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

The materials that you use to cover your roof will greatly affect the look and durability of your shed too. The roofing materials that standard sheds are supplied with in the UK only last for 5-7 years.

So every few years you get a leak in your roof and have to go up there to fix it or completely replace the roof covering. There is a wide variety of potential roofing materials and they come with a wide variety of price tags. This summary article gives the big picture of what sort of materials and costs to look out for.

Many roofing materials are well known but there are some other less well known materials that are both durable and cost effective and are most definitely worth considering for a new or replacement roof.

Onduline roof sheeting is one such material. It has been used successfully for many years in a wide variety of climates and locations and it is suitable for both new and re-roofing projects.

EPDM Rubber Roof Membranes

EPDM rubber roof membranes are not so widely known in domestic construction but have a long history of keeping industrial buildings dry. EPDM roof membranes are increasingly being used on domestic roofs and sheds.

Thin water proof membranes are the key ingredient for green roofs. Green shed roofs are increasingly popular because of their environmental credentials and visual appeal. The extensive green roof is the type that is most commonly used for sheds.

Of course with all these exciting new types of roof being discussed you could be forgiven for thinking that traditional roofing is going out of fashion. This is most definitely not the case traditionally constructed roofs are still extremely popular.

The final stage is CONSTRUCTION

Before you even start building your roof please find out more about shed roof safety. When you are building your roof you are very exposed and working at height is one of the prime causes of accidents in the construction industry.

Before you start construction of your shed you should have a good shed roof plan to ensure that you can build with strength and accuracy. There are a number of different methods for constructing your roof including ridge beams and shed roof trusses.

If you like to get the step-by-step details to construct your roof, including details on trusses and frameworks, get access to RyanShedPlans here

We talked earlier about different types of roofing materials. The best way to ensure that you install the roofing correctly is to visit the manufacturers or suppliers website to learn about the specific details of the roofing system that you select. One roofing system that is fairly common is asphalt roofing shingles.

A final tip to help your shed to last longer (and also improve your water usage) is to install guttering around the perimeter of the roof.

By preventing water from dripping off the roof and onto the ground near the base of the shed you prolong the life of the timber cladding and floor that would otherwise get wetter than it needs. You also have a great source of water for caring for your garden!

The three main stages of shed roof design

Firstly, to decide on the look of the shed roof based on your local architecture, climate and other specific requirements.

Secondly, investigate a range of roofing materials to make sure that the building stays watertight and the roofing is of a durable type that is easy to maintain.

Finally, get on with the roof construction, taking care whilst working at height.

If you follow this advice you should end up with a great roof to your shed

Who knows, one day you might read an article by a Swiss Army knife designer about how their products should be more like shed roofs!

Brought To You By:


The 12,000 Shed Plans Package

60 Day Money Back Guarantee

Your purchase is backed by Ryan’s’ “Rock Your World or Cost You Nothing” 60 day money back guarantee!

Build Sheds
Faster & Easier!

Brought To You By:


The 12,000 Shed Plans Package

60 Day Money Back Guarantee

Your purchase is backed by Ryan’s’ “Rock Your World or Cost You Nothing” 60 day money back guarantee!

Build Sheds
Faster & Easier!

Brought To You By:


The 12,000 Shed Plans Package

Build Sheds
Faster & Easier!

Copyright © CarpentryHacker – Privacy Policy



For Only…

$37 $27

*If you close the window this one-time
special offer will be gone forever.

*If you close the window this one time special offer will be gone forever.



For Only $37 $27