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Different Roofing Materials And How To Install A Metal Shed Roof

Four sheds in a row with gabled roofs

Are you building your own wood shed and wondering where to get started? There are many different types of shed to know about before you learn how to roof a shed roof, and a basic knowledge of these is a good starting point.

The one that you decide upon will not only determine the appearance of the shed, but will affect how you will roof it. After a quick review of the most common styles of shed you will find information on what do to before you begin, different kinds of roof materials and how to install a metal shed roof.

Before You Begin

There are a number of things to consider before you begin to roof your shed roof. For starters, are you planning on creating a roof of the same style as your house so that they create a matching pair?

You will also have to consider what you will be using the shed for. If it is for storage, then it would be better to create a gable, gambrel, or salt box roof for the extra storage space that each of these will provide. It is a good idea to determine the kind of shed you want and then get a good set of storage shed plans.

But perhaps the biggest consideration is the weather. If it rains or snows a lot where you live, you would be far better off going with a steep-sided shed roof to prevent problems with drainage and snow accumulation. Alternatively, if you live somewhere hot then you may want to build an overhang over the windows, which would create shade and keep the inside cooler.

Roof Materials

There are a few different materials that you can build your roof out of. And you need to know what kind of material you are using before you start building your shed. This is important because different materials require a different underlay. For asphalt shingles you will want a complete hard surface like plywood. Depending on the application, cedar shingle may not need this.

A couple of other roofing materials available are metal, clay tiles, which are attractive and weather proof and felt, which is cheap and easy to install. But most roofs I see use wood or asphalt shingles.

However, one of the best materials is simple metal. This is cheap, reasonably attractive, highly durable, and very easy to install. It is also impervious to attacks by insects. The only problem with metal roofs is that they can be noisy when it rains, but if you don’t mind that then this could be the best option for you.

How to Install A Metal Shed Roof

The instructions about installing a shed roof below are for a metal shed roof, as this is probably the most common and the easiest for a beginner. Metal can also be repaired more easily than other shed roofs, so it is a great choice to start with.

Firstly, choose the type of metal you require. V-crimp metal is probably the best for a beginner, because you do not need screws and it comes prepared. Alternatively, use R-panel metal which does require screws.

Then measure the roof to work out the amount of metal that you will need. It is a good idea to allow for at least half a foot to a foot extra all the way around, just in case you go wrong somewhere. You may also want an overhang, so take this into consideration.

If you are repairing a roof, remove the shingles or the material first. You should then place tar or roofing paper down. You will then have to screw the panels down, starting around the outside. After you have done this, work across from one side to the other. Lay as many as you need on the tar to reach the other side.

After you have done this, you will need to add edging to the edges as they will be rough, and trim any pieces that stick out.

Then you can simply sit back and admire all your hard work, secure in the knowledge that you have a solid metal roof that will last for years.

List Of Popular Shed Roof Styles

Gambrel Shed

A gambrel roof is much like a typical American barn roof, and consists of two panels with a break in the middle. It is especially good for storage as its high roof provides more space. The roof has two sides, and there is a double slope on each.

Gable Shed

Gable is very similar to gambrel, and is another classic style with two sloping sides meeting in the middle. These two are considered the easiest to build, and are very common. The picture at the top of this article is a gabled roof.

Hipped Roof Shed

This is quite a complex roof, and has four sides that look like a pyramid. The four sides slope down from the central point, and the effect is like a cottage.

Flat Roof Shed

These are easy to install, but can lead to drainage problems with the rain. They also do not look as stylish as other roofs, but could well be a good option if you just want something simple.

Salt Box Roof Shed

This is similar to a gable roof, coming with one short, steep side and a longer, flatter side. It is another shed which is great for increasing storage space.

For more information on building sheds please read these articles:

Guide to metal storage sheds

Selecting storage shed building plans


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