Yesterday I rambled a bit about how we picked the old building to remodel into our chicken coop. We also started building the run but the ground froze before we could get all the posts set. Ah the joys of a Wisconsin winter! Since we couldn’t work on the run any more, we moved on to the building itself. I’m a list/classify kinda gal so I like to think of the work in phases.
Recycled Chicken Coop Phase 1: Destroy
Recycled Chicken Coop Phase 2: Rebuild
Recycled Chicken Coop Phase 3: Details
So we jumped right in with Phase 1. We slipped on some face masks and gloves, grabbed the snow shovel and started cleaning up the raccoon poop and broken pots. We also removed the two old broken windows. The third window was in good shape so we left it. (And by “we” I mainly mean Josh. I forget where I was, but I’m sure it was very important to miss such a fun time.) I arrived on the scene just in time to take a photo. (Hmm, maybe I was out buying a camera since this is now in the ANC time period: After New Camera.)
Once we got it all relatively nice and clean, we made a huge mess by ripping the cardboard wall coverings down. It was pretty yucky because the board had gotten wet and was a little soggy and gooey.
Next we pulled down all the old siding on two walls of the building. Most of it was rotten and in pretty rough shape. We even removed the door because of the raccoon pet door (AKA: huge hole) in the bottom.
And with that, Phase 1: Destroy! was completed.
Now we move on to Phase 2: Rebuild. We scored two big storm windows off Craigslist for $10 each so Josh built frames for them. Here we are testing the first one to make sure it fits. Being newbies at this sort of thing, it’s always hit or miss. Sometimes we amaze ourselves and sometimes, well, it ain’t pretty. So we held our breath and fit it into place.
Success! Sometimes we can read a tape measure! (And in case you are wondering, yes it is on backwards. My dad pointed that out as soon as I showed him this photo. I’d like to say that we knew that but, um, we didn’t. We thought it wouldn’t matter but for drainage purposes you shouldn’t just turn them inside out. Live and learn, right?)
So we removed the test window and then covered the two bare sides with tar paper that is normally used for roofing. Now, I’m not sure if that is exactly what we should have used (again, newbies!) but I got it from someone on Freecycle for FREE so that’s what we went with. (I also got a few bundles of shingles with the paper. We need to re-shingle another building here on the homestead. Gotta love Freecycle! If you don’t know about it, check it out here.)
After cutting out the windows and door areas from the black paper, we went shopping on the homestead again, this time for siding. Now, our lives would have been easier if we just went to a real store and bought something new. But in the interest of money-saving and world-saving, we wanted to use whatever we could from the farm. We had two buildings to work with. First was the old chicken coop and the second was an old building behind the barn. A previous owner had already removed the siding from one wall of building so we figured we could too.
I don’t know how we would have done it without our little nail puller. Even though it took us a long time, it was worth it. Not only did I save some money, but I am glad that these buildings were able to still be useful. Both the old chicken coop and the building in the photos were part of the original homestead over 100 years ago. They have the remains of plaster and molding in them. You can see where stairs and woodstoves once sat. It’s easy to imagine a child climbing the stairs to their bed in the loft or a woman cooking over the big stove in the center of the room. Since their glory days, they have been used as houses for chickens, hogs and lambs. That kind of rough life has taken it’s toll on the buildings.
It makes me sad that they have gotten so rundown so I’m glad that we can make them useful again, even if it is only in a very small way.
The next two weekends were spent taking down siding from the old buildings, cutting them for the new coop and putting them up.
We had to work around the snowstorms but we finally got it done! Once we permanently installed the windows, it looked like a REAL building! Imagine that. We were pretty proud of ourselves since we really had no clue what we were doing.
That concludes Phase 2: Rebuild! (If only it were that simple and quick in real life.) And since you’re probably on photo overload, I’d better conclude this post for today. But I’ll be back tomorrow with Phase 3: Details. See you then!