I put together some notes on my experience of building the coop, but forgot to post them. So here they are. These notes aren't necessarily limited to the "playhouse" coop (http://twitpic.com/1o6o1), but that's where I "learned" them:
- If you can, paint or stain or seal the wood before you build the coop. I did the sealer stuff after I built it and it was much harder/messier. So when I put on the trim, I remembered to paint it all first and it was so much easier.
- I wish I would have used more recycled items when building our coop. I spent about $350 - $400 on the coop because I just wanted to build it all "right now" and so I didn't take enough time to find the best deals on materials or search around for recycled items on "freecycle" or "craigslist" or the local scene. You can get paint really cheap at Home Depot/etc. in the "Oops" section where they put the paint mistakes, but you won't get to pick the color you want. I spent $130-ish on the roof, but you could do "corrugated" for less than half that price.
- The "playhouse" coop looks nice but it doesn't move easily. Making an "ark" type coop is better if you plan to move it more than about once a year or so. To move my coop, I'll probably need 4 people!
- The playhouse coop plans use some cedar boards "ripped down" -- But cedar is expensive and I don't have a table saw, so I used 2x3s from Home Depot that cost about a dollar or two each. It was much cheaper.
- Since I didn't use cedar, I needed to seal the wood. I use some ecofriendly stuff, but I hadn't used it before and it was messy.
- For power tools, I used a jigsaw, a circular saw, a miter saw, and a drill. I also used a hammer, some wire cutters (for the mesh), some tin snips (for the roofing), a level, some wood glue, and some other miscellaneous stuff.
- Use the appropriate size poultry staples. Do NOT get the big 1 inch staples because they'll split the wood if you're not careful, and they each take like 5 - 10 good whacks with the hammer to pound them in.
- Start earlier than necessary so that you don't have to rush to finish the coop in time for the birds to go live in it.
- The playhouse coop plans don't go into excruciating detail when it comes to the actual coop part itself, but the two videos on the net help. I ended up sort of "winging" it (see what I did there?).