So did I mention that this chicken coop project was waaay more involved than I was planning for it to be? This is a common pattern in our marriage:
- I think of an idea that I believe to be pretty simple in scope.
- Tom agrees with the idea and starts working on the project.
- Tom expands the project to be even bigger, sturdier, and awesomer than I would have ever imagined.
- Project gets very complicated and creates other, smaller satellite projects.
- Project is eventually completed and feel a little bit guilty because whatever I ended up with is totally awesome and took weeks.
- (Except I don’t really feel guilty because I am SO EXCITED about the thing!)
Anyway. Point is, I just thought we should get a half-dozen hens and put them in a ramshackle lean-to. But this was not to be!
As sequences continued to unwind, we came across this one: foundation issues. I’m not going to lie, I actually don’t really know what was going on … something something about untreated wood against the ground… something something something. All I know is that it involved some digging, some treated lumber, and like a whole extra day of work. But it’s awesome now! 😀
So, I have an actual thing about windows: I want them EVERYWHERE. My little chicken coop has two of them, and I’m pretty stoked about that.
Meanwhile, back in the front of the barn – the chicken side of the barn is accessed by a sliding door that is very heavy and very awkward, and I wasn’t completely excited about having to lug it open and closed every time I needed in or out. However, Tom is not the sort of guy who will let the door just stand open for all the world to see what is going on in there (because everyone wants to snatch stuff out of your chicken coop, obviously). Our compromise occurred when Tom surprised me by building a super awesome door/gate thing.
Basically, it’s a half wall with a door to one side (another spare; thank you people who used to own this barn) and wire fencing above the half wall to keep out critters. The whole thing swings open so we can still put the lawn mower or whatever in there if we want to.
I cannot emphasize enough how awesome this thing has made my life. First off, it lets a really nice breeze blow straight through the barn. Secondly, I don’t have to mess with that sliding door. SO FABULOUS. I love it.
We also began marking out where the fence would go and digging postholes. This was another one of those instances where I am thinking minimally and Tom is thinking super sturdy. You’ll see after a while the ridiculous awesomeness of this fence.
So, remember earlier when I was saying that we were struck by how great it would be to have a window upstairs? We went to the local ReStore and found a pair of windows that fit between the joists. Pop framed out the one above the chicken area.
But wait, a pair of windows? I thought we were only putting in one?? (HA!)
I mean, if you’re going to put in one, you may as well put in a second for balance, even if it involves removing extra sheets of siding that had nothing to do with your original project… right??
After framing, the windows were reading for glass. We paid $40 for a pair of windows in good working order with screens. The ReStore is an awesome place for finding windows and doors.
Meanwhile, Tom’s posthole digging continued throughout the day. I worked on painting the fence posts. Tom really wanted them to be painted with an enamel paint. Enamel is great for exterior projects, as it holds up much better to being battered by the elements. However, it can be a hassle to work with, as the consistency is much tackier than water-based acrylic, which is now most commonly used. It also takes longer to dry (and wasn’t helped by some super humid weather). By the time Tom was ready to stick the posts in the ground, only three sides of each post had been painted. This did not deter him from putting them in the ground anyway.
Also, why is Tom using 4×4’s you may ask? STURDY.
Inside the barn, Tom used some more pallet wood to fill in a side wall (also backed with chicken wire for added protection from critters), as the barn is (surprise, surprise) not exactly square.
Tune in tomorrow for Part III. (Q. Will we ever get to the stage where we actually insert chickens??)