Run Design help - 10x24 with suntuf


7 Years
Apr 14, 2012
Palmer, Alaska
We've almost finished our coop, with the exception of needing more trim and hardware cloth over the glass windows, and the siding. Run will extend out towards this direction from the coop, this is an old picture of the coop construction, but gives an idea where the run will be located (post edited to add photo).

Coop can also be seen here:

My question is regarding our run. I've been reading SO many posts, and keep going back and forth on designs. Of course it's really hard to find plans, but these are our general ideas. Please please let me know if something we're doing is misguided!

Run Size: 10x24 - (thinking 10' so the 12' Suntuf will have an overhang on each side)

Roof: Planning on using the Suntuf, which only seems to be available in our area at Home Depot. Stuff is really expensive, priced it at $420 to cover our run, but we get a lot of snow, a lot of wind, and it gets very cold here pretty regularly. Haven't seen it in person yet, but have read about it, and know that manufacturer suggests 2' spacing of joists. This added serious complications to the framing part, and I'm still not quite sure we have it worked out.

Framing: We were at first going to use treated 4x4s for the base (and bought them yesterday), but think we're going to replace those with a double-stack of treated 2x4s so that we can screw the vertical 2x4s into them more easily. Wasn't sure we'd be able to attach 2x4s vertically to 4x4s without using brackets, and that seemed to lessen the stability of using the 4x4s in the first place. I have seen that several people have done this. We live on a gravel bar, so we're only going to bury the stack of 2x4s about 2" deep. We will have a hardware cloth apron extending out from this (and screwed to these 2x4s) about 2 feet, and then have rocks or some sort of garden type thing over the top of them.
Spacing of the 2x4s coming off up the base will be every 36", for structural support as well as to make installing the hardware cloth easier.
I was thinking we would have all the posts in the front of the run be 8' and sloping down to 6' posts in the back (is it silly to think I can have Lowes cut 2x4x12s in half to give me 6" tall posts with no waste, and then just seal that end? Other options just seem to be having an 8' tall back and 10' tall front which is total overkill we don't plan on inviting any giants into the coop!)
Then the roof (12' sections) will hopefully fit just right (the base is 10', and with the pitch of a '8 to 6' roof I think 12' will work with a bit of an overhang?). I'll have to have 2x4s across the roofing section at 2' intervals per Suntuf manufacturer's instructions, which is all well and good, but when it comes to the purlins (am i using the right terms here?) in-between the joists, does that need to be treated lumber also? We don't really have a way to cut treated lumber, but I suppose could buy a special blade for the chop saw? Then we'd have to seal each end, and looks like we'll be cutting a WHOLE lot of lumber... is there a better way?

Hardware cloth: Using 1/2 inch hardware cloth as it's a bit stronger than the 1/4 inch that we covered the ventilation with in the coop.

So those are general ideas, I'm spinning myself around in circles reading the forums and just trying to find photos and advice. My husband started thinking we'd need to bury some concrete blocks and have 4x4s coming up out of those, but the depth we'd have to bury those (several feet) is just not practical on a gravel bar. It took dh 4 hours to dig a hole for our mailbox when we put that in!

Thank you thank you for any help, advice, or suggestions!!
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your coop is very nice and I agree, it does look like a sauna. What is the size of your windows and what was that you used on the floor?
Thanks, but no help on the run?!! Haha. Actually I think the coop might be nicer than our sauna. The windows were 3 2'x2' windows, the casement windows I can't really remember, I think the whole thing was about 4'x6'? Then there is a long window that's 1'x5' or something.

Vinyl is on the floor, with sand over the top. Got the great idea to wrap the vinyl up the walls from these forums, ended up puncturing it in a few places though
so had to use some gorilla tape (strong waterproof duct tape) and hope they don't pick at it. Still, think the vinyl is great so far.

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