Build It | How to Build a Chicken Coop
Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva creates a backyard chicken coop for a homeowner in Connecticut in "Build It."
In this video, Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva creates a backyard chicken coop for a homeowner in Connecticut in "Build It."
- Stain the sheets of T1-11 and allow to dry.
- Place two sheets of T1-11 on top of each other and ensure they're even on all sides. Use a track saw to cut the roofline of the plywood at a 45-degree angle on both sheets at once.
- Remove one sheet and then, using a jigsaw, cut a small square opening for the sliding coop door into a plywood sheet. For all the doors, the cutouts will later be reattached as the door.
- On the next sheet, cut an opening for the small entrance door, using the jigsaw.
- Cut a third sheet of T1-11 to form the side walls. On one of them, cut a large opening for the egg door, using a jigsaw. The other side wall will remain uncut.
- Cut two of the 4x4 posts to the desired length, then match the angle of the roof using a miter saw for both steps.
- Use a driver to drive in 1⅝-inch ceramic screws to attach the posts to the plywood sheeting.
- Use a piece of 2x4 at the bottom and the top of the coop to give it additional support. Attach these using ceramic screws, and fasten them using a driver.
- Construct the opposite gable end, repeating the same steps.
- Connect the two gable ends using 2x4s, and attach one of the side walls.
- To form the rafters, screw in a 2x4 ridge beam and 2x4 purlins (parallel roof framing), using a driver and 3-inch ceramic screws.
- Finish the framing by attaching additional 2x4s to the base of the front and back gable walls, using 3-inch ceramic screws.
- Then, attach two more perpendicular 2x4 joists to form the floor support for the coop with 3-inch ceramic screws.
- To form the floor, use the ½-inch exterior plywood and cut out the corners to match the posts using a jigsaw.
- Fasten the plywood floor by driving 1 ⅝-inch screws into the floor joists.
- Attach the cutout door pieces to the plywood exterior sheets of the structure using hardware of your choice. Do this by driving provided screws into the hardware.
- Attach the chicken door by threading a rope through a pulley at the top of the door. Then attach the rope to an eyelet on the chicken door. The other end of the rope should be linked to a hook at the opposite end. A track for the door can be made using scrap wood.
- Attach the final side wall using 1 ⅝-inch ceramic screws.
- Build a nesting box to your desired dimensions using plywood and 2x4s.
- Cut cellular PVC trim boards to match the angles of the coop, using a miter saw.
- Attach the PVC trim boards to the exterior of the coop using a hammer and stainless-steel trim nails.
- Attach ½-inch plywood roof sheathing to the roof structure using a driver and 1⅝-inch ceramic screws.
- Lay down a layer of felt paper, and staple in place.
- Using a hammer and roofing nails, attach the asphalt shingles with a 5-inch reveal to the roof sheathing.
- Attach 4x4 posts of the coop to a beveled base using a driver and ceramic screws.
- Attach the beveled base to a 2x12 square using a driver and ceramic screws to keep the coop from sinking into the ground.
- Create a pen area using pressure-treated 2x4s to desired design. Connect the pen structure using driver and ceramic screws. Include an access door for cleaning the pen.
- Cover the pen with chicken wire by hammering in construction staples.
- Dig a trench in the outline of the pen at least 3 inches deep, and place the structure in the trench. This is meant to keep predators from crawling in underneath.
- Attach the pen structure to the coop structure by driving in screws.
- Place a piece of 2x12 from the coop door to the pen to serve as a ramp for the chickens.