Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cost of Materials

I have been receiving email reports from around the Us from you the builders updating me on the availability and price of the materials for the Playhouse Coop. It seems that prices vary from region to region, making it impossible for me to estimate your costs.

Here in the Midwest, I used materials in my design that were affordable. IN your region, you may need to make some alterations in order to keep the coop in the affordable price range.

The metal standing seam roofing materials seems to be the most problematic. First, check out ABC Supply for a dealer nearest you. They will let you know the cost and if they will sell pre-cut sections. Also, consider not using the fancy color matched screws they offer and head to the local hardware store. A rubber grommet and screw can be purchased there for less. You will need to paint the heads if you want them to match the roofing color.

The big box lumber stores offer roofing options for a lower price. Corrugated rubberized materials can be purchased there.

The framing lumber I use is 5/4" cedar decking. 5/4" is really 1" thick but it is not a "one by six" rather a "5/4 by six deck board". I know it is confusing but that is the way the lumber is sized and I needed to be technical so you will be able to tell the lumber yard what you really want. The deck board measures 1" thick by 5 1/2" wide.

If the cedar is pricey in your area, consider using spruce, pine or fir (SPF). These are the standard 2 x 4s or 2 x 3s sold at the lumber yards or chain big bix stores. This wood will hold up for many years if treated and kept away from contact with the dirt. Consider using a rot resistant wood for the base only.

Wire prices also vary. While there are animals that have been known to tear through the traditional hexagonal chicken wire, it may by a suitable option if the price/risk ratio is right. In other words, if it is costing an arm and half a leg to buy the 100' roll of 1" galvanized wire for the covering, consider the risks and use the more available and less expensive poultry cloth or chicken wire. You may need to add a couple of extra vertical studs to have a seam where you can attach the wire. This still might save some money. I contacted online the Mazel company to find a dealer locally. Here in the farm Midwest, these supplies are available at a lower cost than other regions.

Finally, the wire on the bottom may not be necessary either. If it means purchasing an extra roll of wire and having the rest sit in your garage, then perhaps there are less expensive ways to secure the coop from digging predators. Use your judgment and your imagination. Some have burried a 12" wide fence around the perimeter of the coop to discourage diggers.

Please keep me posted on what you find for materials in your area. I will post your findings in an attempt to keep others updatedPublish Post on what to expect.

Best of Building Success!!

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