I’ve been absent here for a little while (about five weeks) as I continue work on the Chicken Palace. I’ve been working on framing a roof, but as always, I sure am slow. You can read the earlier posts in this series here:
I finished up my last blog post with all the walls framed and erected. The next step was designing and then building a bunch of roof trusses. I looked online and found a great tool here http://design.medeek.com/calculator/calculator.pl. This really helped me get a good idea of what I wanted to build, but I had to figure out the dimensions of all the individual parts myself. The coop is under a lot of fir and cedar trees, so pine needles building up on the roof will be a problem if the roof has a shallow pitch. For that reason, I settled on a 10:12 pitch roof. This equates to 40°.
I modified the design that I found online slightly. I wanted to have a ridge board along the peak of the roof, so built the trusses in such a way that one can drop in later.
The trusses are made from:
- 1 – 2x4x12 (cut in half to yield both rafter members)
- 1 – 2x4x8 the bottom chord
- 1/3 of a 2x4x10 (each 10 footer yielded 3 king studs)
- 3/8″ ply for the gusset plates
- Construction adhesive, screws, and nails.
I estimated that each truss cost me about $10 to make. I’m guessing that this is way cheaper than ordering trusses.
I made a prototype truss to test and confirm the dimensions, and then spent a few days batching out all the parts. Keep in mind I was doing a few hours each day before going to work, but it took the better part of a week to design and cut out all the parts.
I put a scrap off-cut in to simulate the ridge board.
OK… ready to get started at last. I gathered all the parts to make the first truss. I used PL375 construction adhesive and screwed then nailed the plywood gusset plates on.
My neighbor came over and pointed out that the outer plates would obstruct the 2×4 blocking that I will need to install later. I got out my combo square and then trimmed the plates back with a sash saw.
The trusses will have plywood plates on both sides, but the first one will serve as a form to build all the other trusses, so no plates on one side for now.
I made 19 trusses and stacked them around the coop. Truss assembly took me about 3-4 days.
Lots of rain kept slowing me down. Standing on top of a wet 2×4, eight feet off the ground is no fun. It’s not worth getting hurt just to build this coop, so I had a few days in which I made no progress.
To make things a little safer, I made a platform to stand on while putting up the trusses.
Once I had all the trusses up, I finalized the position of the ridge boards and joined them together. The design of the building means that the corner has to be framed manually since no trusses will fit there. I found a picture online that shows what I mean. It’s not my building, and mine forms a 113° “L” not a 90°, so this is just for clarification.
I basically just built a truss in place by first adding a bottom chord, then the hip and valley rafters, then a king stud, and all the plywood gusset plates. This should be very strong.
It was also at about this time that I went all around the chicken run and added 2×4 diagonal bracing at the top of all the wall studs. This should stiffen the building up a little and prevent it racking.
After adding the fill rafters and the king stud:
So here, the roof framing is basically done. You can also see the diagonal bracing that was added to the walls. Time to start on the fascia.
It was tricky getting this stuff up and in place on my own, but eventually I got it. I want to have a small overhang on the ends the roof. A building just doesn’t look right to me without one. To accomplish this, I left the ridge boards and fascia boards long and will fit false rafters to them later.
Now we’re getting somewhere!
Before I forgot, I figured I had better remove the platform while I still could.
Time to get some OSB sheeting up on the roof. I should point out here that I hate carrying sheeting up a ladder and nailing it to the trusses. It’s probably my least favorite part of building. As such, I didn’t take hardly any pictures of this process. This one will have to do:
Once the sheeting was all nailed down, I was pretty sick of roofing by this point. I installed a metal drip edge all the way around the roof, but again forgot to take pictures. Once the drip edge was installed, I tacked on a layer of 15lb felt tar paper.
The next step was to install all the roofing shingles. I purchased 4 square of architectural shingles (400 sq ft) and ended up using all but a few shingles.
I worked halfway up the first side and added some metal brackets. These are only temporary and will hold a scaffold board so that I can more safely work on the upper parts of the roof later.
After completing the fist side, I started working my way up the other side.
Once I had shingled all the way to the top on both sides, I added a ridge cap (made out of cut up 3-tab shingles) and a hip cap.
So here’s the finished roof. Thank god that is over.
I can’t believe that this took me five weeks. At least now I can work with both feet on the ground and I can now get started putting siding on the hen house. Once the OSB is on the walls, I can install the windows and door. I better get moving. Chicks are going to be delivered on October 21st.
Hopefully my next post wont be another month away.
– Jonathan White