Feature image coop frame

Building the coop: frame – Planning for chickens (3)

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the plans I drew for the chicken coop. Based on those plans we ordered the wood. Because the plans were drawn on scale, we could simply measure the distances on the paper and calculate from there what the real sizes should be. 1cm on paper is equal to 25cm on full scale, so it was pretty easy to calculate what we needed. Round it up for sawing waste, error margin and drawing imperfections and ta-dah! There it is : ) After that, we needed to figure out the most efficient way to saw the lengths off 4m beams, to figure out how many beams we needed to order.

The wood we ordered for the frame
The lenghts of wood we need for the frame and flooring.

What we ordered for the frame and flooring: (sizes in centimeters)

  • 14 beams 4,5 x 4,5 x 400
  • 3 beams 4 x 7 x 400
  • 3 garden poles 6 x 6 x 200
  • 1 flooring board (water resistant plywood) 250 x 125

This week the wood we had ordered had finally arrived! It was about time too, I was itching to start with the build : )

We ordered the wood we need to cover the walls as well, but I’ll talk about that in a following blog : )

The foundation

We already knew where we wanted the chicken coop to go, so we started by making the foundation that would support the flooring board. We sawed the beams to size, and screwed it all together with 8cm stainless steel screws. While screwing everything together, we made sure the beams formed a rectangle, so the flooring board would fit perfectly on top.

The finished frame laid out where it’s supposed to go

We laid the frame on the ground where we wanted the chicken coop to be, just so we could see how much of our view it would take up. We really like the view from the dining table, and while we want to keep an eye on the chickens later we didn’t want the coop to take the view away : ) After we were confident the placement was right, so with the frame in place we marked where the legs should go.

With a hand auger we made holes for the legs. We put them in, and made sure they were secure and leveled with each other : ) We did this with the frame still in place, to make sure the legs would go on the right place.

Placing the legs of the coop
Placing the legs on the right spot… : )

After that, it was time to screw the foundation together! We used 8cm stainless steel screws to make sure the foundation was secured tightly. We want this coop to last a looong time : )

The finished foundation
The finished foundation!

When we were sure everything was secure, we placed the flooring board on top. It fit perfectly! So we screwed it in place right away : )

Added the flooring...
Secured the flooring on the foundation..

And that’s the foundation done! Now it’s time to make the frame for the coop itself : )

Building the coop frame

To make the frame we mostly followed the plans I made before. We started by building the frames for the front and the back, by laying the beams flat on the foundation before screwing it all together. That way we could make sure the sizes were correct, but also make everything as straight as we could.

Laying the frame down to screw it all together

As you can see, we changed up the plans here a bit. We initially planned to make a straight support above the laying nests, but we set it at an angle. This would provide more support to the boards that would make the walls of the coop. It will also provide better support for the cover/access to the laying nests.

The first wall frames secured upright
The first wall-frames are standing! And as you might notice, we built this whole thing in between rainstorms… ; )

So we set the walls upright, and secured them with a lot of screws to the foundation. We used screws that were long enough to go through both the board into the board-frame for best security. We don’t want the coop to fall apart when it storms, as it sometimes does around here.

When the front and back were secured, we added the beams that would form the sides to tie it all together.

Coop wall frame completed
The wall frame completed! It kinda looks like a hummer or jeep at this point… ; )

The roof frame

Now the part we had to figure most on the go. As we wanted a pitched roof, we needed to figure out how to secure the angled beams on the wall frame. We ordered an extra beam for the ridge, but we weren’t sure yet how we’d best secure everything.

First we figured out how high/pitched we wanted the roof. We did this just by feel and looks of the coop. In the end, we decided we wanted the ridge beam about 35 cm above the wall frame.

Figuring out the roof : )
Figuring out where we wanted the pitch to be

We laid the ridge beam on two temporary latches we secured to the inside of the frame. After that, we could measure how long the roof beams should be and saw them to size. While figuring out how to attach the roof beams to the ridge, we decided it would be a good idea to replace the temporary latches with some actual support. That way everything would remain in place and be more secure. On top of that, we’d have more places to secure the wall coverage later.

The completed frame
The completed frame!

And that’s it! The frame for the coop completed and ready for covering.

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