We Made This: Our DIY Chicken Coop Roofing Project

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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! For those less inclined to a DIY approach, seeking expertise from The Chicken Coop Company can ensure a professionally crafted coop tailored to your specifications.

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

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  1. That is such a great project! I have been following the chicks on your feed and love that I new see there home. SO great that you and Cassidy were able to do it yourselves!

  2. This is all extremely impressive. You are truly a farmer. You are. This is fantastic. Garden veggies and chickens are on my someday list, but first, I gotta wait for the major to retire…although really I have no excuse for not having garden veggies.

  3. This is the coolest! I loved following along on this adventure! To be honest, places like Lowes scare me to no end, I rarely go because I don’t even know what to ask for LOL I’m so impressed with you guys!!

  4. Well, that is indeed amazing! We don’t have chickens in our house here in Cebu but in my hometown, my father has a lot and has been maintaining a coop for many years now. I didn’t have the chance to get into the details though. So happy for your chicken palace! Beautifully done!

  5. Your family is the ultimate DIY family, and what I aspire our family to be. Of course Cassidy built the chicken coop himself! I feel like Scarlet and Des are growing up in their own wonderland 🙂 And now I really want to take Eve to your house for one of our summertime adventures! (That’s cool that I invite myself over, right?)

    1. Please please! It actually did happen!! We were just thinking about the time we met you at Sturbridge Village over spring break. We need another hang that’s better planned (by me). Almost a year since our Boston jaunt to see Cars 3 stuff.

  6. I tip my hand to you, Tamara! You guys are intrepid and to be applauded for your willingness to try new–and challenging–things. BTW, the chicks are too sweet!

  7. The chicken coop aka Chicken Palace looks great and the chicks are so cute! I think it is great that you are project people 🙂

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