Soffit or not? Another ventilation question.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jailerjoe, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. jailerjoe

    jailerjoe Chillin' With My Peeps

    After reading numourous threads on BYC regarding coop design and ventilation I still have questions. I'm about done with my coop but I'm trying to decide how to finish it off where the walls meet the roof. I have a ton of soffit left over from when I built my house and I'd like the coop to match my house as much as possible (I have vinyl siding left over as well so I'm also using that) so I kind of want to finish it off using the soffit. I'm just concerned that using it will restrict ventilation too much. There's holes in the soffit for ventilation but I don't know if it's enough.


    I live in balmy north central Minnesota so I insulated the walls of my coop. So far I haven't insulated the roof at all so any moisture would be able to just follow the roof trusses out.

    The first image is my nearly completed coop and the second is of my house and the soffit I would use (click on the second photo to see the vent holes).

    BTW thanks for all the great info here at BYC. I'm new to chickens and have learned so much here.


    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  2. dmbnj

    dmbnj Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2014
    New Jersey
    I have the same question. I'm also wondering if I need to cover the area with hardware cloth to keep critters out.
  3. jailerjoe

    jailerjoe Chillin' With My Peeps

    I did cover all those openings with hardware cloth (from the inside that's why you can't see it from the photo). I don't know if it would be necessary if I use the soffit but I figured it might be a good idea either way. Better safe than sorry. Also, I had a ton of scrap pieces of hardware cloth laying around so it made sense to do something with them.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  4. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    I'm thinking you might run into a condensation issue with a uninsulated roof in a insulated coop. I would of have done it the other way around. Most heat dissipates through the roof. If the inside of the coop is warmer than the outside, the uninsulated roof creates a thermal bridge and moisture in the air inside will condense there, dripping down on your flock. I would suggest insulating the roof and cutting out ventilation channels in the walls to get as much as possible of the moisture out.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  5. jailerjoe

    jailerjoe Chillin' With My Peeps

    I can certainly insulate the roof easily enough. The walls, however, would be tough as I finished the inside with tongue and groove.

  6. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Get some piping, as big as possible, and a holesaw of the same diameter, one of those saw bits you attach to a drill. Don't use a battery powered drill. Make holes in the wall, put in the pipes, and put on some sort of net or those ready made grates. In my coop construction story there's some pics of me doing it and I think the finished product too. I'm going to install a fan into it still, but if you're going with passive airflow I'd make as many as possible. You can cover them up during bad weather if needed.
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    That's one fancy coop!

    That said, chickens are very dusty. I'm in the mild maritime PNW with an unsulated coop of which I did not hardware cloth or soffet the area under the roof. I feel as if I put soffet with small holes... they would soon be clogged with chicken dust.
  8. jailerjoe

    jailerjoe Chillin' With My Peeps

    The vent holes sounds like a good idea. I have a hole saw (and about every other tool known to mankind) and PVC left over from building my house.

    Silkiechicken a friend of my wife's from work was tearing down a house and had removed a bunch of the tongue and groove to save for a later project. She then decided that she didn't want it so gave it to us for free! I can't pass up free and it did turn out pretty nice. Went up quickly as well.
  9. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Here are a couple of pictures of my vents. Like I said, I'm planning on putting in a fan at some point still, so you might want more of them. I went with 100mm vents. I've got a tongue and groove outside, plywood inside and 100mm rockwool in between. Plus some breathing spaces. Like I said, use a corded drill. I made the first one with a battery powered drill, took 3 or 4 batteries to go through. Then I gave up, went to the neighbor and borrowed a proper drill, took about 5 seconds to punch through. I found that it's better to not own a bunch of tools, just borrow them from your neighbor who has every tool known to man ;)

  10. jailerjoe

    jailerjoe Chillin' With My Peeps

    See, I saw building my house as an opportunity to buy a bunch of tools I'd wanted for years but could never justify. :)
    1 person likes this.

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