Progress thread, coop design and building

Here is my concenptual sketch of the coop. I have a question, regarding the door. I plan to use an old door which has a simple round knob as a handle. Initially i planned to remoove it and install a locking hasp. Now, I would like to ask for opinion/experience regarding raccoons capability to rotate round door knob by 45 degrees and then pull it open. I hope they couldn’t do that, since I would prefer to to use the door as it is. View attachment 2422112
Iv'e been a builder most of my 68 years, seen alot of drawings, thats more than sketch, that's a pretty darn good drawing.
 

Rodrad

Chirping
Nov 9, 2020
112
48
50
Southern Indiana
Thank you, appreciate your input. I found in my barn some old treated 4x6 and that is the reason why I will use it rather than 4x4. Will go with the plane floor, no insulation, (plywood with vinyl over it).

Well, one more question, on the floor (5x8 with 5 joists out of 2x4) what size plywood would you recommend. I am thinking of 5/8” size.

Well, 2 nd question, i plan 2x6” header and rims to be treated lumber, how about 2x4” joists and plywood? I could paint plywood on the underside.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
25,831
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My Coop
Here is my concenptual sketch of the coop. I have a question, regarding the door. I plan to use an old door which has a simple round knob as a handle. Initially i planned to remoove it and install a locking hasp. Now, I would like to ask for opinion/experience regarding raccoons capability to rotate round door knob by 45 degrees and then pull it open. I hope they couldn’t do that, since I would prefer to to use the door as it is. View attachment 2422112
I like all your improvements. You clearly take to heart the advice experienced chicken keepers have to offer.
The only thing that concerns me about your drawing is burying the legs of the coop in earth or concrete. They will eventually rot out. I had great pictures of what happened to my fathers front porch posts but can't find them right now. We had to tear out the porch and replace all the posts.
I set my posts on adjustable 1" offset post bases on concrete piers when building anything elevated.
As for your floor, 1/2" plywood is fine. Your 2x6 "beams" do not need to be treated. The sheathing on the sides of the coop will be brought down to cover it. You will build your walls such that the top of the tie plate is 8' from the bottom of the 2x6 so your wall sheathing will cover everything.
Hang your 2x4 floor joists in hangers flush with the tops of the 2x6s. I would go with 16" on center instead of 24" OC though. Just get five 2x4x10' boards to cut for your floor joists. For the two end joists you can use hidden hangers.
1606487471941.png

I would also notch the 4x4 posts so the 2x6 beams sit on them instead lag to them. It's much stronger that way... and per the IRC, not that a coop qualifies but why not built it that way?
After I set a beam on top of the post and butted up to the notch, I'll nail into the notch. The notch side needs to face towards the inside of the coop so you can install the joist hangers into the wood without interference from the post to beam connectors, if you use them. These are also sold for anchoring your beam to the post on the opposite side of the notch:
1606486846776.png


This way, you will make a perfect 5'x8' area to put your plywood floor on. The 3'x8' piece of plywood you will have left from ripping the second sheet to cover the floor can be used to fabricate your nest boxes or go towards your roof sheathing.
 

Rodrad

Chirping
Nov 9, 2020
112
48
50
Southern Indiana
I like all your improvements. You clearly take to heart the advice experienced chicken keepers have to offer.
The only thing that concerns me about your drawing is burying the legs of the coop in earth or concrete. They will eventually rot out. I had great pictures of what happened to my fathers front porch posts but can't find them right now. We had to tear out the porch and replace all the posts.
I set my posts on adjustable 1" offset post bases on concrete piers when building anything elevated.
As for your floor, 1/2" plywood is fine. Your 2x6 "beams" do not need to be treated. The sheathing on the sides of the coop will be brought down to cover it. You will build your walls such that the top of the tie plate is 8' from the bottom of the 2x6 so your wall sheathing will cover everything.
Hang your 2x4 floor joists in hangers flush with the tops of the 2x6s. I would go with 16" on center instead of 24" OC though. Just get five 2x4x10' boards to cut for your floor joists. For the two end joists you can use hidden hangers. View attachment 2426975
I would also notch the 4x4 posts so the 2x6 beams sit on them instead lag to them. It's much stronger that way... and per the IRC, not that a coop qualifies but why not built it that way?
After I set a beam on top of the post and butted up to the notch, I'll nail into the notch. The notch side needs to face towards the inside of the coop so you can install the joist hangers into the wood without interference from the post to beam connectors, if you use them. These are also sold for anchoring your beam to the post on the opposite side of the notch:
View attachment 2426964

This way, you will make a perfect 5'x8' area to put your plywood floor on. The 3'x8' piece of plywood you will have left from ripping the second sheet to cover the floor can be used to fabricate your nest boxes or go towards your roof sheathing.
Wow, Dobbielover, so great, detailed and complete inputs! Really appreciate all of them.
We are in our late seventies so the coop life (even with issues of treated posts being in the ground) of the coop doesn’t need to be so long..
However, can you please explain how do you make concrete pillars (size depth, etc I would need for my small coop)?
One note, I planned 16” distance for joists. On 8’ span, excluding rim headers I calculate to have 5 joists (96”/16”=6).
Also, I planned, and you confirmed, to make proper notches in my posts to accept 2x6 headers. I planned to use galvanized carriage bolts (1/4” size) to secure 2x6 headers to the posts. And since the posts sre treated, I think I will buy 2x6 headers also treated. Also plan to use hangers for my 2x4 joists.

Very good advise for using the remaining 3x8’ plywood. I already made my nesting boxes but will use it for the roof decking.

Thank you again for the great input.
 
Last edited:

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
25,831
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NY Southern Tier
My Coop
However, can you please explain how do you make concrete pillars (size depth, etc I would need for my small coop)!
Have someone else do the digging for you! I'm 51 and live on a hill with hardpan clay embedded with rock and it took me 2 days to hand dig all the holes and another day to rest my back! It's hard work.
Layout your site like this:
1606489826778.png

When the two diagonals are exactly equal, you are square on all sides.
Mark your batter boards so you know exactly where to put the strings back and remove one side of each and dig your holes with a spud bar and clamshell digger.
I dig to the local code requirement to be below the frost line. Here, that is 42". After the 4 holes are dug with the centers about where the center of the 4x4 posts should be, cut the sona tubes to put in the holes and make them flush with the ground then reattach your strings and get the tube center to be as close to centered under the strings as you can and shim them in place.
Take the strings down again and mix and pour the concrete, put the strings back up and embed a 6" galvanized J-bolt in the wet concrete so 1" of the threaded end is sticking up under where the strings cross. I go as far as to put a bullet level on the side of the bolt to make it as plumb as I can get it. Then smooth out the concrete around the bolt without getting any on the exposed threads.
I wait two days and then attach the adjustable offset post base to the bolts.
1606490856846.png

Now you need to move your strings equal distances for the outsides of the post. This is when the distance on the long sides will be 8' and the short sides will be 5'. Line up the adjustable base to just touch the strings then bolt it down to the concrete.

This is how I built by run.

One note, I planned 16” distance for joists. On 8’ span, excluding rim headers I calculate to have 5 joists (96”/16”=6).
Run them the short length. They will be much stronger that way.
 

Rodrad

Chirping
Nov 9, 2020
112
48
50
Southern Indiana
Have someone else do the digging for you! I'm 51 and live on a hill with hardpan clay embedded with rock and it took me 2 days to hand dig all the holes and another day to rest my back! It's hard work.
Layout your site like this:
View attachment 2427029
When the two diagonals are exactly equal, you are square on all sides.
Mark your batter boards so you know exactly where to put the strings back and remove one side of each and dig your holes with a spud bar and clamshell digger.
I dig to the local code requirement to be below the frost line. Here, that is 42". After the 4 holes are dug with the centers about where the center of the 4x4 posts should be, cut the sona tubes to put in the holes and make them flush with the ground then reattach your strings and get the tube center to be as close to centered under the strings as you can and shim them in place.
Take the strings down again and mix and pour the concrete, put the strings back up and embed a 6" galvanized J-bolt in the wet concrete so 1" of the threaded end is sticking up under where the strings cross. I go as far as to put a bullet level on the side of the bolt to make it as plumb as I can get it. Then smooth out the concrete around the bolt without getting any on the exposed threads.
I wait two days and then attach the adjustable offset post base to the bolts.
View attachment 2427048
Now you need to move your strings equal distances for the outsides of the post. This is when the distance on the long sides will be 8' and the short sides will be 5'. Line up the adjustable base to just touch the strings then bolt it down to the concrete.

This is how I built by run.



Run them the short length. They will be much stronger that way.
 

Rodrad

Chirping
Nov 9, 2020
112
48
50
Southern Indiana
Thanks for the inputs. I plan and will use strings method to align and squere my posts. Here the frost line is 30”. I don’t know if I will try to dig the holes by myself, we don’t have rocky ground but we have clay at certain depth. On the other hand, doing it slowly with a post hole digger it may be a good upper body excersize (plus I am sure my breading will be faster, so some aerobic excersize too)!
Will check more about using sonatubes (or similar type of tubes), the costs of those, any need for a base under those tubes (end of sonatubes in the ground), how much concrete is needed, concrete mixer rental, etc.
If we were younger, I would definitevely go for a building the foundation of the coop by method of sonatubes and special attaching hardware for the posts (obviously the posts attached that way will last forever).
Yes, I plan to run joists on 5 ft length.
 

Rodrad

Chirping
Nov 9, 2020
112
48
50
Southern Indiana
Although my coop is still in a design stage I decided to go with external nesting box. It is very much an over designed type. 724C1100-282E-4340-89E5-966C090187ED.jpeg 06DE7A3E-7DCA-4A05-A08B-83C9D7AD69A9.jpeg B0EFA5F5-2220-4394-AA38-9B20D346A065.jpeg


Only possibly a new feature, for some people who will build a coop,
Is that I used a silicone calk to cover all joints of frame and plywood in order to reduce places for mites to hide.

Based on some of some other coop design, from K0k0ska in particular, I painted inside black.

9BB31FA9-9B12-4455-B36B-D03AA8DD2611.jpeg
 

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