Trying to build a Duck House with no carpentry skills! HELPP!!

KelC0308

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
101
2
73
Hellpppp!! It is time for my babies to be moved to a run I have them in a big wire dog house but they need more space! I have no idea how to build anything and don't have much money to go all out! I have access to a few 2x4s and I'm sure I can get some pallets! I know I'll need to get hardware cloth but geez where to go from there! Lol! Any ideas? Or pics of your runs and houses so I can get some ideas!
Here's pics of my babies :)


I also have a 3 week old crested Peking and either an Ancona or magpie but it'll be a while before theyll be out there
 

kristinn

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 13, 2013
127
6
71
Brighton, MI
Heres my duck pen I made out of pallets. Took a day to build and only cost about $15 for screws and hinges :)
I advise lining the bottom of the pen walls with chicken wire though (I live in the city and the dogs keep any predators we have away) I also had to clip their wings to keep them from flying away.

BEFORE:


AFTER:
 
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kristinn

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 13, 2013
127
6
71
Brighton, MI
1 Pallet crate
3- 3x8' pallets with planks close together (pen)
1- 3x4' pallet with planks close together (pen door)
10- 4x4' pallets (siding)
2 spare cupboard hinges
6- large door hinges
2- gate hinges
3- hook latches
1 spare cupboard handle
Couple spare 2x4s

Box of 100- 1 1/2" drywall screws
~20 spare longer deck screws

Drill
Circular saw
Chalk line


I got the pallets and pallet box from my local KSI (kitchen and bath installation company) they had a bunch of different sized boxes and probably 200 pallets free for the taking. (I find the softwood pallets are a lot easier to work with, and if you get the longer planked pallets you can just cut off the 2x4s on the ends, making them MUCH easier to take apart and the planks are still long enough for what you need.)

I found a pallet box that was perfect because it had strips of wood for a 'floor' yet was a few inches off the ground. The sides of the box were held together with small metal brackets, so I took the brackets off one end so the smaller end side would come free, then reattached it using the cupboard hinges, creating an access door for easy cleaning/collecting eggs. Then using my circular saw, I cut out the cross supports on the front of the box, farthest from my access door, creating a doorway for the ducks to come in.

I then, put my spare 2x4s (you could even use the 2x4s from the pallets) along the inside of the verticle supports on the pallet box using the deck screws. I made the ones along the backside pretty much flush and the ones along the front ones 2" higher than the box, then ran more 2x4s on top of these (front to back) as an angled roof support so rain would fall away from the pen and allowing some ventilation.

After taking apart the pallets, I just lined up and screwed in all the planks for one side, then marked a line across the top with chalk line -or just eyeball it for that matter- (note: measure your line at the top of the box, not your roof studs, you'll want that ventilation) and used the circular saw to cut them all down at once. Repeat for the rest of the sides and use scraps for above and below the duck doorway. Then add your access door handle and latch.

For the roof I got lucky and found an add on Craigslist that had free tin pieces, but you could still use pallets. What I was going to do was use a whole 8 ft pallet with the planks close together and using more planks, just cover the spaces inbewtween. Like this:

And im sure if you sealed the seams with calk or paint it would be plenty waterproof.

As for the pen, I had to replace some of the broken boards on the pallets, and on 2 I had to knock a couple planks out and rearrange them, adding another plank to make some of the spaces smaller, but that wasnt too bad. Then I used more planks to cap off the ends of the pallets using the door hinges on the dormant sides and the gate hinges on your smaller 'gate' pallet (I put my gate a few inches above the other pallets so it could easliy clear the ground when opening) add a couple latches to the gate and you're done!
 
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kristinn

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 13, 2013
127
6
71
Brighton, MI
Ps. I used hinges instead of screwing the pen walls together because if you ever want to make the pen bigger or smaller it would be much easier to move the sides around to accommodate vs. taking them all apart.

Heres more pics:

Front


Side


Inside

 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,202
2,640
531
Southern New England
When I built the Day Pen, I developed a good relationship with a drill and a circular saw. Those were my tools and it worked out. I just gave myself the safety speech each time I picked either tool up, and did not rush or let myself get distracted.





I also used a metal tape measure, pencil, and a carpenter's square.
 
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KelC0308

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
101
2
73
That looks really good too! That will be what I have to do, sometimes I try to speed through stuff... I'll have to tell myself to slow down so I don't get hurt! I think I'll do pretty good tho!
 

nayeli

Songster
6 Years
Jan 18, 2014
1,988
105
196
You can follow my link to my blog. I have since expanded the coop so now there is a hardware cloth window (that is the only spot where we use hardware cloth). For our coop we laid a concrete floor for safety... some local fencing companies sell left over wood from jobs or from take downs. We paid $11 per truckload and got 2 truckloads, we also used pallets. Here is a picture of ours before the roof, my husband has no carpentry skills either and ours actually looks nice with the roof on. I'll try to update my blog this weekend to include the upgrades/expansion.

Oh ours was under $100, probably under $50.

There is the window, it looks rough here but I promise its much better... now it just needs a coat of paint!
 

arnaudgf

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jul 25, 2013
64
2
33
When I built the Day Pen, I developed a good relationship with a drill and a circular saw. Those were my tools and it worked out. I just gave myself the safety speech each time I picked either tool up, and did not rush or let myself get distracted.




I also used a metal tape measure, pencil, and a carpenter's square.
I'm thinking about putting together something like that, or just cover part of their current pen. Isn't it hard sometimes to convince them to get out of the day pen when it's bed time?
 
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