The $97 henhouse experiment! (NEW--Pictures!)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by iopele, May 29, 2007.

  1. iopele

    iopele Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    That's how much I spent today on materials and nails to build what's planned to be an 8 foot long x 4 foot wide x 4 foot tall henhouse. It'll hold 16 chickens if you estimate 2 square feet per bird. (That doesn't count paint, nestboxes, or whatever fencing I'm going to need for the run, although by my calculation, the wood for nestboxes won't add more than $20 to the price.) I looked at a lot of plans on here and googled tons before drawing up my own design last night--mostly because I needed something SIMPLE! I really wanted a step-by-step plan complete with a supply list and couldn't find it--really, a "recipe" for a henhouse. Since I couldn't find one, I'll try to provide one for others. [​IMG]

    I'll post pics as I go--we got home too late tonight to really get going on the construction. Just FYI, I'm a 30 year old woman with 2 sons, 8 and 10, and no carpentry experience but with a can-do attitude, a hammer, and the vocabulary of an ex-Navy wife (for use when I hit my thumb with the hammer, LOL--but not around the boys!), so we'll see how it shapes up!

    Today I bought:

    13 -- 2x4s (8 feet long)
    2 -- 1x2s (8 feet long)
    4 -- 4x4s (8 feet long)
    3 -- 2x2s (3 feet long--railings for a banister, actually)
    4 -- 8x8x8 "half" cinderblocks
    5 -- 8x4 sheets of weather-treated plywood
    2 -- 1 pound boxes of 3 1/4" nails (and I can already tell I'm going to need more!)

    I went to Home Depot because they'll cut the wood to measure for you for free. I had them cut 4 of the 2x4s, 2 of the 4x4s, 1 of the 2x2 bannister rails, and 1 of the plywood sheets. (You'll see in the pictures that in the end, they had to cut ALL the plywood sheets lengthwise because they wouldn't fit in my Trooper otherwise, but that's not necessary--it just happened to work out that way, so I'm going to pretend it didn't as I write this!) When they finished I had:

    10 -- 8 foot long 2x4s
    8 -- 4 foot long 2x4s
    2 -- 8 foot long 4x4s
    2 -- 4 foot long 4x4s
    2 -- 3 foot long 2x2s (these are for the sides of a chicken ladder)
    3 -- 1 foot long 2x2s (these will be the rungs of the chicken ladder)
    4 -- 8x4 sheets of plywood
    1 -- 4x4 sheet of plywood
    2 -- 2x4 sheets of plywood
    2 -- 8 foot long 1x2s

    I wish now I'd had them cut the 1x2s into 4 foot segments since they're for the roosts, but I forgot to. I'm sure I'll make it work anyway. [​IMG] If nothing else, I'll buy a saw--they can't be too expensive, right?

    When we got home, we set out the 4 cinder blocks and put the two 8 foot long 4x4s on top of them, 4 feet apart. This is so the henhouse will be a foot up off the ground. On top of those went 2 of the 8 foot long 2x4s, with 4 of the 4 foot long 2x4s as braces, and it all got nailed together. On top of that goes the first 8x4 sheet of plywood, and you've got your floor.

    That's where we're at now--pictures tomorrow! Wish I had a scanner so I could post my design drawing, but oh well. Knowing me, it'll change drastically during construction anyway and bear little resemblance to the drawing by the time I'm done, LOL!
    Last edited: May 30, 2007
  2. jkm

    jkm Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    Forest Grove
    I just finsihed my coop, electric drill and screws were life saver..... if you don't have a drill, great time to buy one....
  3. Dzzzyd

    Dzzzyd In the Brooder

    May 9, 2007
    Klamath Falls, Oregon
    For me my light weight re-chg. battery drill with screwdriver attachments, asort. of screws, electric sabre saw, level, tape measure, and my heavy duty staple gun. With these I can make just about anything. Good luck! Sounds like you're headed in the right direction![​IMG]
  4. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Quote:Hammer and nails work like they always have... [​IMG]

    When we were buying materials for our 8x8 coop last spring, my son was convinced we needed a pneumatic framing nailer, a new circular saw, and a cordless drill with a laser sight on it. I kept having to tell him we didn't need all that to build a shed.

    When we got home I got out a crosscut saw, a tape measure, and a hammer. $50 in tools? I showed him that I could cut a 2x4 in a half dozen strokes with that hand saw. I had him cut everything to frame and deck the floor and two walls before I put a new blade in my 25 yr old circular saw and showed him how to use it. Other than that we used a framing square to lay out the rafters, a knife for the shingles, and a paint brush to paint everything. Oh, a screwdriver for the hinges...
  5. iopele

    iopele Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    An electric screwdriver/drill probably would be very nice for anyone thinking of trying something similar to my design! My father has a very nice electric screwdriver I could borrow, but I have two reasons for avoiding it.

    One is that I have fibromyalgia and it tends to strike my hands, which makes holding something heavy (as that screwdriver is--REALLY heavy industrial thing) for long periods very painful. The vibration from electric motors also sets off nearly debilitating pain, to the point I sometimes can't use my hands hardly at all for days. For some reason, it's much easier on me to hammer. The impact of hammer on nails makes me a bit sore, but it's really not too bad and doesn't stop me using my hands later on.

    And two, my sons can help me hammer, and they're really looking forward to it! [​IMG] We spend so much time telling boys, "Don't hit anything! Hitting's bad!" that I'm happy to have a chance to say, "Here's a hammer, boy--hit that! Hit it hard! In fact, beat the snot out of that nail--hitting can be constructive!" [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Thanks for the great feedback, everyone! I'm excited to start putting pictures up. It might not be the prettiest henhouse on the BYC website, but I don't think my chickies are too picky. I'm hoping it'll be accessible for people who aren't able to spend hundreds of dollars or might not be really comfortable building things from scratch--people like me!
    Last edited: May 30, 2007
  6. chickenlips

    chickenlips Songster

    Mar 3, 2007
    If you end up making your coop 4' X 8', you might want to rethink putting 16 chickens in there. One of my coops is exactly that size and it houses 8 heavy breed hens. Each chicken needs 4' of elbow room or you might get alot of squabbling and pecking. I have a 16' X16' fenced yard connected to the coop, where they spend their days, but they do go inside the coop at night and 16 chickens would be way too crowded. Can't wait to see your finished coop!
  7. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Im eager to see what you come up with. [​IMG]
    I had Home Depot and Lowe's cut some of my wood too...transported it in a compact car hahah.
    But you refer to something im not familiar with... plans? whats that...this "plans" thing... never heard of it [​IMG]
  8. Jsto

    Jsto Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Sounds fantastic, chick-buddy! Can't wait to see your progress. My coop is nearing completion much sooner than I had planned thanks to a lot of good luck. All that's left is roofing, finishing the paint, trim, and working on the inside. Ok, so maybe I'm not as close to completion as I previously thought! The girls are growing faster then I can say 'roosts, runs, and rafters, oh my!'

    Although, the thread gives me the heebiejeebies. Even the seeing the words 'circular saw' freaks me out. I hate those things to death [​IMG]
  9. iopele

    iopele Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    Quote:Same here--I think it's the sound they make. SHUDDER! It's like they're screaming.

    Add $15 to the price--I went to Home Depot today and got more nails, and some metal nail-plates to join up the plywood that had to be chopped in half to make it home. And I hit my first boo-boo with the design. If you have a 4 foot long board between two 2x4s, the total area that needs to be covered with the floor and roof isn't 4 feet--it's 4 feet, 4 inches! So I'm going to grab two 1x4s when I go to town tomorrow to put in the middle space. I'm sure a more experienced builder would've seen that one coming, lol.

    Off to hammer some more! Will have pictures to post tonight--the floor "skeleton," the complete floor, and I'm hoping the wall posts, too. Wish me luck!

    (PS--it's hilarious, my 8 year old is good with the hammer but my 10 year old's aim isn't so hot. He's becoming our cheerleader and chief board-mover and nail-hander-outer, lol! And not so hilarious--my dog decided to contribute to the project by leaving two huge and extremely smelly poops right beside the construction zone. I think it's revenge for me taking her to the vet today. :eek:)
    Last edited: May 30, 2007
  10. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Songster

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    Soundsa great. What makes it even better its a family affair. Get those pictures up were waiting. Micki

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