Chicken Cottage :: Shed Updates

So it’s been nearly a year. Not planned but at least now I have a good solid backlog of projects to write about. First and foremost I wanted to knock off some of the list hanging out on the front page reminding me .

  • Cut to size and paint MiraTec fascia and corner boards

Coop with trim

  • Attach soffit material. (I have the screening up, and the 1/4″ ply primed and painted) 

(the photo is an ugly in progress shot, these are now finished)

Soffit with plywood

  • Build coop wall with nesting boxes, food/water access and door

Nesting boxes

Painted inside nesting boxes

Yea at some point I decided that I needed to stain the boxes Provincial stain that I had laying around. And then while I was painting the floor in the coop I decided it might look pretty darn good with gray exterior on the coop side.

Food bins, food and water doors, access door

I would still like to paint this wall so that it looks a little less like patchwork. It would all be the light gray color of the lower food / water doors.

  • Paint the interior of the shed, walls and ceiling..?

BM Classic Gray, the best choice for chicken coops everywhere.

Boys adding woodchips to coop

  • Paint the shed floor

Painted coop floor and branch ladder

I apparently didn’t take many shots of the painted floor, but while we’re at it, why not through in a branch ladder to help the ladies up to their roosts and nesting boxes.

  • Install hardware for dutch door

Yea because a little vintage glass door knob and antique brass backplate help dress this up.

Vintage glass knob shed dutch door

Dutch door vintage glass knob

Interior of dutch door

  • Build chicken run area … hoop house? .. thing..y

Oh yea. This was possibly my favorite thing to check off the list. Mostly because I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do and was nervous to commit to a design without being able to really visualize it and *know* I was going to love it. But man, this exceeded my expectations.

Run Door

Backside of chicken run

Side view of chicken run

  • Add interior lights

I will probably get around to posting up a whole post on these, but here’s a before

Shed Lights Before

And here they are installed

DIY Copper Pendant Lights

I’m pretty psyched with my ~$15 DIY industrial copper pendant lights. They are certainly not perfect and I learned some good lessons for how I would tackle this project differently next time, but they are good enough for a shed and with a little tweaking would be nice enough for the house.

  • Get new porch lights, and place the pathetically too small current ones on the more appropriately sized shed

The three options starting with:

Too Dingy Looking.

Porch Light Allen Roth Option Lowes

Too Small.

Small Allen Roth Porch Light Lowes Option 2

Just Right. (These are installed I just need to get the porch clean enough to take a decent shot of them)

Allen Roth Lowes Porch Light Option 3

  • Add more gravel, figure out what to do about grass round the foundation

Things that are still outstanding:

  • Put down permanent shiplap loft boards
  • Run electricity out to the shed
  • Build awesome rolling ladder for lofts
  • Add exterior lights with fancy remote 3-way switch (I hope)
  • Build ramp for double doors
  • Build steps for coop door
  • Figure out how to get gorgeous stone steps for dutch door for cheap

I’m really hoping to knock the two bold issues out this year before winter .. like this weekend … hopefully? And then maybe I’ll post a little chicken cottage overview but for now, I’ll end this with: Happy Chickens

Happy Buff Orpingtons

Happy feather foot

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

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

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 :: Planning (Part 1)

With the new house we knew that we were going to need outdoor storage sooner rather than later. With 4 kids the amount of bikes, toys, kids garden tools and stuff you accumulate is intense, and that is not even counting all of our patio furniture to store for winter, garden tools and the like. Our porch and basement had the space to absorb the hit of storing these things but they were both a cluttered mess as a result and we needed to do something about it.

So over the last winter I planned what I wanted to do for our first shed. Yes, first. I grew up on a former farm where we had 5 outbuildings, one of which alone was a good 2000 sq feet of storage. It’s hard for me to consider not having that kind of outdoor storage available but I was determined to keep this initial shed limited to something I could build in a summer, while still making it something that would meet our storage needs for at least 5 years.

Everyone I talked to about the shed gave me the same advice: “Figure out how big you need it.. and double it.” Looking at pre-fab sheds was tempting, but the construction and finish details were always a bit depressing in the lower price range. As you move up in price, they get better, but soon fall into overly complicated feature packed … things. And most importantly: I really wanted to build one.

I started looking for plans and quickly found a really neat one from Family Handyman that I liked and it came with instructions for every step which was great!

Family Handyman Shed Design

But I was nervous about only building it 8′ wide. I really didn’t want to spend all the time and money and end up with a shed that couldn’t do what I needed it to do. So I started looking around some more and started honing in on 10′ wide sheds. The 10′ would allow for my roof rafters to only be 8′ on either side with overhang (and the metal roof panels be 8′ as well), though 12′ would have worked nicely with 3 sheets of plywood for the floor I like the idea of optimizing for the roof.

I found this amazing timber frame small barn which was 10′ x 14′ that really helped seal the deal on the size.  I think I pinned just about every angle of the finished shed.

10 x 14 Timber Frame shed by WIlliam Cullina

I am not a timber framer (yet) so I had to try to ignore how great the frame and overhang looked (which is really hard) but the size and look were very appealing.

10 x 14 timber frame shed by WIlliam Cullina

 

And the overhang really got me thinking as well. The original was for firewood, (which I also need storage for) but what about using that for chickens? My poor little coop (that I love) was turning out to be not so perfect. The run wasn’t secure enough, the food placement was wrong (too close to the roosts, poop issues, bleh), the T-11 wasn’t holding up well in spots to water and in general it just needed help. I could have rehabbed it, but I wanted to focus on the shed and it would be really nice to do all my chicken chores inside a shed in the the winter, so I decided to combine the projects.

So instead of building a small humble straight forward shed (the fact that I ever tried to declare that I would just keep it really small and simple is ridiculous but sadly true) I decided to go a bit bigger and add a coop section on to the shed plan with this as my inspiration

Two part shed

So with that said, I drew up some rough sketches in sketch-up to get my proportions figured out, and started to dig into what the heck I was going to do about a foundation. Yes, that was a foundation pun. No, I’m not happy about it either.