Shed :: Spring To-Dos and Current Coop Updates (Part 8)

14 Nov

To read more about the whacky adventures in shed building click here to see all posts, or start at the beginning.

It’s November. This is Upstate NY. It is now time to move inside. But sadly I am not where I hoped to be with this shed. It is not yet the glorious chicken coop / potting shed of my dreams but hopefully come this spring I can make that happen with the following steps:

  • Cut to size and paint MiraTec fascia and corner boards
  • Attach soffit material. (I have the screening up, and the 1/4″ ply primed and painted)
  • Build third loft between the other two
  • Put down permanent shiplap loft boards
  • Build coop wall with nesting boxes, food/water access and door
  • Paint the interior of the shed, walls and ceiling..?
  • Paint the shed floor
  • Build ramp for double doors
  • Build steps for coop door
  • Figure out how to get gorgeous stone steps for dutch door for cheap
  • Install hardware for dutch door
  • Build awesome rolling ladder for lofts
  • Build chicken run area … hoop house? .. thing..y
  • Run electricity out to the shed
  • Add interior lights
  • Add exterior lights with fancy remote 3-way switch (I hope)
  • Get new porch lights, and place the pathetically too small current ones on the more appropriately sized shed
  • Add more gravel, figure out what to do about grass round the foundation

Sadly this lack of progress means my 8 layers spend another winter in my woefully too small first coop. In order to make that a little less dreadful, I upgraded it a bit. I first replaced the miserable and terribly ineffective (but somehow never breached) plastic netting top with some galvanized window wells to provide some cover.

Coop with plastic netting over run

The sides were also poultry wire, which it turns out is only good for keeping poultry in one spot so that animals that like to eat them (ie every animal around here) can rip it open and gorge themselves at will. I replaced that with hardware cloth (which it should have been to begin with).

Chicken run with culvert top and hardware cloth sides

Finally I added a temporary extension on to the existing run. I built two 10′ by 3’6″ walls with 1″ hardware cloth, which will hopefully get re-used in the permanent run, and then scrapped them together with whatever I had laying around.

Chicken run extension

It’s not actually painted white… there was no time for such niceties this time around.

Run extension

I’m also replacing the food and water with two new designs that I’m pretty excited about. Thanks to Jimmywalt on Backyard Chickens. These will let me get the food and water out of the coop which will help with space, and keeping it dry in there.

So that’s it for outdoors… let’s head on inside. The woodstove is cranked up, there’s 100% less chicken poop around (okay, fine more like 98%, the kids aren’t the best at avoiding it) and there are plenty of projects awaiting.

Shed :: Wrap up for Winter (Part 7)

12 Nov

To read more about the whacky adventures in shed building click here to see all posts, or start at the beginning.

So my posts have finally caught up to where I am with the shed in actual time. Past Ben and Present Ben are re-united, here’s to hoping Future Ben can remember what the heck they did. (This blog is not nearly nerdy enough for the “comment your code” joke that goes here, so just trust me, it kills in geek circles.)

At this point the shed is buttoned up for winter. I installed the doors and windows with much help from this awesome screen door set from Lowes. For $7ish bucks you get two hinges, a handle and an eye hook set (and a spring, which I didn’t use any of). Which means that all of my windows got lovely black hardware and had the eye hooks to keep them latched securely from the inside. And I have no idea why the set sells at my store for $6.67 but two black screen door hinges alone are $8.49…?

The window over the double doors ended up needing a barrel bolt, but still, love those screen door sets.

Black window shed interior

I used these for 5 of the operating windows… the two larger casement-types took 3 brass door hinges I had left over (probably from replacing Shannon’s closet hinges with Satin Nickel)

Black windows and dutch door in shed

For the doors, I actually had this dutch door that was supposed to be the front door to our house.  It’s a gorgeous (completely un-insulated) 7′ dutch door that makes me very happy. The exterior of the door was in really rough shape so I didn’t feel all that bad painting it black to match the windows and other doors. I don’t think I can bring myself to paint the interior side though.

Black dutch door shed

For the double doors, I used a set of sliding doors that my parents had replaced. I decided to hinge them, but since they were 80lbs each I wanted to be extra sure so I went with 4 hinges on each door. I had wanted uber stylish strap hinges at the top and bottom… but couldn’t find anything reasonably priced that was flush mounted.

White shed with black doors and windows

I originally made the mistake of painting the first non-black black directly over the vinyl. I didn’t prime, and kind of didn’t realize it was vinyl. Sadly that color wasn’t black and it was chipping anyway. So I sanded it off (with a little more child labor), primed and got them set up proper.

Scrapping latex paint off of vinyl doors

For the back door on the coop I ended up building a smaller door, with a window in it. The window will be open in the warm weather for more ventilation. I added a clip to keep it closed, but may end up doing something else to get a tighter seal.

Chicken coop black door with window in it

I used a piece of 1/2″ plywood to get a nice even level gap on the bottom while I screwed in the face hinges. And as you can see below, I added some 1″ hardware cloth behind the window so that I can keep the ladies safe while the window is open in the summer.

Chicken coop door with hardware cloth window

The paint color is of course the lovely Bedford Gray that is splattered in the back of my trunk. I like it much better on the door here than in my car.

For the double doors and the coop door I bought some great shed twist style handles from Home Depot for $15 a pop. They were cheap, work great and best of all, come in black.

My very last step before calling it quits for the winter (besides building the lofts which I think I forgot to mention) was to put the stops behind the doors, clean out all the construction debris and store the material for the fascia, soffits and corner trim. I think my next post, the last on the shed for now, will be my what’s left / to-do list for next spring. I’m still kind of shocked by how much is left in this project.

Shed :: Black is Not the New Black. White’s Not White Either. (Part 6)

25 Oct

To read more about the whacky adventures in shed building click here to see all posts, or start at the beginning.

So now that I had the shed sided it was time to get some paint up on this thing. I was sorely tempted to leave it natural wood once it was sided. It looked really clean and reminded me of the timber frame shed that was one of my inspirations for this. However, I knew that it would fade unevenly and weather unevenly and I didn’t really want that.

The big deciding factor though came from the windows. My parents in getting their windows replaced had a whole set of windows that came from the factory with issues. I forget exactly what it was but the end result was every sash in every window in their house was replaced and they were left with 20+ black window sashes that were calling my name.

So I finalized a game plan. Black windows. White siding. Light gray interior. Gray painted floors and putty colored gray doors. Wild choices right?

White Shed. Black windows. Soon gray interior.

I decided to go with barn paint by Behr in off the shelf Barn White. First, it was cheap, and second, I had seen others use it to great effect and finally, I didn’t want to mess around with picking a white. I also figured I could match the doors and windows with Benjamin Moore Black in a nice semi-gloss. Again I didn’t want to pick a black, so I just picked the paint called “Black” because obviously that would be black … yea, turns out that’s not black. #neveragain

See here is some window trim looking pretty black right…?

Benjamin Moore Black ... not so black

Nope. Not black. Not at all.

Benjamin Moore Black ... not black.

At this point I had already painted a lot of window frames, doors and window trim. Not to mention the fact that I coughed up like $50 bucks for the gallon of Benjamin Moore paint. I was BUMMED. I tried to convince myself that it might be okay, but once I put those windows in and asked Shannon to come take a look, I knew neither of us could deal with it.

And so I googled around and realized my mistake. Turns out if you want black, you want premixed black. Turns out all I wanted was an $8 quart of Rustoleum semi-gloss black (latex, not the oil based enamel). It went on great,

Black doors and windows. Rustoleum Black ... Actually Black

So after my adventures in black, imagine my annoyance when my white … wasn’t terribly white. It was kind of beige-y. And worse it was downright spotted in brown and tan from all the knots. This is what I get for trusting a cheap paint that says “No need to prime!”, little did I know the full statement was “No need to prime, unless you care about having a consistent actually white shed, in which case you should obviously prime first bucko.” Seems a bit misleading to have left that last part off, right? You can see the off-white above comparing the white primed trim, to the siding (just ignored the green primed trim, that will get painted white later.)

And so I got the bright idea to prime all these spots and I turned this:

Knots showing through barn paint

With a little bit of child labor:

Child labor yay! Priming knots on shed

Into this:

Primed knots

I figured a quick touch up of paint would easily cover up those clearisil-esque spots … But yea, no. It turns out that the primer blocked the yellow of the siding from showing through so that now those spots look white, but just a bit whiter than the rest. So at some point I will probably break down and prime over the whole shed and repaint, but for now, it at least looks reasonable.

You can get a sense for the white spots in this later photo, which I took after the touch-up, and while I was hanging the (very dirty) black (no, really actually black this time) doors.

White shed with black doors and windows

After all that I was ready to do a bit more testing before I tackled the interior paint. So I grabbed a paint sample of Benjamin Moore’s titanium color matched at Lowes in Olympic and put some more spots (why not, let’s call it a theme at this point) inside the shed

BM Titanium inside shed

Benjamin Moore Titanium on shed inside

The second picture is probably more true to life in that it’s VERY light (see the white primed board for comparison). Shannon and I both want a clean, bright interior, but I wanted something that won’t show dirt and mud QUITE so much as just more barn white.

So let’s review my wild color choices: Barn white siding.  Black (really black, not semi, kind-of black) doors and windows. Slate gray floors. Light gray walls. Medium gray putty interior doors. I know it’s like a veritable cornucopia of daring and wild bold colors. I blame my color blindness. And maybe Pinterest.

Shed :: Siding and Paint-splosion. (Part 5)

23 Oct

To read more about the whacky adventures in shed building click here to see all posts, or start at the beginning.

Before I get to the paint-astrophe (paint-maggedon?), let’s start off by getting these bones covered up, shall we?

Shed with back sided

I had originally planned to use a local lumber mill to get the siding but failed to realize how much lead time they would need. Instead I was left scrambling the day before I planned to start trying to track down some shiplap siding.

Thankfully Home Depot stocks 1×8 shiplap, which is one side roughcut and one side v-groove. I ordered online and BAM, it was picked and waiting for me an hour or so later. While not as convenient as getting it delivered, I really love the whole ordering it online and not spending time picking through boards at the store.

Vertical ship lap siding on shed from Home Depot

I had originally thought that putting 1×3 or 1×4 strapping horizontally would be the way to go for siding. Something about air-flow, or … honestly, I have no idea how I talked myself into this idea. But somehow I managed to put strapping all up before I thought to look at wood siding nails. The shortest nails I could find were 2″, which would have meant 1/4″ spikes of scratchy pain sticking into my shed everywhere (through the 3/4″ siding and 3/4″ strapping). And so, I took it all off. It’s always miserable to have to undo or redo steps during a project, but thankfully it went fairly quickly. And soon I had this:

Shed and chicken coop sided in shiplap rough cut

Coop window frame detail

Front of shed sided

And then I thought it would be a good idea to start getting paint samples for the interior and figuring out the interior door colors. I was settled on the outside colors, but wanted to test out some light grays for the inside.

Getting far ahead of myself again I decided to grab the paint for the interior of the doors. Staying with my usual theme, and not having Shannon’s input to push me into something more colorful, I picked a gray. I did at least consult a trusted female advisor though. Martha helped me choose Bedford Gray which was a darker putty gray that has lots of brown (I think?) so as to hopefully go well with the BM Titanium that will eventually cover the walls.

I should note this paint was meant for the inside of the shed, not the inside of my car. So here’s my #neveragain, make sure the lid is on your paint securely when you leave the store.

Boom paint leak in car trunk

Apparently the paint guy (who I overheard talking about how he’s normally in flooring.. heh) didn’t put the lid on tight. Thankfully it was in my trunk, and I have a trunk liner, and Home Depot customer service was great. The store manager? Not so helpful, but the corporate customer service people and their insurance agency were efficient, helpful and got me all fixed up. It was still a rough start to my painting adventures though. On the bright side, I do like the color … just not for the back of my car.

I’m also psyched to write-up why those big ol’ galvanized half-pipes are currently creating a cozy paint-filled nest for my tools.


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