DIY Pallet Wood Hen House Chicken Coop Part 4 - Assembly contnued and Finishings

Natural Finish - A piece of buddleia branch trimmed to make way for the Hen House is used to fashion its doorknob.

It's day three of the Assembly of the new Hen House. The chicks have spent their first night in their new home. It's bigger and roomier than their old one, never again will I design or make a hen house which doesn't have space for us to stand upright! I also found that putting a door in both back and front makes for ease of cleaning and is a good way of removing perches and keeping the house aired in hot weather. The house is sited on the far side of the garden and is in the angle of the back wall of a neighbouring longère and the North bocage (raised hedge). In the Winter it receives the sun quite early in the morning, when the rest of the garden is in the shadow of the house, which runs the entire length of the garden, some 50 metres (164 feet). It's  a regular suntrap in the Summer, which is why the fig tree does so well there and the hens, sybarites through and through, love it.


Breakfast in front of the New Hen House.  

Raising the Roof

We start the day by putting the gable ends in place. These are temporarily held in position with diagonal supports to the walls, which will be removed once the ridge purlin is in place.


Using a straight edge ensures that the wall and gable end are in line so that the ridge purlin brace may be fitted.

The House is now beginning to take shape with both the gable ends in place. We are now ready to fit the ridge purlin.   

The ridge purlin is measured and cut to length once the gable ends are in place.  

The ridge purlin is screwed to the inside face of the gable end apex. Screw holes are drilled through the gable end frame prior to fitting the purlin in place.

Once the purlin is in place, the braces can be fitted to each end of the Hen House. These braces are designed to take the roof load off the screws securing the purlin to the gable end. The roof load is thus borne by the side walls and floor. 

Once the ridge purlin and brace have been screwed together, the temporary diagonal supports may be removed.


Furring strips are now fitted to the ridge purlin. 

The roof is now ready for the panels to be fitted.

The panels are screwed to the walls and gable ends from the inside and from the outside to attach the ridge purlin.

The most expensive part of the Hen House, a good quality tarpaulin, can now  be fitted.

The surplus material is trimmed off and battens cut from pallet wood are used to fix the tarpaulin to the underside of the roof panels.

The open sides of the pallet base are sealed with planking, nailed to the wooden blocks.

The decoration with découpage is made from paper napkins.

The building inspector calls to assess the job. He's a white-laced buff crested and bearded Polish, one of three brothers who are joint heads of this house.

If you want to see our Polish chickens in action:

There is another post here, which shows how I used butt joints to construct the roof panels of pallet wood too. This makes the house even cheaper for those of you who don't have left-over or recuperated tongue & groove cladding.

Thanks for dropping by and please feel free to share this article, comment, ask questions and if you'd like to be assured of getting the next post, then sign up to follow this blog.

All the best, Andy

© Andy Colley 2014


  1. the various red mite agents are taken into account. Also if looked after, a plastic house may last as long if not longer, Chicken houses than a quality wooden house.

    1. There is no problem with red mite in wooden houses and if you ever do get a build up of them then, here is how we deal with them, easily and without chemicals: All the best and thanks for dropping by, Andy

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