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Discussion Starter #1
All:

I'm looking at the possibility of building a larger loft, probably a 6' x 12'. It will be divided into 2, possibly 3 sections, around 25 birds total. For sure I'll have a breeder section, and a general population area... probably a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio for space, with separate aviarys. Something along the modified Redrose designs I've seen recently (very nice work, BTW:))

Questions:

I want a solid wood floor, due to the bitter winters in WI, and for security. What is the best plywood product and thickness? Emphasis on ability to be cleaned, and durability. Treated, or not?

I am not able to find anyone local who carries the "plytanium" siding material. I liked this due to the nicer looking exterior... I'm in a residential neighborhood, so looks matter. Any other products recommended?

On the sub-floor framing... 2 x 4" or 2 x 6"? At what spacing? Walls will be 2 x 4". Again, what spacing is recommended? What is the minimum you would recommend, as I am trying to balace cost...

I'd like to stick with the majority of materials from Lowe's, if possible. I have a family member working there, and get a bit of a discount... But, other outlets are fine if needed.

Thanks for any input.

Don
 

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I suggest 3/4 treated plywood it should last you for awhile that way for your sub flooring if you use a 2X4 treated it will help on the stability and why not go for 8' X 12' this will eliminate you from cutting too much and having too many wastage. Just a tought if you have the space then make it easier for you.
 

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All:

I'm looking at the possibility of building a larger loft, probably a 6' x 12'. It will be divided into 2, possibly 3 sections, around 25 birds total. For sure I'll have a breeder section, and a general population area... probably a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio for space, with separate aviarys. Something along the modified Redrose designs I've seen recently (very nice work, BTW:))

Questions:

I want a solid wood floor, due to the bitter winters in WI, and for security. What is the best plywood product and thickness? Emphasis on ability to be cleaned, and durability. Treated, or not?

I am not able to find anyone local who carries the "plytanium" siding material. I liked this due to the nicer looking exterior... I'm in a residential neighborhood, so looks matter. Any other products recommended?

On the sub-floor framing... 2 x 4" or 2 x 6"? At what spacing? Walls will be 2 x 4". Again, what spacing is recommended? What is the minimum you would recommend, as I am trying to balace cost...

I'd like to stick with the majority of materials from Lowe's, if possible. I have a family member working there, and get a bit of a discount... But, other outlets are fine if needed.

Thanks for any input.

Don
Floor - I would use 3/4 inch plywood or equivalent on 2X6 floor joists. Lowes has a 3/4 inch OSB board with tongue and groove edges made specifically for flooring. Plan on putting down vinyl flooring or using some type of sealant on the floor so you can wash it. Also you can insulate underneath to provide additional cold protection.

Siding - You can use OSB or regular plywood on the walls and put up siding for looks. When I turn my kids' playhouse into a loft, I'm going to put up cedar shakes on the walls. This will provide weather protection and will also make it look "Cape Cod" which works well as I live near the cape. A square of "seconds" cedar shakes is $18.94 at Lowes. I will need three bundles.

Wall/Floor Spacing - Go 16 inches on center. Although it's not a requirement for a building that size, it is the standard. Insulation comes in 14.5 inch widths to fit between studs/joists that are 16 inches on center. The additional cost to use 2X6s vs. 2X4s and going 16 inches instead of 24 inches is not that much. A building this size can be framed out in 2X3s instead of 2X4s if you want to save some money.

I want to address the costs of building a small loft. I was on the AU website looking at pigeon coops/lofts (http://www.pigeon.org/sclofts1_05.htm) and other places on the web, and was shocked at the costs that people were listing. One was presented as a cheap loft (4' by 6') for around $500. I built a playhouse for my kids two years ago that I will be converting into a loft this fall. It is 8' by 10' with a shed roof that is 7' at the highest point. My total cost of materials was under $200! I expect that I will spend another $150 to $200 converting it to a loft. That is a 8' X 10' loft for $400 or less. (Of course, I recycled a number of items I had around the house/yard. The roofing is from an EPDM roll that I had left over from putting in a fish pond. The window in the back was recycled from an old truck cap. The trim around the windows and door are recycled from some home remodeling we did a few years ago. The paint was a mis-tint from Wal-Mart for $6.00, and the trim paint was left over from painting our house. I added solar lighting to it for $15.00 when target was unloading their summer stock last fall.)

My playhouse, soon to be loft can be seen at this thread: http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f38/my-loft-coop-45875.html
 

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Well if you are wanting it to be as inexpensive as possible and still serve the purpose this is what I would do. The floor has to be 3/4" plywood, grade CD plywood is fine, scraping isn't hard. Use 2X4's to frame it as they are less expensive than 2X6's. Put them on 24" centers as opposed to 16" centers, you are building a pigeon loft not a house. It doesn't need to be insulated as long as there isn't a draft and its dry the birds will be happy. If you can't find the plytanium siding, then you can use 5/8" OSB or plywood for the walls and then just put siding over it for the looks. The walls don't need to be as thick as the floors, after all nobody will be standing on them. I would use treated lumber personally, but again its not a must if you are looking for cost efficiency.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all:

What's the concensus on paint for the floor/interior? Make it any easier to clean?

I'm intrigued by the linoleum idea...

Don
 

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I wouldn't bother with paint on the interior, just a pain in the neck.
 

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Thanks all:

What's the concensus on paint for the floor/interior? Make it any easier to clean?

I'm intrigued by the linoleum idea...

Don
In my kit box, I used an oil based, gloss paint on the floor, figuring it would keep anything from getting into the wood. For a larger area, go with the vinyl flooring. You can buy sheets of the stuff pretty cheap at Lowes, or even better - if there is a flooring company near you, ask them if they have remnants that you can purchase. Put it down with the "low odor" flooring adhesive.
 

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I wouldn't even bother putting paint on the floor, the acid from the dropping will only eat up whatever you put on the floor. As long as you scrape your floor on a regular basis then you don't need to put anything in it. I always follow what one of my friends told me and it does help a lot. "keep it simple and you will find that its a lot easier for you". Hope this help also visit my public profile and view my album you see some flooring there that might interest you. i used a fiber glass grating in my breeding loft and 3/4 #9 expanded metal in the young birds loft.
 

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I wouldn't even bother putting paint on the floor, the acid from the dropping will only eat up whatever you put on the floor. As long as you scrape your floor on a regular basis then you don't need to put anything in it. I always follow what one of my friends told me and it does help a lot. "keep it simple and you will find that its a lot easier for you". Hope this help also visit my public profile and view my album you see some flooring there that might interest you. i used a fiber glass grating in my breeding loft and 3/4 #9 expanded metal in the young birds loft.
I disagree with this post. If the acid droppings "eat" the paint, imagine what it will do to unprotected plywood or OSB. If the acid droppings eat the paint, you can put down another coat. If it eats the floor, you're incurring a much greater expense and a lot more work. Additionally, if you use a gloss or semi-gloss oil based enamel, or polyurethane, the acid level in pigeon poop will not "eat" it.
 

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The biggest reason I don't like paint/stains used on the inside of the loft is because of the delicate respiratory system that all birds have. I don't like the smell of it and I can only imagine what they think of it. Now, I have been in lofts that have used it and their birds didn't look any worse for the wear, but its just a personal choice that I made.
 

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The biggest reason I don't like paint/stains used on the inside of the loft is because of the delicate respiratory system that all birds have. I don't like the smell of it and I can only imagine what they think of it. Now, I have been in lofts that have used it and their birds didn't look any worse for the wear, but its just a personal choice that I made.
I agree that it can be obnoxious. That is one reason I prefer to use latex paint in my loft. However, an oil based paint, or polyurethane provides superior protection in a corrosive environment. My preference is to use vinyl roll flooring, but for very small spaces such as my kit box, polyurethane does a good job. If you let it air out for a few days, the odor (and therefore any VOCs) dissipates.
 

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I built my YB racing loft (8x8) using 2x4s on 2ft centers with 3/4 OSB as the flooring. I used 2x2s on 4ft centers with 7/16 OSB for the walls. I painted the walls but not the floor, that does help brighten thing up. The only thing I would change is the flooring. Use the CD plywood instead of the OSB. The OSB is a PAIN IN THE BUTT to scrape.:mad:
I wouldn't use pressure treated lumber. It can be caustic to animals with prolonged exposure and it's only needed when in contact with the ground. Pressure treated lumber still needs to be sealed (paint or water seal) to be "water proof". So why spend the extra money??
 

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I built my YB racing loft (8x8) using 2x4s on 2ft centers with 3/4 OSB as the flooring. I used 2x2s on 4ft centers with 7/16 OSB for the walls. I painted the walls but not the floor, that does help brighten thing up. The only thing I would change is the flooring. Use the CD plywood instead of the OSB. The OSB is a PAIN IN THE BUTT to scrape.:mad:
I wouldn't use pressure treated lumber. It can be caustic to animals with prolonged exposure and it's only needed when in contact with the ground. Pressure treated lumber still needs to be sealed (paint or water seal) to be "water proof". So why spend the extra money??
If it is in contact with the ground, it must be PT. Today's PT doesn't contain Arsenic any more, which is the material that is toxic to animals (and humans!) If you have untreated wood against or in the ground, you can expect it to start rotting within four years - maybe sooner. Then it will attract bugs such as ants and termites. You do not have to paint or water seal PT wood. I have unpainted PT fence posts that have been in the ground for eleven years. Recently, I had to replace two (hit by a car) and the bases that are buried in the ground showed no rot or insect damage. Of course, I did put them in gravel so they don't ever stand in water.
 

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My only point was that most folks think that PT lumber is waterproof and it's not. Pressure treating lumber is to prevent against insect and fungus rot, that's all. It's still filled with chemicals and I don't want anything that I expect a long and productive life from living in and on chemicals 24/7. There may be some type of pressure treating that will make it waterproof but it isn't the waterborne method that is used in most all residential lumber. I found this that I didn't know...The most common chemical used to treat lumber used to be chromated copper arsenate, or CCA. In 2003, however, the Environmental Protection Agency restricted the use of CCA in residential settings due to health and environmental concerns about arsenic leaching out of the wood. The most widely used alternative to CCA is alkaline copper quat, or ACQ. Copper is toxic to various insects and fungi that might cause decay. ACQ binds to wood fibers very well and allows wood to last decades even when it is in contact with the ground.
 

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All I can say is keep it simple whatever you use in your loft is your decision and you're the only one that will see it on a day to day basis and also will end up to be the one cleaning it. Anything you use will surely last awhile if it is properly protected from the environment. I think the best thing to do is visit a local pigeon flyers and see what kind of loft they have and adopt your design from what you think will work with your budget, time and health of your birds. The internet is also a good tool to research what would work for you. Good luck and I know whatever you decide will benefit your birds.
 

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My only point was that most folks think that PT lumber is waterproof and it's not. Pressure treating lumber is to prevent against insect and fungus rot, that's all. It's still filled with chemicals and I don't want anything that I expect a long and productive life from living in and on chemicals 24/7. There may be some type of pressure treating that will make it waterproof but it isn't the waterborne method that is used in most all residential lumber. I found this that I didn't know...The most common chemical used to treat lumber used to be chromated copper arsenate, or CCA. In 2003, however, the Environmental Protection Agency restricted the use of CCA in residential settings due to health and environmental concerns about arsenic leaching out of the wood. The most widely used alternative to CCA is alkaline copper quat, or ACQ. Copper is toxic to various insects and fungi that might cause decay. ACQ binds to wood fibers very well and allows wood to last decades even when it is in contact with the ground.
All true. Be careful while cutting PT wood. Inhaling the dust from cutting the wood can cause long term problems. The brand that is carried by Lowes is Preserve, which is Alkaline Copper Quat (ACQ). Make sure you use either hot-dipped galvanized fasteners or stainless steel screws with the PT, as the preservative can be corrosive to other metals.

Also, Matt Bell posted earlier that you don't need to insulate. I must disagree with that. Matt is from Dallas Texas, and may not have experienced winter as you are used to :D. I'm in New England, with winters that are nowhere near as severe as yours can be, and I am going to insulate my loft. It is cheap insurance.
 

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LOL, my birds survive the harsh Kansas winters just fine without insulation. The wild birds survive just fine without insulation. The only thing you really need to make it through the winter is a loft without drafts, and a small heater to put under the water so it won't freeze. Anything else is personal preference. Plus if you insulate it then you have to panel the inside or do something with the inside walls, which just adds more cost to the project.
 

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I am in full swing building my loft. I used pressure treated 3/4" plywood for my floor. Reason bieng it was free. I do not plan on insulating the inside. I have visited a few lofts here in maryland and none of them where insulated. I need to figure out a cheap siding though. i was going to use t-111 but it is a bit expensive at 30 dollars a sheet so now I am thinking I may just use another plywood and put furing strips every 12 inches to cover up the seems. do you all have any Ideas on cheap roofing?
 
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