Building An Earthship In Darfield, B.C.

We are a family of five living in Darfield, BC.
Our house is six hundred square feet in total and we are feeling cramped.

We have decided to build an earthship!

So starts the adventure ...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Which came first, the coop or the house?

Today being the first day this week we have not been running around collecting tires or driving our children to Battle of the Book competitions (Katie's team placed first in zones; yay!), we worked on the chicken coop all day!

Why the coop and not the house? The chicks are taking up our shop floor. They stink and they are not so cute anymore. We often find one or two of the layers perched on their brooder wall beaking off (hey, a joke) at their neighbours the Cornish Giants, on the other side.

We think for practical purposes we will license the truck this summer and the truck needs some break work and the shop is our chosen spot to curse and swear at the vehicles. It has a big roll down door so we can swear very loudly (and play music) without the kids hearing us.

So the coop is becoming important.

For the last several days all of us have been working on it. We moved it into place next to our sheep barn and Chris and Stephen framed one wall. We are going to have an entrance area with shelves. This wall will be insulated and we have sided the outer side with #2 log siding that was laying around.

Here's the first part of the framed wall.

The framed wall with door. Yes, it looks a bit rough. I have some dark stain to treat it with

Cutting the chicken door. Hit a blue ox screw. Ouch.

Cutting out the window opening. Much easier to allow for a window when the building is going up. Such is the life of retrofitting. Chris is using our small electric chainsaw. Although we don't use chainsaws very much on our machined log buildings, we have always had a good gas chainsaw. In 2003 when the wildfires came through our valley we purchased the electric one to minimize the danger of fires from the gas machine. The electric chainsaw is a bit more responsive in small places.

Here's the chainsaw coming out the other side. That would be alarming if you weren't expecting it!

Chris finally got ticked off with the little electric Stihl chainsaw and brought out the Husquvarna. The white dots are sawdust specs flying at the camera. The hole wasn't as smooth, but it finally got done.

Here's the hole for the window. Still one more round to remove; it was being held by blue ox screws and we had to take the bolt cutters to them.

Here's the window installed in the back wall of the chicken coop. It's pretty fancy. It's made out of clear douglas fir wood and is gridded and screened. It was one of many windows we used to sell in our packages. This one suffered water damage a few years ago and because we had always been so busy, it wasn't worth our time to fix it. Now we had the time. It's still not in good enough shape to put in a house, yet it's takes the coop "uptown". Chris has since put on trim, which I will take off soon and paint barn red to match the tin of our sheep barn. We still have to put red tin on the coop.

We insulated the ceiling inside with 2" rigid insulation. We still need to finish siding the inside of the framed wall and build the enclosure out of the stucco wire we bought today. All in all we spent $210 on the coop (roof insulation and stucco wire). The remaining materials we had on hand from our house renovation project 18 months ago. Tomorrow we will finish these jobs and move the chickens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lucky chickens! That's a spiffy-looking coop.

And, of course, the chainsaw pictures give me great glee!