Friday, July 28, 2017

Chicken Coop Upgrade Project

As I've mentioned before our winter was really hard on things.  Not the least of which was our chicken coop.  In five years it has stood strong, no matter the weather, and even with almost three feet of snow piled on it at one time it held fast.  Normally we don't get much snow and even when we do it rarely sticks around for very long.  That was not the case this year.

Demo girl!

Once the snow melted off and it finally stopped raining I was able to get outside and check around for damage.  The roof to the coop had sagged in the middle and while it posed no immediate threat I definitely wanted to get it taken care of before another winter.

Pulling apart the old gate frame

We went from lots of rain and cold damp weather to a blast furnace of summer heat.  I can work in the heat better than I tolerate the rain so over the period of two weekends we used the cooler morning to our advantage and got busy.  First thing was to remove the old roof.  My oldest volunteered to hop up there and do the demolition.

Edith always has to inspect our work
And she's checking out the new roost

She also volunteered to climb inside to help me jack up the roof so we could place a reinforcement beam across it.  We used the frame from our old gate, pulled it apart and removed the nails for this part of the project.  Once we had our measurements and the angles figured we cut the wood and then screwed the pieces into place with screws I had leftover from when we built the fence.

No more sag in the roof

We also put in a new roost for the hens using a hickory closet rod I picked up at the FREE WOOD bin near my work.  Once cut to length we installed it and finished up inside with a quick cleaning and some fresh bedding in the nests.  The girls then laid us four eggs that day!

The next day we went to Home Depot to pick up a piece of PVC corrugated roofing.  I had checked this out beforehand and new this would be a perfect solution for how to roof the coop.  It was also long enough that when I cut it in half it would cover the roof perfectly.  I also figured out that to buy the rubber washers for the screws I planned to use would cost a small fortune.  Four washers for 89¢ would add up really fast.  So I bought a box of 100 roofing nails with the washers already on them for $4.

The following weekend we were up bright and early to put the roof on.  I tried cutting the roofing material with a jigsaw but quickly realized that wouldn't work well.  I thought a circular saw might be overkill so I ended up using my handsaw and cut it the old fashioned way using my muscles.  It worked like a charm.

Next the youngest volunteered to hop up on top and screw it into place.  The oldest took the washers off the nails and put them on the deck screws I wanted to use.  We get enough wind that I didn't want the nails to come loose and lift the roof.  Screws would hold it down much better.  We put the naked nails in my can of roofing nails to use later and the rest of the box will be saved for a future project.

The next day I went back to Home Depot to pick up a piece of flashing to finish the roof and further help keep water out when it rains.  To save buying a pair of tin snips I had one of the employees cut the flashing to the length I needed and was on my way.  I used the nails with the washers to install the flashing and then declared this project completed!

It feels really good to know my ladies will have a solid roof over their heads this winter and the coop will remain safe and secure for them.  Plus it was a project we all worked on together as a family.  My daughters learned a lot and my youngest learned how to use a power drill.  I love teaching them how to do things like this.


  1. You girls are amazing! The coop looks incredibly sturdy and I love the stars on the side!

    1. Thank you. The stars have been fun and we are hoping to make a few more to decorate with here pretty soon.

  2. Good job, it looks great! I actually like it with the new wavy roof! It's nice that your girls like to help you too! In the process they are learning valuable life skills.


    1. Thank you Tanya. I really enjoy their company as well as the oppotunity to share these skills with them.

  3. Great for the chickens and the daughters. Skills are wonderful and something they can carry with them into adulthood.

    1. So true. I have little doubt my daughters will be very capable when they leave the nest. :)


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