The coop is done....now time to work on the RUN.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Gridguru, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. Gridguru

    Gridguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dallas, TX area.
    Oddly, I've been dreading this part far more than building the coop.

    So my plan is a 10' x 20' run. 6 -1/2' high. Just a basic rectangle, nothing too fancy. I had thought about incorporating the nearby trees into the run, but decided the run should go the other way as the drainage is better (away from pool/hardscape).

    The area has a little elevation to deal with, maybe 8-12 inches across the 20 feet of run. My plan is to build it so that I have braces every 4 feet on the sides and top. My goal is to not have to cut the hardware cloth any more than I have to, so if my math is correct, I should be able to go up one side (6.5'), across the top (10') and down the other side (6.5') and still have a 12 or more inches on either side for an apron. This is based on a 25ft piece of HW cloth. The run will be surrounded by a foot or more of rocks and paving stones as well so I am not too worried about predators digging under. Plus, my ground is really rocky so it's tough for anything to dig in it. All sides and top will have 1/2" HW cloth on it.

    I plan to have a good sized door to the run as well, as I have a four wheeled yard wheelbarrow/wagon type thing I will likely want to bring in there occasionally. Maybe even a 4ft door (again, to limit cutting of the HW cloth).

    My biggest issue now is not wanting to dig post holes and pour concrete. My town gets squirrely when it comes to permanent structures and permits, plus, the rocky ground become just rock after about 18in. What I would like to do is dig down until it's level, put in concrete blocks, and build the frame off of that. I might use treated 4x4s as the base plate of the framing, but im not sure if I need to. The other option is using my 4x6 posts directly on the concrete blocks and just connecting them at the ground level with treated 2x8s or 2x10s or something.

    Has anyone done this before with success, or does everyone dig post holes?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  2. ChickityChina

    ChickityChina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Carroll County, Maryland
    So this sounds exactly like what we were going to do with our run. We were going to lay out the cinder blocks end to end along the entire perimeter and then put the base of the frame directly onto the cinder blocks. The problem we ran into was that there was more of a slope than we anticipated in the area designated for the run. So while this would have been the optimal plan, we won't be able to lay the cinder blocks down without some serious landscaping and leveling, which is just not going to happen right now. Instead, we just leveled off the area where the coop's base will sit on cinder blocks and the base of the run (pressure treated 4x4s) will lie directly on the ground. We are still not planning on digging any post holes. The horizontal base of the run will be connected to the vertical 2x4 posts with horizontal 2x4s at the top. We are also going to fence the run with 1/2" hardware cloth.

    I am still bummed that we aren't going to be outlining the run with cinder blocks, but the terrain is pretty wonky. The slopes are greater than they look though. But, I think the frame will be fine on the ground and at least it will make putting the predator-proofing skirt on a lot easier.
     
  3. Gridguru

    Gridguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dallas, TX area.
    So your run will just be at an angle to the coop and not level to the ground? We're allowed to do that?!? Woo hoo!
     
  4. ChickityChina

    ChickityChina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you being sarcastic? lol [​IMG]

    Well I know it sounds like it won't look right, but honestly, I don't think the angle is that noticeable. We have our garden framed right next to it directly on the ground on the same slope and it looks fine. We didn't even realize the slope was so great until we actually calculated it out.

    But I figure as long as the coop is level and stable, the boards for the run can be manipulated to fit together flush with the coop. You definitely have more experience with construction than I do though. Do you foresee any issues with doing it this way?
     
  5. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was originally going to use these:
    http://www.amazon.com/Simpson-Stron...qid=1458686214&sr=8-2&keywords=4x4+post+spike

    Menards locally sells them for about $14.00 each, they go into the ground 30 inches. I figured they would be sturdy enough, especially once I tied everything together. I ended up digging and burying the post instead, a few people told me it would be better in the long run. I bought 8 foot treated 4x4's and put them two foot in the ground. My ground is not level either so I did mine the easy way. I found the post that set in the lowest place in the yard and screwed my first support board to the top of that, I got it level and ran it to the next post. I leveled everything off of that. Once I got to the high side my post were about 8 inches taller then the support. Once I all the braces/supports on and they were attached level I used a "saws all" and cut the tops of the post off. My rolls of HC were 3 foot wide so I ran mine horizontally the length of the run. 2 pieces on each side covered from the ground to the top. Then on the "roof" of the run (mine was 8 foot wide) I ran three sections from the coop to the end. I just over lapped the pieces and kept them all three foot wide.

    My post were 8 foot apart and then I ran some treated 2x4's between them and across the "roof" to have more points to nail the HC to and to keep everything tight. The only mistake I made on my coop construction was when I put the two windows in the front. I forgot to drop them down low enough so be under my run roof. So you can see the angled piece coming off the coop, I ran the HC up that then attached it to the coop above the windows. It ended up working out fine. This is the only decent picture I have on this computer.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Gridguru

    Gridguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dallas, TX area.
    Honesty, im new to this kind of ground work/framing. I'll be trusting some friends to guide me on this part I think.

    I was only being partially sarcastic. I would love to put a big heavy frame directly on the ground, slope be danged. But I will likely do something like you are doing. Have the vertical posts be level with the coop, and basically have the top of the run level. The base of the run wont be level and will be slightly shorter on the far end than the near end. The base boards will have to be manipulated to match the slope. I need to noodle on it a bit.
     
  7. ChickityChina

    ChickityChina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ditto. [​IMG]
     
  8. Gridguru

    Gridguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dallas, TX area.
    I remember seeing your post on the construction. I need to go back and look at it again.

    That's how we built my friend's run. Put all the posts in, leveled the braces and then chopped off the tops of the taller posts (chainsaw). If I sink the blocks level, I wouldn't have to do that. But.... again, I am not sure yet how hard that will be to dig that trench. I need to get an accurate idea of what the slope actually is.
     
  9. Gridguru

    Gridguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2016
    Dallas, TX area.
    Here are the plans for the run. It will be roughly 10ft x 18ft (180 sqft total).

    The ground is pretty unlevel, with about a 10" drop from the NW corner to the NE corner. I plan to frame this similar to the coup and have the posts sitting on concrete blocks dug into the ground. The front of the run will be about 7ft high, while the back left corner will be closer to 6ft due to the elevation change.

    I have dug out the area for the foundation blocks and leveled them to the ground. Man that was a pain. So many large rocks and thick clay up there. Good for protection of predator digging...bad for human digging.

    I have four 8ft, 4x6 posts. They will stand on the blocks and the framing will go on around them. Everything will be level(ish), except the base boards. They will run along the ground with the elevation changes. The face of the run, the part with the door, will be level all the way across, so that's good.

    [​IMG]
    The circle in the top right is a tree.

    I am building it so that i can run the 4ft hardware cloth in sections without having to do a lot of cutting. At least that's my plan. We'll see how well it goes.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Maybe build your frame work level, lowest point of framing at highest point of ground, and the HC will just go past the lowest horizontal framing into your apron?
    You could attach some 'dummy' verticals below bottom horizontal where needed to attach HC before it hits the ground.
    Hope that makes sense.
     

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