Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 15, 2011


Well, in case you're keeping track, this is my second chicken coop post in a row.  It's not that things aren't going on in the garden, it's just that the chicks are getting SO big that I need to get this coop done.  So, in preparation of good weather Tuesday, I set up a time to get together with my father-in-law and tackle the roof. I wanted a day of nothing but the roof so I could get the plywood up, and the roofing on so when we returned to rain Wednesday, the coop would be protected.  That meant getting the materials Tuesday.  What that actually meant was getting my brother to help after dinner.  We started at 7:30 PM with me helping him install a few pieces of his nearly complete coop before we headed for Lowe's. 

When we got there, we worked on my list that my father-in-law gave me.  We went with half-inch plywood this time, the 3/8s was too flimsy for a heavy roof.  I was thankful that we found a worker that late to help us in roofing, because I didn't have a clue.  He directed us to some returns sitting on a pallet in the back of the store.  Apparently there was a special order of a pallet that got some returned.  The packaging was trashed, so they couldn't sell it.  He gave it to us for less than half price.  Small favors...  Long story short, we left at 10:30 PM exhausted and not getting to Home Depot for the remainder of my list.

Jump forward to 8:00 AM on Tuesday and my father-in-law shows up.  This was his first look at the re-built coop in it's current condition. He immediately saw where I had installed the floor framing incorrectly, so I had to fix that.  It was almost 10:00 AM before we even started the roofing project.  Apparently I hadn't made it clear that I needed the roof done before we finished.  Not happy, he proceeded to cut the rafter ends to all be equal (I hadn't done anything more than try to get them close when I installed them).  Believe me when I say the most over-used statement of the day was "it's just a chicken coop!"

Then we proceeded to install the 1x4 fascia boards.  His idea was to give me 1 foot overhang on both ends, even though I didn't have rafters out that far (my brother does on his).  He solved this by using false rafters made from 1x4s.  Then we installed more rafter blocking in the middle of my coop because I was mistaken on how you orient your 4x8s on a roof.  Go figure. I've misunderstood everything on this project so far. Hehe.  Oh, and you may have noticed a lack of photos so far.  I'm sorry to say the whole day it never crossed my mind to take pics of the progress. I was so hell-bent on getting it done. 

Anyway, it was nearly 2 before the felt paper was down and we figured out how to access the roof.  For the first time ever, I configured our 16' folding ladder into a 4 foot high platform.  Throwing all my remaining building materials on top gave it enough strength to have nearly 500 pounds of weight on it.  I swear a bundle of shingles must way well over 50 pounds. I could heft it on my shoulder but I couldn't climb a ladder like that.  Thankfully, my father-in-law showed me how to install roofing by having me put it down for the first few rows before he left.  By then I'd convinced my brother to drop what he was doing and come over to help.  In the end he did more sitting around and playing with my kids than helping, but it was easier to have him on the ground prepping the half-tiles than cutting them in place.

All I can say is I'm very happy I didn't need to climb on top of the roof to install the shingles.  I could reach the middle from both sides just standing on the scaffold.  It was clear that with a few hundred pounds of roofing on the coop, that thing is so top-heavy it likely won't hold me.  Hopefully once the siding is installed on the short sides, it will lock it in place better, but it will always be top-heavy.

In the end, roofing isn't hard at all, it was actually fun, though I'd hate to roof a house.  That's for far younger people than me.  It was after swimming lessons and dinner that I remembered to take pictures. I was cleaning up the tools so they didn't get rained on today and I was losing light.  Hope you can make out our handy work.

Here you can see the fascia boards including the false rafter on the closest end. It turned out better than I'd expected.

I included this to show the scaffolding that worked so well. It wasn't wobbly at all, even with two of us moving around and moving past each other whipping it out.

Again, sorry for the darkness, not sure if the flash helped or hurt, but here is the best shot I had of the roofing material. It's actually two different brands, but dark charcoal goes with black nicely. 



  1. Coming along nicely Sinfonian! Building things like this is far harder than it looks.

  2. This looks great - you already got the roof on - yay! That's huge, IMO.

  3. Looks good keep it up!

    If you end up leaving the coop in one place and are worried about it tipping some ground anchors would keep it from blowing over in a strong storm.