In this eleventh ride of the Krewe of Coops, we tour seven super-duper coops built using The Garden Loft large walk-in chicken coop plans.
Coop 1: Ryan’s Garden Loft Large Walk-in Coop with Chickens and Ducks, Kittery, Maine
“Never in my 37 years have I had chickens live in such a palace! 🙂 I made a different ladder to get into the bedding and boxes space because it also houses ducks.”
“The plans were easy to understand and follow with very little building experience. I used different materials here and there for weather purposes, and I created a screened trench for emptying the ducks bath.”
Coop 2: Mary’s Well-Anchored Garden Loft Chicken Coop with Gutter and Rain Barrels, Virginia
“I just wanted to tell you how pleased I am with the coop. Your plans are awesome. I did a lot of research, and this design meets all the requirements. The girls weathered our 0-degree weather in December and January with no heat and no issues. The girls love it!”
“My husband and I built the coop. We flipped the plan to suit our location. I chose grey to blend in with our location. My neighbor insisted that we secure it to the ground with 3’ rebar. We pounded the rebar into the ground midway between the block foundations and secured it with clamps and screws to the outside. It made it a bit challenging to get the apron on. But we’ve recently been having crazy wind storms with gusts up to 60+ mph. The coop was absolutely fine!”
“We used a plastic gutter system from Lowe’s and mounted it directly to the purlins.”
Coop 3: John’s Garden Loft Chicken Coop with Decorative Lawn Rooster, Atlanta, Georgia
“I devised a technique to attach the hardware cloth at the top without building ceiling panels. I used foam closure strips for the roof panels, stapling them to the purlins to hold them in place — the white foam works well with the clear poly roof. And I used screws and washers to attach the hardware cloth skirt to the coop.”
“We bought the rooster as a Mother’s Day gift and had it in a different part of the yard. It was always intended to ‘watch over’ the coop, whenever it was built!”
Email us for more details on any of John’s modifications. Also see the DIY wall carrier he devised for the project, which came in handy for moving parts of the coop around during construction.
Coop 4: Michael’s Garden Loft Large Walk-in Chicken Coop, Tigard, Oregon
“I bought my wife four chickens for her birthday and knew I needed good plans for a coop. I was so thankful to have found yours online. I was originally going to build The Garden Coop, but my three grown kids and their spouses decided they would also raise some chicks if we would house them once the coop was done, so we decided on The Garden Loft. Your plans are GREAT and easy to follow.”
“Our only problem was that we don’t have one level spot in all of our yard. We ended up putting in four 4×4 rough-cut cedar posts in concrete and built the coop off of those. We then had to skirt the bottom of the coop to bring it down to grade. We used the same idea of skirting it with the hardware cloth and then put rock on top of that. We back up to 17 acres of forest nature park and have coyotes and raccoons, so I wanted the chickens to be secure.”
“My wife wanted to put her touches on it, so you can see where we made some changes to the door and flip-flopped the right and left walls.”
“We also had to decide how high to put the henhouse since it was on a slope. We get compliments galore on this coop. It is all due to your plans and the talents of my sons in law, Thomas and Josh, and my son Paul.”
Coop 5: Tristan’s Chicken Coop Built from The Garden Loft Plans, Seattle, Washington
“Thank you for the awesome coop plans. I increased the height by 9″, shortened the depth by 12″, and mirrored the design as shown in the plans. I used 8×16 cinder blocks, which is good, as the hens tend to disrupt the dirt in places near the cinder blocks.”
“Increasing the height is totally feasible, you just need to consider all necessary adjustments carefully as you go. As originally designed, it probably would have been roomy enough (I’m 6’4″), but it depends on exactly how much the cinder blocks stick out of the ground (effectively adding height to the coop). I think I calculated that it would have been cutting it close so I went ahead and added 9″. It might have been better to make it only 8″ higher, given the limited width of the plywood siding used for the interior henhouse doors.”
“To account for shorter front-back dimensions I moved the front wall back while keep the roof the same pitch, thus I decreased the height of front wall studs (and shortened the rafters). I used trigonometry to give an estimate for this (the front wall studs needed to be approximately 1.25″ shorter, for example). In theory this means the birdsmouth and taper cuts on the rafters can be the same (rafter just overall shorter), and I just sanded the joints to fine-tune the fit in the end. I made the frontmost section of the side walls one foot less wide while keeping the other dimensions the same. This means the two outer roosts are closer together, but it’s no big deal.”
“I ended up trenching the hardware cloth down about 16″ then flaring out another 6–8″. This was because of the topography of my installation, but it seems like a viable alternative to just doing the perimeter skirt.”
UPDATE 5/23/20: The Garden Loft is still going strong! I added a “pullet” and quarantine area to isolate new young birds as I introduce them to the flock.. All it took was building two extra panels with leftover wood and hardware cloth — the other two walls are the back and side of the coop, and the “ceiling” is the bottom of the henhouse (see photo below). That, and a little maneuvering to get the panels lined up and hanging correctly. So far, it’s working great!
Coop 6: Richard’s Narrower Garden Loft Chicken Coop from Plans and Hardware Kit, Bothell, Washington
“Thanks for the great set of plans and hardware kit! We just finished our Garden Loft for our first batch of five chickens. We cut the width in half to accommodate the space and I think it turned out well. They seem happy with their new home.”
Coop 7: Blake and Evelyn’s Flipped Garden Loft, Ladoga, Indiana
“Our ladies love their Garden Loft. My 10-year-old daughter, Evelyn, had a great time building it with me. We flipped the layout so that the walk door and egg door would face our back patio for easier access. Thanks for the great plans!”
Thanks to all who shared their photos and comments for this eleventh ride of the Krewe of Coops. Like what they’ve done? Let us and them know with a comment below.
You can learn more and buy/download The Garden Loft large walk-in chicken coop plans here. See more Krewe of Coops posts here, or browse all of our Make It Your Own coop profiles. Subscribe to Coop Thoughts blog here (you can unsubscribe at any time). And find all of our coop design plans, hardware kits, and coop accessories at TheGardenCoop.com.
5 thoughts on “Virtual Chicken Coop Tour No. 11: Seven Backyard Coops Built Using The Garden Loft Chicken Coop Plans”
I am new to the chicken world and have been making my plans for my coop, these plans seem to have read my mind. This is exactly what I was looking for. My big question is what do you suggest or do the others, who have built this, suggest when it comes to winterizing it? I live in Maine and the winters can be a bit crisp so the open-air roof for the hen house seems like it would be tough to work with. But as a few of your reviews say, it worked great for their cold winters. Just curious how. Thanks
Daniela, thank you for the question. Check out our four-part series on chicken/coop care. Here are all our posts tagged “winter.” And here are the ones tagged “Maine.” Hope this helps.
I loved seeing these homemade chicken coups. I was looking at store bought, but like this better. I am a novice, but now am the owner of six baby chicks. This is going to be a new experience, and I now am in a turmoil about building or buying.
Is their building kits to buy somewhere with all the materials that you would need?
We offer hardware kits for all of our chicken coop designs. These contain all the fasteners, hinges, door hardware, and so forth that you’d need. You would then just source the lumber, roofing, hardware cloth, paint, and other bulky items locally. All that you need is listed in the plans.