This spring has been busier than we expected, so while we originally planned to custom build a coop we ultimately decided to order one. Planning for chickens while living in an HOA has been a little tricky due to size restrictions, but I also know that we're lucky our HOA allows chickens at all!
We ended up ordering this coop from CCOnly.com:
By our calculations, our 3 girls should be fine in here, especially since we plan to get a portable run to use when we are outside with them. One of the things I like about this coop is that if we do end up deciding they need a larger run, we can add on an extension relatively easily.
Of course, since we back up to open space and we have seen coyotes, foxes, and hawks frequently, we will be predator-proofing. Our plan for that involves digging down and out about a foot, laying 1/4" hardware cloth (to prevent anything from digging up into the run, like rats, voles, etc), then building up a foundation of CMU blocks with hardware cloth along the sides. Then the coop base will sit on the CMUs, with the hardware cloth from the foundation coming up and connecting to the hardware cloth on the sides of the run. The trench will be filled back in, and I'm considering laying pavers along at least one side so that there's a solid place to stand in the winter when the yard can get muddy from snow melt. We also got solar powered predator deterrents that use little red lights to mimic eyes. I'll write more about those once we install them and I know if I like them or not!
The coop also must be painted to match the house (one of our HOA rules). The body of the coop will be the same gray-blue as our house, and the trim plus the framing around the run will be off-white.
So, that's the chicken coop plan right now. It's been a constantly evolving plan, since we originally planned to custom design, then the coop we originally planned to purchase from CCOnly went out of stock while we waited to get HOA approval, and now we're waiting for a weekend with no snow on the ground so that we can get the process started! I'm looking forward to learning from the whole process, and giving our little chickens a nice home in our backyard.