Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fancy Cottage Chicken Coop

This custom chicken coop was  fun to build.  The customer wanted a chicken coop that looked really nice, like a kid's playhouse. 
Fancy Cottage Chicken Coop
 They wanted something their neighbors would not complain about.  Chicken coops are notorious for looking run-down and dirty, aren't they?  So we decided to build one that dispells the myth that chicken coops have to look grungy.  We patterned it after our Cottage Playhouse: 
Cottage Playhouse

Chicken Run

Chicken Door

Our Fancy Cottage Chicken Coop turned out down right classy!  I love the wood shake shingles on the roof and the hand carved trim around the door and windows.  It has a cement floor which can be easily cleaned and a cute little door for the chickens leading out to the enclosed welded wire mesh chicken run.  Check this out:  We even buried the wire mesh 18" underground, curved outwards.  Why?  To surprise any enterprising dogs who try to dig under the coop...Ha!  I'd love to see the looks on their faces when they hit that chicken wire! 

Decorative Carvings

Shuttered Window

On the side there is a large window with a shutter that has decorative carvings on it.  Inside there is a wire screen covering the window which can also be lifted out of the way if needed. 

Cupboard, Roost, Happy Chickens

Nesting Box, Chicken Feeder

And of course we built nesting boxes (the top lifts up!), a sturdy chicken roost, a chicken feeder and a large cupboard on the inside.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to School Tips

Fall means study time
Oh, back to school. It means many things to many of families. Whether your kids are headed back to public school, or you're starting another year of homeschool, or if you're facing an empty nest and sending kids to college, fall is a time when family's usually hit the books in earnest. This can mean precious moments watching your children finally understand various principles and a lot of aggravating times chasing your kids around nagging them to study.

In honor of this universal family experience, I thought I would share a few tips we've used to make school work more productive and less stressful for everyone.

Make time for play. I've written before about how the decline of unstructured play has contributed to ADHD and behavioral problems, but this is where the rubber meets the road. It's easy to over program our families, shuttling from soccer to karate to dance, but just like those things are important, so is the chance for kids to be kids. Make sure that after homework, lessons, and chores, there is time each week for kids to let their imaginations roam and their bodies be active. Of course, we think one of our playhouses is the best for this, but just turning kids loose in the yard is a great start.

Create a special place for homework. It's so easy to be distracted by younger siblings, video games, and TV shows, so help your children focus and create a place where they can go to do their school work. Help them stay on task with necessary supplies: pens, pencils, erasers and if you have the space, you can even let them set up a small desk/chair. Show them that their studying is important. We can even help you build fanciful and playful furniture to create a place any child would look forward to hanging out in.

You are your kids most important teacher. Regardless of where your children go to school, moms and dads are children's first and most vital teacher. Measuring the ingredients for dinner can become an exercise in addition and subtraction. Weeding the garden can be a great discussion about Earth Science. Open your mind to the educational possibilities surrounding you.

Here's to a successful and happy 2010/2011 school year!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Brown's House: 40% off for Christmas Pre-Orders

The Brown's House
Fancy Builder is located in beautiful Payson, Utah a growing rural community in southern Utah County. Each Labor Day weekend, our community gathers for Golden Onion Days. This civic celebration includes a fantastic parade, a carnival, a vendor area, and lots of fun. This year our family not only got to enjoy the festivities, but show off one of our newest playhouses in the parade!
Fancy Builder's entry in the Golden Onion Days parade
The reason we were so excited to share this new playhouse design at Golden Onion Days (we call it The Brown's House), is that we developed it at the regular price of $3,500 but have decided to offer it to our friends and customers at over 40 percent off..... just $1,999!  This special Christmas price is available for a limited time. To receive this discount, your order must be placed by Saturday October 30, 2010.

You're probably thinking, "Well, that must be a just the beginnings of a cute playhouse." No way! This price includes:
Working peephole in the front door
  • A footprint that is 7' wide x 10' deep (including the 2' front porch) and it is 11' tall.  A really nice, extra large playhouse.
  • Features hand carved trim around the doors and windows and decorative hinges and latches.  
  • Includes a darling heart shaped sliding peep hole in the door. 
  • A loft inside. 
  • The floor is sanded pine wood planks treated with Thompson's Water Sealant. 
  • An entryway door and three windows of your choice of style (either opening shutters or plexiglass) 
  • Your choice of colors for the main house and two accent colors. This is in addition to the white trim color. 
  • Roof made of quality, durable corrugated PVC.
  • Porch made of white vinyl, which is wonderfully low-maintenance. 
  • Includes delivery and set-up anywhere in Utah.
  • Extra windows can be added for $65 each. An extra door is $85. 
Get started on your Fancy Builder playhouse. Email us at  or give us a call at (801) 592-1153. We would love to help your family's Christmas wishes come true!