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What is a Shed Roof?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A shed roof is a roof which covers a shed, a small structure usually used for storage. Shed roofs can be built in a number of different ways, which vary in difficulty. There are advantages and disadvantages to each roof style which must be considered when building a shed roof or converting an existing shed roof into a different design. A contractor may have specific advice for a particular region or structure.

The simplest type of shed roof is the style known as a pent roof. A pent roof consists of a single slope, angled enough to allow water, snowmelt, and other materials to fall from the roof. This roof design also creates a great deal of usable space under the roof, because it lacks awkward corners and low points. Alternatively, a gable roof, in which two sloping signs meet at a peaked roofline, can be installed instead. The drawback with this style is that if the walls of the shed are low, there may not be much usable space under the roof.


Shed roofs can also be done in a hipped or mansard design for more visual variation. Roofing materials can include composition shingle, slate, and wooden shingles; many people like to roof sheds in the same materials used to roof other structures on the property for some visual harmony. For people who wish to do this with a new shed, some companies provide matching services, finding roofing materials which will closely match existing materials in use so that the shed roof will blend in with the surrounding environment.

One thing to think about when installing a shed roof is seasonal weather. In areas with heavy snow, for example, a pent roof may not be advised, because snow could build up on the roof and potentially cause leaks or break the roof itself. People may also want to think about whether or not they plan on wiring and insulating the shed, as there are steps which can be taken during roofing to make this task easier.

Although a shed is not as critical as a structure like a home, it is still a good idea to take care of it. The roof should be installed properly, with gutters, fascia boards, and other features which will protect the roof and the shed during its lifetime. People should also be in the habit of replacing broken or damaged shingles promptly, before water intrusion and other problems have an opportunity to occur.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a AboutMechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Learn more...
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a AboutMechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Learn more...

Discussion Comments


This question might have been answered already, but where would I most likely see a shed roof on a building?


shed roof = single slope roof


Not a comment but question.

I am building a shed roof for a wood shed, basically only a roof- against a simple tool building. That building has a 2x6 frame wall covered with these new compost 4x8 f panels.

I have to attach 'rafters 2x6's 12 feet long to that wall,which then extend down to a post + headbeam, and cover with corrugated galv panels- that is the idea.

I thought I would attach a 2x 8 ledger board against the building wall and attach the rafters against the ledger, rather than nailing the rafters to the walls frame directly. I thought that might be enough?

The question is, how to attach the 2x6 rafters, against the ledger or wall frame header.

The rafters go down at a slight maybe 15 degree angle, 12 feet long

First option: toe nail them from both sides, but this feels flimsy.

Second choice: Uses rafter hangers, but these only allow horizontal rafters so the board lies in the bottom support platform. As the rafters go at a slight pitch, the boards would lie only on the outer edge of the hanger, and of course are nailed to the hanger.That might be enough.

A professional carpenter built the same design on the other side and apparently only nailed the 2x6 rafters against the building frame. Should I duplicate that? Many thanks for comments.


A shed roof is not a roof that covers your shed. You're confusing shed roof with the roof on your shed. Those are two different things. A shed roof is actually a structural type of a roof. Because of that oversight, the rest of what you said doesn't make any sense.


@malmal – If you want to find a tutorial online that shows you how to make a garden shed roof check out YouTube. There are tons of people on YouTube who have posted videos on how to make sheds, so you can just focus on the roof part. They aren’t quite TV quality, but the instructions are clear and it is nice to hear tips from someone who isn’t a professional.

As far as on where to find roof designs that don’t the big wide eaves, you can do an Internet search for free shed designs. There are lots of sites that have printable plans, and with so many varieties you are bound to find one with the big wide eaves.


If you aren’t that handy and still need a shed for your property you can easily buy a premade shed that can meet all your needs. Choosing individual components of a shed, such as the shed roof, siding and door et cetera can be difficult for some homeowners.

A good idea is to do some online shopping at your favorite home supply store. I have found that they have a wide variety of sheds for all different seasons and weather. Prices for sheds vary from a few hundred dollars to well into the thousands. The price really depends on what you need for your individual situation.


@aishia - As far as shed roof plans go, most usually expect your roofing materials to be flat and won't give you help with this, so might I recommend something in addition to your advice on corrugated fiberglass roofing materials?

Gimbell, because it is corrugated, or crinkled in that wave pattern, corrugated fiberglass will leave little gaps along the roof line wherever the pattern waves upward. This lets air and even rain through if it is stormy and windy -- something nobody wants their shed to do.

I'm not saying not to use corrugated fiberglass, just know your stuff when you do. Most places that carry this material also carry little wooden frame pieces that are cut into a wavy pattern to fit right against the corrugated fiberglass sheet.

You simply cut one to the same length as your piece of corrugated fiberglass, bolt or glue the frames to the shed framing before adding the roof on, and then place the fiberglass sheet on top to prevent leaving any gaps.

To ensure that there is absolutely no leaking (if you live somewhere where it rains, do this for sure), draw a thick line of rubber cement glue along the middle of the wavy wooden pieces and then place the fiberglass on top, pressing them together well. This seals the two. Make sure to put the bolts in before it dries -- they can help squish the fiberglass down as far as it will go.


@gimbell - Hi, there. Fiberglass shingles might sound cool in theory, but if they were transparent they would show any adhesive and/or nails you used to attach them that is usually covered up by opaque shingles, so it might turn out a bit strange looking.

I wanted to reply to your dilemma about shed roofing materials for a tiny shed. I happen to make tiny sheds in my free time. It's not profession, but after my friends saw mine, they all wanted me to design theirs, so I'm apparently pretty good at it.

Anyway, I recommend that you buy some corrugated fiberglass roofing panels. Based on the size you described your shed's roof area to be, I'd say you would only need one sheet.

They typically come in the size of 26 by 96 inches per sheet, and they look pretty nice. Think glass, except with a wavy pattern that's about 2 inches across. Corrugated fiberglass can be cut down to any size you need with a regular hacksaw -- a hand saw is too rough, and can crack the fiberglass.

Once you have a piece in the size and shape you want, you simply place it onto the roof and bolt it down right through the fiberglass into the roof. There you go, instant water proof, wind proof, attractive and durable shed roofing!


What kind of materials should I use for shed roof construction if I just want to made a really tiny shed? The article says that shed roofs are commonly made out of stuff like shingles and wood, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort to shingle a roof that is only like three feet across.

What can I use instead? I want the roof to be water proof, at least somewhat wind proof, and to not rot away in a short amount of time. A friend of mine recommended regular old sheet metal, but I'm not really going for that idea.

Not only would it probably turn out really ugly -- especially since I'm not very artistic, so I wouldn't know how to cut it to look nice -- but wouldn't it rust and stuff? I don't want a big rusty eyesore on my property. Besides that, the reflection in the sun would be bad, and metal roofs are super noisy when it rains or hails. No, thanks.

The best idea I can come up with is maybe plastic or fiberglass of some kind. I don't know, do they sell fiberglass in roofing shingle form? Fiberglass shingles would be pretty cool if they were transparent.


@malmal - It sounds like the best shed roof type for you might be the kind called a saltbox roof.

Saltbox shed roofs are similar in design to a classic gable style shed roof. The big differences are that the two angled planes of the roof aren't equal in size, and that saltbox shed roofs hold up particularly well to high winds.

The saltbox roof design basically features a longer plane on the back part of the shed, with a shorter one (about one third of the entire shed roof area in width) on the front section of the shed.

The longer roof section provides lots of head room for you to walk around in, which makes it superior to the other most wind resistant design, an A-frame. A-frame roofs aren't a good idea for small buildings such as garden sheds, because most of you space will be at the bottom, so you won't be able to stand up inside one unless it's about twice as tall as you.

There are many free designs available online for saltbox shed roofs of various sizes. Do a quick web search for "saltbox shed roof" and schematics will come up and everything. Alternately, since this is a common shed roof design, you can order professionally made plans pretty easily.

Best of luck making your garden shed -- a saltbox shed roof won't tear off in the wind.


Are there any good free tutorials online for how to build a shed roof? I'm building a little garden shed to hold my gardening tools, and I need it to be weatherproof enough to handle the stormy weather around here.

I read that when you make a shed roof, you should pay special attention to what kind of weather you have in your area. If you live in an area with a lot of rain, for example, you shouldn't make your shed roof out of metal, because it's much more likely to rust and look really unattractive in no time.

In my case, the weather here is very windy. Not constantly breezes, but frequently we get storms with high gusts. I'm talking windy enough to knock trees over, here.

I've looked at a bunch of different shed designs in photos in magazines, and a common theme seems to be to put wide eaves hanging over the outside walls of the shed. I'm concerned that a traditional shed with wide eaves like this would get the roof ripped right off by the wind if I built one in that style.

At the same time, my tools need some safe guarding from the same elements. Pots for planting seed starts will literally just blow away outside, so I usually take them into my house. A garden shed would be great to store stuff like that in.

Any advice on where to find roof designs without the big wide eaves?

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