1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Part 1: Help? Coop in progress...rain and windows

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickylou, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. chickylou

    chickylou Chillin' With My Peeps

    107
    1
    121
    Jan 29, 2009
    Valparaiso
    Hi all,

    We have several inches of snow outside and we have a bad case of cabin fever inside so we have decided to "stage" build our small coops. Honey is the builder and I am the designer, painter and "put it there...no wait...maybe over there" gal (team effort as you can see). We have a couple of questions regarding coop design issues.

    Hubby is keen on building things "right" and so he will tend toward building a mini house rather than a chicken coop. We do want to do things right, but we don't want to overdo things that don't need to be (better on the budget). Here are some facts about where we live, if it helps.

    1) We live in the North so we do have cold winters.
    2) We don't want to go out an buy windows. We have plexiglass and trim.
    3) The coop will face the south and get a lot of sun, especially in the spring and summer and we don't want the birds to cook.
    4) Coop is 5ft (front) by 4 ft

    Here is a picture of face of coop. We are using foam board to act as trim and windows right now to make sure we have the "look" as we want it since it will be very visible from our living room window.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    OK, that's what we have. The question is about the windows and rain. My husband is concerned about how we keep out the rain or get the inside wet. We want them to be useable windows. I figured they could be mostly for look, but that we could use plexiglass with trim on top and maybe hinge it at the top and open it like an awning window. We would put wire on the inside of the actual hole. Will this work for day when we have bad weather? Should a coop be air tight or is there some give?

    We want them to have some extra light and we will provide a 5-6 inch by 3ft panel on the side for ventilation. Should this be a "dummy window" to make it look real when its not and just rely on the side vents and let this be just a "look out and see the world when roosting window"?

    What do you all recommend based on these issues?

    Thanks in Advance
     
  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,194
    77
    244
    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    We got some jolosy windows that roll out from the thrift store and they work great. We reinforced the screen area with hardware cloth so when open a prediter could not get in. Also have one that is solid that we have a chain on to lift out done the same. Jean
     
  3. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Ontario
    Good Morning!
    You and your husband must have a great marriage...or you place alot of duct tape on his mouth...ha ha ha !!

    My hubby is almost the same but I have to use duct tape.....ha ha!!

    I just wanted to let you know that we did our windows on the coop the same as your idea...Hubby framed the mesh for the windows...and he drilled two top holes on the plexy glass....so it just hangs on two nails....In the summer I have a stick I use to prop the plexyglass open and the water stays out.If the rain is going side ways/or if its really windy... I will just take out the stick .When its really hot I just remove the plexy glass so more air can get in the coop....the wire mesh is there to keep out critters(dont use chicken wire).
    We live in Ontario Canada ..so we have the same winters....this is the second winter I have had with the girls and as far as the windows go we just screw the plexy glass down and the girls have been fine...on the coldest nights like in January I will set up a heat light for a couple hours in the mornings...maybe....the coop is spray foamed insulated so they have been warm.Remember you like some ventalation for the girls even in the winter.Plus I have kids that like baseball....[​IMG] ..Hope I helped...
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    78
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:This is a good design and a lot of people use it. Just make sure that if the coop is in a windy location there is a means for FIRMLY securing the windows part-open, for those thunderstorm gusts.

    Should a coop be air tight or is there some give?

    Oh no, for sure you want plenty of ventilation available and you will seldom if ever want to close it up fully!

    We want them to have some extra light and we will provide a 5-6 inch by 3ft panel on the side for ventilation. Should this be a "dummy window" to make it look real when its not and just rely on the side vents and let this be just a "look out and see the world when roosting window"?

    I'd put that vent on at least two sides of the coop, all four would be better. Really it is much easier to build the vents in during the design/construction phase than to decide next winter you don't have enough and have to go out there in January with the Sawzall to hack holes [​IMG]

    Looks is up to you, everyone's tastes are different. Making the vent covers solid (lumber or plywood) would be simplest though.

    I'd absolutely still have the big window open, though, because I *promise* you you'll want the extra airflow in summertime. If you're somewhere that gets hot summers and can go a week or weeks between rain/storms in August, you might even consider rigging the plexiglas windowpane so it is removeable altogether, or at least can be hinged up 90 degrees so you get minimal solar heating and maximal ventilation.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  5. chickylou

    chickylou Chillin' With My Peeps

    107
    1
    121
    Jan 29, 2009
    Valparaiso
    THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    These were very helpful comments. Much appreciated.

    We use that "Great Stuff" foam all the time for our home so we'll do that on the coop as well in areas it needs shoring up.

    Really appreciate what you all said regarding plexiglass and ventilation.

    Thanks again. [​IMG]
     
  6. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    839
    0
    139
    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    It looks like you are thinking everything out- and your coop will be adorable I am sure. I really like the shingles. My only opinion is that the coop is way too small!!! Even if you are only going to have a few chickens you might find that they do not want to get out and enjoy winter. In which case they will be spending a lot of time indoors. By the time you put in nesting boxes and water and feeder, your floor space will be used up. As long as you are doing such a nice job - I would double your space... And you never know you "might" want more chickens!!!
     
  7. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Ontario
    Quote:You know were going to need photo's when your all done right? hee hee !
    I wanted to tell you also that a neighbour of ours that made a coop last fall used large scrap pieces of styrafoam that he picked up "dumpster diving" and he used them to insulate the coop wall and then sprayed his handy dandy spray foam around the styrafoam edges.works like a charm....and then put the inside walls up...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by