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What Is A Shed Roof

Gambrel Or Barn Style Shed Roof Design

How to build a storage shed – Roof // Part 4 – Plans available

A gambrel or barn style roof shows Dutch colonial influence. The use of gussets to connect and reinforce the chords or parts of the rafters provides greater usable attic or loft space.

The rafters require more cutting and angles, so are slightly more complex than a gable roof. It can be vented at gable ends or the center ridge. If insulating this roof style will need a separate air handling system installed.

Best Roofing Material: shingle or ribbed sheet metal

Pros Cons
  • Its easy to add a loft for upper storage space or leave open for the extra headroom
  • The roof style sheds water and snow easily
  • It is more difficult for a beginner to build
  • High winds can cause the roof to collapse unless it is properly braced or reinforced
  • The ridges also need extra waterproofing or they may leak
  • It has a higher profile, which may not be acceptable in some neighborhoods

A Helpful Video:

Shed Roof Vs A Gable Roof: Which Is Better

A gable roof features two sloping sides versus a shed roof with one sloping side. Both styles offer simple designs making them easy to build and less expensive than comparable options.

Both roofs offer good snow and rain drainage but require gutter systems. One advantage of a gable roof is that it better withstands high winds.

One of the most significant differences between the two is appearance. Shed roofs look best on modern or rustic homes, while gable roofs work for every style.

How To Calculate Roof Pitch Height

If you need to figure out how high your ridge board is going to be, then youll need to know the width of your shed. If it is 8, then youll have a run of 4 per side. Now, youll need to know the roof pitch factor to find the height of the ridge board this requires some fancy math or, I prefer, I an easy chart like this. Multiply the roof pitch and the run factor and voila, youve got the height of your roof pitch, from wall plates to the bottom of the ridge board.

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Drip Edge And Felt Paper

Your shed may not be a livable space, but none the less, it is a structure in which you are going to invest a good sum of money on and you want it to last as long as possible without having to do any major repairs to.Adding drip edge and felt paper to your roof before putting down the shingles is definitely an option, but an option you should not ignore. If you don’t invest the little bit of money it will take for these two items, you are asking for trouble down the road.

Especially if you live in an area of the country where snow and ice are prevelant during the winter months. Freezing and thawing can wreck absolute havoc on a shed roof if it doesn’t have felt paper and drip edge installed.The underlayment will mostly rot over a period of time and you will be looking at an expense of replacing or repairing your roof. Be wise and add felt paper and drip edge to your shed.

Drip edge should be installed over the felt paper on the rake edges or side roof edges, and under the felt paper on the bottom or horizontal edges. An added measure or protection would be to add ice and water peelable rubber membrane along the bottom edges of your roof.

Assembling Your Roof’s Substrate

12x8 Forest Apex roof Tongue &  groove Wooden Shed
  • 1Cover your rafter trusses with plywood sheathing. Put down your first sheet of plywood at the corner of one end of the roof. Make sure its lying horizontally across the exposed rafters, and that the edges are flush with the edges of the end rafters. Drive a nail into each corner of the plywood to hold it in place temporarily.XResearch source
  • Most constructions experts recommend using 716 in oriented strand board for small-scale roofing projects.XResearch source
  • Plywood sheathing will provide structural support for your new roof, as well as give you a flat, stable surface to attach your other roofing materials too.
  • 2Measure and cut additional plywood to fill in any gaps in the sheathing. Plywood is sold in large sheets, which means that youll most likely need to use multiple sheets and cut them to fit. Try to cover the remaining space using as few pieces as possible, starting from the lower portion of the roof.XResearch source
  • Its important to cut your plywood so that the end of each section covers half the width of the rafter its resting on. That way, the neighboring section will fit in easily beside it, and youll have a nice solid surface to nail into.XResearch source
  • Make all your cuts with your plywood oriented the same way to ensure that the strand grain is running in a single direction. A consistent grain pattern will increase the strength of your roof sheathing.
  • Warning: Avoid climbing onto the roof until the plywood has been completely secured from the bottom.

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    Pros And Cons Of Shed Roof

    Below is a list of advantages and disadvantages associated with shed roof design



    Shed roofs are one of the essential roofing designs, making them very straightforward to build. This also means that shed roofs are generally less expensive since they require fewer materials than more complex roofing designs.


    The shed roof design can be adapted to suit various building styles, from traditional to modern. You can incorporate a shed roof into almost any type of home design.

    Effective Water Shedding

    Shed roofs are generally more efficient than flat roofs when shedding water and snow. The steep pitch of a shed roof allows water and snow to run off more quickly, which helps prevent leaks and other damage.

    Lots of Natural Sunlight

    A shed roof design can help maximize the amount of natural sunlight entering your home. This is because the single sloping surface of the shed roof allows more light to enter through the tall windows at the front of the house and skylights.

    Suitable to Install Solar Panels

    The sloping surface of a shed roof is also ideal for solar panels. Solar panels can be installed on the shed roof and angled to maximize efficiency.


    Limited Headroom

    One downside to the shed roof design is that it offers limited vertical space compared to other roofing designs. This can be an issue if you plan on using your attic or upper level as storage space or extra living space.

    Less Aesthetically Pleasing

    More susceptible to leaks

    Drawbacks Of A Shed Roof

    6. The need for boxed gutters

    Because a shed roof has only one slope, gutters have to double time in handling water when it rains. You can expect them to manage larger volumes of water. To prevent overwhelm, boxed gutters are a better guttering option. These are made of wood framing.

    Please take note that the construction of boxed gutters is not really a disadvantage in itself. What makes them a disadvantage is if they are not properly constructed and not cleaned regularly. They need more maintenance to prevent clogging.

    Experts also highly recommend lining boxed gutters with PVC membrane material to waterproof them. PVC membranes are commonly used for commercial applications.

    7. A basic design doesnt appeal to everyone

    Dont choose a shed roof if you want a larger home, a two-story home, and definitely a complicated roofing structure.

    What if youre the kind of homeowner who wants a complex and detailed roof plan? While complicated designs are more likely to acquire issues, some people still opt for them to make an impression. If you belong to this camp, then a shed style roof is not for you.

    8. Not for larger houses

    If you are planning to build a huge home because you have a big family, a shed roof wouldnt be ideal. When it comes to shed roof advantages and disadvantages, definitely remember this. Install a flat roof instead, especially if youre building a home with two or more stories.

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    Roof Pitch For A 12×12 Shed

    Now, if you have a 12X12 sized building, you might wonder what the ideal pitch for a shed roof to install. A 12X12 shed leaves exactly 144 square footprints and is huge enough to be a home office, studio office, or just a storage space to save your lawnmower.

    There are various shed roofing styles, such as gable shed, gambrel roof shed, or run-in shed, that you can try. The pitch level would follow the style that you preferred.

    Felt Shingles For A Shed Roof

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    • Waterproof: impervious to water

    • Appearance: very attractive, and you can pick and choose colors, shapes, and sizes

    • Durability: not as durable as other materials

    • Lifespan: 5-10 years

    • A wide array of shapes, sizes, and colors are available

    • Robust material that stands up to sub-zero winters and intensely hot summers


    • Shorter lifespan than other materials

    • Frequent maintenance and replacement required

    • Underlayment and fasteners add to the overall cost

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    Best Pitch For Shed Roof

    There is no one-size-fits-all pitch for the shed roof because there are so many styles and pitches that can work in any location. However, to ensure that you get the right pitch, you can look at several factors below.

    These are the primary elements that consist of shed purposes, local climate, and personal aesthetic style that may influence the pitched roof youre going to install.

    How Do You Maintain A Felt Roof

    How To Maintain A Felt Roof: All You Need to Know

  • Check your roof for holes or tears.
  • Inspect the nails that hold it down, ensuring they are secure and wont come loose in high winds.
  • Remove any debris such as leaves, moss, dirt, and twigs that may have accumulated on your roof.
  • Can you put 2 layers of felt on a shed roof?

    However most pent sheds have flat roofs with a roof pitch of 5-10 degrees and so the 7.5cm overlap of shed felt doesnt stop water getting in. For this type of shed it should have a minimum of two layers of felt, with the second layer fully bonded to the base sheet with a layer of bitumen adhesive.

    Can you felt over old felt on a shed roof?

    The waterproof nature of the felt ensures you keep your shed dry and increases its lifespan. You need to ensure you are installing the felt correctly though by removing any old felt, fixing any issues and the using clout nails as well as adhesive where required.

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    Which Felt Can Withstand Strong Winds

    If you live in an area that is exposed to strong winds you probably know that standard shed felts are not up to the job. You will need something far more durable, or you will need to replace your shed roof every few months.

    We recommend polyester reinforced felt that has been manufactured specifically for heavy-duty use. It is thicker than standard grade shed felt, and like other reinforced products, it has a lifespan of approximately 15 years. The thickness of the product makes it more resistant to tearing when battered by heavy winds.

    Slanted Or Shed Roof Design


    Similar to the Skillion, the Slanted or Shed style roof has a tall wall opposite a shorter wall. The rafters or joists span the distance between the walls.

    The span is limited by the strength of the joists, which are usually notched to sit on the wall plate. It has a single slope, usually between 2/12 and 4/12.

    It is a good roof style for against a fence or wall.

    Best Roofing Material: ribbed steel sheet or shingle, waterproofing is needed due to the lower slope.

    Pros Cons
    • A simple roof to construct but slightly more expensive than the Skillion due to the lower slope needing waterproofing
    • It does shed rain and snow shed more easily with the greater slope
    • It has a lower profile than the Skillion or gable so may be more suitable to some neighborhoods
    • Like the Skillion, it is a good for solar panels if oriented westward
    • It is also easy for a beginner to build
    • The lower slope means the roof should be protected with 30 LB tar paper or roofing membrane
    • It offers less attic storage space, and high winds can damage the roofing

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    Will The Holes Made By The Nails Let Rain In

    The question is often asked that if the holes made when nailing shed felt into place will compromise it by allowing rainwater or snowmelt to leak in. This concern is understandable, but it is not something you need to worry about.

    The bitumen used to manufacture shed felt will seal around the nails after it has been installed. This quality of the bitumen means you do not need to worry about water leaks around the nails. However, this does not mean you can use an abundance of nails. Too many nails can impede the ability of the bitumen to seal properly, which will make it possible for water to leak into your shed.

    Fashioning And Setting The Rafters

  • 1Measure your rafter boards for your preferred roof style and pitch. The exact length and angle of your rafters will depend on the overall size of your shed, as well as the style and slope youve chosen. The rafters on a steeply-sloped roof, for instance, will be much longer and have more end cuts than those on a flat roof. Once youve determined the measurements you need, mark them directly onto a series of 2 in x 4 in or 2 in x 6 in boards using a carpenters pencil.XResearch source
  • If youre planning on building a gable roof with a pitch of 4-12 for a shed thats 200 inches wide, your rafter boards would need to be 105.3 inches long on each side.
  • Dont forget to cut the ends of each board to the appropriate angle to allow them to fit together at the peak.
  • Tip: To make the process as efficient as possible, either mark all of your boards at once or measure and cut one to use as a template for the others.

  • 2Cut your rafter boards to size using a circular saw. Guide the blade over the end of the board slowly, aiming to make each cut as straight and precise as possible. Be sure to adjust your saws settings according to the necessary length and angle of your rafters.
  • Take care of all of your sawing at one time. You can then move on to assembling the rafters into trusses and attaching them to your shed frame.
  • Note that your notches will need to be higher up on your rafter beams if youre planning on including an overhang.
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    What Is A Gable Roof

    The Gable shed roof is another standard roof design in the shed building industry. Gable roofs are commonly pitched or peaked roofs and can be identified by their triangular shape.

    It gets its name because of the triangular shape created by the roofs sloping. Gable style roof is easy to build and is the most popular roof style for Sheds.

    How Long Will A Fibreglass Roof Last

    How to felt a shed roof

    Most fibreglass roofs are guaranteed for 25 years but can last much, much longer if well looked after. Fibreglass is the most expensive of the options due to material costs, and although it is not as flexible as rubber it is incredibly resistant to damage and repairs are very easy and almost un-noticeable.

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    Asphalt Shingles For A Shed Roof

    • Waterproof: they are waterproof as long as they dont get damaged

    • Appearance: various colors and styles are available

    • Durability: weather can loosen them, and moss, algae, and fallen leaves can cause damage

    • Lifespan: the average lifespan on a garden shed is between 20 and 30 years

    • Price: $1.50 per square foot

    • Ease of Installation: one of the easiest materials to install

    • Maintenance: periodic maintenance is essential

    • Roof Pitch: minimum of a 2/12 slope

    Asphalt shingles are easy and cheap to install on a garden shed. All you need is a hammer and roofing nails. This type of shingle is also very durable.


    • It wont work on flat roof outlets

    • They are prone to absorbing heat

    How Long Does A Felted Roof Last

    What is the lifespan of a felt roof? A felt roof will last somewhere between 10 and 20 years. The older pour and roll method of installation has now been superseded by torch-on felt which is melt welded on to a flat roof.

    How Long Does felt last on a shed roof?

    How long does the shed roof felt last? The felt we supply with all our sheds is superfelt, which is a highly durable form of felt that is likely to have a life expectancy of up to 5 years. This may differ for other types of felt, but the life expectancy is usually a minimum of up to 5 years.

    What can I use instead of felt for shed roof?

    EPDM membranes are fast-becoming the roofing industrys go-to alternative to felt and other outdated roofing materials. The composition of EPDM as a synthetic rubber compound offers superior waterproofing qualities and resistance to the elements.

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    Two Styles To Consider

    A shed dormer can be an extension of the wall below or it can be bumped up from the roof plane. The most important consideration when deciding between a wall and roof dormer is the head height of the window in relation to the eave height of the house. For example, you may want a roof dormer, but to see out the window, youll need to bring the dormer forward to the edge of the building, where it could look oddly placed. In this case, a wall dormer may be a better option.


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