The General Store – Rabbit Shelter
Framing for the Concrete Foundation
Here on Two Oaks Farmstead, we needed a new location to house all of our small livestock in one area and we figured that a new animal village would be a good option. Of course, we wanted it to be something pretty cool that would fit into the homestead environment that we have been creating.
It took a little discussion, but we came to a consensus on a design--a western town. Our own little Western Animal Village. The following is the ‘step-by-step’ that we went through in putting it together.
Step 1 – Building from the ground up
Out of all of our small livestock, we had a need to move our rabbits first, so that had to be job number 1. We knew that we wanted them to have a concrete foundation, but they were really the only ones that needed it. So, after coming up with the design, we constructed the forms that would hold the concrete. For our purposes, we decided to concrete our posts directly into the slab, so we dug the holes, marked where we need the posts and staked them off.
In getting ready for the concrete, we also backfilled around our frames and staked the whole thing off, as concrete can tend to push forms out of square. We also added some old roll fencing inside the forms to act as rebar. At this point, we were ready for the concrete truck.
Step 2 – Pouring the Foundation
Pouring the foundation was pretty simple…mostly because we’ve done a lot of it-especially my husband. We had our tools ready to go and just worked the concrete as it was poured in. Something to remember with concrete is that you start in one corner and work your way outward. It is important to go around your forms and tap the air bubbles out so that it settles as it is supposed to do. And of course, spreading and floating the concrete until it is smooth is one of the most important things!
Once we had our slab smoothed out, we took a family moment to press our handprints into it! In fact, we had a little extra concrete that we used to build another little slab for our beehive.
Step 3 – Framing the Structure
If you have ever followed anything that I do, you know that I love to use ‘repurposed materials’. And I can tell you that has not changed! We bought very little for this project, almost everything was from our ‘on-hand’ stacks of lumber and what-not.
We used pallets to fill in between the posts. We bought a few 4x4 posts for the front and we had to purchase a few 2x4s to fill in what we had. We used utility poles that we had left over for posts in the back. We used tin roofing from an old project and we used scrapped siding on the front.
The framing itself was very straight forward. We had the 4 posts on the corners and we ran boards around the top (leveled) and then ran boards (rafters) from front to back which gave us the roofline. We used one additional 2x4 across the center of the roof framing which gave our tin more support.
Step 4 – Roofing, Siding and Interior
We decided to finish off the exterior with an array of chicken wire, role fencing (for the window area) and rescued wood siding. The roofing only took a few pieces with one of us in front and one in back to get them in place.
My husband constructed a beautiful door and we built a little ramp and upper deck inside for the rabbits to play around on. It was really an incredibly easy build and works out terrifically for our needs.
Step 5 – Move in Day
Mason is the main caretaker of the rabbits and he took it upon himself to make their new home in the animal village as comfy and welcoming as possible. It took them a few minutes to check it out and warm up to it, but since that point, they have loved it!
The Next Step…
Don’t miss the next few posts because we will be covering all that went into finishing the build on the whole animal village! I believe you will be pleasantly surprised at how it has turned out.
The whole animal village is now 5 buildings long and with 1 more on the way, plus a few other details that we will be putting together. You don’t want to miss out!
Be sure to check out DIY Farm Projects – Awe-Inspiring Skills You Need to Love as well as our building section for more great related information about building on the homestead. Go ahead and subscribe here as well as the Two Oaks Farmstead Youtube Channel so that you never miss any of the terrific content! And if you happen to enjoy the more personal side of the simple life, be sure to check out A Life on the Farm.