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:
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.