Our coop {the building process}

Guess what I am FINALLY doing?! A coop tour this week! I was going to post the process pictures and the tour in one post, but it would be crazy long. So, today, are pictures of the process of building the coop.ย  In building the coop, I decided to go with plans instead of creating my own. I thought it might make the process go faster. It probably would have, until I decided we should double the plans. I purchased Heather Bullard’s Chez Poulet Coop Plans. We used the plans as our base, but ended up doubling the entire coop width and making it taller. The basic design is the same, but we didn’t end up following the plans regarding the details of construction and some of the building materials. I can’t begin to tell you what all we changed and we didn’t keep record of any measurements or changes….just did it as we went. So, I would recommend sticking with Heather’s plans and adjusting them according to your needs, if you needed any adjustments.

Left photo: the garden in March 2013

Right photo: we put in a concrete footing…lots of predators and strong winds around here



My dad and I built the coop together (we let Chris help with the roof!). I’ve been building things with my dad for as long as I can remember. Always so thankful he teaches me as we go.



My dad told me to pose like this…so if it bothers you or seems too dangerous – my dad told me to do it. Because he knew I would.


My oldest loves power tools too. He uses the scroll saw quiet a bit, but the big nail gun was a new adventure for him.


My dad made a custom weather vane. He first carved wood forms, then melted and hammered the metal into the forms. After he created all his pieces, he let me help a little with the welding. Turns out I really like welding…in a cardi and skinny jeans. Weirdo.


And then we added the weather vane….


Tomorrow I’ll post the tour of the semi-finished coop. It will probably never be ‘finished’ because I change stuff too much!


Disclaimer: I do not condone standing on a roof with a nail gun, welding in a cardigan or any other safety concerns/hazards I am sure someone will spot! So just don’t do those things…I am not teaching you how to build a coop, but sharing pictures from our process.ย  I do, however, condone enjoying time with your dad building something your whole family loves!

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  • Christi {Jealous Hands} - Love it – especially the weathervane. And love that you got to spend that precious time with your Dad! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Leila - Haha, nothing could be better than seeing you live dangerously! Your coop is beautiful.

  • Angela - I prefer to do all my welding while standing atop a roof, wearing nothing BUT a cardigan and holding a nail gun with my other hand. Just kidding- I’ve never welded anything in my life… ๐Ÿ™‚ But seriously… the coop looks great! I loved it and your garden too!

  • angireid - Wow!! that is a fantastic chicken coup! Ive never seen one that nice! Sure makes me want to get chickens even more!

  • Lynn - Love the coop and your sense of humor!!!!

  • kimberly oyler - girl, you’ve got some guns! and nice bangs. the coop looks so lovely i think i’d like to stay there.

  • Natalie, the Chickenblogger - You got sweet skills!
    Well done~

  • Celia - OK…. Would you believe me if I told you I dreamed about your house and coop last night? No idea why…. but you invited a bunch of us who post on your comments, out to visit. Needless to say, your house was beautiful…. and your coop was so big it was like a guest house!! HA I guess in reality, it’s a guesthouse for the chickens!! Seriously though, thanks for posting this. My husband was wanting to see the process of building it. He’s been trying to talk me into chickens for a few months now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lisa W. - Beautiful job! We’re looking into having backyard chickens ourselves, and are blessed to have a shed we will(hopefully) convert to a coop.

    Seeing you work with your Dad brings back memories of working with my Dad. He taught me so much, and I am so thankful to have many of his power tools. I think of him whenever I use them (which has been pretty often lately!)

    Anyway, great job, and thanks for sharing!

  • Monica - Ashley if your chickens could talk for sure they will tell you how beautiful and cute is their new house. ๐Ÿ™‚ . I love it! Have a wonderful day!Your Dad is amazing!

  • AshleyAnn - Angela! That was hilarious!!

  • Izzy - I was so excited when I saw the post title! I was really looking forward to this post! The coop looks lovely, and you made it! Wow!

  • Jillian - What a great looking coop! And your garden is to die for. Come build all this in my back yard?

  • Haley - The coop is so cute! and it looks like you had fun making it.

  • Tammy - That might be the most beautiful chicken coop I’ve ever seen! I wish I got to weld! Kudos! You are going to love having chickens.

  • Brandi - This is beautiful. We converted a stone outhouse (that matched our century old house) to a coop–which was sorta cute and easy enough, but it’s definitely red neck chicken livin’! My birds would be jealous! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • susie - Did your chickens eat your garden? I have heard they will eat it.

  • Jenna Lou - Your coop is amazing! And I just love that your dad helped you build it… what a great relationship you two obviously have.

    Someday I hope we can have a little big of land a raise chickens… it looks like such a great adventure.

  • Susan - Love the coop, love the pictures, and love that you have two men in your life that help/encourage/dare you to be all that you want to be!
    I love the photo of you on the roof. AA, the conquerer of coopdom!

  • noel@tibaultandtoad - Magazine-worthy! I wish I had some skilled builders in my family to rely on!

  • mrs d - your dad needs more children… ahem like me:) someone who would love this coup and will help build it. lol

    great job.

  • Gina - You guys did an amazing job!! Love it and the weathervane!

  • Kristin S - Best name ever for coop plans – Chez Poulet

    Crazy that you had to add that disclaimer. As I looked at pics, I was impressed by all your safety gear. Glasses, close toed shoes, face shields.

    I love that you are passing creativity and building on to the next generation!

  • Charly Smith - Is it bad that out of all your great pictures, I only noticed the Ted’s To Go bag. I live in Kansas, but every time we go to OKC or Tulsa, we have to eat at Ted’s! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • melanie - I soooo wish I had a father like your’s…

  • Amber - Awesome! I love that you worked on this with your dad! I just built a cabinet for our homeschool map materials with my dad. It was so much fun, we hadn’t done a project together like that in so long. All I had to do to get my dad to help me was show him the price of the store bought version, he said, “we can do that!” And he was right!

  • Martina - This is really super awesome! The weather vane alone would be amazing but the whole coop is beautiful. I’m looking forward to the tourโ€ฆthere better be a bunting in there. Your family seems truly wonderful, every generation!

  • brandy - Sad that you had to post that disclaimer! one has to have some seriously tough skin to be a blogger! I’m so glad you do it though.
    AWESOME chicken coop. Enjoy those eggs!

  • AshleyAnn - Martina – There WILL be bunting, but it isn’t finished! So funny you said that. Part of why I almost didn’t post the tour this week is because the bunting and Welcome sign isn’t finished!

  • Andrea - I love to build things too, with my dad and by myself:) In fact, my favorite class in high school was woodshop! The coop is beautiful, nicely done. I need to involve my son’s more in woodworking, thanks for the reminder.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - The vane!!! Love, love, love it! Your dad. Supercool.

  • Stoich91 - Boo on anyone who would dare to flack such a brilliant, witty and original chicken coop building technique!! We are more at danger from the crazy things we do every day, like living with toxins, eating Cheetos and driving in Baltimore traffic.

    Naysayers to fun!? Whoever heard of such a thing. Wield (weld?) your nail gun atop roofs on and prosper, my friend.

  • Jody - This is so special!!! I showed your coop to my dad a few months ago – he thought it was a beauty! He used to love to build & create – suffered a stroke over a year ago & has lost that drive to create. Just enjoy that papa of yours – I know you do. Cherish him. Thanks for sharing the process!! I gotta build one!!!!

  • simone - you go girl!!! enjoy yourself!!!

  • Amanda - I love your blog, love your post, love the coop, and loved the pic of you on the roof!! All you were missing was a cape, because you are surely Wonder Woman.

  • Julie - Love Dads that teach and spend time with their daughters!

  • AshleyAnn - Kristin – I didn’t post all the pictures of me in flip flops on the roof!!

  • AshleyAnn - Charly – I looked over these pictures about 3 times before I could ever find the Ted’s bag! You have good eyes!

  • a tour of our chicken coop » ashleyannphotography.com - […] I shared pictures of the process of building our coop. Today’s post is simply a photo tour of the coop. Like I mentioned […]

  • Amy @Fig Milkshakes - You guyth are tho COOL!

  • Valerie - I love that your dad builds stuff with you. That is awesome! I wish my Dad and I did that sort of thing. I’ve always worked for him, though, so that is something. Building might have been more fun for me though! Ha ha. Your coop turned out so nice. I’ve loved Heather Bullard’s coop. So pretty. Almost makes me want chickens.

  • Rosanna - Love all of the creativity!

  • Elizabeth Highsmith - SO much happy stuff!!! The diy room design looks so fun! Thank you, Ashley!

  • Jana - Thanks for sharing these great shopping sites!

  • Linda Torres - These pictures are great and so detailed. Love your site!

  • Joana - simply LOVE the “fresh eggs” sign! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Drew - Perfect timing! Chuck is starting to think about ours and I’m going to make him read this post so he can see how hard it is! My vote is to hire someone to do it ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Evette - Beautiful chicken coop! I love that your dad helped you and let you play with the power tools! I wish more dads let their daughters have a go! Very cool!

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