The Basic Coop Stand-Alone Hen House Chicken Coop Plans

The Basic Coop chicken coop plans show you how to build a secure, comfortable stand-alone hen house that’s as easy on the eye as it is on your pocketbook. Details in the tabs below. . .


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Hardware Quick Kit for The Basic Coop Stand-Alone Chicken Coop

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With just a couple sheets of plywood siding, a few boards, a roofing panel, some hardware, and paint you can create an attractive, ultra-affordable chicken coop for your backyard flock. The Basic Coop chicken coop plans guide you every step of the way.

Key features of The Basic Coop stand-alone chicken coop design:

  • Sized for up to 4 hens
  • Can be built economically
  • Measures roughly 3’w x 3’d x 4’h (915 x 915 x 1220 mm)
  • Translucent roof for daylight
  • Open-ceiling design for ample ventilation
  • Efficient interior layout with two roosts, a nest box, and space for waterer and feeder
  • Fully secure with wire mesh ceiling and lockable latches on every door
  • Carefully designed to optimize materials, reducing cost and waste
  • Use within a fenced-in area or free-range yard, or attach an enclosed run
  • Works as a brooder too, making it the perfect starter coop — or one to grow with
  • Hardware Quick Kit available (U.S. only)
  • Built with pride. . . by you!

About The Basic Coop chicken coop plans:

  • Instant download
  • 45+ pages of illustrations, photos, and step-by-step instructions
  • Written for beginners, with simple cuts and techniques
  • Includes full tool and material lists
  • Plan includes both U.S. (feet/inches) and metric units (millimeters)
  • Compatible with iPad and other PDF-friendly mobile devices
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • Click here for a free plan preview

Keep it practical. Make it beautiful.

We developed this design over the course of a few years to get everything just right, with no compromises. The design draws on our family’s experience keeping chickens in a variety of coop styles as well as years of feedback gathered from customers and friends.

The spacious henhouse has everything four hens need to be comfortable. The broad front door gives you bump-free access to every corner of the coop for cleaning and care of your flock.

The side pop door opens for your hens to come and go. And the egg door (on the other side) is in just the right spot for you or your kids to collect those fresh eggs every day.

Waste less. Get more coop.

Foremost on our minds in designing The Basic Coop was finding a way to use affordable, easy-to-find materials — and then making the most of each and every one.

As one example, the plans show you how to cut the walls, doors, floor, and nest box from just two standard sheets of half-inch (13 mm) plywood siding or plywood. By not having to buy a third sheet, you save good money right from the start.

At the same time, you get more than you’d expect from a coop of this price. More space, more light, more ventilation, and — since you select the materials and build it yourself — more quality, for a stand-alone coop that will last.

When it comes to expressing your style, The Basic Coop chicken coop design is anything but basic.

The walls are your canvas! Trace or freehand a design — or use a stencil to apply just what you want, right where you want it. You can make The Basic Coop stand out or blend in to your backyard garden.

Everything securely in its place. With space to spare.

There are two roosts inside The Basic Coop, which also serve to support the raised nesting box. This stacked design lets you tuck a feeder and waterer where your chickens won’t be tempted to perch on them, so they’ll stay cleaner.

Looking up, you can see the open-ceiling design which provides plenty of ventilation, very important for your hens’ health. The ceiling is secured with durable hardware cloth, the gold standard for protecting your chickens from predators. And it’s covered with a translucent roof (not clear) that lets in light while providing shade and shelter. You can partially cover the ceiling in the winter.

The secure egg door opens right into the nest box, so you can gather the day’s fresh eggs or just say hi to a friend. Place a two-by-four in the doorway to hold in the bedding. When it’s time to clean it out, simply lift out the board and brush the litter down to the ground or into a shallow box or pan. There’s no lip or ledge to get in the way of a simple sweep.

The chicken coop and run plans that were made for each other

We designed The Basic Coop and The Garden Run enclosures to work perfectly together, so it’s easy to add on a simple day run or a more elaborate secure enclosure. Add a pop door to the run (instructions included in The Garden Run plans), and you can let your hens roam even wider from there.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Basic Coop is designed for beginners on up. If you’ve used a circular saw and a cordless drill before, that’s a bonus. But if not, this is a great project to learn on. You should also know how to use a tape measure and a hammer. All the cuts are straight (no tricky angles), and the pieces come together simply. You can do it!

Estimate $250–$360. Prices will differ by region and by store. If you get what’s on The Basic Coop materials list new at 2024 Home Depot prices, you’ll pay around $345 USD pre-tax (about the same as in 2023). 

Here’s the approximate (January 2024) cost breakdown by category, in USD:

  • Lumber, plywood, and siding: $120 
  • Hardware, $120 (see our optional Quick Kit to save on this)
  • Roofing, $40
  • Hardware cloth, $20
  • Paint, $45

We also offer a Hardware Quick Kit for The Basic Coop (U.S. only) that includes everything you need to build the coop except for the bulky stuff (wood, hardware cloth, roofing, paint). It’s priced competitively with what you’ll find locally — even better actually, because you get just the amount you need — and it’s pre-shopped and pre-packed in one easy box. It also ships free with no sales tax added.

A big part of what will save you money on your coop is having a clear idea of what you’re building, not overbuying, and not mis-measuring and making costly mistakes. A solid plan will help you with that.

If you’ve read through the plan, have your materials together, and allow time for painting, you could build The Basic Coop in about 2–4 days.

We designed The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop and plan for someone with beginner-level skills. The cuts are all straightforward (no tricky angles to measure), and the tools are pretty common ones that you likely either have or can easily borrow or buy. Here’s the list from the plan:

  •  circular saw
  • power drill/driver with assorted bits
  • tape measurer
  • pencil
  • two sawhorses
  • handsaw
  • hammer
  • combination square (see photo) or speed square
  • two clamps with at least a 3” (75 mm) capacity
  • wire (metal) snips that can handle 19-gauge wire or heavier
  • sanding block and 80-grit (or so) sandpaper
  • paintbrush
  • hand broom and dustpan (helpful)
  • drop cloth (for painting)

The coop measures about 3’w x 3’d x 4’h (915 x 915 x 1220 mm) at the frame. Add a few inches all around for the roof height and overhang. The inner henhouse provides 9 sq. feet (.84 sq. meters) of floorspace and 48 inches (1220 mm) of roost space.

The Basic Coop will house up to 4 hens. As with any urban/suburban backyard flock, it helps if you have only hens (no roosters) and that they have all been raised together.

Since this design is a stand-alone coop, you will also want to provide adequate space outside the coop, as this is important for your chickens’ overall health and happiness. Plan on letting your hens out into a fenced-in day yard or other predator-proof enclosure for most of the day, every day. They will return to The Basic Coop to lay their eggs, seek shelter, and sleep safely at night.

Yes. More than anything, what chickens need year round is proper ventilation and protection from the elements, and The Basic Coop provides this. You can also regulate the amount of ventilation by inserting a panel over a portion of the open-air ceiling.

For much more information on preparing your chicken coop and flock for the winter, see the winter-tagged posts on our blog.

The predators, vermin, pests you have to deal with will vary, but The Basic Coop is secured all around to protect your chickens. The doors are latched with lockable latches. The roof is secured with a hardware cloth ceiling. And the rest of the coop design calls for sturdy plywood on a lumber frame. 

Yes. The plan includes instructions for one nesting box, perfect for up to 4 hens to share. If you wanted to add another, you could stack two in the coop without using up much more space. You would need additional materials, of course, and this is not explained in the plans.

If you’re interested in adding external nest boxes to The Basic Coop, see our free exterior nesting box plans for guidance. While we do not yet have instructions specific to The Basic Coop, you can use the tutorial on our blog as a starting point. (You should review the tutorial and the comments before framing up your coop.)

Cleaning the henhouse is done simply from the wide front door. Just brush the litter out onto the ground or into a shallow box/pan and add fresh bedding. How often depends on the season, the depth of the bedding, etc. You can paint the henhouse floor or cover it with a layer of linoleum flooring to make cleanup even easier.

Some people have success with a bed of sand instead of pine shavings or straw. In that case, you would scoop the poop out daily using something like a kitty litter scoop.

You can clean out the nest box from the egg door, or slide it out altogether for a more thorough cleaning.

Yes. You should have plenty of clearance on the pop door side of The Basic Coop for either an interior- or exterior-mounted automatic chicken coop door. I’m not familiar with all the models out there, but I’ll try to confirm them here as I learn about them. Curious about a particular model? Please send me a link.

Models that should work, based on the stated dimensions of the manufacturer: ADOR1.

You can certainly use The Basic Coop as a brooder for chicks. It’s perfect for it! Hang a heat lamp from one of the upper corners so that the chicks can move away from it as needed to regulate their temperature. Include a waterer, food, fresh bedding, and a low roost to train them on after a couple weeks. You can search for “chick brooders” online to get some more ideas on how to set things up.

You can typically get the store to make some cuts for you so that your materials will fit in your vehicle. I wouldn’t expect much more.

But have no fear. The cuts in this plan are all very straightforward. If you take a look and still feel you need help, enlist a local handyman/woman. They’ll appreciate the work!

We only offer plans as eBooks in the PDF format. This lets us get them out quickly (and always in perfect condition), and it keep costs down for everyone. Some past customers whose computer setups were not ideal told me that they forwarded the file to a friend or relative to view and print. You’d be surprised how much help a dozen fresh eggs will get you.

Yes. Because The Garden Ark chicken coop plan eBook comes as a PDF file, it is fully compatible with your iPad or other PDF-friendly mobile devices. 

Whether you work in feet/inches or millimeters (or a combination of the two), these plans have you covered.

You can purchase your chicken coop plans through our website using most international currencies and credit cards. 

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
David Sever
Easy plan and customizable!

I was researching coop designs for a while and was glad to find plans for the basic coop and half height module. The plans were easy to follow and doable for a beginner like myself. I made several customized changes. Coop is 5 feet long and 2 feet off ground with middle brace to help support. I did shingles for the roof. Extended the run and made several other small changes. Really happy how it turned out !

Rob Renney
Easiest build ever!

These plans were so absolutely thorough. From the materials list to the build. We absolutely cannot wait until spring to get our chickens! Going to be getting the instructions for the run soon!

Cynthia Q.
Elegant and simple to construct

We purchased these plans and built coops from them almost three years ago.. they've held up fine so far. We are able move them around either with two people and straps ("forearm forklift") or with an aluminum dolly. We use patio bricks as footers.

Since we had seven chickens as opposed to the recommended four, we built two coops in mirror image, and put a connecting "breezeway" between them. This basically worked against overcrowding to a degree but, as a newbie to chicken-raising, I didn't realize how the chickens would still all tend to want to roost together rather than splitting up.

Another thing I learned elsewhere is that chickens want to roost as high up as possible, so they were roosting (and pooping) on top of the nest boxes. If I were to build another coop based on these plans, I'd attempt a version with the top of the nest box lower than the roosts somehow.

I would still recommend these plans as being very well-presented, with clear instructions.

Kerry M.

I am still amazed I can make anything like this. Your plans are so well planned out and easy to follow. I think there was only once or twice that I called you a "Mr. Doody-Head" and had to primal scream. But I am way proud of myself and what I can make -- and the girls love it.

Charlie F.
A joy to build

What a joy it was to build! I have limited handyman experience but found the plans so easy to follow. I was particularly impressed with the comprehensive materials list and how little waste there was. I have ended up with a quality, robust chicken house for about half the cost of a locally built equivalent or a similar price for a flimsy imported one. And I've developed some new handyman skills along the way. I would strongly recommend the plans to people who to build their own chicken coop and aren't sure they have the skills to do so, the plans are so comprehensive you can't go wrong.

Ordering & Delivery

It is your responsibility to make sure that any project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation. The information and plans offered on this site are offered AS IS for information and entertainment purposes only.

The Garden Coop LLC makes no warranties or representations of any kind concerning the accuracy, suitability, or safety of the information contained on the site or in the plans. By using the information or ordering the plans you expressly acknowledge having read and understood this disclaimer and the waivers contained in it, and you agree to hold The Garden Coop LLC, its owners, employees, and agents or anyone else who has been involved in the creation, production, or delivery of this site or the plans harmless from any damages or injuries of any kind to you or any person that might result from your use of or reliance upon the information or from any errors, omissions, or other causes.

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Unless otherwise noted, The Garden Coop LLC is the legal copyright holder of the content on this website and in the plans. Content is intended solely for the use of the purchaser, and may be printed for personal use only.

No images or content from this website or the plans may be published, resold, shared, or distributed without written consent from the copyright holder.

Keep in mind that we’ve priced the plans for personal use only. If you’d like to build our designs to sell, please contact John, the designer, directly. If you feature a coop or run built with one of our designs (even if modified) online or in other marketing materials, please use your own photography, credit the design as “Built using design plans from,” and link to the web address (

Thanks! And contact John with any questions.

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We ship our chicken coop hardware kits via USPS Priority Mail. Please allow 1–2 days for processing and 2–3 days for delivery.

We ship poultry nipples, brooder bottles, veggie feeders, and coloring books via USPS First Class. Please allow 1–2 business days for processing and 2–3 days for delivery.

We ship bucket nipple waterers via USPS Parcel Select or Priority Mail depending on cost, which varies by destination. Please allow 1–2 business days for processing, 5–7 days for Parcel Select, and 2–3 days for Priority delivery. 

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We want you to have the best coop and products for you and your chickens.

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, let us know within 30 days, and we will arrange a return and refund.

For digital downloads (e.g., coop plans), email to let us know that you would like a refund, and we’ll send instructions. 

For kits, waterers, and other tangible items, please open and inspect your items right away! In the event that your item arrives with parts missing or damaged, you must let us know by email within seven (7) business days of receipt. In the case of damage, attach a photo to your email clearly showing the extent of the damage, if possible. We’ll make it right or arrange a refund.

You may return items to us in new, complete condition within 30 days of purchase for a refund of the purchase price, less our initial shipping costs. You will not be charged a re-stocking fee, but you are responsible for return shipping costs.

Email us first to let us know that you’d like to make a return, and we’ll send you further instructions. We’ll issue your refund once we’ve received your item.

For linked items purchased through other sites (e.g., Amazon), the return policies of that site/marketplace apply. 

Make sure to follow all manufacturers’ instructions when using tools, materials, or equipment — and use the appropriate protective devices when building, such as work gloves, eye and ear protection, boots, etc. Secure your work as you build. Know what you can handle physically as well, and work within your limits.

Remember, do-it-yourself doesn’t have to mean all by yourself. Share the fun of building with your friends, family, and neighbors!

See what others are building with these plans:​