Playhouse coop questions...grrrr

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Agilityscots, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Songster

    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    I know several people have built the playhouse coop off of the plans on Ebay. Well, I purchased the plans (after convincing my husband that it would be cheaper to build a coop than buy anything pre-made) and neither of us understand the plans. The "detailed construction guide" offers almost no help. I emailed the seller of the plans and he recommended we enlist the help of a carpenter...something I don't want to pay for. I'm pretty irritated, I have to admit, because he makes it seem like anyone unskilled can build it when you look at his website. Maybe we're just stupid, I don't know.

    Does anyone who's already built this thing have any tips or helpful hints? I don't want to hire a carpenter, so we're just going to try our best to get through it. I'm SO mad.

    Amy [​IMG]
  2. arwmommy

    arwmommy Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    Yeah, well, join the club :mad:

    I got the plans for my DH to make, and he was clueless (BTW-- not entirely a surprise in regards to construction stuff (sorry beloved DH!))

    We got a close friend who is a CONTRACTOR and builds MULTI MILLION DOLLAR HOMES here in Santa Barbara CA, and he looked at them and had a zillion questions--- many of the "specs" were left out (how high is the roost pole supposed to be? If you don't use a tree branch, what should you use? How long should it be?) But by far the MOST ANNOYING was the price estimate on materials--- which was approx $350 if you buy all new materials (which we were). Maybe it is that we live in CA, but the price for the roofing material alone was $280 (we went with plywood topped with cedar shake shingles instead) ! By the time he was done building it (and getting all the prices at his "Contractor's Pricing") the total cost for new materials will be.......*drumroll*...................

    JUST UNDER $700 !!!

    The only modifications we made-- and I would suggest to anyone making this coop-- is that we made the hen house 4x4 (instead of 4x2) so we can increase our flock by a bit in the future (we currently have 6 banties, and would like to get to about 10), and we lined the bottom with 1x1 welded wire, to prevent predators from digging under (yes, I know the wire is hard on the chicken's feet- we are putting 4-6 inches of dirt over it, and then topping it with wood shavings).

    These plans seem to be drawn up by someone who has reasonable woodworking skills, but not necessarily plan drawing skills-- and it is assumed that the person building it has some knowledge of chicken needs, as well (which didn't happen with our builder!).

    Overall I think the coop is totally great looking, a wonderful size, and will be perfect for us, but it ended up being a ton more work, and a ton more money, than we were prepared for.
  3. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Songster

    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    Uh oh, arwmommy! That was not what I was hoping to hear!! I think I will officially be a dead woman if this coop costs us $700 to build. I could have easily bought the Chick-n-barn and run off of for exactly that and been done with it.

    Thanks for the tip on increasing the hen house size. We're supposed to go this weekend to purchase supplies to build this thing, but that Chick-n-barn and run is looking a whole lot more attractive at the moment...[​IMG]
  4. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Maybe before this turns into a marriage damaging money pit you should go back to the seller, tell him his plans are illegible, and you want your money back. Then buy something premade and customize it to your needs. Let's just say, it's what I would do being married to a man who dispises the word "project." [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2007
  5. khable

    khable Songster

    Mar 16, 2007
    LaGrangeville, NY
    I would be curious to see these plans.

    I am a engineer / draftsperson by trade and am curious how one could go so wrong drawing them up? [​IMG]

    Could one of you send me what you got? Maybe I can make heads or tails of it for you??

    One would think that the plans should be made so that ANYONE can build off of them!

    Not all us chicken owners are carpenters! [​IMG]
  6. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    See my coop.
    I made mine without plans but similar to the playhouse coop.
    Its 4x 39(3ft. 3 inches)on the house part.
    With the materials I used the cost was Under 300 dollars.
    I have no idea how those plans deal with roost etc..
    The point is that it can be built for less (at least in my area)
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2007
  7. Jsto

    Jsto Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    I am in agreement with BeckyLA. Try and get your money back. When trying to figure out what to do coopwise, I had looked at that coop and it is definitely marketed as something simple to create. I find the price for the plans ridiculous anyway. I think you could make something cheaper, easier, and exactly what you need by digging around this site and finding out some tips from other posters. I'm sure there are many people here who would be happy to share without reaping the rewards.

    My coop is 8x8, 5ft tall on one side, 4 ft on the other, and has so far cost........about $150. And it's using basically all 'new' materials. Most was barely used and completely free. It can be done [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2007
  8. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    New materials are expensive, used are often free. One person's clearly written plans are another person's nightmare. It might be time to cuts your losses, or it might be time to contact the local boy scout troop and see if there is a troop interested in a really neat carpentry project.

    We built our coop for about $200, no plans, no previous chicken experience, with two fairly decent DIY types. We made a couple of obvious mistakes but nothing terrible- the chicken's don't notice any of them! The largest part of the cost was the new fencing, new posts, and some 2x4s. Almost everything else from roofing to siding to nestboxes was either free or very cheap used. You can do it!

  9. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    I'm pretty sure I saw a post on here where someone said they got a book from the library that had the playhouse plans in it.
  10. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Songster

    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    *sigh*...I've been waiting to get the library book on coops for a couple weeks now. If I had bought the darn thing, I would have probably had many coop plans to choose from for the same money it cost me to buy this one! [​IMG]

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