As you can see Garrett and Braxton had fun putting down the underlayment to prepare the top of our Chicken Run. Now for our roof!
Our family’s domestic engineer who is also my beautiful wife, Meredith, requested a tin roof for aesthetic reasons. I agreed it would look nice from our house, especially from the second story but also had a couple of concerns. One being that we have about 1 million acorns that pelt us for most of each Fall. I gently broached this subject and my concern over a tin roof with my lovely wife. After discussing we thought our future chickens might experience less stress if they were not hearing a dive bomb nut crash over their head from 60 feet above every few seconds. I researched other options and liked the look of cedar shingles the most. I moved on after considering how it would hit our budget and the amount of labor it was going to take to nail each one in. Typical shingles was not getting us excited and we kept coming back to the idea of having a pleasant color on the roof that would fit in nicely in the back yard. As I was walking through our local Lowe’s Home Improvement I came across another option called Ondura. It was available in a few colors and when I saw the green option I knew it would blend in nicely with our lawn, trees and shrubs and most importantly, Meredith would approve.
Ondura doesn’t know our company so this is not an advertisement for them. When I researched about installing Ondura I found a great video for putting their roofing onto a chicken coop. How appropriate! Click “Installing ONDURA Corrugated Roofing Sheets on a Chicken Coop” to view for yourself. Ondura is made from asphalt, thin, dense and tough. You need to purchase their longer nails to install it. Here they are on Lowe’s website in case you want to know the details. I liked that fact that is comes in large 4 x 6 ft sheets. This would allow me to cover my 8 x 16 ft space with just 6 sheets. I could see how it would be a challenge to move an uncut sheet as it is heavier (18 lbs) than it looks. I found it to be easy to work with but I am tall with a wing span so some might use a couple people to lift and place each sheet. Below is a close up look at a piece I cut with a circular saw. You can see it is built with ridges to allow heat out and valleys to guide rain water. Greta isn’t much of a watch dog but always tagging along I truly believe looking for photo opportunities.
My sons and I placed the first sheet on at the bottom corner of the roof and began nailing it down. The nails come with a spongey neoprene washer and are several inches long so they can be placed at the top of each ridge and reach the wood underneath. After we put in the first few nails we got used to the depth they needed to be at and the process sped up. It took minimal cutting. We only had to cut the piece that extended off the end of our roof and since our roof is one sided we didn’t need to mess with a ridge cap. Vertically the sheets can overlap as much as you need them to so we didn’t have a need to cut them on the top side. Braxton enjoyed himself. He was all over the roof with that hammer and it was all I could do to keep up with him. I think he also likes spending time with “Dad”. To my sons and Ondura’s credit, getting the roofing material secured onto the wood beneath was simple. We moved up to the 2nd row and began working on holding it in place and nailing it down over the first row. Below is a view of the whole structure from our patio.You can see that at this point we had finished the bottom row and were just starting the top row. This part of the build was moving along faster than other parts, especially the trench digging and post sinking! The day started out nicely but local stations were calling for weather later in the afternoon so we hurried as quickly as our novice hands could work. Just when we started to get into a groove we were all of a sudden done!
It was a blessing to get finished because as you can see it rained that day. I just knew I had made some mistake and would find a few dripping spots and a leaky roof. Again credit to Ondura and the washer they added to their nail which keeps the water from entering where the nails were placed.
I’m sure a professional could have done a better job but I was pleased that we could install it ourselves and create this family memory. Above is a view from the lower part of the roof and below is from the top.
After I got Garrett and Braxton off the roof I inspected the job. I was concerned with wind blowing along the edge and corners and possibly causing the Ondura to flap and gradually work the long nails out since they were sitting at the top of the ridges. It might not have been necessary but I decided to add a few more nails in the valleys and you can see one of them in the photo above. We like how the green roof complements the green with the yard around it. That was the hope and once we had the roofing placed our hope was turned to confirmation and satisfaction. Meredith was wanting to avoid an eye sore and for the Chicken Run to blend in with our yard and I believe she got just that. See how happy she is about her Chicken Run? Or she might be happy that we have a sitter and are out on a date. Either way this husband has a happy wife so who cares?