Your heart is set on keeping chickens. And you know you are going to need a chicken coop.
But if money and budget is a concern, you are likely naturally wondering whether it is cheaper to make or buy a chicken coop.
Besides, if you’ve spent any time thus far looking at pe-built chicken coops , you will have noticed that get pretty pricey. And quickly.
So today, I would love to walk you through the expected cost of either option, along with some other factors to consider along the way.
By the end, you should be a much better position to decide what is best for you, and your own personal context.
Is it cheaper to make or buy a chicken coop?
It is typically cheaper to make a chicken coop, so long as you opt for cost-effective materials, and assuming you do not make any significant mistakes or errors (preventing the need to re-buy or rebuild).
Of course, there is a huge variance in the price of either option (as we shall see in the next few sections).
You could opt for really expensive materials using the most expensive tools, which could make the cost of making a chicken coop even more expensive than buying one (especially if you went for a more affordable option).
Ultimately a lot has to do with context and the decisions you make along the way.
How much does a chicken coop cost to build?
Building a chicken coop can cost anywhere from $200-$1000 – depending on the size, materials and design. A basic coop for 4-6 chickens typically ranges from $200 to $400 whereas more complex or larger coops can escalate to $500 to $1,000 or more, not including potential labor costs if you’re not DIY-inclined.
As is the case with most projects, the answer can be quite nuanced.
The cost of building your own chicken coop depends on several factors, even the part of the country you’re in can play a part (believe me, prices for materials can vary widely)!
And remember, these costs assume that you’re doing all the work yourself.
If you’re not the handy type, or simply don’t have the time, you might need to factor in the cost of labor, which could significantly add to the budget.
How much does a chicken coop cost to Buy?
The cost to buy a chicken coop can range anywhere from $300 to $2000 or more. More elaborate or larger coops typically cost toward the upper part of that range.
When considering a pre-built chicken coop, several factors can add to the cost.
The material of the coop plays a significant role – hardwoods and treated lumbers are durable but pricier.
The complexity of the design can add to the cost too – more ornate or architecturally intricate coops are pricier.
Lastly, brand reputation and quality of craftsmanship can increase the price.
Factors To Consider: Build vs Buy?
Before deciding whether to build or buy your chicken coop, there are several factors you should take into account.
How Much Time Do You Have?
Building a coop requires time — for planning, sourcing materials, and the actual construction.
It could take several weekends to complete, depending on the complexity.
If you’re short on time, buying a pre-made coop can be a convenient choice.
Do You Have Any DIY Expertise?
Consider your comfort level with DIY projects. If you enjoy woodworking and have the necessary tools, building a coop can be a fulfilling project.
But if you’re not handy, assembling a pre-made coop might be a safer and less stressful option.
What Is Your Budget?
Building a coop could potentially save you money, especially if you already have some of the necessary tools and materials.
However, don’t forget to factor in the value of your time.
Pre-made coops might seem expensive, but they offer convenience and can save you a lot of time and potential construction blunders.
Do You Have Any Custom Requirements?
If you have specific requirements or wish for certain features that are not typically found in pre-made coops, building your own allows customization.
However, be prepared that these customizations may add to your costs.
With pre-made coops, what you see is typically what you get, so make sure it fits your needs before purchasing.
Are You Logical or Good at Following Plans?
Your aptitude for woodwork, or the ability to understand and execute woodworking plans is another factor to consider.
It demands a logical mindset and some degree of spatial reasoning.
If you find this kind of task enjoyable and manageable, then building a coop could be a rewarding endeavor.
However, if the idea of deciphering construction plans sends you into a sweat, opting for a pre-assembled coop or hiring help might be a wiser choice.
Nevertheless, it’s essential to follow practical, affordable and reputable plans.
If you are considering making your own coop from scratch, I would personally take a closer look at EasyCoops.
At the end of the day, the answer to whether it’s cheaper to build or buy a chicken coop lies with you.
It depends on your personal circumstances, preferences, and resources.
You’re the one who knows your time availability, budget, DIY skills, and the specific requirements for your flock.
Only you can measure the value of your time and the satisfaction you might derive from either option.
So, whether you decide to take the hammer in your own hands and build a custom coop, or prefer the convenience of a pre-built, ready-to-assemble one, know that it’s the right choice if it suits you best.
Remember, the goal here is to create a safe, comfortable home for your flock.
With some careful thought, understanding of your own capabilities and limitations, and keeping in mind your bird’s needs, you’re sure to make a decision that benefits both you and your chickens.
After all, this journey is about more than just costs.
It’s about the joy of chicken keeping, the delight of fresh eggs, and the satisfaction of seeing your flock thrive.
Want to proceed with building your own coop? The following plans will help you do so at a fraction of the price:
- The Best Chicken Coop Designs For 6 Chickens
- Best Chicken Coop Plans For 8 Chickens
- The Best Chicken Coop Plans For 10 Chickens
- The Best Chicken Coop Plans For 12 Chickens
- The Best Chicken Coop Plans For 15 Chickens
- The Best Chicken Coop Plans For 20 Chickens
- The Best Chicken Coop Plans For 30 Chickens
- The Best Chicken Coop Plans For 50 Chickens Anyone Can Use
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.