Roof Styles Can Make or Break Your Shed Style
If you are designing your shed from scratch, one of the most daunting parts is the roof. There are many different designs to choose from and many reasons why you should choose one roof over the other. There’s no “best overall” roof type per se, so it is up to you to choose which roof is best for your particular shed. We’ll go over some tips to help you narrow down which roof type you need.
3 Basic Roof Styles
The most standard roof type is the gable roof. This is the classic “cottage” look, where two slopes meet in the middle of the structure to form one large ridge. This roof is very easy to build and doesn’t require as much material as more complex designs, so it is economical as well. The spacious gable will also give you some extra loft or storage space in your shed. This roof type only works for simple, rectangular sheds, and tends to be unstable if not built properly. The high slopes shed rainwater and snow effectively, but aren’t well suited to high winds which can rip the shingles free from the roof.
Another simple and classic roof style is the flat roof, which is as simple as it sounds. This roof is just one slope that sits relatively flat on the walls of your shed. This roof must have a slight pitch however, otherwise snow, water, and other debris won’t collect on the roof and damage your shed structure. Depending on how stable your structure is, it’s possible you could convert your flat roof into a patio area. Solar panels do very well on flat roofs because they get the most sun for the longest duration of the day. One downside to this roof however is that it does not provide any extra storage space.
The last basic roof-style is the pyramid roof. A pyramid roof looks exactly as it sounds: four slopes that come together in a point at the top. This roof-style typically only works for square 6+structures, but variations on this style will fit other sheds as well. If you live in an area that experiences high winds, this roof is ideal because of the low pitch of the slopes on the roof. This will prevent shingles from being stripped from the roof. This roof, like a gable, provides storage space in the loft area. It is also more stable than the the typical gable roof, but is a more complicated construction and will require more precise construction.
Variations of the 3 Basic Roof Styles
The lean-to roof is a variation on the flat roof. This is also called a skillion roof. If your shed is built onto an existing structure like your house or garage, this is the appropriate roof design for your shed. It is very similar to a flat roof, but will have a higher slope and will attach to the main structure.
For a classic countryside look to your shed, a solid choice is the barn or gambrel style. This style is based on the gable style but with arched sides. Similar to the gable, the barn roof will allow for storage or a loft space. Because this roof has more seams than a simple gable roof, it requires more waterproofing and may need more maintenance throughout its life. Rain and snow will easily slough off of this rough, but it can be structurally unstable in high winds and other extreme weather.
A saltbox roof is another variation on the gable roof. The only difference is that the sloped sides of the roof are not the same pitch, so the ridge is not in the center of the structure. This style is based upon fishermen’s sheds near the sea. Fishermen had to worry about the effect of the wind from the sea on their sheds, so they built them to withstand high winds. Thus, the saltbox roof will be able to withstand bad weather, including high winds. The high, uneven pitch of the roof allows room for a second story or loft to be installed in your shed as well.
A hip roof is a combination of a pyramid roof and a gable roof. This roof has four sloped sides, but instead of meeting in a point like a pyramid, they meet in a ridge like a gable roof. Like both the gable and the pyramid roof, this roof offers more storage space. It’s also ideal for all kinds of bad weather and very stable. This construction is complicated, however, and the increased number of seams in the roof may lead to leaks and require more weatherproofing.
Choosing your roof style also depends on your construction abilities, if you are DIY-ing your shed. Many of these designs are doable in the hands of a capable DIYer, but some, like the pyramid or hip roof, require precise building techniques that could be difficult for a beginner. Make sure you have help if you are tackling one of the more complicated styles! We can help you figure out what materials you need for your chosen roof style and have DIY tips available on our website at Shed Windows and More. We also have one of the most complete lines of windows that are perfectly sized for outdoor sheds; from double pane windows to crank out windows we have your construction needs covered.