What AM I DONIG WRONG HERE??***pics****

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dlfridie, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. dlfridie

    dlfridie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2009
    I need some advice. I am trying to build a coop similiar to this one


    It's terribly wobbly!!! How do I stabilize it? .
    My thoughts are once I get the top beams in place and the rafters it will stabilize.
    But, I'm also thinking it should be stable before I do this.
    -- I think I need to brace it all the way around the legs w/ more 2"X3" .
    I made a bunch of mistakes w/ the plywood floor but I figured that would be covered up when it's framed around the floor.
    I did email the creator of the original coop, but I thought while I'm waiting you guys can help me out.
    It's sitting in the rain now so I need to hurry to finish it.
    I'm on vacation & I just have til Sat. to finish it.
    --For 2 chickens
    -I used 2"X3"x8" ( corner studs and legs is one long piece, I still need to cut a few inches off the top of the studs)
    -coop is 3'x4', back is 32" HIGH, front is 42" High
    -Slope on roof will be 10"
    Thanks for any help.




  2. OutInTheStiks

    OutInTheStiks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    Thorn Hill, TN
    The top beams will help stabilize it. But, my main concern would be that you are not using enough nails/screws. With only one nail through each beam at each joint, the joints can pivot allowing the whole structure to be unstable. Put at least two nails/screws at each junction to help hold everything in place.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I think your main problem is simply an "order of operations" thing -- you are trying to construct the whole floor first with the posts sticking through it. Take some scrap wood and frame out a square around the bottom -- that is, screw a piece of 2xwhatever on each side of the square formed by the 4 posts -- and it will instantly be less wibbly. (there are other ways of achieving a similar effect, so if you look around and see stuff lying around that could do the same thing differently, go for it). The pieces can be overly long and haphazardly screwed on, but they DO need to set the legs in an EXACT square, so do measure that part. To tell if something is squarely square, measure the 2 diagonals, they must be exactly equal, if they are unequal it ain't square.

    Then, the very next thing you need to do, in terms of Actual Construction, is get the top of the walls framed out -- which will do the same thing even better. In principle you could skip bracing the bottoms of the legs and proceed right to this step, except that with the legs in their current wibbly state it may be hard for a novice to *get* the top of the walls attached accurately without stabilizing the structure *first*.

    At that point, it will still be able to flex from side to side, turning the vertical squares into parallellograms -- but that problem will be solved as soon as the plywood walls are screwed on.

    Hope this helps, good luck, have fun,

  4. B'villechicken

    B'villechicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2008
    Syracuse NY Area
    I agree with Pat. Square up and brace the bottoms of the legs with angle braces or a rim around the bottom. Once you hahe the walls done ( especially after the sheathing is on the outside of the walls, the structure will be more stable. Good luck and if there are more questions repost. Most of what I have seen here for advice is quite good.
  5. milestoog

    milestoog Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 29, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    I am assuming you have done little work of this type, if so let's see if we can help you out a bit. First I would make my cuts to the legs, using a 2X cut it the same lenght as the distance of the outside edge your legs as close to the bottom rail as possible. affix this to your legs about half way up flush to the outside edges. I would cut only 2, one for each side, i.e. short side long side. This should bring your legs into square, assuming the deck is square. Measure up from the deck to the height you want the roof to be mark it, measure to the low end of the roof mark it, on the outside. Align your marks with a straight edge, mark the width of the board. Make both cuts for the roof angle, place your 2x flush with the top of each cut mark your angle, cut , fasten with at least 2 fasteners each end. Remove your lower cross piece repeat on opposite side. Now you should have the short sides with top rails, proper angle for your roof, and as square as you are going to get. Cut 2 pieces for your long sides, there should be no angle for these. Affix long pieces, roof is framed. At this point add addition fasteners to your bottom cross pieces. Nail/Screw your plywood to the cross pieces on which it is laying and the wobble should be gone. One thing I did notice from the picture you mentioned, was the the 2 x 4s used for roof joists were laid the wrong way, turn so the 4" side is standing, more strenght in it that way. from here it is just add studs, wall uprights, cut plywood and nail it on. Hope this helps.

  6. elizaj57

    elizaj57 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 26, 2009
    I agree - you need to stablize the base or you'll never get it right. Could you change your tactic, and build the coop separate from the platform? That might also be easier. Good luck!
  7. chickenwhisperer123

    chickenwhisperer123 Whispers Loudly

    Mar 7, 2009
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    What I did was frame around the bottom of the legs to stabilize them. You will also need to frame some for the roof, which will stabilize it greatly.

    Once you have done both of those, it should help ALOT. [​IMG]

    I decided to post, but I did also recieve your PM.

  8. dlfridie

    dlfridie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2009
    Thanks to everyone. I appreciate all of you who posted...I totally do not know what I'm doing.
    First thing I'll do is try to get it square with the diagonal measurements, frame the bottom,frame the top and add more screws.
    It's so funny, because I started with the floor framed and square. I even cut the pressure treated wood 24" for legs. I was so proud, until I looked closely at the pics and realized the corner studs and corner legs was one long piece of wood! Jeez

    It rained all day. So I made a run for bargain supplies.
    Today, at Habit for Humanity,
    I got a gallon of white exterior primer,a gallon white porch paint, & quart eggshell baby blue interior. TOTAL=$6.50
    Also, I got 10 hinges/screws, 3 vents, & a handle. Total=$7.00
    All that made me happy.
  9. Jeff in Colorado

    Jeff in Colorado Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 29, 2009
    Dont be afraid to temporarily brace anything that is wobbly. You should always have the piece your working on be solid, whether with braces or clamps or just somebody holding a board while you fasten it. You may need to lay it on it's side so that you can get better angles for driving nails or installing screws. If boards are falling or your fighting to try to get things to stay in place while trying to screw it together, you will be in a losing battle.

    It looks like you may be having problems with your connections not being solid. If you are installing screws, it is possible to drive them in without pre-drilling, but it is not something that a non-carpenter can do easily without a lot of practice. Pre-drilling holes will make it go a lot easier for you. When you predrill you will want to use two size drill bits. The reason is that in order for a screw to suck the two boards together, the screw needs to slide through the first board without binding as it sinks the screw threads into the second board. If the screw does not move freely through the first board the screw threads can actually hold the two boards apart so that they will never get sucked tight. I hope I'm explaining myself okay. Also, use more fasteners. The end of every 2x4 should have 2 fasteners minimum. As you put up the plywood nail / screw spacing should be every 6-8 inches on the perimeter of the ply and 12" apart on any fasteners in the middle of the plywood.

    Hope this helps.
  10. dlfridie

    dlfridie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2009
    Oh yeah, that was very helpful. You are right the joints were not very solid. I really appreciate your help.
    I am pre-drilling most of the holes, reversing, and going back in, and countersinking most too. I turned the whole frame on it's side to get the screws in properly like you instructed.

    THANKS to everyone who gave me advice. THE COOP FEELS SOLID NOW!!!
    (I know it's not square, but it's solid anyway) [​IMG]
    -Today, I painted, put the walls up, and screwed them in so the boards would flatten out
    ( It's so damp here that all the plywood pieces had warped).
    -Tomorrow I will frame out the roof and re-cut the pside panels as they are a bit off. I will cut the windows and hinge the doors.
    -I figure they can move in, and I can trim the entire thing next weekend.

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