Coop Conversion, part 3

More unseasonably warm weather meant the shed-to-coop project got my time this weekend. My goal was to install hardware cloth on the exterior and lay-out the new floor.

20170123_coop03bI calculated the perimeter of the shed’s base and needed to determine the depth. The ground around the shed slopes, meaning one side is flush with the ground while its opposite is nearly 12″ above the ground. The same is true for the front versus the back. We purchased 2 rolls of 15′ x 30″,  1/4″ hardware cloth. Cutting it in 1/2 gave me 4 15′ lengths that were 18″ wide. I used my staple gun to tack them in place before finishing them off with fence staples.

20170123_coop03aA stone border adds a nice finishing touch the hardware cloth border. The hardware cloth is buried but the stones should help deter more inquisitive creatures. I’ll keep adding stones as I find them on the property.

BTW: The hardware cloth tip is something I learned from Lisa Steele’s blog (Fresh Eggs Daily) and book by the same name. She is my go-to source for all things chicken – if you are tempted to consider adding chickens to your home I highly recommend her as a resource.

Laying flooring is new for me, but having removed the old I had a good idea of how the project should go. I took measurements, worked out a floor plan using graph paper and my calculator app, and made a list of lumber needs. Plywood sheets are the obvious flooring need, and we opted for 4×8 panels instead of 4×4 – price and the possibility of some scrap word for the barn made it the best option. The employees at our local Lowes were incredibly helpful locating and loading our items – we even had a stranger helping us!

20170123_coop03cI thought installing garden fabric below the plywood would give yet another critter barrier and deter vining plants from damaging the plywood from below. Between stepping on it as I struggled to get the plywood to line up correctly, the cat playing with it, and the plywood snagging it…well, let’s just say it was a pain. Great in theory but impractical in practice.

20170123_coop03dI managed to manipulate 3 large sheets into the building and even install 2 by myself – it was hard work and I was grateful for my roommate’s help cutting and installing the remainder the next day. Most challenging? The shed is not sitting square on the foundation, thanks to a fallen tree several years back. I started work in the back right corner where I had the most exposed foundation wood and moved forward. In some areas the wood is layered so I could fasten to the studs. I used screws on the perimeter and key joints, nails in interior studs. The edges were slipped in the gap between the shed and the foundation, covering a nearly 4″ gap on two sides.

Next up? This week I plan to install the laid out boards, fill holes with caulk before covering the floor with scrap linoleum (another Fresh Eggs Daily tip to make cleaning easier), screw the shed onto the flooring, and add baseboard/edging to inside and out.

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