roof suggestions? for a novice builder

Robotmomma

Chirping
Apr 9, 2015
94
11
81
Hi, I have been searching old threads on roofing options. I have a small coop about 4x4x4 needs a roof. trying to keep this cheap as possible but of course, long lasting.

Do I need to do the bird mouth cuts on rafters or can I just attach a piece of metal to the top plates? I just don't know. I tried some bird mouth cuts and it was really hard to do with my hand saw and I couldn't manage with my circular saw at all because I am using 2x3s. couldn't see where I was cutting at all and the 2x3s don't leave much room to cut out a bird mouth. I thought using 2x4s on top of a 2x3 frame would be too heavy...

any advice would be much appreciated. Keep in mind, I don't have the foggiest what I am doing. First time building anything besides Ikea furniture.



 
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reptileink

In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 19, 2011
89
1
33
Hey Robotmomma, great post as I am "fearing" my roof portion of my build...lol.

It appears from your picture that the front of your coop is higher than the back....this is GOOD thing. All you really need to do is lay your wood (joists) from front to back, creating a pitched angle. You can then fill in the side gaps with diagonally cut plywood/wood/etc framed out by smaller pieces to screw into.

I plan on doing a simple "shed roof" like this, filling in any gaps with wood. Just going with tar paper and shingles for the surface.
 

tcstoehr

Songster
Mar 25, 2014
417
47
124
Canby, Oregon
Bird mouth cuts are quite simple for people with the right tools and experience. I did them on my 2x4 ceiling rafters, but for me it was a total pain in the posterior, and the results barely acceptable. Other folks may have much worse experiences or wouldn't even attempt it. There are metal brackets you can buy just for this purpose. Spend some time at Home Depot and you can likely find a reasonably priced and simple solution. The plate shown below is nailed to a vertical surface with the square opening sticking out just above the top of your coop wall. You then just slide the 2x4 into that opening and nail it in. Google "rafter nailing brackets" and check out the images and you will get more ideas.

 
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Wise Woman

Crowing
Apr 12, 2011
875
724
266
My Cottage
Bird mouth cuts are quite simple for people with the right tools and experience. I did them on my 2x4 ceiling rafters, but for me it was a total pain in the posterior, and the results barely acceptable. Other folks may have much worse experiences or wouldn't even attempt it. There are metal brackets you can buy just for this purpose. Spend some time at Home Depot and you can likely find a reasonably priced and simple solution. The plate shown below is nailed to a vertical surface with the square opening sticking out just above the top of your coop wall. You then just slide the 2x4 into that opening and nail it in. Google "rafter nailing brackets" and check out the images and you will get more ideas.

My husband used something like this and it worked just fine. He does the best he can, but he is not a carpenter and things like bird mouth cuts and crown moulding really throw him for a loop. We are building a new coop this summer and he will be using these once again as we are making a simple shed roof. We cover the gaps in hardware cloth and leave them for ventilation.
 

TalkALittle

Songster
5 Years
Dec 15, 2014
1,661
725
191
Massachusetts
I covered my run by myself and used triangular shaped brackets similar to the ones above and my roof withstood a blizzard and numerous severe storms this winter just fine. At one point it had over 3 feet of snow on it. No bird mouth cuts at all. Just finished raising the roof on the coop with the same brackets. No bird mouth cuts there either. I used good straight lumber, lots of long, strong screws and placed my joists close together. I'm pretty darn confident that roof is on there for good. Frankly, it is sturdier than the pre-fabs at the big box home improvement places.
 

Robotmomma

Chirping
Apr 9, 2015
94
11
81
Bird mouth cuts are quite simple for people with the right tools and experience. I did them on my 2x4 ceiling rafters, but for me it was a total pain in the posterior, and the results barely acceptable. Other folks may have much worse experiences or wouldn't even attempt it. There are metal brackets you can buy just for this purpose. Spend some time at Home Depot and you can likely find a reasonably priced and simple solution. The plate shown below is nailed to a vertical surface with the square opening sticking out just above the top of your coop wall. You then just slide the 2x4 into that opening and nail it in. Google "rafter nailing brackets" and check out the images and you will get more ideas.

thanks tcstoehr,
These are kind of expensive for me. I am seeing them for almost $5 each. Would anything like this work with 2x3s. It seems like the smallest is 2x4.
 
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Robotmomma

Chirping
Apr 9, 2015
94
11
81
Hey Robotmomma, great post as I am "fearing" my roof portion of my build...lol.

It appears from your picture that the front of your coop is higher than the back....this is GOOD thing. All you really need to do is lay your wood (joists) from front to back, creating a pitched angle. You can then fill in the side gaps with diagonally cut plywood/wood/etc framed out by smaller pieces to screw into.

I plan on doing a simple "shed roof" like this, filling in any gaps with wood. Just going with tar paper and shingles for the surface.

Hi reptileink,
it is higher on the front wall. I was hoping to create a slanted roof and collect rain water off it at some point. So you think I can just lay out the rafters and not worry if they are flush? I wanted to do a bit of an overhang just to protect the walls a bit because I bought this thin plywood sheathing for 50 cents a panel. I don't know how well it will hold up. Gonna seal it with deck paint I got from the ooops shelf at Home Depot.
 

4season

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2015
22
0
24
Seems to me that everyone is over-thinking this a bit. A basic 5V metal roof or even a clear panel roof should work. All you need to do either of these is put up some rafters. (I always use 2x4s but 2x3s or even 2x2s would work on something that small as long as you don't need to stand on it while driving nails or have any heavy snow pile up on the roof.

You can toe nail your rafters on if you are good with a hammer, pre-drill holes if you can't drive a nail straight, or use screws if you want more strength or just can't drive a nail. Then attach horizonal 1x6s to your rafters at a 16 or 24 inch center. Finnish it off with your metal roof using either neoprene washer nails or screws into the 1x6s and paint it if you use normal galvanized tin. You can also use a sheet of plywood or even OSB on top of your rafters if you are using metal roof. None of these things are very expensive when you are building on a scale this small.

I would give your rafters about a 6 inch overhang on each end and add a false rafter 6 inches to the outside of each side. Just cut your 1x6s or OSB board the size of the overhang and then attach the false rafter to the outside edge. Just buy and measure your metal for the roof first so you know how much overhang you have to work with.
 
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Robotmomma

Chirping
Apr 9, 2015
94
11
81
Thank you 4season. What is the false rafter on the ends for? Looks? Or to keep the roof from flapping in the wind?

How much would one expect to spend for a piece of tin for the roof? I called around and couldn't get straight answer. They said forty dollar minimum plus $30 for any cut they have to make. But they had price per pound so I couldn't estimate. This other place said seventy. That seems like a lot to me.
 

4season

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2015
22
0
24
The false rafter is mainly for looks. It does add a bit a strength as well. As far as cost I got some for free when I tore down an old shed. Just about any building supply should have galvanized 5V roofing tin in different lengths. Home Depot for example sells it in a 12 ft length for $22 a sheet. The last time I bought some I found the best price on 16 ft at my local Farmers Co-Op. It is easy enough to cut to fit the length you need (I used a normal wood cutting blade on a circular saw, but you will want good gloves, eye and ear protection.) You can also overlap shorter pieces to make it long enough although it won't look as good when finished. Just make sure you buy enough to give you the overhang you want. You can also buy some pre-painted classic rib steel roof panels, and matching screws that would look real nice but cost a little more. There is lots of good how to info on You Tube about how to install metal roofing. There are lots of different options of types of metal, or even clear plastic that you could use to create the look you want. Or if price is the biggest concern see if you can find someone that is putting on a roof and has a little left over that you can get for hauling it away for them.
 

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