So, after many, MANY, mishaps and frustrations in the construction of the coop, the main body is in place. Before I get into the run down of the construction I must pose a warning. I deviated from my initial plan of buying all the parts and pieces to construct the coop in the manner I was taught while working in the construction field and bought a ‘package’ shed. HUGE mistake! In my opinion the engineering and materials are inferior and seem to be more suited for a doll house at best.
To start the project, I had to determine how to have it setting. I had to ensure it was elevated to reduce the chance of snakes, and I also needed to keep the inferior floor joists off the ground. I decided to create a platform with concrete footer blocks available at just about any home improvement store (not included in the kit). On that I used 4×4 treated lumber as uprights and 2×6 treated lumber as ledger / stringers (again not included). On top of the 2×6’s I started building the base for the structure. I am going to be improving on this in the future as it’s utilizing the included 2×4 untreated lumber situated on a 24″ center. It’s not bad, but it could be better. On top of that I placed 19/32 OSB for flooring (again not included).
So no I have a platform!
This is where the going got…well going. It was time to assemble the front and back walls. Okay, easy enough, but wait, there aren’t studs for the front and back walls? Are you kidding me? Nope, no studds. Just some 2×3 pieces of lumber designed to hold the front and back paneling together. Okay, if you say so. So I put the front and back walls together using the prescribed method from the instructions. To say this was counter intuitive is an understatement. The front wall (with the door opening has a small upside down T like frame at the top center connecting the panels and two small 2×3 pieces on the bottoms of either side (used to support the wall on the platform). The rear wall has a little more substantial connector using a bit larger + configuration. It too has the same 2×3 ledgers.
Wow, that didn’t take long at all. Okay, what’s next? Assemble the side walls. WOW! Are you serious? Only a top plate and three studd held together by some lackluster 3″ nails? Lemme give it a go.
Now, we put up the back wall with a brace and the front wall with a brace. sounds easy enough right?
Back wall with brace:
Nope…not going to work! One slight breeze and the unsupported back wall twisted ripping the brace out of the deck. Okay, what to do now? How about I attach the side wall to the front wall and use that along with a brace to get it seated with a little more rigidity.
Now is where I put the other side wall and back wall on. I guess I forgot to mention, at this point I haven’t tied the side walls in yet. Oh, and that the side walls are supposed to be toenailed in. How unprofessional! So I get the side walls in and attached leaving the braces in place pending the side support from the side panels being installed.
So now I get to do a lot of trimming out the shed and constructing of roof trusses. Monotonous work and it’s getting late. Gotta run grab some dinner and get some rest. It’s been a long day and I’m fried from the sun. I put on some trim pieces and put together one truss, but it was too dark to get a picture. Not a total loss though, and I felt accomplished for a days work. So after dinner we decide to get a good nights sleep and tackle it again after soccer the following morning.
Morning comes and I decide to take a look outside and what should I see? A collapsed shed. WHAT!!!! When I surveyed the damage, I found that the back wall appears to have pushed the braces down and the lack of support from the side walls did nothing to keep the entire structure from falling apart. Expletives deleted!
Okay, obviously I need to attack this in a different manner. Since I wasn’t quite please by the manufacturers way of doing things I decided to make some minor modifications. I began by buying some higher quality fasteners and going about it my own way. To reassemble the side walls, I used decking screws for a more solid connection. Then I attached them to the front and back walls using the same method. This proved to be a bit more solid, but I was still unsure about it holding up until I got the structure ready for the side panels so I went ahead and rebraced it for a little added security.
Now, back to trimming out the front and back and building the roof trusses.Trim first.I actually think it looks pretty decent. Kinda beefy.
Next up were the roof trusses. This made me a little upset as the trusses turned out to be a little different in size and they didn’t line up nicely at all. In any case I got them on. Once on there were some more trim pieces that needed to be put in place and that was done as well.
FINALLY I was ready to put the side panels on. This was surpisingly easy compared to everything else with the exception of the platform. A couple of nails and racking the walls and The panels were in place.
After all the panels were in I could really begin to feel the rigidity come into play on the structure. I’m still not 100% on it, but only time will tell.
And after all the panels got put in place it was time for the roof panels. These were pretty easy to put up. Remember how I said that the trusses weren’t right? Well it can be seen here. The only saving grace is that I’m going to be going back to roof it and it will be using a ridge vent to cover the minor gap. The roof panels consisted of 4 pieces. Two full sized sheets of OSB and two 10″ x 8′ panels of the same material.
The last thing to go on from the kit was the doors. This wasn’t too bad either, but they didn’t line up with the centerline of the structure. I’m not sure how this happened, but the opening just doesn’t line up. It’s not very noticable at all, so maybe I shouldn’t have drawn any attention to it.
And that brings you up to where we are today. I still need to add an opening for the chickens to use on a regular basis along with a ramp for them to get in, interior roosts, laying boxes, vents, and windows. This wil be hapenning in the next week or so. The plan is to use this for 12 LAYING hens. We’re not planning on any meat hens at the moment, but you never know what may come to pass as we continue to work the land and aquire livestock.
P.S. As soon as I can figure out how to get a gallery setup you can see all of the construction pictures I took. I just didn’t want to overwhelm the post with all of the pictures. If you want to see anything specific, just ask and I’ll grab a pic.
* EDIT * I figured it out!