Thursday, June 9, 2016

Coop Build Part Three

Installation Time

Or, the real business of Construction

Okay, the garage build was prep time for making panels, now is the time I consider that the real building got started. 
I didn't take a lot of Photos so it looks like a lot happened, which it did. Making each wall a panel allowed for fast assembly. This photo shows the piers in place and the floor set on them. It was sturdy, but a bit too wobbly for me knowing I had a few more feet of building going up soon. So I then cut (2) 2x4 braces for each pier and screwed them in using 3" gold screws, not real gold, but they are called that. Not sure why other than their color. We then attached the linoleum.  Sure we risked it getting damaged from adding this early, but by placing it under the bottom plates of all the walls, we figured less water penetration into the floor this way. So far so good- no big gouges yet.

These walls went up in less than 20 minutes and I was working alone this day. By allowing an overhang at the bottom plate, I simply set the wall down, scooted it until the overhang 'locked' next to the floor then screwed it in. I used screws instead of nails so when we expanded the coop, we could unscrew the wall unit, add the new floor unit and re-secure the old wall panel. Easy Peasy. At least in theory. The open section of wall is going to be the double door clean out so I elected to leave this open while I was doing the Rafters in case they didn't fit through the clean out doors or if it would be tough to maneuver the trusses. It turned out to be a good choice as the trusses went in in about 20 minutes. 
Here JoAnn is helping me as these can be unwieldy, not too heavy, but the trusses are balancing until they are able to be secured. We tried this orientation since we made them to fit an 8 foot span, and so far both directions is just 8 foot. This way the gable end would be running East to West. We decided on turning them to be North- South instead. You can see the plywood covered gable wall  just behind JoAnn's feet. That one is the first to go up, not the center span she is holding. 

Gable ends up and secured in place. I then added a ridge beam that purposefully sat under the truss shape so I could hang the center spans on it and arrange them like centering coat hangers in a closet. If  you look closely, you can also see the 2 x 2 I added to pin the upper corners of the open section of wall so the gables didn't splay them outwards while I was working on the roof. 

Spaced, centered and secured to the ridge beam, My lovely coop model is showing off our progress. We are into this project 3 weeks at this point. Boy was my schedule estimate off. Due to other commitments and my internet orders, I have only been able to devote one or two days to the build. That and the rain / power tool shock issue (roof material is yet to be applied to close this project in) has made slow going. 

This is the clerestory panel. And for those not wanting to Google this term, it is the short wall that contains mostly windows in an upper area of a wall or roof that allows for increased ventilation, light or both. I could not cut the notches for the truss joists until I had them installed so it was necessary to wait for these two panels to be made then installed until we got to this point. I painted both sides, added trim and 1/2 x 1/2 hardware cloth so I wouldn't have to do these in the tight spaces I knew they'd be in. I then caulked the edges and gaps to prevent rain penetration as well then installed them. In fact, every wood joint on the exterior of this build is caulked with a paint grade silicone based caulk. So far I have used three tubes because I am also filling screw holes too. 

Okay, I moved on and got a lot done in this week; clerestory walls, roof panels and fascia trim have been applied. The coop is officially dry'd in. One of the upsides to not installing the clean out doors until now was purely accidental- the fascia overhanging the space would not have allowed the doors to open! Turns out I needed to drop the door height by 8" to get them to clear. A simple matter of cutting the doors into two sections. A thin top section and a new height but clearing the fascia thick door. You can see the vertical unpainted 2 x 4 I added for the door stop in the center of the open space. finding this out after the doors were hung would have added days to deconstruct, repair then reassemble them and finally re-hang them.

 New week- total of 5 so far. JoAnn and I got the Clean out doors added on, the spacer panels attached and caulked. Now time for the fencing poles. Wow, the Lava here is tough digging. There is no ramming the posts through the lava, it's just too hard. We rented a rock drill to put in the T posts for the fencing and amazingly it was pretty fast. Loud, but fast. JoAnn and I got the 7 posts drilled and driven in less than three hours. We took the rented drill back to HD then got to setting the posts in a concrete base for added security. BTW, the floor doesn't have a scratch on it yet! 

Next post- Nest box, trim and odds and ends.


  1. Love reading these. It's giving me great ideas for our own coop build!

    1. Thanks! I know we agonized over the design for months before we settled on this type. We wanted the option for expansion and have it look good too. Hope yours is a fun process too!