The last coop I will ever build


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 17, 2013
The project began simply enough with two major goals; A) To house a permanent population of 8 to 10 chickens comfortably and B) to remain within a $500.00 budget.
There was one additional consideration. Well into my 70’s, I can no longer safely manhandle heavy objects. For example: where a younger person might opt for using a 2X6 or 2X8 rafter sixteen or twenty four inches on center, for the same potential snow load, I had no choice but to limit myself to multiple 2X4’s at nine inches. Lastly you will note the entire project was put together with screws. When it comes to carpentry, I am mistake prone. With screws thank goodness, if something doesn’t fit just the way you think it should, you can always reverse the drill, back it out and start over. Anyone who happened to drift within ear shot can attest, on this project I did that a lot
As for plans, I had initially had none beyond a general sense of the finished dimensions -
8’ Wide X 7’ Deep
8’ High at the front,
7’ High at the back
When I got further into the project I did do a scrap paper calculation of the material required that came out pretty close.

At any rate, this is the list of purchases along with the actual price paid during the first week of April 2014. That I only went over budget by $3.82 can be credited to two factors, first, I did not need to purchase a door and window as I already had a couple salvage types tucked away for a new coop someday, and secondly, a whole lot of pure luck.

Material Purchased

4 Landscape timbers @4.97 $19.88
3 Galvalume (Painted metal) roof panel 3’X8’ $59.76
20 Lag screws (8 – 2 1/2” 12 - 4”) $11.52
Total tax incl. = $98.85
2 sheets 15/32 RTD Sheeting $37.88
10 premium KD Whitewood stud $26.70
Total tax incl. =$ 69.75
45 - #2 KD 8’ 2x4’s $110.00
Total tax incl. = $110.00
1 Pound 2 1/2” Screws @3.99
1 Pound 1 1/4” Screws @3.99
Total tax incl. = $8.62
7 Sheets Primed Panel Siding @26.00 ea. $182.00
Total tax incl. = $203.88
2 1”X4”X8’ Pine boards @6.36 $12.72
Grand total incl. tax = $503.82

In the first picture you can see how I used notched half-round treated landscape timbers for the base. When satisfied that they were square and level, the timbers were attached with two 2 ½” lag screws at each corner. Each of the 2X4’s used as a sill was attached to the landscape timbers with three vertical 4” lag screws, one at each end, and one in the middle. Despite the less than optimal size lumber, once the floor joist and the plywood flooring were screwed in, the base was solid as a rock.

Since I can no longer use brute strength to hold wall paneling in place while it is being attached, in this second picture you can see how I used a pair of large spikes as a rest. I could pick the sheet of paneling up, set it on the two spikes, screw it to the studs, pull the spikes and in no time be ready to move on to the next section. It was a real life saver.

With a scrap piece of wood clamped to the edge of the metal roof panel I eliminated two problems, a) when slid onto the rafters, the panel didn’t keep right on sliding off the back side and b) the exact amount of overhang could be locked in while on the ground rather than played with while up on the ladder.



In the Brooder
5 Years
My dad insisted on making me a coop and he did not finish the first year so my chickens died than my mom said no coop no chickens so he finally finished. his excuse for why my chickens died was that he was teaching me a lesson on building.


5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
I love your coop!! I am preparing to build our first coop, and am very impressed with the way your's is!! I will definitely be using your ideas =) and as silly as it sounds, I never added any thought to reinforcing for the heavy snows that we get here in New England... Thank you for your post!!

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