Introduction: How to Build a Chicken Coop
This Instructable walks you through how to build a chicken coop complete with board and batten trim and an arched door.
I had the pleasure of collaborating with Luisa from www.peachestopearls.com to design and build this farmhouse chic chicken coop for her backyard and absolutely love how it turned out! This HOA friendly chicken coop gets you the look you love for much less than store bought versions. It will house 12 - 16 chickens, has 4 nesting boxes, and a 6' run.
If you’ve ever spent much time around a circular saw and hammer, this project will be a breeze for you. If not, follow along and you'll be ready to tackle building this chicken coop in no time.
Check out the video above for the build! If you like it, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and checkout some of my other projects while you're there!
If you want additional details head over to my blog!
You can also grab the plans to build one here!
Materials & Products (affiliate)
- 2X4 Pressure Treated
- 2X4 Pressure treated
- 4X4 7/16" sheathing
- 10d 3" framing nails - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- 10d 2" framing nails - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- #8 3-1/2" exterior screws - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- #8 1-1/4" construction screws - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- 2-1/2" pocket hole screws - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- 1-1/4" pocket hole screws - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- 7/8" roofing nails - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- Felt Paper - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- Drip edge - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- Shingles - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- Shed door hinge - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- Gate latch - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- Light duty hinge - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- Hook and eye latch - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- Wood filler - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
- Paint Hardware cloth - https://amzn.to/2VuiPxE
Tools I Used (affiliate)
- ISOtunes Pro - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
- RZ mask M2 - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
- Table saw (new version) - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
- Miter saw - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
- Jigsaw - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
- Impact driver - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
- Kreg Foreman - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
- Kreg guide saw - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
- Framing nailer - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
- Circular saw - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
- Router - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
- Flush trim router bit - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
- Hammer - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
- Tape measure - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
- Level - https://amzn.to/2So7fkQ
Step 1: Build Chicken Coop Foundation
To start off with, I tackled making the floor for the coop from pressure treated 2X4s. I butted up the joists to the stringers and shot two 3” ring shank nails through the stringers into the end of each joist.
With the frame complete, I secured 7/16" plywood to the joists with 2” ring shank nails. The flooring should only cover the "inner" foundation.
Step 2: Frame Walls of Chicken Coop
With all of the pieces for each wall cut to length, I laid out the items per my plans and started by nailing the studs to the bottom plate.
With all of the studs secured to the bottom plate, I positioned the top plate per the plans, checking for square by measuring across the corners, and then securing it to each stud as I did the bottom plate.
Step 3: Install Walls
Once each wall is framed, I moved on to securing the walls to the foundation. I did this by first positioning each wall section per the plans and then shot 3” nails through the base plate into the foundation.
Step 4: Install Roosting Rails
To install the roosting rails, I leveled and secured blocking between the studs on the front and back walls. I then positioned the roosting rails on the blocking and nailed them into place.
Step 5: Sheath Walls
The next step is to sheath the walls. I cut the sheathing so that the seams fall in the middle of studs where necessary.
I used 2” nails to secure the sheathing to each stud.
With the walls sheathed it’s time to cut some holes in it! There will be openings for the nesting box, entry door, chicken door, and window.
Step 6: Build Chicken Coop Nesting Box
This nesting box is constructed with 2X2s and 7/16" plywood. You could also build it from 3/4” plywood and use pocket hole construction if you preferred.
To make the box, I rough cut the ends and dividers first. I then clamped them all together and used a flush trim bit in my router to make them all identical.
With that done, I secured 2X2s to each end piece. Then I added the remaining pieces to make the box.
After that, the dividers were installed per my plans and the lid was attached.
Step 7: Build Entry Door
I chose to keep things simple on these doors and used 2X4s and pocket hole construction to build them.
With the door frame constructed, I sheathed it with 7/16” plywood.
Next, I cut the arc in the door.
With the door all wrapped up, I installed the hinges and a standard gate latch. Gate latches are easy to install and operate, but do be mindful that you could lock yourself in the coop inadvertently if you don't prop the door open while inside.
Step 8: Frame and Shingle Roof
With this roof, I built each side as a panel and then installed them onto the frame of the coop. If your coop is much larger than this one, I would recommend building the roof frame on the coop and then shingling it in place, as the weight of each panel may be too great to safely install.
For the roof frame, I used 2X4s and pocket hole construction. Once it was framed out, I cut one edge at an angle per my plans.
I then sheathed it, installed the drip edge, and attached the tar paper using 7/8” galvanized roofing nails.
I then installed the shingles. This was my first time installing shingles and the process was surprisingly easy.
With each panel shingled, I lifted them into position with Kathleen’s help and then secured them from inside the coop through the top plate and into the roof frame. The final detail was to run a course of shingles along the roof’s ridge.
Step 9: Build Run
Now if you’ve gotten to this point in the build, making the run will be a piece of cake. I framed it out run per the plans and secured everything using 3” exterior grade construction screws.
To finish off the run, my customer installed hardware cloth after painting the coop and run.
Step 10: Delivery
Delivery day was very exciting and required some of my best trailer maneuvering to date! We used a come-along anchored to a stout tree along with a set of ramps to pull the coop off of the trailer and into position. We then secured the run to the coop and called it a day!
Luisa and her husband were thrilled with their new chicken coop (the chickens seemed happy, too) and have since posted some great photos of it on her site. Be sure to check those out here!
Step 11: Build Your Own!
Want to build one? Grab the plans that are complete with the necessary materials and cut list and get started!
I’d love to hear what you think about this chicken coop! If you build one tag me on instagram with #woodshopmikeibuiltit
If you want additional details head over to my blog!
Find me across the web!
As always, if you have any questions, let me know. And until next time, have fun making something!
***Staged photos of coop were taken by Shelby Rae Photographs! Her site is www.shelbyraephotographs.com. Be sure to go over and check out more of her awesome work!***