What material to weatherproof a coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Godzillamax, May 5, 2014.

  1. Godzillamax

    Godzillamax New Egg

    Apr 6, 2014
    Western Wisconsin
    Making headway on my 8'x8' coop. I will get the stairs, landing, and roof done within the next two weeks. I was wondering what materials to use for exterior wall weatherproofing? Right now the walls are covered with 3/4" plywood. I was thinking about vinyl siding which I priced out at around $60-$70 for all four walls. We get loads of thunderstorms/rain here in the spring/summer/fall, and in the winter tons of snow and temps well below zero.

    What weatherproofing materials would you recommend? Also, to insulate or not to insulate? I've read opinions on both. Gets really cold where we live. I am planning on running power to the coop for a light and outlet, and to hang a heating lamp.

    Here is where I am at with the coop build:

  2. thinks2much2

    thinks2much2 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 13, 2014
    I live in Northern Illinois and don't have any answers for you, but am interested to hear what people recommend for you, as I will also face the same issue. We have not started building our coop yet, but plan to this weekend.
  3. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Ok, first a disclaimer. I've only had chickens in our coop for a week and a half now, so when it comes to chicken things i'm a novice. Also, I was unfamiliar with vinyl siding, and was quite surprised to find that it's one of the most commonly used outer materials for houses in Northern America (at least according to Wikipedia).

    But here are my thoughts on insulation, that I do have some experiences with, living in a quite cold climate.

    I would assume that vinyl siding nailed on top of your framing really doesn't breathe all that much, so from a ventilation aspect you're probably not gonna reduce the airflow if you do insulate the walls. Most stuff I would use to insulate with would require a bit of a breathing space between the outer material and the insulation though, so you should study up on installation instructions for whatever insulation, if any, you choose to go with.

    The benefit on insulating structures is that you can reduce the impact of quick changes in temperature, the sun wont heat up the coop as much, and during colder times, a properly insulated structure requires a lot less heating. Also, putting in insulation now is a lot easier than doing it later.

    Personally I went with plywood on the inside (which lets some moisture through), rock wool as an insulator (which lets moisture pass through even more easily), a sheet of windproof paper (which also let's moisture through) and then a 20mm breathing space which let's the structure dry out, and then wood siding on the outside, which of course is painted. The outer walls are protected from moisture by the roof, so even if they do get a bit wet on the outside during windy days, they are not subjected to that much direct rain.

    You still want to ventilate the inside of the coop quite well, because that's going to be the main source of moisture.

    I don't now how houses are usually built in the States, but at least in a Finnish climate this kind of constructions work well. Last summer we redid the outer boards on our cottage which had been standing 30 feet from the sea for 60 years. It had a similar structure, and there were absolutely no signs of rot noticeable in the walls.
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Nice coop! I used T111 on my coop; yes, it's ugly, but it added another layer of wind and predator protection. Looks fine when stained, too. Exterior siding is a personal preference, so really anything goes. Barn siding off craigslist? I insulated my coop under thin plywood a few years ago, and like it. Cooler in summer, warmer in winter. Probably overkill. At least consider insulating the roof. I have spruces on the north and west sides, and a large shrub on the south side. Shade is good, and chickens are jungle animals, so prefer being under trees. Plant trees and shrubs! Mary
  5. peopleRanimals2

    peopleRanimals2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2015
    Rhode Island
    I have the same problem but i'm not insulating (Rhode Island) but i do need a quick to install cheap weatherproof siding. is vinyl siding the answer? My mom says it is ugly, but I don't see why (Unless I'm looking at bad pics) so if there is a second best please include that too.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015

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