Run Framing Advice Please!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NicoleRM, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. NicoleRM

    NicoleRM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 2, 2007
    Williston, FL
    I've finished my coop and am ready to start framing for the attached run. It will measure 6 feet wide, 6 feet tall, and 14 feet long. I was originally planning to use 4x4 corner posts and 2x4s for the rest of the framing. I'm wondering now if this is overkill? My current tractor is 4 feet wide, 4 feet tall, and 8 feet long and is framed all in 2x2s. Could I use 2x2s to frame out my new run or should I go for the heftier 4x4s and 2x4s? Predators aren't really a factor, other than hawks, and the run will be wired on top as well as the sides. Please advise!

    Thanks!
    Nicole
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Enh, use the 4x4 corners and 2x4 line posts. They offer MUCH greater margin of safety against things like dog jumping against run, person bumping into it or guest leaning against it, collisions with lawn mower or wheelbarrow, high winds, etc. The extra cost is pretty low and you will have a much more robust long-lived structure.

    Also, unlss you're using very sturdy small mesh wire, make sure to build in some sort of diagonal bracing of sides or corners so the whole frame doesn't slowly 'rack' or twist. And sink the posts a little deeper than you think you realistically have to [​IMG]

    My dad always taught me that unless weight is a big issue or it's only meant to be a temporary thing whose failure wouldn't matter, you'll never regret spending a little extra money or labor to make it as strong and 'right' as you can. Experince doing it both ways suggests he was right [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  3. NicoleRM

    NicoleRM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 2, 2007
    Williston, FL
    Quote:I stuck to this principal when I built the coop, so I guess I should just carry it over to the run! You pretty much confirmed what I was leaning towards.

    Thanks!
    Nicole
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2007
  4. Galaxie_Man

    Galaxie_Man Chillin' With My Peeps

    My run dimensions are 8'W X 12'L X 8'H and is completely framed with pressure treated 2X4's. The corner posts are two 2X4's nailed together lengthwise, which I have found to be stronger than a 4X4. The entire unit weighs a ton and is very solid, you will not knock it over, but will hurt yourself if you "bump" into it.

    [​IMG]


    When I get home later I'll post more detailed photos of the construction.
     
  5. Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies

    Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    NY
    I used treated 2X4's for the base so it would not rot and for the sides I used 2X3's they are a buck cheaper at lowes and they were easer to work with. So if you need 30 boards thats $30 you can spend on something else.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. BantyChickMom

    BantyChickMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2007
    Henderson, NC
    The last 2 runs we fixed were 8 X 12, 5' on one end and about 6 - 7' on the other end, and have a 4 X 8 coop attached on the 5' end.
    We used 4x4's for corner posts and 2X6's for running boards. Our land is so uneven we put the runner boards level and filled in underneath with more 2X6' and OSB.
    The 2 pens meet at the high end and form an A-roof.
    Roof is covered with OSB and a tarp.
    DH is a perfectionist when it comes to being symmetrical, and he wants the best he can afford.

    The first pens we fixed were from an existing structure and the roof is not as good as we would like it, so DH said the next ones would be strong enough for him to "drive his truck" on.

    It is worth the few extra dollars in the long run to make it as good as you can afford now.

    All of our wood except the OSB is treated.
    And treated wood is only a few cents more than white wood.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2007
  7. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I agree... I'd say be conservative and build stronger. It will be only slightly more expense now, but think of the PITA should you build too light and need to redo it later.

    We used 4x4s salvaged from a construction site. They're rough-hewn things that they used to brace the forms for pouring concrete. We put them in prefab concrete deck footings, buried. Used 2x4s for the roof, and dimensional lumber (1x8s and 1x5s) for the kick boards and the board that covers the joint between the hardware cloth on the bottom and the 2x4 wire fencing up top. These horizontals add a tremendous amount of rigidity to the structure. It's had over a hundred #s of snow on top already and no problems at all; its very strong. Oh, we also buried chicken wire 12" deep even below the hardware cloth which extends underground a bit.

    We ran out of 4x4s and used a doubled-up pair of 2x4s for one corner. The door is one of those cheapo Home Depot screen doors (an old one we were replacing) with hardware cloth instead of the screen. Three latches keep it securely closed even though it's a light frame.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. KingsCalls

    KingsCalls Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2007
    New Market,Tn.
    WOW ! SeaChick that is one nice run!
     
  9. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Thanks! It doesn't look so pristine anymore..... I had to put a 24" high piece of aluminum flashing along the base of the garage to keep them from pecking the paint, and the nice yellow painted garage and white-painted trim are all totally covered in brown dust now from their dust bathing and scrathing in the dry soil of the run!!!!! But it's working out well, all in all.
    Stacey
     
  10. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Stacey,

    You've done a wonderful job on this coop/run. The colors, inside and out, are so cheerful. I wanted to ask you about the screening you've used in the run.
    The top half of the run has the wider openings, while the bottom half has the smaller mesh. Though I live in a suburban area, there are *lots* of raccons, skunks, possums and dogs/cats here. They routinely come into my back yard.[​IMG] I'm worried if predators can get into the top part of the run if they're determined to do so.
    What do you think about this? And would you do anything differently if you did any construction over?

    Thanks!

    Carla Riggs
    Pasadena Ca
     

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