We Made This: Our DIY Chicken Coop Roofing Project

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RoofedItMyself #CollectiveBias

It's not hard to build a chicken coop, but you'll want to plan it out thoroughly before building. Head to Lowe's and see what you can do #ad #RoofedItMyself

So, I think you all know by now that the Bowmans tend to get, shall we say, obsessive about our projects.

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?”

chicken coop

And then, you know what? 2017 was the year. We decided it fairly recently, in fact.

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!


chicken coop


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 palace coop:

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!

The real fun is HOW we did our chicken coop roof!

Here’s what we used for our chicken coop roof:

FeltBuster® High Traction Synthetic Roofing Felt
Pro-Start™ Starter Strip Shingles
Timberline HD® Shingles in Barkwood
Timberline® Shingles
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)
Tape Measure
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??

That is so important for our chickens! We’re doing the best of the best.

GAF Roofing

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.

This is what our roof looked like before:

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.

This is one instance in which we used a nail gun, but recommend using nails/hammer instead.

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.

Step 6 – Once you are down with the shingles, use the TimberTex® Premium Ridge Cap Shingles and Seal-A-Ridge® Protective Ridge Cap Shingles for a pitched roof.

If you want more information about the GAF Warranty, please click here.

I want to hear from YOU! Have you ever installed your own roofing? What kind of project would you use GAF Roofing for?

Stay tuned for an update with the chickens in the coop!

GAF Roofing

40 Places to Take Your Kids (But Also Yourself)!

I don’t want to write about.. all the places I HAVEN’T been..

Are you planning a family vacation? Are you dreaming of #travel? I love this article of these 40 must-see destinations. I want to see them all with my kids.

..for too many years anyway. I’m as much of a bucket list maker as someone can be! I believe in photography bucket lists, and spring bucket lists, and fall bucket lists, and definitely summer bucket lists. I believe in food bucket lists and more specifically – ice cream bucket lists. I believe in literary bucket lists, and somewhat related – career-as-a-whole bucket lists.

I believe in believing in bucket lists.


I read this awesome post based on this awesome article and it all fit together. I want to write about all the places I’ve been and will go, and I don’t want to write about all the places I haven’t been and will never go – unless to say it here, loud and clear, that I WILL go there. Put it on my list. Your kiss is on my list too, but that’s not listed in the article. (why??)

Thanks, Dara! So here are the 40 places from Today.com:

1 – Grand Canyon. I’ve never been, but I will go! I have zero fear of heights, although when I’m nervous, I get unbalanced. You know that song, “Unsteady”? That’s me! Not in front of grand and great things, though. This is on my list with your kiss.

2 – Yellowstone National Park. I’ve been twice, and once with Cassidy. I dream about taking the kids all the time.

3 – Freedom Trail in Boston. How have we not?? We live in Massachusetts! This seems remedy-able.

4 – The French Quarter. I have been! Do I want to take my kids? Umm.. maybe when they’re older. It was such a wild and untamed place – the stuff of all kinds of dreams and nightmares. Uncle Sam lives there so I think/hope it will happen.

5 – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of this place, but count me in!

6 – Dinosaur Valley State Park. See above!

7 – Stingray City. That’s a “yes” for me – in terms of wanting to go.

8 – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Another miss and we have been to Cleveland! (once) My mom and sister went and got Scarlet an excellent Yellow Submarine shirt that Des now wears. Maybe that takes us a little closer..

9 – Bioluminescent Bay. This is on my photography bucket list!

10 – An Alaska Cruise. hmm.. none of us are cruise people. It’s sort of our worst nightmares. I’d rather be in an elevator for 7 days. Alaskan cruises, though? That’s different. Sign me up for smooth seas, with lots of whales, and moose at ports.

11 – National Civil Rights Museum. I would love all of us to go one day.

12 – Sanibel & Captiva Islands. Never been, but I’d love to take the family to escape our winter.

13 – Monterey Bay Aquarium. I LOVE this place. Cassidy and I went. I remember reading that they briefly had a Great White Shark in captivity? Anyway, I saw otters there. Not even IN there. Just hanging around it. Free otters wanting to hang!

14 – Niagara Falls. I’ve been there.. three times or so. Cassidy and I went and it was VERY eventful. Maybe one day we’ll take Scarlet and tell her she was conceived there and she’ll be all, “ewwwwwwww!”

15 – Petrified Forest I once plotted out a cross country road trip and this was a stop on it. The road trip didn’t happen because my boyfriend cheated on me and that’s not even why I didn’t go on this trip. There was another man. Ah, youth.

16 – Statue of Liberty. This was our big 5th grade field trip, and also the only field trip I can remember in which my mom was chaperone. I almost chickened out but she talked me into going to the crown with her. It was worth it.

17 – Disney World. Four years and counting as a family of four!

Are you planning a family vacation? Are you dreaming of #travel? I love this article of these 40 must-see destinations. I want to see them all with my kids.

18 – Climb Mt. Rainier. Ohh.. climb it? I mean, visit it is one thing, but CLIMB it? Des complains when he gets a rain drop on his foot. I can just imagine his old man venting? But hey, I would never dream of ruling it out.

19 – Galapagos Islands. Doesn’t it make your heart skip a beat? I’d love for us all to see it one day.

20 – Sesame Place. It’s not far from my parent’s house! It’s nearly too late for us, though.

21 – Pacific Coast Highway Drive. Two of us have done this and I can’t wait to do this with the kids. I dream about it often. I remember making a mix CD for my first drive on it, when mix CDs were still cool.

22 – Ground Zero. Cassidy and I have both been there, but not at the same time. I haven’t told my kids that story yet. It’s a bit much. One day, I will, and one day they’ll read what I wrote about it here.

23 – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Yes, times four!

24 – Wisconsin Dells. I mean, sure, if we all happen to ever be in Wisconsin?

25 – Redwood National & State Parks. PLEASE. One day.

26 – Swim with Manatees. Please, please can we do this?

27 – San Diego Zoo. I think I’m the only one who’s been there but since San Diego has my dream weather, maybe we’ll all move there one day and live in the zoo. Although I wouldn’t be able to NOT free this guy:

Are you planning a family vacation? Are you dreaming of #travel? I love this article of these 40 must-see destinations. I want to see them all with my kids.

28 – Plimouth Plantation. With our annual treks to Cape Cod and back, one should think we will go one day.

29 – Buckingham Palace. Please sign all four of us up for a trip to London.

30 – The Colorado Rockies. Cassidy alone has been to Colorado. It’s always been on my bucket list. I got SO close when we were visiting parks in Utah. Why didn’t I go??? There are so many gems to visit in Colorado, and I’m mountain-obsessed.

31 – Cedar Point. Wait, what? 17 roller coasters? And to think, I just went on the FIRST TWO OF MY LIFE!

32 – Kennedy Space Center. You know, I hope it happens. Scarlet thinks space is cool. I have a slight outer space phobia, but all the more reason. I tend to beat (or at least meet) phobias in Florida. (see above)

33 – Fort De Soto Park. I’ve never even heard of this, but sounds AMAZING! By the way, the article gives age levels, which is cool.

34 – Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Sign us all up! Only Cassidy has been to Hawaii.

35 – Mesa Verde. 0 for 4. Sign me up, though.

36 – Ride Cable Cars in San Francisco. I lived there for two years and didn’t do this until about a month before we moved back. My mom was visiting us for one last time there, and she treated me to a ride. We have to go back!

37 – Waikiki Beach. Maybe Cassidy has gone? We all four would go in a heartbeat (or a long flight)!

38 – National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Another 0 for 4, but we’ve been to the Basketball Hall of Fame!

39 – Yosemite. Ok, so I’ve been there once with Cassidy and we were there for a few days. We had a cabin in the middle of nowhere with a hot tub under shooting stars. We stayed in and made bacon and watched a ton of movies, so one day I want to go back and see more of it. I remember the smoky smell and the crisp air, and oh god, take me back.

Wait just a minute. I have photos from our cabin’s porch.

Well, if THAT doesn’t sum it up. What does? Oh yeah! I forgot one:

40 – Millenium Park. It’s never been all four of us there, but it will happen. On the sooner side.

Searching for hotels in Disney World is FUN! Read here for more information about these magical places.

What do you NOT want to write about? How many of these places have you visited?