Make It Your Own: Brad’s Garden Coop, Seattle, Washington

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Chicken coop during a Seattle winter snow.

Brad’s Garden Coop build shows off a real attention to detail, especially on the siding around the hen house. It’s got a great color scheme — the green tone contrasting nicely with the natural cedar. Most importantly, it looks like Brad and his family had a lot of fun with the project. The rest of this post and photos come from him. . .

Brad’s modifications

I did make a few changes from the plans:

  • I flipped the design, putting the hen house on the right and the run on the left.
  • I added “face-out” two-by-fours below the hen house on all four sides.
  • I used cedar tongue and groove siding rather than fence boards and inset the siding into the frame. This necessitated a few minor changes (added two-by-twos to nail into, installing the siding from the bottom up, etc.) and allowed me to build the two doors a little differently. Instead of backing with plywood, I just glued the T&G together and added some one-by-two bracing.
  • Brad built his hen house door from tongue and groove boards.

  • I put the ramp along the back wall.
  • And I changed a few other minor things here and there.

Paint and finishes

Brad stained his Garden Coop with green Osmo Park Lane and used a clear coat on the henhouse.As you can see in the pictures, the frame is painted green (Osmo Park Lane in Fir Green). The siding is treated with a clear product called PolyWhey from Vermont Natural Coatings.

I’d recommend the Osmo paint without reservation, but the PolyWhey was a little weird to work with. It’s about the same consistency as water, which makes applying it evenly to rough wood a bit challenging. It also dries (and hardens) so quickly that I could feel my brushes gradually stiffening as I applied it. It’s water-soluble, but the ossified brushes were unsalvageable.

On the other hand, the end result is great. I painted the henhouse floor with some cheap porch paint from Home Depot that made me all the more thankful for the odor-free Osmo and VNC stuff.

About the chicken coop plans

Overall, the plans are absolutely wonderful: detailed enough for a novice, but not so rigid that you can’t wander off and do things your own way where appropriate. On behalf of our whole family (and our four adolescent chickens), thank you!  —Brad

A few more photos. . .

The whole family got involved in this chicken coop project.
Tongue and groove makes great siding for a chicken coop.
Gravel at the dripline of the chicken coop keeps the area from getting muddy.
The chickens' view from the coop is as nice as their view in!
Who needs play when building a hen house is this fun?

Many thanks to Brad and his family for sharing their tips and photos. Please leave a note in the comments if you like what they’ve built and found this post helpful. Then subscribe to Coop Thoughts so you never miss a post. It’s free, ad-free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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One Response to “Make It Your Own: Brad’s Garden Coop, Seattle, Washington”

  1. Susan says:

    So beautiful! I love the inset siding. This has inspired me to send thegardencoop finished pictures of ours…although I don’t think they hold a candle to this!

    Also, we used the Vermont Natural Coatings product, as well, to stain our wood. I agree that it’s a strange consistency and that it hardens quickly…but the coolness factor of it being derived from whey (a byproduct of cheese making) and that it’s manufactured here in VT (where we live) makes me a convert!

    Thanks for posting your pics,

    Susan

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