Building A Salvage Chicken-Hilton – One Man Band

Follow-up construction details:

I’ve mentioned and shown pics of the chicken-house built from discarded shower doors, etc., several times here.

“A chicken-house fabricated entirely from salvage, discarded shower doors, camper shell roof, refrigerator shelves, whatever came to hand free”

White Trash Repairs: Throwing Down the Gauntlet

From the ground:

I said when I made the post I’d be talking more about it, but way led onto way and I never got around to doing it. 

This was a one-man-band project.  The footprint of that structure has about an inch-or-less of topsoil over hardpan caliche or limestone.  Digging holes for the uprights wasn’t something I wanted to contemplate.

I knew I wanted the pickup camper as a roof, the shower-doors as part of the walls, wanted uprights with lateral stability without digging into limestone.  But otherwise it was plan-as-you go, driven partly by material availability.

Those lower walls are two sides of a huge packing crate I picked up for $5 from a guy in Kerrville.  Bought 30# of large lag-screws [$1.00 per pound] from Habitat for Humanity Recycling Store for the project because I anticipated difficulties in the lateral stability department.  The shower doors were free.  The 4x4s were from the same guy who sold me the packing crate.

I used the crate-sides to get three of the uprights generally in place by bolting them together.  Trust me when I tell you this ought to be a 2-man job.  I fudged on a lot of things by not paying a lot of attention to right-angles because I couldn’t be two places at once and knew I wasn’t going to live forever.

I took about a week building it, but probably it could have been done in a day with two people working.

As you can see I trenched below the lower walls and dug to bedrock, only an inch or two, to level the lower walls and provide a base for the corner posts.

Before putting the camper shell on top I built an interior frame and stabilized it with a steel bed frame salvaged from a junk pile:

Once that was in place I ran the front bumper of the truck up against it from whatever angles I could get to it, hooked a chain to the uprights from other angles pushing and pulling it with the truck to test the lateral strength.  We get some high winds and I didn’t want it coming down, even if the additional strength the camper shell structure would add became fractured.

I constructed a lean-to ramp using 4 2x12s and positioned the camper shell diagonally on it, skidded it up with a come-along until I had it in place, then bolted it to the top frame.  As I was finishing, Gale dropped down to see how I was doing and helped a lot during the final positioning of the shell.

The camper shell was missing the door, so for ventilation I used salvaged refrigerator shelving.  It keeps the predators out but allows a good breeze.  But to keep out the water I added the additional planks at an angle sloping away from the roof runoff.

Other than that there wasn’t much to it.

Old Jules

Three Dog Night– One Man Band

10 responses to “Building A Salvage Chicken-Hilton – One Man Band

  1. Any chicken would be proud to live in those diggs! 😉

    • Hi Guttermutt: Thanks for coming by. If I didn’t have chickens I’d personally be proud to live in it. Even with them sleeping downstairs I’ve considered using that attic [bedsprings and frame] to sleep in when it’s storming. Thanks for the visit. Gracias, Jules

  2. Wow! This is so creative! I am impressed.

  3. Impressive engineering, and execution seems pretty good, too.

    That music selection never saw much air time where I grew up, so it was a new one on me.

  4. That just goes to prove – without a homeowners’ association and ‘pretty’ building codes mandated in the country – a person can be as creative and functional as they want or need to be! I love it! Have you ever noticed barns outlast most other structures!

    • Morning June. Thanks for coming by for a visit. Yeah, if I had anyone living near enough to see or coming by close enough to do much looking around they’d likely have a case of the offended eye syndrome. And when it comes time I think I might be coming along toward croaking I’ll put some energy into taking it down so’s it won’t be left for someone else to be concerned about. If the chips fall in the direction of me needing to build a house on a trailer from scratch I might bring it down to use some of the material for my next dwelling. Gracias, Jules

  5. Those chickens are living the high life! What a great idea to build a shelter out of scrap!

    • rubyandwheaky: Thanks for the visit. Yep, thus far it’s protected them from the predators and weather. They’re happy birds. As for the scrap, I needed a henhouse and scrap was what I could get. Gracias, Jules

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