All You Need To Know About Shed Roofs

green metal shed roof

What is the best material to use for a shed roof?

Whether you’re looking to get a whole new shed roof or remodel your existing roof, metal and asphalt shingles are the primary shed roof materials used chiefly by builders. Choosing a material for your roof can be overwhelming because you have to take into consideration the quality of the roof’s material more than the price. A shed roof can start leaking if not installed correctly with quality materials. This can result in rotting, which will make a roof weaker. A roof provides protection from sun, snow, rain, extreme temperatures, and wind. So using the right kind of material is ideal for you and your equipment in the shed. 

Metal roofs

gable shed roof

Metal roofs are durable and long-lasting. Metal roofs can withstand more than 100 mph winds if installed correctly. Metal roofs can be in service for more than 40-70 years with little to no maintenance required. Metal roofs are also fire resistant. They will not attract lightning anymore than a mountain would. Metal roofs can also reflect the sun’s UV light, making your shed cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. 

Metal roofs are great for sheds because, unlike any other roof materials, metal roofs do not attract insects and don’t rot. On the other side, metal roofs can be two to three times more expensive than any other roofing material and can be noisy during rain. You also want to check if water is accumulating in one spot because it could lead to damage and rust.

Asphalt shingles roofs

photo of toolbelt with instrument and nail gun lying on asphalt or bitumen shingle on top of the new roof under construction residential house or building
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Asphalt covers 75% of homes and shed roofs in North America. Asphalt shingle roofs are one of the more inexpensive roofing materials out there, yet they are effective in keeping sheds dry and safe. Shingle roofs are easy to install, and if they are correctly installed, they could last you 30-40 years. Plus, you don’t have to worry about rust and the noisiness of the rain like metal roofs. Asphalt shingles are also available in different colors to match your home. When asphalt shingles start getting cracks, you can replace just the row of shingles instead of taking the whole area off like most roof materials.

Cedar shingles

cedar roof shed roof material
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The best type of roof for a shed is cedar roofing shingles. Cedar shingles are an excellent material for your shed. They are durable and high-quality materials that, if maintained properly, could last your shed for as long as 60+ years. The Cedar roof is so strong it can withstand severe weather such as heavy rain, wind, snow, and hail. Not to mention, cedar roofs are one of the best-looking shingles out there. Cedar shingles are great for shed roofing but are expensive compared to asphalt shingles but are worth it.

Corrugated panels for shed roofing

shed roofing

Corrugated panels are one of the best durable roofing material options for shed roofs. Corrugated panels are waterproof and could be challenging to install properly, but if installed correctly, they also will not need maintenance very often. Corrugated panels are like metal roofs but with a wavy design. Corrugated panels can be used for high-pitched shed roofs but are not always suitable for low-pitched shed roofs.

Clay tiles for shed roofing

shed roof material - clay tiles
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Clay tiles are interlocking tiles that work amazingly to keep the rain out. Clay tiles are durable and have longevity, with no maintenance required. Clay tiles are great for shed roofs because they don’t rot. They are also fire-resistant and don’t attract insects. The disadvantage is that clay tiles, in the colder months, become fragile and have the potential to break with freezing temperatures.

Rubber shingles for shed roofing

shed roofing material- rubber shingles
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Rubber shingles are low-price shingles that are great for shed roofs. Rubber shingles are eco-friendly and durable, and unlike any other shed roofing material, rubber shingles don’t crack. They also have the benefit of not absorbing moisture. Rubber shingles are great to some extent, but if a branch falls on the rubber roof, it might puncture it, creating a leak. Rubber shingles are easy to clean and maintain.

How do you build a simple shed roof?

shed roof styles
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If you’re considering building your own shed roof, it’s fairly easy. Whether you’re framing a new set of roofs for a new shed or renovating your existing shed. First things first, You need to know the style and pitch of the roof you desire. There are a lot of shed roof styles and pitched slopes. The roof’s pitch is the steepness of the roof. The more steep your shed roof is, the better rain, snow, and leaves will fall off the shed. Here are some shed roof styles that are common.

Gable shed roofs

shed roof styles -gable roof
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Gable roofs are by far the most commonly used style for sheds because they are easy to build and are great for letting the rain and snow drain down due to the steepness.

Hip shed roofs

shed roof style - hip roof
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Hip roofs have four incline sides with no flat side, and they are sturdier than gable roofs due to the bracing. Hip shed roofs are also great for windy areas.

Gambrel Shed Roofs

metal shed roof

Gambrel shed roofs are like gable roofs but with 4 sides with similar slope on both sides of the roof. Gambrel roofs provide extra space for an attic or storage. And, gambrel roof lasts longer than any other roofing style. 

  • First, measure the center of your rafters, use the same process as the wall stud spacing. This means every 12” 16” 24”. The most common spacing used by roofers are 16” and 24”. 
  • Second, measure and cut a rafter. When cutting a rafter, you must know the pitch (slope) you want. The most common pitches used for gable are 4” 12” to 9” 12”. But if you’re building a flat shed roof you don’t need to angle cuts.
  • Third, Cut the rafter with a circular saw. Cut all the rafters at once and assemble them into the frame of the shed roof. When cutting the birds mouth, we suggest you use a hand saw. The birds mouth is a notch at the end of a rafter to fit on the top of the wall.
  • Fourth, Assemble a gusset plate. Gusset plates are rectangular pieces of wood assembled together to connect trusses with rafters to be nailed. Here is a short video on how to assemble a gusset. How to Cut Plywood Gussets 
  • Fifth, Attach the rafters to the wall plate and truss. Start with two sides instead of just assembling them from one side of the roof so that the rafters would be even and level. Using 8D nails, nail the rafter to the wall plate.
  • Lastly, cover the shed roofing with sheathing. Sheathing your shed roof gives stability and strength. Put the first sheathing on the bottom side of the roof horizontally. Make sure they are plum and flush on both sides and top for the next sheath to install. Most sheathings are 4’ x 8’, so you’ll need to cut additional sheathings to fit on your shed roof. Nail the sheathing using 8D nails every 6 to 8 inches. Make sure the scheme doesn’t align with the sheathing on top. Once the sheathing is done, you need fascia to cover the ends of your rafters.

How long should a shed roof last?

How long should a shed roof last

Most shed roofs that are built with craftsmanship and quality last as long as 25-60 years, of course, depending on the type of material and the maintenance. Here are some standard shed roofs and their lifespan.

  • Metal shed roofing: Lifespan is between 40-70 years
  • Asphalt Shingle for shed roofing: Lifespan is between 15-30 years
  • Clay tiles for shed roofing: Lifespan is between 50-100 years
  •  Membrane shed roofing: Lifespan is between 20-50 years
  •  Woodshed roofing: Lifespan is between 10-25 years
  • Robber shed roofing: Lifespan is between 65-100 years
  • Slate shed roofing: Lifespan is between 60-125 years

How to remove a shed roof

Removing a shed roof is plain and simple, but a little hazardous, so get your eye protection glasses, gloves, hard hats, ladder, hammer, pry bar, and safety shoes as well as gloves. Ensure you have a place for all the trash, and check if the shed is empty.

  • First, start by removing the nails of shingles if you have a shed roof with shingles. If you don’t have shingles, whatever material you have, start by removing them. For example, if you have metal roofing, start by removing the screws.
  • Second, begin taking the plywood or sheathing off. Taking plywood off the shed roof could be a hassle, so from inside, with a sledgehammer, start by hitting the plywood from the side of the rafters to loosen the nails in the sheathing.
  • lastly Once you get the sheathing off, you can start by dismantling the rafters. When hammering a rafter, make sure to hammer the side of the rafter to loosen the nails. 

Are gutters installed on shed roofs?

gutters for shed roof
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Yes, gutters are installed on shed roofs to give protection to the shed’s foundation. Gutters can be installed to any building that has a roof. Gutters are critical to have on sheds and should be well maintained because a gutter that is not well maintained will result in mildew weakening and structure decay as well as wall weakening. Here are some common gutters that you could use for a shed.

Aluminum gutters for sheds

aluminum gutters for shed roof
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aluminum gutters are great for sheds. Aluminum gutters are lightweight, easy to install, rust-proof, and come in a variety of colors. With a lifespan of 20 years

Vinyl gutters for sheds

vinyl shed roof gutter
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Vinyl gutters are affordable yet durable gutters for sheds. Vinyl gutters require very little maintenance, they are lightweight and vinyl gutters will not crack, dent or split. With a lifespan of 20 years

Zinc gutters for sheds

zinc gutter for shed roof
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zinc gutters are long-lasting and inexpensive. Zinc gutters could last longer than aluminum gutters. Zinc gutters are great for sheds because it prevents mildew and mold reproductions. With a lifespan of 50 years

Sheds In Western PA

If you are looking for a shed with a great roof, we would love to help. Browse our sheds today, and contact us for your shed roof needs!

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