​IMG]), have built a 24x40' horse shed 14' tall, etc... but am currently in Deep Avoidance Mode about using a hammer-drill to fasten a ledger board to the block foundation wall for rebuilding the back deck. I have been putting this off for several months now, because I just have this horrible worry that I will somehow split or shatter the foundation cinderblocks and cause major structural damage (I've never used a hammer drill on block wall before). I have talked to about half a dozen people, all of whom have assured me that nothing will go wrong and it is dead-easy... and I expect they are right, and after we get back into town after the holidays I *will* put that ledger board on darnit. However, my point is, I *totally* sympathise on the whole feelings-of-doom thing. Join the club [​IMG]

    But build the coop anyhow [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     

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