Stone or masonry coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Garlydog, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. Garlydog

    Garlydog In the Brooder

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    Does anyone have a coop made out of stone or masonry? Pics would be great. I am thinking about making a coop out of limestone, not free-stack, but mortared.

    I have enough free stone for the project, and thought it might be an inexpensive way to make a decent sized coop.

    Does anyone have any thoughts, pro or con on this alternative?
     
  2. Tonopah Pati

    Tonopah Pati Rest in Peace 1938-2011

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    I think that the stone house would be great, I have always loved the stone look. Keep us posted when you start. I wish I could help you. I have been wanting to make adobe blocks to make a house, digging it down about 2 feet to help keep it cool. I live in the AZ desert and cool is always on my mind for keeping my girls as happy as I can. [​IMG]
     
  3. May get cold in the winter ...I lived in a granite stone house in Ma and it was expensive to heat !!
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I dunno about 'inexpensive'. You need a very solid, twice-as-wide-as-the-wall, beyond-frostline-deep FOOTING for stone or masonry walls. Normally this would be poured concrete. That is not easy or cheap. If you have vast amounts of stone or concrete rubble, some people would do it using that instead (on a well-drained site); which cuts the cost but not the labor.

    Also, please do not be offended by my asking, but, have you done any wall-sized masonry before? If not, will you at least get a *couple* good books, read every word twice, and not freelance/improvise beyond it? Because, stone or brick walls can be quite DANGEROUS when built by amateurs. There is a lot more to it than 'you stack em up so they don't fall over while you're building it', and a 5' masonry wall falling on a person, or even just chickens, is not going to be a good thing. I've seen some scary things in real life and some scary things proposed on BYC, so, I just want to make sure whether you know full well what you're doing from a craftsmanship and engineering standpoint, you know?

    A single stone wall will be COLD. A double wall with rubble infill, somewhat less so. You will almost certainly need to apply plywood (preferably with insulation behind it) on the inside walls, to avoid a pathologically damp coop for several months in late winter and spring when condensation is an issue. Stone or masonry buildings can certainly be adapted to chickens, but I'm not sure it's a smart thing to BUILD just for them.

    If you want inexpensive, read up on cordwood building. Or strawbale (not just 'i stacked some bales together and propped a roof on', but proper structural strawbale construction, with stucco and rebar and all that). Both will be much more functional, and both can be made about as cheaply. (They will still need a foundation though)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. Garlydog

    Garlydog In the Brooder

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    Pat,

    Thank you for your thoughtful post. I appreciate your well founded warnings. I am the cautious type myself and take no offense to your wise words.

    I have done masonry work before, but only with dressed stone.

    I built these piers for our entrance gates about 9 years ago. So far they are staying put. These have substantial footings that go well below the frost line.
    The interior of these piers is a cinder blocks. The stone is just a one-deep face.

    [​IMG].


    I have never built free standing walls from undressed stone (non-squared edges). I understand the hazards of the undertaking. I have read more than a few books on the subject. I am not in a hurry to get hurt.

    The reason I am considering this approach is that I have an abandoned limestone quarry on far edge of my property. I have literally tons of building brick size stones ready to use. There is no shortage of stone or rubble. I was hoping to put it to use on a building project.

    I thought the coop might be a good small project to get my technique down before moving on to a larger structure.

    I figured that I would need to insulate the interior with a vapor barrier, modern insulation, and plywood walls. Those are good suggestions.

    Thanks!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  6. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits...

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    I'd love to see pics of one!
     
  7. ColoradoMike

    ColoradoMike Songster

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    Garlydog:

    Wow, what a great resource to take advantage of! The only stone coops I've seen on BYC are old repurposed farm buildings.

    It sounds like you know what you're getting into and I look forward to following your progress!

    Which reminds me, I wonder how that guy who is building the underground coop is coming along...
     
  8. Garlydog

    Garlydog In the Brooder

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    At this point, I am just exploring the option along with several others.

    I have an option to get a foundation poured for free. One of my best buddies owns a local construction business. He said if I am patient and I have the foundation framed and volume calculated in advance, he will at some point have an appropriate sized overload from one of his concrete pours. He offered to send the guy over and dump the excess in my form if I want. Otherwise, he said it is watered down and dumped anyway. I guess they always slightly overload cement trucks so they don't come up short when they do a pour.

    I will have to be ready at a moments notice to work the concrete, but that isn't a problem either...one of the benefits of running my own business.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    OK, just checking [​IMG] Sounds like you do know pretty much what you're getting yourself into, e.g. foundations and so forth.

    I still have a hard time believing it'd be cost-effective (especially for the extra damp-proofing and insulating you'd have to do, and all that) but I can understand if you just WANT a stone coop because hey the materials are just lying there and anyhow it'd match other things [​IMG]

    So, knock yourself out (well not literally [​IMG]), have fun, and make sure to post PIX if you actually do it [​IMG]

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
  10. Ken Andrews

    Ken Andrews Hatching

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    What about using the stone as a rear wall with a open front. Plant deciduous trees nearby if not already there. The stone wall will then act as a heat sink during the winter. You could back-fill the stone or partially submerge structure to help with cooling.
     

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