What The Best Hen House DIY Guides Provide

Chickens need a comfortable, healthy and well-planned living area. Given this, they will thrive and provide plenty of fresh eggs or meat. Many poultry owners who decide to make their own chicken coops want to know what the best hen house DIY guides provide, to help them build the perfect environment for their hens.

Apart from providing the best chicken coop design for every situation, a good guide should also be a source of expert advice, practical tips and instructions in selecting, housing and keeping hens.

The main requirement is to have a well-planned coop and poultry run ready for the arrival of your hens. This living area should be easy to clean and maintain, safe from predators and healthy for the chickens. The guide should cover all this in detail that is comprehensive and easy to understand.

Looking at each of these aspects more closely, let’s start with the design. Hens need a comfortable, clean and safe environment. The coop and run have to be large enough for the planned number of hens but not too large – chickens are social animals and like to be reasonably close together. The guide needs to show clearly how to achieve this balance.

Hens like to be clean and well fed. The coop must be easy to clean out and have watering and feeding points that are simple to access for both hens and keepers. Don’t forget the nesting boxes for collecting the eggs – they need to be readily accessible without disturbing the hens too much.

Safety from predators is, of course, a prerequisite of any good coop and pen. Foxes, rodents, birds of prey – they all must be kept at bay from your precious chickens. The best chicken coop guides show how to do this properly and efficiently. They include guidance on siting and positioning the hen coop and run correctly, providing adequate light and ventilation for the birds, what building materials to use, how to make low-cost nesting boxes, even what varieties of hens to select for your particular requirements.

Choosing the right hens is a whole subject in itself but is covered by the good DIY guides. There will be advice on proper feeds and feeding as well as all the husbandry tasks that need to be carried out weekly, monthly and half-yearly.

The assembly plans themselves should be a good mixture of diagrams and drawings, showing the assembly in a simple step-by-step process so that nothing gets overlooked. They must include comprehensive materials lists and all the tools required. Nothing is more annoying than getting to a critical stage of assembly, only to find that you are missing a vital part or piece of timber.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the best chicken coop design layouts will show how to customize the plans to meet your specific requirements. You do not have to accept a standard design that is not suitable for your chosen site, which is the main reason for avoiding ready-made coops in the first place. Building your own hen house and pen using fully adaptable plans is the way to go.

5 Helpful Tips for DIY House Painting

1. You have to get the right advice
If you have already decided that you’ll do the house painting by yourself rather than hiring a painting company to do it, you should get the right advice from the professionals at your local paint house. Most local paint houses give free advice. They give honest and professional advices that can help you in painting your house. If you want to save money, check all the local paint shops and hardware stores about the prices of the paints and equipment that you need. It may be time consuming but this will help you in getting the materials you want that is within your specified budget. There are a lot of local paint houses that have an interior designer that can help their customer on the choice of color and color matching. Take advantage of their services as it will greatly affect the result.

2. Don’t opt for the cheapest painting equipment
If you’re going to paint your house all by yourself, you should buy decent equipment. Painting equipment is available in various quality and prices. It is better that you avoid buying the cheapest equipment available. Even though you can save a few dollars, you are sacrificing a good finish for your painting project.

3. Surface preparation
Remove all the furniture and other movable items from the room and cover them with drop cloth. It is advisable to have adequate lighting. It will allow a good view of painting imperfections. You should remove switch plates. Also, remove dust and wash the area that you want to paint. You should also ask a professional house painter on what equipment that should be used in doing the surface preparation.

4. Decide whether you use water or oil paints
This would really be an issue if you want to do the painting all by yourself. It is better that you should know the pros and cons between them. Water based paints are clean and easy to apply. If you make a mistake or spill some paint, you can simply wipe them with a damp cloth. It is also easy to clean the painting equipment when using water based paints. If you want a more durable and usually have a better finish, you should go use oil based paints although it is harder to clean and hard to apply. It would be a good idea if you use a combination of both.

5. Is it better to paint it myself or hire professional painters?
The decision is yours. Weigh things thoroughly as your house is a good asset. You can save a lot of money if you opt for DIY house painting. But if there is a big renovation, it is a no brainer that you’ll have to hire professional painters.

A DIY Home Inspection Checklist

A DIY House Inspection

If you own your home or buying a home here is what is required for a DIY house inspection. If the home is yours this will help you to know what to correct and could save you a lot of money in the future. And if you are buying a home this could help you spot situations that could be problems.

What you need for a DIY house inspection.

  • Print this checklist
  • Gloves and binoculars
  • You will need a flashlight, flathead and Phillips-head screwdrivers

Start out side and check these locations

  • Check your roof’s shingles: Use binoculars to check shingles for curling, or other signs of wear.
  • Look at the gutters to see if they are clogged. Clogged gutters will cause water damage in other locations of the home.
  • Check gaps around doors and windows uneven spacing could be caused from bad installation or shifting of the foundation and you may require an expert.
  • Cracked caulk around the doors and windows could be letting moisture into the house.
  • Peeling paint on siding could be from water getting behind it and making it peel.
  • Too many plants and shrubs crowding your house will cause mildew to grow on the siding and give insects a pathway into your house.
  • Is the ground water running towards your house or away from it? Check the grade around the whole house.

Inside the house

  • Go in the attic and look at the structure to see if anybody notched out the trusses to make more head room. Trusses are engineered to work as originally designed and should not be altered.
  • Look for water damage around chimneys, plumbing stacks, vents and skylights. You will be able to see discoloration and stains if the water got into the attic.
  • Look at the insulation and see if it is thick enough and still fluffy and there is ventilation from the soffit area, and a ridge vent.
  • Are the pull-down stairs insulated?
  • Do the toilets wobble? If they do they will need new wax rings and there could be water damage to the floor.
  • Dryer vented properly and not into an enclosed part of the house, attic, crawl space.
  • Test the GFI receptacles in the bathroom and kitchen to make sure they work.
  • Check under all sinks for leaking pipes and drains.
  • Check interior doors to see if they close properly and the house did not shift.
  • Are there stains on the ceilings from water damage.
  • If there are tiles check the grout, if it is missing in a wet location you will have water damage behind the tile.
  • Give stair railings a good tug. You don’t want to be surprised later when you need them.

In The Basement

  • Use your screwdriver to poke at the joist to see if they are sound, especially if you notice the floors are sagging.
  • Are the floor joist full of improperly placed holes? Here are some general rules: No holes or notches in the top or bottom flanges of an I-joist. Big holes could be okay in the center, but not the ends, of the framing. Drilled holes must be at least 2 in. from top or bottom and no greater than one-third the depth of an I-joist. Notches in a conventional lumber joist should not exceed one-sixth of its depth or penetrate the center third of the joist span.
  • Look for termite tubes these will look like pencil-thick tubes snaking along joists and could be trouble. Call an exterminator to see if there is a problem.
  • If the water heater makes noise it may be soon time for a replacement, see if there is a date on it and if it is over 5 years old it may or may not give you a couple more years.
  • Check the pipes in the basement and look for any signs of leaks.
  • Look at the wiring and there shouldn’t be any splices in view. All splices will be in a box if properly done. Any questionable electrical work should be checked out by an electrician.
  • Check the foundation for hairline cracks. Cracks in a block or poured concrete foundation are nothing to panic about. Watch for cracks that are both horizontal and vertical, call a pro if you have these.