We are beginners at raising chickens and have some questions about building a coop. We live in northern Utah at about 5000 ft elevation - so the winters do get pretty cold (sub-zero nights are not uncommon). We would like to keep the chickens alive, and preferrably laying, during the winter. We have about an acre of property where we plan to let them "free range" while weather permits. We originally planned on building a coop out in the field (the unfinished part of the yard). There is no electricity out there, so we did some research and tried to come up with ways to keep the coop warm enough during the winter. We think we have some ideas for insulating the coop and using some solar heat to warm it up ... but that still does not give us 14 hours a day of light (for laying). So, our next thought was to build the coop behind the house on the concrete patio (underneath the deck). We have a walk out basement, and there is space immediately adjacent to the concrete foundation wall (on the west side of the house). We could have electricity there (for heat and light during the winter). My first question is, is it a bad idea to build the coop right next to the house? Will we end up regretting it for some reason (smell, ...)? If we do build the coop on the patio, would we still need to insulate it? All walls or just external (away from the house) walls? We also considered making the coop portable, and putting it in the field during the summer and on the patio during the winter. Or would we be better off leaving it in one spot? Any suggestions would be appreciated.