Make It Your Own: Deb and Donovan’s Flower Box Garden Coop, Kirkland, Washington

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Flower box on the front of Washington State Garden Coop chicken coop.

Deb and Donovan from near Seattle sent in several views of their backyard chicken coop build. Look at that flower box and window! They were kind enough to share some thoughts on their experience finding and building the right coop for their needs. The rest of this post comes from them. . .

Choosing to build our own chicken coop

We were new to having chickens, and as we started researching coops, all we knew was that we wanted a predator-proof, well ventilated hen house/enclosure that would allow our chickens to access to the run on their own.

Originally, we were planning to buy a pre-built kit; neither of us are very construction-oriented, and we don’t have a lot of tools. But when we read that we only needed a few basic tools to build The Garden Coop — and that other construction-challenged people had built it successfully — we felt encouraged and got the plans.

Our modifications

Painted hen house walls in Garden Coop chicken coop.It took us longer than we thought it would to complete, but we made some modifications along the way:

  • We added the external nest boxes (thanks for the free design!)
  • We added a Plexiglas front window
  • We changed the internal right wall, making two hinged doors that open the full width of the wall so we could totally access the interior hen house for easy cleaning
  • We moved the chicken door to the side wall instead of in the floor
  • Ladder leading up to the side of the henhouse in Garden Coop chicken coop.

  • We covered the floor with some leftover vinyl flooring
  • We painted the coop to match our house as we had leftover paint from our paint job last summer (it was a struggle trying to paint around the rainy Seattle-area weather)
  • We painted the interior with animal-friendly Mythic paint

Our coop is now the focus of our backyard — we have a great view of the chickens and coop from our kitchen window. We feel very proud of our accomplishment, and it is fun to show off our coop and chickens to our neighbors.

Hints for others building their own Garden Coop chicken coop

Rake hanging conveniently inside Garden Coop chicken coop.

  • We used 8″ x 16″ cinder blocks and laid them down vertically which gave a lot of additional stability when trenching and burying the hardware cloth
  • We used 1/2-inch plywood for the internal walls so we also used it for the external nest boxes, but I think the nest boxes would have worked better with 3/4-inch plywood
  • Although we made our cuts using only a circular saw, the project might have progressed more quickly if we had borrowed or rented a table saw

After six full weekends we finally finished our Garden Coop — just in time for our four chicks to move in as they turned six weeks old. Your plans helped us out so much. We and our chicks have been very happy with the results. Thanks again!

Backyard chicken coop built from Garden Coop plans.

Deb and Donovan
Kirkland, Washington

Many thanks to Deb and Donovan for their pictures and ideas. Please leave a comment if you like what they’ve done. And check out our coop plans and kits to build your own stylish, secure backyard chicken coop or chicken ark.

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9 Responses to “Make It Your Own: Deb and Donovan’s Flower Box Garden Coop, Kirkland, Washington”

  1. Michael Gallo says:

    Love your paint job. Just wondering how it’s holding up. I’m afraid of paint peeling and future maintenance. I do not want to have to re-paint every other year.

    • Deb Handrich says:

      Just noticed your question…. sorry for such a late response! We used exterior house paint and it is holding up very very well… I expect it to last just like on our house – a good 10 yrs. We did use an exterior primer paint under which should also help.

  2. Teri says:

    I’m also in Tacoma. I just bought a 4′ x 15′ dog run for my future hens (we’re allowed 6 in Tacoma). Do you think we need to insulate in our climate? I’m thinking not, but what’s your experience?
    Your setup looks awesome! I can’t wait to build my coop!

  3. Joe says:

    Hi, I’m from Tacoma, WA, and I was wondering about the overall price you paid for the materials and plan. We were debating whether or not it would be cheaper to build it ourselves with the plan, or just buying a whole kit at the store for $500-$600.

    Thanks,
    Joe

  4. adrienne parisi says:

    hello.. love your coop. Do you have the plans available?
    Thanks,
    Adrienne

  5. Deb says:

    Hello Brian,
    The paint is Behr Premium Plus brand.
    The cream color is “Cornerstone” #330E-2 and the green is “Deep Jungle” #470F-7.
    Good luck!
    Deb

  6. Brian V says:

    Deb and Donovan,

    My wife really loves the colors. Do you have the color code and paint type handy?

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