Chicken House Framing

It has been a not-fun couple of days.

Yesterday we borrowed a truck and went to the lumberyard to pick up pieces for the shed. First the lumberyard got the order wrong (60 pieces of pressure-treated lumber rather than the 6 we wanted), then they didn't have the siding we wanted and gave us something else that was just Not Acceptable, then they didn't have the kind of nails we wanted for our nail gun (though that turned out to be because clipped-head nails don't meet shear requirements for California any more, so nobody carries them; we were eventually able to get full-head nails that work in a clipped-head nail gun). It was endless.

I did get some work done in the midst of that. Here's the chicken yard where we began. I removed the chickens to a little fenced area behind the shed (from which they promptly escaped, the little jerks), then I spent some time taking down the central panel of wire fence and pushing the aviary netting out of the way.

Chicken Yard before work begins

And here we are. I also cleaned the chicken poos off the slab, swept it clean, and raked some of the compost back into the piles.

Prepared for construction

By early afternoon we had this: a pile of lumber with no siding. Noel got called off to work while we were obtaining this pile, so I moved the boards to the back yard by myself. I was already very irritated at the guys at Economy Lumber.

Lumber in the driveway

This morning, Noel went off to get nails (which is when we found the aforementioned round-headed nails for the clipped-head nail gun; they had them at Economy Lumber but we were just tired of trying to get the things we were asking for and didn't get them) and roof shingles (we had a Home Depot gift card and a coupon, so we got those there). While he was gone, I measured out the floorplan on the slab, and cut the pressure treated lumber to the right lengths.

Goldie helped.

Pressure treated sill plates

You put pressure-treated lumber down where wood makes contact with concrete, because concrete is basically like a big sponge and because that piece of wood is close to the ground and its associated bugs and so forth that would like to eat your house.

When Noel finally got home from an epic journey through hardware stores to find the right nails, we were able to make quick progress on the framing. We put up the back wall, and once we had solved that problem and worked out how we were going to work (we assembled the walls on the lawn), the rest went very quickly.

First wall up

The real winner was the pneumatic framing nailer. While it took us some time to figure out how to use it and even more time to figure out that it didn't like our extension cord (but no problem because it came with a 50 foot hose), once we had it going it was a breeze. Nails just went right in, and fast. We framed up a wall in minutes, and even though we didn't even get started on the shed until after two, I took this photo of the dogs inside it around 5pm.

Dogs for scale

We spent half an hour trying to figure out how to get the foundation bolts into the concrete before we called it a day. Tomorrow we will try to find another truck to borrow to get some siding, and maybe a pneumatic wrench or just a larger concrete drill for the bolts. Then we will be adding blocking and headers/footers for the doors and windows, and framing out the roof.

Framed shed

I've been going back and forth on the height of the shed. Something about the proportion doesn't feel 100 percent right, but at the same time I want an 8-foot ceiling in the shed, and I don't want a larger footprint taken up (to improve the proportions). We'll see how it looks with the roof on, but I think that when it has more scaling features like doors and windows it will seem less overly tall.

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posted by ayse on 06/07/08


Why is it every project always requires an extra trip (or three) to the hardware store? I so miss the Mom & Pop place that used to be a block away. Now it's a bank.

The house looks great! Doors and windows will make it look a lot less imposing. A window box and shutters on the window will make it look like a cute cottage. I had some on my garage window, and first-time visitors would always ask, "Who lives there?"

In this case, it was really bad planning on our part; we usually get everything ready for the project on the Friday then can just work on Saturday, but this Friday we failed to do that so it was just running all over the place.

I was looking at the shed this morning and one thing I noticed was that the dinky metal shed we put in to hold the stuff that will go in this shed is so short that it's skewing my scale of the yard. That thing is 6 feet tall, so anything taller looks gargantuan, and just about everything is taller.

I agree that the window box and shutters look will help, too. I'm not so sure about shutters, but definitely a window box or two. And foundation plantings, and the roof. Also, the picture with Noel bending down just makes it look really, really tall for some reason.

Here's what the shutters looked like on my old garage. (I'd taken the window box down because I wasn't including it in the sale of the house. It's a wrought-iron one my mom had made in England.)

The chicken house might not be big enough for them, I agree.

Are the biddies not trying to fly away at all? Or are their wings clipped?

The girls do fly, but not much and not far. I didn't clip their wings; they are just more interested in the ground. They do use their wings to run faster, and they fly up to get in their chicken hutch rather than using the little walkway I made for them. But they don't just sort of fly around the way other types of birds do.

The shutters are very nice on that garage. I am just not sure they will work in our yard. I may try mocking it up in Photoshop when we have the siding on.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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