Question on coop design...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Jonathon_Spafford, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. Jonathon_Spafford

    Jonathon_Spafford New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2010
    Hello everybody...

    I am working up plans for a shed/chicken coop. I haven't nailed down dimensions, but I am thinking between 10x16 and 12x18. I plan to donate at least 60 sq. ft. to my chickens and use the other half for storing garden equipment. Instead of using proper footings for the foundation, I planned on digging 12 holes (three sets of four holes), sinking pressure treated 4x4s into them and filling them with concrete. Then I will lay three 4x6s in parallel across the tops of the posts and connect my floor joists to these beams. (The holes, by the way, I had planned to make 18" deep and 12" diameter).
    My questions are:
    - Does this sound like a reasonable method of building the foundation?
    - If I were to go this route, what is the easiest way of making sure that all 12 posts are protruding from the ground the same distance (i.e. how do you ensure that the floor will be level)?
    - Would I be safe butting together two shorter 4x6s (as opposed to a full length 4x6) as long as the seam is supported by a 4x4 post?
    - what is the best siding option to use on the chicken coops?

    Thanks,
    Jonathon
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  2. joconnor

    joconnor New Egg

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    Use the 2x6's to get the floor level. The 4x4 tops won't be level on their own, though the closer they are to being level the better. Use strings and stakes to lay out your grid for positioning and height. Continuous 2x6's is better, and having a 2x6 on both sides of the 4x4 is better as well. Nothing like having a squishy floor to really make a project feel lousy.

    You COULD bolt everything together so the 2x6's are supporting the 4x4s over the empty holes, level at the corners, then fill the holes with concrete. I've not done it this way, but I'd probably try it on a foundation the size you are talking about.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  3. birdicus7

    birdicus7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Jonathon,

    Let me qualify my opinion for you, I have spent 20 years in home construction and framing of new houses. First unless you plan on parking your truck or large tractor in the shed 4x6's are way overkill and will weaken your design because you will need to toe nail everything and then use hanger brackets for real support of your joists, adding much expense where it's not needed. You would be better off using 2x6 or 2x8 floor joists and band boards and nailing straight through. (Unless you are planning to use the beams to support a totally separate structure, also much more expensive!) My Second concern is I do not know your location but going through the expense of holes and concrete at a depth of 18" is not sufficient for most locations because you are not below the frost line. In a cold winter it will heave, and trust me it will.

    My suggestion check into deck blocks, they are about 14" square and are made to accept a 4x4 post for instant deck footings. I would suggest building right on ground level on these, if settlement or movement takes place you can re-level without too much issue. Another consideration, is that in most locales you will be assessed taxes on buildings with foundations. If it is mobile-like a shed, you can avoid a tax increase. (Although some areas will assess tax based on square footage also.)

    As far as level goes a simple easy solution for the average homeowner is by using a "water Level" Water will seek it's own level always! Take a length of clear hose tube, about 20' long and fill it with water, leaving about 2-3' empty. Attach one end of the tube to one post and go attach the other end to another post. Mark your level on both posts-they will be level....Move on to the next post until complete. I recommend only moving one end. You may need another person to assist in this process...Try a web search on water level.

    Yes you could butt ends if supported as long as they are toe nailed together.

    A good coat of exterior paint would suffice. Siding will add substantially to your cost. If money is no object and ability exists check into fiber cement siding.

    Check out Dark Wolf's thread right under yours and you'll see framing on the deck blocks i mentioned...
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  4. Jonathon_Spafford

    Jonathon_Spafford New Egg

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    Aug 17, 2010
    Thanks so much for the replies... some helpful ideas here! I really appreciate it!

    Jonathon
     
  5. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2009
    Feel free to check out my BYC page for my 15+ year old coop. It's 8X12. Maybe it'll give you a few ideas.
     

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