Make It Your Own: Marty’s Expanded Garden Coop, Texas

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Marty used The Garden Coop plans to make this larger version of the design.

Marty and his son Corbin in Texas used The Garden Coop chicken coop plans as a starting point to build a beautiful backyard chicken coop — one that’s a good 60% larger than the original Garden Coop design. Marty was kind enough to share some photos and details, so if you’re looking to build a larger Garden Coop, here’s one way to go about it.

Making The Garden Coop both wider and deeper

Marty wanted his chicken coop to be spacious enough to accommodate a flock of 15 hens and a rooster. So he expanded the Garden Coop design from roughly 9.5′ wide by 5.5′ deep to 12.5′ x 7′ (3810 mm x 2130 mm). Here are some of the changes that made that possible:

  • For longer top and sole plates on the front and rear walls, he started with longer (15′) (4575 mm) two-by-fours.
  • For longer purlins (boards just under the roof panels), you could mend shorter two-by-twos together as described in the plans. Marty chose instead to rip (cut lengthwise on a table saw) some 15′ (4575 mm) two-by-fours to make two-by-twos. He said this was challenging and definitely a two-person job. He also added a purlin.
  • For the rafters, he used wider boards (two-by-tens) and cut them exactly two feet (610 mm) longer than what the plans called for. This allowed him to maintain the proper roof slope across the deeper coop.
  • He used 10’ roofing panels (3050 mm), special-ordered from Home Depot so there was no trimming necessary (they normally stock 8′ and 12′ lengths). He used two more than called for in the plans, and in some spots had them overlap by two crests to get the overall correct width.
  • He added some two-by-fours for corner bracing to improve rigidity at the larger size. It is, in Marty’s words, “solid as a rock.”
  • And, of course, he had to use more materials overall — wood (studs, spans, horizontal braces), hardware cloth, pier blocks, and fasteners. If you’re expanding your coop, simply calculate up from what is called for on the materials list in the plan to match the desired dimensions.

Marty’s other mods

In addition to expanding the size of his Garden Coop, Marty added a few other touches:

  • He added a second tier of horizontal braces all the way around the coop to give him more options for roost placement.
  • He added a removable roost inside the hen house.
  • He used roofing felt behind the siding boards to waterproof the hen house.
  • He plans to line the hen house floor with a single piece of linoleum. He originally used vinyl tiles for this, but found that the seams made cleaning the floor difficult.
  • He opted to go with no windows in the hen house, and says that with the light coming in from the roof, he hasn’t missed windows.

More photos of Marty’s large chicken coop:

The Garden Coop plans are easy to modify for a larger coop.

Marty built this larger version of The Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop.

With a few modifications you can build a rather large backyard chicken coop.

Marty and Corbin used The Garden Coop plans to build The Garden Coop larger.

Many thanks to Marty and Corbin for sharing their handiwork with the rest of us. If you like what they’ve done or have any tips or questions about modifying The Garden Coop design, leave a reply in the comments below or email us directly. And if you find our posts helpful and want to receive email notifications as posts are published, subscribe to Coop Thoughts.

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4 Responses to “Make It Your Own: Marty’s Expanded Garden Coop, Texas”

  1. LaDonna says:

    Your coop is fantastic. I love it and it looks JUST like what I need.
    Thanks for posting it.

    LaDonna

  2. Kimmy says:

    I was thinking of reducing the length to 8′ instead of 10′ to save on cost. This would put the exterior at 25′ around. Does this seem logical to you? Seems like I would save in the cost of the hardware cloth if I did. What do you think?

    • Kimmy, going off the exact dimensions in the plans rather than the approximate ones I have on the site, an 8′ length would only save you about 6′ of hardware cloth, yet you’d still have to buy the same-sized roll anyway to cover what you need. If you’re looking for cost reductions, those will only be significant if you lop a third off the design. Then you’re saving on lumber, pier blocks, hardware cloth, and roofing panels. Of course, you’ll have to reduce the number of chickens you plan to keep too (so you’d also save on feed, right?). I would only reduce The Garden Coop design by less than a section if you were trying to build a chicken coop as large as you could within unavoidable space constraints (trees, fences, garage, etc.). Please let me know if you need more clarification.

  3. You know what they say – everything’s bigger in Texas. :) Looks great!

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