Make It Your Own: Julie and Dave’s Garden Coop (Pleasantville, New York)

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Julie and Dave increased the size of their chicken coop built with The Garden Coop plans.

Julie and Dave have a spacious yard in upstate New York and wanted to build their Garden Coop a little larger than what’s outlined in the plan. They made their coop a few feet wider by increasing the width of the three sections by a foot each. They added a couple feet in depth as well. And they moved the full-length people door from the front to the side of the coop. It came out great.

“Thank you so much for the excellent plans for The Garden Coop,” Julie wrote to us. “The girls have been outside full time for about a week now and they love having all that space!”

Making your Garden Coop larger

The Garden Coop is sized right for up to 8 hens. But if you have extra space in your yard or are planning to keep a larger flock, it’s possible to build the design larger. I usually first advise making it wider by simply adding a “section” to the right of the design, bringing it from three sections to four. Or you could do what Julie and Dave did and widen each section by a little bit.

If you want to increase the depth of the coop, there are a few more things to consider and possibly alter:

  • Cut your rafters from wider boards than what’s called for in the plan. This will allow you to maintain the proper pitch of the roof and keep things rigid across the span.
  • Add a purlin, as Julie and Dave did
  • Add some corner bracing to the frame for rigidity, particularly on the side opposite the henhouse
  • Add a pier block for foundation support in the center of each now-deeper side
  • Step up to longer roofing panels as needed, or overlap your panels to get the length you want

Making your Garden Coop bigger will, of course, increase the amount of materials you need (screws, hardware cloth, lumber, roofing, etc.) as well as your costs. But using the plans, you’ll have a good sense of what you’ll need to scale it up.

Thanks to Julie and Dave for sharing the photo of their modified chicken coop. How have you made our coop designs your own? Email us, or leave a comment below.

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2 Responses to “Make It Your Own: Julie and Dave’s Garden Coop (Pleasantville, New York)”

  1. Matthew says:

    Very nice thanks for posting. We just started our coop and are also changing dimensions to be 12′x8′.

    For the roof pitch what size beams did you use? The 2×12 cut in half diagonally will not keep the same pitch as the plans call for. For a 12 footer you only get 1 inch pitch per 12 inches length. I think the plans call for 1 inch every 10 inches of length. To get anything wider than 12′x12″x2″ I would have to special order.

    • Matthew, the two-by-twelve should work great for a depth of 8 feet. You’ll only need about 10.5 feet in length for your rafters, so trim the 12′ boards before making the diagonal cut. This should give you the right pitch, actually slightly steeper than what’s in the plan. I’m not sure what Julie and Dave used. Email me if you want to work this through in more detail.

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