Lesley on the roof earlier this morning. She picked up plants yesterday. That's Billy below, and his dog Sarah, who parks herself right in the busiest spot on any work site.
For the first time in like, 4 decades, we decided to build a tight and proper chicken coop, one that even the wiliest rat cannot slither into. Nor can groung-burrowing carnivores invade from beneath due to a concrete floor.
I've probably built 5 or so chicken coops and it was always fun to just grab what was lying around, and improvise. Yet I've learned that funk has its place, and functional is the key word in some homestead pursuits, like raising chickens.
Billy Cummings built this with studs (a lot of them recycled) and plywood. We covered the front by using up old short 1-by lumber I had lying around. There's a little adjacent mini-coop on the left where we'll raise chicks (under a light). All rat-proof and critter-proof. Billy built the doors, gate, sliding wall-door to close chickens in at night.
We used a pond liner under the soil on the roof. Billy ripped 4x4's on the diagonal for an angled curb around the perimeter. Got some old carpet from a neighbor, on top of pond liner. Then a few inches of lightweight crushed lava rock (red stuff), then 3-4 inches of top soil hoisted up in buckets by Marco and Carlo. Billy figured out a good flashing detail, and installed a drain at the lower right end of the buildings. Pond liner is one piece and wraps around bumper and fascia is flashed over. I couldn't really find any details on how to set up a living roof, so I don't know how drainage will work. We'll probably learn some things we'd do different the next time.
It's going to look pretty great in a few months. It's the view out from the kitchen sink.
If you compare living roofs with conventional roof, they're rillly expensive. However, you're not comparing apples and apples. On the one hand, you can have a waterproof roof with asphalt shingles, but with a living roof, you get much more: great insulation, more garden space, beauty…