5.27.2016

Duck House Project Build

In this post I will show you how I made a duck house (coop) out of reclaimed materials!

The duck house came into play when I realized they probably weren't best off with the chickens in their coop laying right under where they roost (poop)... plus they were making it so the 'deep litter' method was pretty much impossible.  The ducks love to be with the chickens like they were meant to be together but the chickens peck at the ducks and don't let them eat their food.

 This could EASILY be turned into a rabbit hutch by elevating it off the ground or a dog house by having a plywood floor.










This isn't going to be my regular step-by-step how-to post with cutting lists & diagrams since I used reclaimed materials - it will be more of a way to gather your own ideas and inspiration.

I knew I wanted something small, easy to make and to take advantage of materials I already had.  I looked around at what I had and that largely influence the overall shape/design.  The main piece was a large-old white door with a broken window pane - then I had a really heavy-long pallet, a few dog-ear fence pickets, a 2x6, an old plywood piece, many scraps of wood and used hardware clothe and metal roofing from the chicken coop build.  Much of this was outside by our shed making a mess of our yard or in the garage taking up space.  After completing the house I appreciated all the little scraps I saved from previous projects - it was awesome to just dig around and find what I needed.  The only items I had to buy was a set of hinges, 2 door clasps and an extra piece of metal roofing... then buy more screws to add to my supply for the next projects! :)

The power tools I used was my miter saw, circular saw (with Kreg rip cut jig), metal grinder for hardware cloth and roofing, nail gun, drill & impact driver.

 My first thought was to make a doorway out of the broken window pane - I took off the existing trip and added strips for the doorway.

 I cut the door in-half for the front & back.

 I cut down one side for the back so the roof would slope.  I cut the excess into strips so I could use it for other parts if needed.

 I cut up a 2x6 into strips for framing the sides.

Here's the pieces all laid out and partially screwed together.

 One side attached!

 I left the top angle for last so I could screw it into all pieces underneath.

 Staple hardware clothe on each angel for ventilation.  
 I knew I was going to make the bottom with hardware clothe since the ducks are really dirty and I wanted to make it easy to spray out with a hose if needed.  I also wanted it to be partially off the ground so the ducks weren't getting moisture from the soil (it's been really wet & rainy here in NC)!  I added these cross braces to attach the hardware clothe so it wouldn't sag.

I stapled hardware clothe down really well and used my awesome metal grinder to cut around the edges!

 I cut up a fence picket to the width of the cross-beams on the bottom...
 ... then nailed them over the hardware clothe.  The picket fence is treated and I wanted the treated wood sitting on the dirt ground.  I feel really good that the ducks will be off the ground at least 1/2-inch!

 Next I cut up this massive pallet so I could make the sides.  This was a lot of work!

 I cut the boards the right length, still giving me some room to add a trim piece along their ends to cover.  I used one of the 2x4's from the pallet and cut in half for the top of the sides which you see clamped.  I used long screws to attach these because they are like 'handles' for moving the house if needed.

 Once the sides were nailed I added a trim piece!


 And the final piece!

 I went back over and hammered in larger nails for sturdiness - but also for a rustic look.

 I added 2 more pieces in the front for extra eaves.

 I added a strip of wood on top for a brace to attach the roof to, especially where it would hinge open.

 This little trim piece came in handy to hide the bottom!

 I used my nailer so much for this project!

 Next I made a little door out of pallet wood and scraps!

 Attached with hinges...

 .. and added locking hardware.

 Now the roof!  I had to add an extra wood piece in front because my plywood was 1-1/4" too small.  I butted the plywood right up to the brace I attached previously.

I attached small trim boards on the other part of the roof that opens to add strength and also weight.

The hinges on top look like this and would be covered with the roofing.

 It took me a while to figure out how to make the roof hinge and be waterproof.  Luckily my scrap roofing was just the right size for the bottom section and I could see that it would hinge nicely with the bend on the end.  I screwed it on with gasket screws.

 My other piece overlapped like this.  I made sure as the rain would pass from one piece to the other it wouldn't get trapped anywhere underneath.

 Since my plywood wasn't very thick I made sure to screw over areas that were thicker.


 This is what it looks like when it hinges.

 Now to the little ramp.  I gathered supplies such as galvanized wire rope, wire stops, nails and nails.  I glued/hammered trim pieces over my plywood for traction.

 I drilled holes and attached the wire so it would be perfectly in the corners of the doorway and out of the way of it closing.




The last thing I did was attach a block on the roof trim so I could put a long bolt through to a wooden arm that swings down and holds the roof up - so handy!