Stone foundation?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mr.hutch23, May 29, 2011.

  1. mr.hutch23

    mr.hutch23 Out Of The Brooder

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    I've designed an 8x16 coop to build in my backyard. I'm not sure about what to set it on. We are in Vermont and the coop location is slightly sloped, fairly well-drained and under/nearby some maples. I've read a lot about people digging below the frost line and pouring concrete piers or purchasing concrete blocks for the purpose. This seems like overkill to me for such a small structure, particularly if one is trying to economize.

    My question is, can't I just put down a little gravel and some large stones on the corners and mid-points? Rocks I got and lots of 'em, plus I'm cheap. Does anyone see any problems with just resting PT 2x8's on stones, assuming they are flat enough and I can get them level enough?

    Thank you in advance for your comments and suggestions.
     
  2. VelvettFog

    VelvettFog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that would work just fine.

    I put mine on cinder blocks. Not a lot different between those and flat rocks [​IMG]
     
  3. mr.hutch23

    mr.hutch23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Velvet. Great looking coop you got there!
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    mr.hutch23 :

    I've designed an 8x16 coop to build in my backyard. I'm not sure about what to set it on. We are in Vermont and the coop location is slightly sloped, fairly well-drained and under/nearby some maples. I've read a lot about people digging below the frost line and pouring concrete piers or purchasing concrete blocks for the purpose. This seems like overkill to me for such a small structure, particularly if one is trying to economize.

    My question is, can't I just put down a little gravel and some large stones on the corners and mid-points? Rocks I got and lots of 'em, plus I'm cheap. Does anyone see any problems with just resting PT 2x8's on stones, assuming they are flat enough and I can get them level enough?

    Thank you in advance for your comments and suggestions.

    What you describe is how many, many barns and outbuildings (and a few houses that are mostly no longer around) were built 100-200 yrs ago.

    If you do it right and on the right site, yes, it can work pretty well, at least for a few decades. Especially if you are lucky LOL

    However, done wrong or in an inappropriate place, it will create a building that almost immediate starts to twist and writhe and settle/heave unevenly, and rip itself apart. (On concrete blocks can do the same thing, which is why it is not an ideal setup for sheds beyond 'small' size; but may tend to do it a bit less, because the blocks are more-identical than rocks are and thus tend to behave a bit more similarly to each other)

    For the a-bit-bigger-than-small size coop you describe, you want to be doing it on soil that is "all of a piece" and all undisturbed. Not half on the site of an old dirt driveway, half off; not part of it on an area that was dug or plowed over in the past couple decades; not some of the coop above a boulder or area of rock ledge buried shallowly in the soil and the rest of the coop on deeper soil; etc. And you would not want to be doing it on much of a slope. You'd have to use your judgement about that.

    But if you seem to have the right situation and don't mind that it'll be less stable and less-assured of not getting twisty/saggy/funky, then I could certainly see doing it. Although it is usually not that hard to scavenge old cinderblocks either [​IMG]

    It is worth paying extra attention to making sure the coop has good diagonal bracing (especially if you will be using something other than thick plywood as siding), because that can help the structure just tip *as a unit* rather than different parts moving separately and starting to work things apart.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  5. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2009
    mr.hutch23 :

    I've designed an 8x16 coop to build in my backyard. I'm not sure about what to set it on. We are in Vermont and the coop location is slightly sloped, fairly well-drained and under/nearby some maples. I've read a lot about people digging below the frost line and pouring concrete piers or purchasing concrete blocks for the purpose. This seems like overkill to me for such a small structure, particularly if one is trying to economize.

    My question is, can't I just put down a little gravel and some large stones on the corners and mid-points? Rocks I got and lots of 'em, plus I'm cheap. Does anyone see any problems with just resting PT 2x8's on stones, assuming they are flat enough and I can get them level enough?

    Thank you in advance for your comments and suggestions.

    See my BYC page for pics, I dug down and bricked up a foundation just to have a sub-ground level deep litter composting method of chicken management. Been working for nearly twenty years. I like the compost method of cleaning out only once a year to put the compost on my Garden.​
     
  6. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree that a concrete pad with footing is major overkill for a coop. Why not a gravel pad, frame in the walls with the sills (all weather wood) setting direct on the gravel and then dump more rock inside to be the floor? Quick, easy, solid and well drained. I did this on a coop and never had issues plus any poo in the gravel simply washed down into the gravel and filtered away with no smell! Also with this plan, you don't damage the tree roots by digging and unless you wind up on a very large root, no heave issues.
     
  7. 6chickens in St. Charles

    6chickens in St. Charles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    I am a worry-wort. After our latest storm, I was SO GLAD [​IMG] the coop was still firm in its concrete footings! We had the flu at the time, there was no way we could do more than just stare at the damage from that storm.

    Is your weather a consideration for safety? We wouldn't have bothered with concrete anchors if the city hadn't noticed our shed project and insisted we pay for and follow the code permit. In the end, they were right, and our birds and kids have remained safe. The methods of 100 years ago have resulted in torture, more money and time than we have, for necessary corrections as we battle a twisting old house and its leaks and mold! Whatever the modern code you have for building a shed, I'd follow it. Five or six years after your hard labor, it will still be fine and dandy, instead of frazzled in a constant state of correction.
     
  8. mr.hutch23

    mr.hutch23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah this is getting little clearer for me now. Thank you all for your comments. I'm just not going to spend $2k for a coop to house 15-30 birds. I'm not really in this for the $ but I don't want to take a bath on it either. Corners will be cut: Foundation of rocks and bricks on a couple inches of pea gravel, no insulation, T1-11 siding, maybe I'll run a light bulb out there. I'll post some pictures of the process when I'm done. Have a good one everybody.
     

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