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We’re projects people. You have read about our crazy birthday parties, Cassidy’s amazing vertical pallet strawberry garden, Des’ garden racetrack, and Scarlet’s fairy garden. You have seen how immersed I get with my work projects. We’re immersed people. We’re planning people. We’re DIY people. And apparently, we’re chicken people. I will tell you that during EVERY winter of the last five years at this house, we have asked ourselves, “Is this THE year we get chickens?”
We ALWAYS have grand ideas about beautifying our backyard, but this one was significant. We have four acres and big dreams. We have wanted this for so long, and while it hasn’t been without hiccups, I was pleasantly surprised at the parts that were easy. The dreaming was easy, but the planning was more complex. The foundation was also more complex, but the roofing was actually easy! We kept each other in check on the ground level, and kept each other safe on the roof level – standing on stable ladders instead of on top of the chicken coop – and we put down the roofing slowly and surely.
The experience was rocky in the beginning. There was such uncertainty with building a chicken coop. How many chickens to start with? Will they survive the initial 72 hours? How can we keep them safe? How can we make their home beautiful? Why is the weather so crazy when we’re trying to build? And, where do we begin? The building itself didn’t take long, after doing a lot of research, planning, and taking trips to Lowe’s! It’s always nice to have help from the employees and our kids!
This has been a true act of labor and love. Oh boy, no one prepared me! The baby chick turnover was hard to fathom at first. The constant vigilance – like when one learned to fly out of our little heated pool and we couldn’t find her for 20 minutes! We have 11 chicks right now, and I’d love for it to stay at 11 – and THIS 11. They are not ready to lay eggs yet, but the older six are just about ready to.. fly the coop. Or rather, NOT fly the coop, but live in it! We are all ready!
We call our coop our “Chicken Palace.” Yes, it’s bigger than we set out to make. I’ve certainly seen bigger ones, but they’re mostly longer. Ours is meant to have a perch. They will be quite cozy in their coop! I know it looks big, but it wasn’t hard or time-consuming to make. Here are some of the most basic steps we took to build our amazing chicken
1 – Do your research like crazy. Buy books. Read the Internet. Hire a chicken consultant to come over like we did!
2 – Draw up plans. Plan for safety and comfort, and also of ease of project. It’s not a complicated one!
3 – Plan the number of chickens and what breeds beforehand. We chose all cold-hardy chickens so we don’t have to heat the coop.
4 – Measure, measure, measure everything before your trip to Lowe’s.
5 – Factor in a perch area, nesting boxes, proper ventilation, insulation, accessibility (windows, locks, doors, gates, screens, etc.).
6 – Start building the foundation.
7 – Calculate the square footage of the structure you’ll be roofing before visiting Lowe’s.
8 – Visit the Roofing Aisle at Lowe’s located at the far end of the store.
9 – Gather EVERYTHING you need.
10 – Get to work!
FeltBuster® High Traction Synthetic Roofing Felt
Pro-Start™ Starter Strip Shingles
Timberline HD® Shingles in Barkwood
TimberTex® Premium Ridge Cap Shingles (for a pitched roof)
Seal-A-Ridge® Protective Ridge Cap Shingles (for a pitched roof)
Nails: 1 ¼” galvanized steel roofing nails
Nails: 1” – 1 ¼” round plastic cap roofing nail
Drip Edge: Aluminum or Metal 8’ – 10’ piece
Nail Gun (for some of the roof, our skilled friend used a nail gun)
At least 2 Ladders (safety first!!)
Now, you might be asking why we chose GAF Roofing? There are a few reasons we wanted GAF to be part of this amazing backyard experience of doing our own roofing! For one, Timberline is the best-selling shingle in North America – made with proprietary, granular technology. It looks good (great, in fact) and is EXTREMELY durable. Simple to install and durable??
GAF is thought of as a professional product – used by contractors – but can be used by the average DIYer. Although personally I would call Cassidy above and beyond the average DIYer, wouldn’t you? He is amazing with details and planning.
Another reason we chose GAF Roofing is that it made us aware of how easy it is to do our own roofing. We have loads of projects on the back burner, and hopefully you’ll check in here to see the other creations we will make.
Step 1 – Install an aluminum or metal Drip Edge around the perimeter of the roof to help prevent water infiltration. This also increases wind resistance. Apply it directly to roof and place underlayment over drip edge. Nail down.
Step 2 – Roll the FeltBuster® High Traction Synthetic Roofing Felt onto your roof surface. We were lucky it wasn’t a windy day when we put ours down. Use the 1″ plastic cap roofing nails to hold it in place.
Step 3 – Time for Pro-Start™ Starter Strip Shingles. These shingles are starter shingles, and while they won’t be seen, they cover the roof to allow for proper run-off. The directions are right on the package.
Step 4 – Shingles. Timberline HD® Shingles in Barkwood. Our roof measured 150 square feet, so we needed quite a few bundles. (each one covers 33.33 square feet) Place the first row of shingles on top of the starter shingles, but make sure the seams are not at the same place, and are at least a 4″ difference apart.
Step 5 – Continue installing shingles in each row. GAF shows you where to mark your nails on the shingles. Super helpful! We placed our shingles from low to high, and this is why we had several ladders.