Why a Shed Roof is Like a Swiss Army Knife

At first glance a shed roof has only one function and that is to keep the rain out.

However as you look more closely the roof has many other features that can be incorporated with a bit of careful design.

So that like a Swiss Army penknife has several blades and tools (including one for getting boy scouts out of horses hooves!)…

A roof plays several important roles:

  • Keeping the inside of the shed warm
  • Ventilating the shed
  • Improving the durability of the shed
  • Additional space for storage
  • Elevated sleeping platform


The roof also plays a very important role in the sheds architectural appearance.

Covering all of these different features is too much for one article

So I have broken the whole roof building process into three separate phases:

  • Design
  • Materials
  • Construction


The rest of this article discusses how to get the most from your shed roof and then links you through to many more detailed articles that discuss these specific aspects in more detail.

The first part of creating a great shed roof is the DESIGN phase

There are 5 main roof styles to choose from. Each of these styles have different characteristics and looks.

· Pent Roof
· Gable Roof
· Hip Roof
· Gambrel Roof
· Salt Box Roof

Some are better at keeping the rain off, others better at complying with planning restrictions for shed heights and yet others when correctly designed can provide additional storage.

Many sheds are built specifically for storage so maximizing that storage space is critical. I thought this aspect of shed design so critical that I created a whole article specifically on shed lofts.

Another aspect to consider during the design phase is whether you are going to incorporate a shed skylight. Allowing light in through the roof is a great use of space as it means that less wall space needs to be devoted to windows. However skylights do have their downsides too.

Swiss Army knives are durable because of the MATERIALS they are built from