Question for knowledgeable builders in here

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by fiddlebanshee, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    A carpenter friend looked at my drawings for the run and helped me put up the 4x4s over the weekend. The run is 20x32 ft and will be covered for about 16 feet with a simple gable roof over a span of about 20 feet and then will have hardware cloth over the remaining 16 feet. The He recommended that we put two 2x8s at each side of the middle 4x4s as a ridge beam; and a 2x8 and a 2x4 at each side of the 4x4s to carry the roof load and snowload. We're in Maryland. We have had some heavier snows the last couple of years, but it seems to me a bit overkill to go with 2x8s, it would also make the whole contraption very heavy.

    My design had 2x4s. It's probably a good idea to double those up both in the middle (top) of the roof and the sides but 2x8s? I think we should probably also put cross braces on every other rafter to prevent the roof from pushing away the sides.

    What are y'alls opinions on this?
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  2. Fireman Farmer

    Fireman Farmer Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 23, 2011
    EasternShore of Virginia
    Your friend is right. 2x4 should only be used for wall studs. Snow weighs alot and can sit up there for days even weeks at times and creates alot of stress
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Looking at the permit requirements for you in Frederick, MD, the snow load is 30 pounds per square foot and the design wind speed is 90 miles per hour. 90 miles per hour converts to about 22 pounds per square foot.

    I made my living doing structural steel design. I'm not really that familiar with wood design but I designed a lot of steel trusses, which is what a gable roof is, several interconnected trusses. The sizes required will depend on how far apart the supports and gables are and how steep the gable is and how it is all tied together. As I said, I am not real familiar with wood design, but what your carpenter friend recommends (and who is used to building according to code in your area and who has seen your design) sounds reasonable to me.

    Is going by code overkill? Most years it is, but when you have that freak weather that seems to be pretty common these days, it is not. You are designing for the worst case, not the average or normal case.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well, I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to anything but the most basic construction, but I showed this to DH (who built our house and all of our outbuildings), and he felt your friend was correct to go with the 2x8s. He's lived in Maryland, and felt that it would be MUCH safer to build it "right" for the area.
  5. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Ok, ok, ok. Lol, I capitulate. There seems to be an overwhelming consensus. I will get the darn 2x8's but I must say this run is going to cost more than the whole coop together, but then it 'll probably stand till eternity and after.
  6. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Look at it this way,what if it were to fail in they way you designed it? Now you have to do it all over again the way your friend recommended which bears the question,how much money did you save? I live by the motto " I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it"
  7. Trunkster

    Trunkster Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 13, 2010
  8. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    @Trunkster: I can't have a flat roof because I want the coop to be underneath the roof to prevent rain runoff into the run. For reasons of poor planning the low side of the shed roof on my coop is now at the side where the run is so the area in front of the pop door will be a muddy mess if rain is allowed to run off. So that's why I want a roof over the coop extending about 10 feet beyond it so that they have a dry area, and I can collect eggs without getting wet.

    @duckinnut: Yea, I know, that's how i usually approach things, but this is a freakin' run, not a house! Anyway, the lumber is on order and the carpenter friend on call for when it comes in. The 16 ft lengths of lumber were too long for me to get into my subaru, so there was an additonal $75 delivery fee. But as I am now ordering all at the same time that is relatively minor and it'll save a lot of backache and effort to get it up the mountain.
  9. 2overeasy000

    2overeasy000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2010
    I know what you are talking about with everything adding up. I didn't have my run covered for a couple of months because everything was piling on and costing too much for me. But now that it is all done, it is a feeling of satisfaction I have to say. Also, I have to agree that you should probably "overdue it." For instance, I intentionally built my coop and run for twice as many chickens as I every intend on keeping.
  10. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

    Apr 11, 2011
    I would rather be safe than sorry. May be more costly up front, but worth it not to have to re-build if it collapses under snow down the road.

    Our coop hasn't been started yet. We had to get a permit and that set us back $400 that would have gone towards materials to build it. Now we have to dig below the frost line and have the 8 - 10 holes inspected before pouring concrete, the floor joists inspected, and the final structure inspected. My 16 chicks are coming at the beginning of August. I have 5 bantam Quail D'Anver chicks now. I hope they don't outgrow my brooder too soon! To make matters worse, I'm having major surgery Aug 24th and will be laid up for 6-8 weeks. I won't even be able to go up and down stairs to visit with the chicks in the basement (coolest place in the house).

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