How to Build a Shed Roof | 2023 Guide

How to Build a Shed Roof

Understanding how to build a shed roof is essential if you’re looking to create your very own custom garden building. However, you may also want to reconfigure an existing shed with a bespoke roof of your own making. Although creating a shed roof from scratch can be a little challenging if you’ve never undertaking such a project before, assembling one is fairly straightforward provided you follow some simple steps.

Planning the Build

There are several different roof styles you can adopt for your shed, along with various pitches which will determine the angle or slope of your shed roof. There’s the peaked roof, otherwise know as a gable roof, which features two sides sloping from a central point. A simpler alternative is a so-called skillion roof, which features a single slope. The latter example is by far the easiest option for those looking to tackle a DIY shed roof project.

Once you’ve decided on a roof style for your shed, you’ll need to consider a suitable pitch. This essentially refers to the steepness of the slope of your roof and will ultimately be determined by the layout and dimensions of your shed. For a smaller shed or garden building, your pitch options will be quite limited.

You will also need to ensure the main framework of your shed is stable enough to accommodate a new roof. If you’ve recently constructed a new shed framework, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you’re looking to renovate an older shed with a new roof, you may need to carry out some work to strengthen the structure. Provided your main shed structure can handle a new roof, you can start marking out where the new rafters will be placed.

Adding Rafters

The importance of rafters should never be overlooked when it comes to installing a new shed roof. Rafters should be be properly measured to ensure a good fit with your existing structure. If you’re thinking about creating a sloped roof, remember that rafters will need to be longer than those you might use with a flat roof. To make life simple, use a high-powered circular to cut rafter boards down to size quickly.

You should also take the time to ensure you leave a notch in each rafter so that they can be more easily fitted into place. Once your rafters have been cut to size, they can be attached to the main framework of your shed. Use quality nails for this and ensure they are driven in away fro the edges of any individual beams of wood to ensure maximum stability.

Adding Sheathing Material

Once all the rafters are secured in place, you can think about adding sheathing material. Plywood is always a good choice here. Again, use high-grade nails to attach plywood into place. As you’ll be using multiple plywood boards, you’ll need to add a considerable amount of nails. Take the time to trace the edges of each board to identify any loose areas and add additional nails where required. Once all the plywood is securely in place, you can add capping boards to conceal any exposed rafters.

Installing Roofing Material

Thankfully, most of the labour-intensive work is now done. Now you can focus on installing your roof material of choice. An affordable option here is felt. Not only is it easy to work with and quick to install, it offers a considerable amount of protection against the elements. However, you may want a more attractive finish. In which case, shingles are a good choice.

If you have a much larger budget, you may also want to consider investing in treated roofing sheets. Even if you opt for a more premium roofing material, it’s always a good idea to add a substrate layer beneath this. Although felt is the preferred roofing material of choice for budget-conscious DIYers, it’s also very effective as a substrate layer.


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