Rehabbing a Coop - Need thoughts/opinions (lotsa pics)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lpyrbby, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    We just purchased a home on 4 acres back in August after a 2.5 month grueling ordeal trying to get the seller to handle some things so we could close. But anyway :)

    This is the coop that was already on the property from back in June:
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    Inside the coop. They took the old pool liner and used it to cover the floor (no, our pool still doesn't have a liner lol). There's ONE lone roost just in the corner on the left of the image.

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    Today, the coop is looking more like this...
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    If you hadn't heard about the recent torrential rains we had in SC - let me tell you. 3 straight days of mostly buckets. Fortunately fared well compared to other locations. I'm not surprised to see water buildup in the coop though. This is under the "roost."

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    These are the beams over the roost area. They're the only ones that are in that condition.

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    Roost and nesting boxes to the left, door to the right.

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    I honestly have no idea how to turn this on...I haven't really looked lol

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    Another photo of the roost/wet spot.
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    And also...the door doesn't close. I had to fight to get it open

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    The floors are okay but they feel a bit soft in some places. I'm thinking that it *might* be worth it to just remove the floors and go with a deep litter setup in there. I suppose that depends on what it looks like underneath and if the floors have any bearing to the structure staying upright. I'm interested in having maybe 5-6 chickens, so maybe 3 breeds, max.

    What are things I need to focus on with the coop before adding residents? Getting the door to close properly and the ceiling beams at the top, for sure. How much of that overgrown mass of vegetation in the run would actually be able to be eaten by chickens? I'm thinking not much, but wanted to ask to be sure.

    Please feel free to point out obvious things to me :)

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    ..........
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  3. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Bah! Let me work on that. This post is no fun without photos lol
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Well, didn't quite fix them to show in the post...I'm not going to insert them all.

    Looks like the roof has been leaking for while by the way that beam looks, replace roof or seal the leaky seams.
    If the floor is rotted remove it and go with deep litter, but put down hardware cloth apron around the bottom edges of walls to deter diggers.
    Might have to do something to grade surrounding ground to keep water from flowing in again.

    That'll get you started...would be easier if we could see all photos in thread.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  5. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've fixed it, but my posts are in moderation, so you'll probably see it's fixed before you get my reply :)

    Thanks for still looking and commenting!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Well, it might be worth fixing up for a coop, it's a pretty nice size for keeping up to a dozen or so,
    could even split the space with chicken wire wall inside to accommodate separate spaces for storage and another for new chickies.

    Gonna take some work and money tho to make it 'right'.
    First thing would be to pull that liner and all those boards inside along the bottom and take a look at the floor and framing down low.
    Who knows what's living under that funky floor.

    At the very least, fix the leaks in roof, definitely add some ventilation, cover all openings with 1/2" hardware cloth for night predator protection,
    add some good roosts and nests and toss some birds in there.

    The run looks like it will need new mesh on at least part of it, tho chicken wire won't keep most predators out.
    I wouldn't worry about the vegetation, maybe pull the big stuff out, but they'll probably scratch it all up in a month or so.
     
  8. lpyrbby

    lpyrbby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your eyes are good :)

    I think I may get in there this weekend and start pulling up the floor. We have some wire we can throw down to at least have that portion handled. It'll also give me a clearer picture of how it's supported. I'm not sure yet how we'll fix the rotting boards at the roof but I do know those will need to be dealt with. The run does need some new wire as far as I'm concerned. It's doubled up in places and would "probably" work, but I have no doubts I'll get attached to the chickens and it'll pain me greatly to lose any to a predator attack. I'd like to redo it with some of the cattle panels but I have no idea how we'd get those to the house either! And we'd still have to throw some netting over the top of some sort.

    As far as ventilation goes, it doesn't look like the roof and walls meet all the way around, leaving some air flow at the top. I'm not opposed to adding more ventilation, I just don't know how to go about doing that with the building either. The metal siding is a little intimidating.

    We'll see how things progress when I can sit in there with the creepy ol' floors and see what ideas I come up with to make it more functional for the birds, and myself.

    Thanks!
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'm good at finding/seeing problems and enjoy fixing them, been doing it for many decades in many different situations.

    I'll bet those stringers under up the metal roof are not as rotten as they appear and don't do a ton as far as supporting the roofing,
    it would be pretty easy to slide another in place between the 2 nasty looking ones.
    But that seam in the metal roofing right above the rotted part is probably leaking and could probably be sealed from outside with some roofing caulk.
    The rafters themselves look pretty good.

    The framing near the bottom of the coop is much more important and it remains to be seen what shape it's in.
    It may tell the tale of weather that area has flooded before or if the recent deluge was a once in a hundred years situation.

    In SC those roof gaps are not going to do a lot and could be ingress for predators, tho they would have a hard time climbing the metal siding.
    Cutting metal is not fun IMO, angle grinder with cut off blade would be easiest but it's tricky to get the hang of it.
    You could put up together a wood window frame,
    then screw it in place thru the metal from the outside where that tiny one is on the door wall,
    then cut the larger window out of the siding.
    Remove frame and attach hardware cloth to it then reattach to the metal siding.

    Not sure how to fix the door from here, would have to touch it to figure it out.
     
  10. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I followed your link to this thread from this thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1111344/picking-a-cockerel-to-keep/10#post_17378124

    Have you done anything to this coop/shed since the pictures above were taken?

    Roof doesn't look bad at all in regards to repairing. Looks like it leaking from uphill and running down to those rough looking purlins...notice the bit of corrosion along edge/splice of tin. Get a ladder and look on top to see if there's something obvious...missing nails, etc.,. Caulking is cheap. [​IMG]

    Water on floor/pool-liner could have come from roof or in through the big open window.

    Big window... Probably the easiest thing would be to cut some pressure treated 2x4s to form a perimeter around the window. Use roofing screws to attach wood to metal siding. Once you have the wooden perimeter in place then attach your 1/2" hardware cloth using screws and fender washers....I would further add 2x4 welded wire over the hardware cloth. If you add 2x4 welded wire then it should be supported enough out in the field of the opening....if using only hardware cloth you might want to add a vertical support in the middle to strengthen the screen.

    Door... Depends on where it's scrubbing. Figure that out and then work on creating clearance for it. Depending on the hinges you may only need to tap them with a hammer in one direction or the other to lift or lower a corner of the door. Gently bumping the door jam (where the door closes against) with a heavy hammer may help. Or, you may need a belt-sander, a hand/wood plane, or something similar to reduce an edge of the wood down on the door, the jam, or maybe the threshold. As I mentioned, figure out where it's scrubbing and work on that area. While you're at it, squirt a little oil on the hinges...never hurts. :)

    Floor... BIGGIE. Depending on the structure, the floor can actually be an integral part of it's construction that prevents racking (twisting that can lead to collapse). It doesn't look like it has corner poles so I'm figuring it's a framed up structure. I would take that pool liner up and see what's beneath. It could be that they put some kind of sheet goods down...4x8 sheets of particle board or something....these could be spongy/disintegrated by now....if it is, rip up what you can. Stuff that doesn't come up easily is probably still fairly good so don't worry about it. If you have some rotten floor joists you can probably replace them fairly easily or maybe "scab" some pieces of good wood to areas that are weak/bad. Clean out any debris between the floor joists that you can. Maybe use scrap blocks and bricks to solidify the floor. A few sheets of 4x8 Advantech from Lowes would do wonders and wood last a long time in those conditions.

    Ceiling lights.... Do you see wires coming to the shed from your house or from somewhere else? Can you see wires on the outside of the coop?....if you do, where do they go? If you're not sure about electrical wiring you might want to call an electrician in for this. Electricity is nice, but you don't have to have it, nor to the chickens.

    Fix the pop door, add some 1/2" hardware cloth around the eave vents, do some more tweaks to it and you're good to go. Add a run, of course. :)

    What aart said about doing some grading to direct the water away from the coop is great advice. Clean out all around the perimeter of the building and when it rains note how the water runs and where it stands...try to fix the ground where the water will move away from the coop.

    The "fit and finish" of all of this doesn't have to be finish-grade work...just good enough to keep varmits out and give the chickens a safe, dry place to roost and get out of the weather in. That coop could be rehabbed to be a nice coop. When you get it pretty much operable go by Lowes and get some "Oops!" paint (preferably white) and slap it on it. Shazam!!!!...new coop! ;)

    Best wishes,
    Ed
     

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