sliding glass door coop idea

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PtldChick, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. PtldChick

    PtldChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, I looked this up on the forum before posting, so I know about the drawbacks that people have listed and I've tried to plan for these, so here's an idea that I had...around here people are often posting free sliders on craiglist, so I got to thinking...how about making a coop almost entirely out of sliding glass doors? using six or eight sliders plus framing - for an 8x12 or 12x12 coop. One small wall portion on one or both ends, to install a chicken door. Both sides if using 2 5-6' sliders, or one end if one is an oversize 7-8 ft. door.

    1) Double-paned for insulation would be better but not mandatory because of where I live. Aluminum (vs wood) would be fine or even preferable for this type of use.
    2) The structure's framing would have to be strong enough to support a roof with fewer support points - corners and in between the sliders on two or four sides. If this is an issue, do a shed-style roof with corrugated roofing.
    3) The majority of them would remain closed in the winter, which minimizes the track mess problem (not using it, not a problem!).
    4) They could be opened in warm weather for cross-ventilation.
    5) There would still be an automatic chicken door - the chickens would not be using the sliding door, hence they are not open unless for ventilation.
    6) Sliding screen material could be replaced or covered with hardware cloth for when doors are open. The cloth could even be screwed into the aluminum screen frame.
    7) I would screw 1X6's against the inside tracks to keep out a good amount of the debris.
    8) Built on a concrete foundation with a step up - less chance of outside debris getting in the slider.
    9) Roof overhang, awnings and/or shades/shade cloth used on the south and west facing sides in the summer. I already have a bunch of 70% cloth. Better yet, find some with the shades inside the windows...
    10) Vents at both ends under the peak of the roof for winter ventilation.
    11) I could put stickers on the windows to discourage birds from flying into them...personally, I think the chickens are smarter than that and will figure out pretty quickly what their walls are....the bottom parts of the windows won't stay clean for long.


    Here are the pluses I see for this type of design:

    Greenhouse effect warms in the winter
    Open air ventilation cools in the summer (especially with use of shading)
    Cheaper construction costs (I think/hope, pls see below)
    Reusing salvaged materials
    Glass is easier to clean/disinfect than wood
    No need for separate people door or windows
    Less painting maintenance

    I live in the Pacific Northwest so we don't get super hot or super cold here for long periods of time. And it usually cools down at night when it's warm. My current coop is chain link dog kenneling with tarps on three sides for the winter, completely open air in the summer, and a dog kennel vinyl roof. My chickens have lived through the winter with protection from only the rain and wind, not the temps. The summer was not a problem for them, either, although again, the coop was completely open air.

    A question I have for builders, would using free or very cheap sliders cut down much on construction costs?..there wouldn't be much sheathing or siding materials/work and less painting...not sure how much time it would take to frame in the sliders vs. doing regular framing with a man door and at least one window.

    OK, shoot me down if you must...it will help me refine my plan or eventually discard it.

    Thanks!
     
  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    I am not a builder.... but I do build stuff. first is there a size limit on building without a permit in your area? Here its 140 square feet.

    Wow you really thought this through. The structure probably should be 4x4 free standing without the doors therefore think something similar to a pole barn. so then you could put anything you wanted for the walls. and yep you can do 12 x 12 freestanding structure. Think Carport too. Then framing up to where the doors go in.

    I personally HATE sliding glass doors LOL. But thats just me I live in a house that has four and one is for the main entrance. AND it had a green house perminantly attached on the south side of the house. Here in the desert It got 140 degrees in the summer.... No joking. needless to say I had it turned into an open air patio room.

    I think putting something in the channels to keep them clean is an excellent idea. Probably some lengths of garden hose would work for that. Or What you might do is lay down a Garage door gasket that would lean up against the sliding door and provide a debris seal on the inside of the slider.... Maybe the kind that is made of brushes so that when you open and shut the door the door will pass easily by yet still keep it protected from debris.....Wrt security for your birds when the doors are open you could make permanent screens made of hardware cloth to cover the openings. Or frame over the top and make screen doors that open on hinges.

    Another thought too on those days where you want to strip the whole thing down and scrub the floor Id do a clean out door somewhere with a smooth exit so you can use a push broom to push the litter out without catching on the slider channel. It could just be the width of a push broom and maybe a foot high. Just a thought. I know when I sweep my house entrance out all the debris catches in the channel of the slider then makes the weels for the slider grate and run unevenly.

    I am sure others will have better ideas than me but Happy building....

    deb
     
  3. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    I don't think your chickens will get much rest in there. I'd paint those doors on at least two sides. Then you'd have the greenhouse effect in summer. Sure you can open the doors for ventilation but then where's the protection a coop should give if you do that?
     
  4. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it sounds like a great idea. Like someone else said, I think that the best idea is to frame it up solidly and then 'fill in' the sides with whateve your siding of choice is (glass in your case).
    I'm in the south and I have a set of the 'french door' style sliders in my LR. Even with blinds covering it all day. and the ac running - it is noticably warmer in that room than anywhere else. So some extra way to vent heat might be necessary.
    Let us know how it goes. Would love to see some picts once you get going.
     
  5. PtldChick

    PtldChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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  6. PtldChick

    PtldChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thaks, canesisters. We don't really have the heat problem (and lots less humidity) that the south does. I don't think I'd try this idea anywhere south of the Mason Dixon line (maybe in the mountains with natural tree shading).
     
  7. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    That might help some with heat but not with being able to see every critter scrambling around out there. I know I wouldn't sleep a wink if I could see out of every wall of my bedroom!
     
  8. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

     
  9. canesisters

    canesisters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Soooo - any more progress?
     
  10. Markallen

    Markallen Out Of The Brooder

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    Your plan sounds good but you'll need an area on at least 2 walls 90 degrees to each for shear panel over the framing or your building will have a tendency to sway pretty bad, especially on windy days. The shear panel gives the structure lateral stability, ideally on a 12x12' building I would put a 4'x8' sheet at a corner on each side.
     

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