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Shed the Winter Blues

We are so glad winter is over! Now it is time for some outdoor projects. First item is to build a shed and chicken coop combination. We got a call from a friend that asked if we wanted to have a barn next to the airport in Topping, VA. Our answer, of course, was yes. Well the thing was, we had to tear it down. No problem for this group! We meet Richard Schell and little Johnathon on site early one Saturday morning and started tearing it down.barn (2) Johnathon was amazing, he spent hours taking nails out of the lumber. We reclaimed a flatbed full of useable lumber to go towards the shed. By 2pm that Saturday we had finished and unloaded the lumber at the house.

Alina Shepherd made it the whole day without a trip to the urgent care.barn (1)

So then it was time to start building. As with most projects around here, this was my first time building a shed so I decideshed (20)d to use a bracket kit…actually three for the size we chose. The shed is 10’x22’, the plan was 6’ would be for the chicken coop and the rest for the shed. Then Heidi decided she wanted more chickens. Now the coop is 8’x10’.

You don’t realize how big it is going to be until you start building. The frame for the floor was all from the reclaimed wood, though I did have to buy OSB for the floor itself. The following weekend I started the framing. The bracket kit makes it easier to be a one man job most of the time, but does require help at some points. shed (5)This thing looks really big.

That’s when the difficult part starts. It wasn’t a coincidence that it was timed with the arrival of my father-in-law Doug Yunke. Putting the roof and sides on definitely needed two people. Doug helped me get the 4×8 sheets on the roof. This is where we found out that I shouldn’t have waited so long from building the trusses to getting them covered. (They might have gotten a little warped) shed (27)shed (23)Also it reinforced the knowledge that I may be missing the measuring gene…The roof came out good and we got the tar paper down.

We decided on the standard primed shed walls, so back to Lowe’s for more supplies. Doug was a huge help but had to return to Oregon.The bracket kit came with plans and I was amazed that the material list came out perfect. I will keep the plans in case I decide to build another one down the road. I won’t need the brackets next time ‘cause I am experienced now.

Much debate went into the roofing material and I looked at all the different options. My least favorite, from a difficulty point of view, was shingles. Guess what we chose. Your right, shingles, and it was the right decision. We will have to replace the roof on the store within the next few years and we will be going with green architectural shingles so we will want the shed to match. Sounded really good until I discovered how much more these shingles are (An extra $90.00 total for the shed).

I installed the roof over the weekend and it was not as hard as I had remembered from my past life. 2015-07-18 09.22.03Painting came next. We painted it to match the store down to the white trim. Our original plan was for the chicken coop to be in the front. After we got the shell up we decided it would be better in the back, that way we could have a longer run and it would look better. Now it was time to finish the coop. We spent a lot of time researching what would work best for us. The highlights are DIY PVC feeders, an automatic waterer, nesting boxes made from 5 gallon buckets (stole this idea from my boss, DJ Seeterlin) and a ladder style roost.  2015-07-13 09.18.44We put down vinyl flooring and a poop board for easier cleanup. Heidi will be whitewashing the inside with a lime based mixture before the chickens get here. 2015-07-18 09.22.50I ran water and electrical to the shed. This is how we found the antique condom tin. Last but not least, it was time for the run. We started out wanting a 10’x40’ run but finances scaled it back to 30’. We put hardware cloth on the bottom 3’, chicken wire on the next 3’, and I got to set posts in concrete for the first time. We also put bird netting over the top to protect a little more. I was able to use 6×6 posts from the barn to lock down the bottom of the hardware cloth and reused a wire door from some past pen for the door to the run. I will install a light sensitive chicken door soon, but we have to save for the $200.00 first.

Final numbers. $1500.00 including the chicken run. I figure we saved about $600.00 by using the reclaimed barn and I still have some left for other projects. Oh, I forgot, add another $500.00 for the treatment for Lyme disease I got from a tick bite. Heidi’s chicks will be here next week but will be in the house for a few weeks.

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