51 BEST Tips Different Types Of Shed Roofs (Comprehensive)

William T Johnson Nov 08, 2023
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Different Types Of Shed Roofs
Table of Contents
  1. Different Types Of Shed Roofs
  2. Gable Roof
  3. Saltbox Roof
  4. Skillion Roof
  5. Butterfly Roof
  6. Curved Roof
  7. Dutch Gable Roof
  8. Gambrel Roof
  9. Mansard Roof
  10. Dome Roof
  11. Green Roofs
  12. Customizing Your Shed Roof
    1. Roof Pitch
    2. Overhangs
    3. Dormers
    4. Materials
    5. Skylights
  13. Picking the Right Roof
  14. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
  15. Please note

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. 

Different Types Of Shed Roofs

Shed roofs are a common roof style for small residential buildings like garden sheds and detached garages.

They are appreciated for their simple design and sloped shape that makes them an effective solution for shedding water and debris.

Shed roofs come in different variations and can be customized in many ways to suit the needs of a structure.

Gable Roof

The gable roof is the most classic and popular type of shed roof. It consists of two sloped sides that meet at a center ridge.

The triangular shape at each end of the roof is called a gable, which is how this roof style got its name.

Gable roofs have several benefits:

  • Simple design is inexpensive and easy to build

  • Angled sides promote good drainage and snow shedding

  • The ridge vent provides natural ventilation

Gable roofs work well for small backyard sheds and one-story garages. The pitch of the roof can be customized, with steeper pitches better for areas with heavy rain or snow.

Saltbox Roof

A saltbox roof has a steeply pitched front side and a gently sloped back side. This creates a distinctive angled shape, with the rear side of the roof almost reaching the ground.

Saltbox shed roofs have some notable advantages:

  • Allows for a full loft space in the rear side attic area

  • Steep front pitch prevents snow accumulation

  • The long angled shape maximizes interior space

The saltbox profile is common for sheds, pool houses, and backyard offices. It's a good choice when you need expanded storage or living space.

Skillion Roof

Skillion roofs have a single, flat plane sloping in one direction. They are sometimes called lean-to roofs because they appear to lean against another wall.

Some benefits of skillion shed roofs include:

  • Very simple construction using fewer materials

  • Can be built directly against another structure

  • Allows rain and snow to easily run off

Skillion roofs work well when you need a basic sloped roof on a budget. They are popular for smaller backyard sheds and workshops.

Butterfly Roof

Butterfly roofs have two roof planes that slope downwards from a central ridge. This creates a butterfly-wing shape.

Butterfly shed roofs offer some great advantages:

  • Excellent drainage off both sides

  • Central ridge provides ventilation

  • Angled sides allow more light into the interior

Butterfly roofs create a dramatic look while still being practical. They can work for sheds, pool houses, and small backyard retreats.

Curved Roof

A curved roof uses arched rafters to create a rounded roofline. This gives a smooth, aerodynamic shape to a shed structure.

Some of the benefits of curved shed roofs include:

  • Unique aesthetic appeal

  • Efficient water runoff and debris shedding

  • Increased interior space compared to angled roofs

Curved roofs require more complex framing, so they are more often seen on high-end sheds and backyard buildings. But they create an eye-catching look.

Dutch Gable Roof

This style combines a gable roof with a skillion roof extension on one side. The skillion section may cover a porch or side-entryway.

Benefits of Dutch gable shed roofs:

  • Provides covered entryway without full porch

  • Gable offers good loft ventilation

  • Skillion side minimizes materials

The Dutch gable works well when you need a cost-effective roof with both gable and lean-to elements.

Gambrel Roof

This roof has a lower sloped profile on top and steeper pitch near the walls. The double-sloped design creates more space inside the attic area.

Benefits of gambrel shed roofs:

  • Provides substantial overhead storage space

  • Allows for second-floor loft space

  • Steep lower pitch reduces snow accumulation

Gambrel roofs work well for backyard sheds, pool houses, and guest cottages. The extra interior room is useful for storage or living space.

Mansard Roof

The mansard roof has two different slopes on each of the four sides. The lower portion is very steep while the upper section is gently angled.

Advantages of mansard shed roofs:

  • Creates a full attic space for storage

  • Steep lower slope provides weather protection

  • Upper slope allows more natural light

Mansard roofs offer a traditional appearance on garden sheds and pool houses. The multi-angled design provides a unique look.

Dome Roof

A dome roof has a rounded or polygonal dome shape. The curved rafters meet at a central peak.

Benefits of dome shed roofs:

  • Excellent water runoff from the circular design

  • Increased strength compared to flat roofs

  • Creates interesting architectural detail

Dome roofs require complex framing but give a very distinctive look. They work best for upscale sheds and backyard buildings.

Green Roofs

Also called living roofs, these are covered with soil and hardy vegetation. They provide insulation and absorb rainwater.

Green roof benefits:

  • Natural insulation regulates interior temperatures

  • Absorbs and slows rainfall and snowmelt

  • Blends shed into landscaping with plant cover

Green roofs can be added to many shed styles. They are eco-friendly but require higher maintenance.

Customizing Your Shed Roof

There are many ways to customize a shed roof to suit your needs:

Roof Pitch

The steepness of the roof slope can be adjusted. A higher pitch promotes better drainage but a lower pitch creates more usable interior space.


Extending the eave overhangs provides more shade and weather protection. Deeper overhangs are better for wet climates.


Shed dormers are small gable extensions that project from the roofline. They add visual interest and increase interior headroom.


Shed roofs can be finished with asphalt, wood, metal, or tile shingles. Cool roof coatings are also available.


Skylights let natural light into the interior. They can be installed on any shed roof style.

Picking the Right Roof

Choosing the right shed roof involves factoring in your climate, budget, and design preferences.

Consider how much interior space, headroom, and storage access you need. Also think about roof ventilation, drainage, snow load capacity, and overall aesthetics.

With all the roofing options available, you can find the perfect fit for your shed structure.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are the most common types of shed roof styles?

The most popular shed roof styles are gable, saltbox, skillion, butterfly, curved, hip, Dutch gable, and gambrel. Each has its own advantages and best uses.

Gable and skillion roofs are simple and inexpensive. Saltbox and Dutch gable roofs maximize interior space. Butterfly and curved roofs have unique shapes. Hip and gambrel roofs create more overhead storage.

What is a gable roof?

A gable roof has two sloped sides that meet at a center ridge, with triangular gable ends on each side. The simple design makes it one of the most common shed roof styles.

When should I use a saltbox shed roof?

The saltbox roof is ideal when you need expanded space. Its steep front pitch combined with a shallow rear slope creates a full loft area in the back while allowing overall height.

What are the benefits of a skillion shed roof?

Skillion roofs have a single sloped plane. Benefits include very simple construction using fewer materials, low cost, and easy water runoff.

How does a butterfly roof work on a shed?

Butterfly roofs have two roof planes sloping down from a central ridge, creating a butterfly wing shape. This allows excellent drainage off both sides.

What are the advantages of a curved shed roof?

Curved shed roofs provide unique aesthetics, efficient water runoff, increased interior space, and an eye-catching look. But they require more complex framing.

When would I choose a hip roof for my shed?

The hip roof is a good choice if you want slopes on all four sides to shed debris, more usable interior space compared to a gable roof, and a substantial appearance.

What is a Dutch gable shed roof?

This combines a standard gable with a lean-to extension on one side. It provides a cost-effective roof with both open gable space and covered entryway.

What is special about a gambrel shed roof?

The gambrel roof has a double slope, steeper near the walls and more gently pitched above. This provides excellent overhead storage space in the attic area.

What are the features of a mansard shed roof?

A mansard roof has very steep lower slopes and gently angled upper sections. Benefits include increased attic space, weather protection, and natural light.

When would a dome roof work for a shed?

Dome roofs have excellent water runoff and create interesting architectural detail. But the complex framing means they work best for high-end sheds and buildings.

What are the benefits of a green roof on a shed?

Green roofs have soil and plants to absorb rainwater, insulate, and blend the shed into landscaping. But they require higher maintenance.

How do I choose the right shed roof style?

Consider your climate, budget, needed space, ventilation, drainage, snow load, and visual appeal. Pick a roof that fits your region and matches the shed design.

What roof pitch should I use on a shed?

Higher roof pitches promote better drainage while lower pitches allow more interior space. Pitch also depends on snow loads in your location.

Should I extend the eave overhangs on my shed roof?

Deeper overhangs provide more shade and weather protection. In wet climates, wider overhangs help keep the walls dry.

How can I get more light into my shed?

Shed dormers, skylights, and upper glass windows are good ways to add natural light. You can also use translucent roofing panels.

What are shed roof materials to consider?

Asphalt, wood, metal, and tile shingles are common options. You can also install metal, plastic, or fiberglass panels.

How do I ventilate a shed roof?

Ridge and gable vents, eave vents, and roof ventilators can all improve airflow. Cupolas also provide ventilation.

Can I install solar panels on my shed roof?

Yes, shed roofs often have enough space and exposure for solar panels. Ensure the roof can bear the additional weight.

How often should I inspect my shed roof?

You should inspect your shed roof at least twice a year, ideally in spring and fall. Check for any damage, deterioration, leaks, or areas in need of repair. Routine inspections prevent larger problems.

What causes shed roof leaks and how can I prevent them?

Common causes of roof leaks include aging or damaged shingles, accumulated debris, flashing issues around vents/chimneys, and poor drainage. Regular cleaning, replacing worn shingles, and proper sloping can prevent leaks.

Is a shed roof more prone to leaking than other roof types?

Shed roofs are not necessarily more prone to leaking. Any roof can develop leaks from damage, poor installation, or lack of maintenance. Shed roofs may be more vulnerable in heavy rains if drainage is inadequate.

Should I treat my shed roof for moss, mold, or algae?

It's a good idea to periodically treat your shed roof moss/mold inhibitors and remove any buildup. Excessive growth can lead to moisture damage, decay, and leaks. Keep the roof surface clear.

What is the best way to remove snow from my shed roof?

Use a snow rake with an extension handle to rake snow off from the ground. Avoid walking on the roof to shovel snow - the weight can damage the roof. Be extremely careful of falling ice and snow.

How can I tell if my shed roof framing needs repair?

Check for sagging ridges, uneven roof lines, cracks, rotting rafter ends and sheathing. Inside, look for sagging ceilings, cracks in drywall, and condensation which signal framing issues.

What is the best way to cut costs on a new shed roof?

Opt for asphalt shingles rather than higher cost wood or slate. Use pre-made trusses instead of stick framing. Size the overhangs to reduce materials. Install roofing yourself if possible.

Should I hire a contractor or install a shed roof myself?

Shed roofing is doable for a competent DIYer. But for complex designs or if you lack roofing experience, hiring a professional ensures proper installation and safety.

How long does a shed roof typically last?

With proper installation and maintenance, a shed roof can last 15-20 years or longer depending on the materials. Asphalt shingles last 12-20 years, metal roofs 15-40+ years.

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Table of Contents
  1. Different Types Of Shed Roofs
  2. Gable Roof
  3. Saltbox Roof
  4. Skillion Roof
  5. Butterfly Roof
  6. Curved Roof
  7. Dutch Gable Roof
  8. Gambrel Roof
  9. Mansard Roof
  10. Dome Roof
  11. Green Roofs
  12. Customizing Your Shed Roof
    1. Roof Pitch
    2. Overhangs
    3. Dormers
    4. Materials
    5. Skylights
  13. Picking the Right Roof
  14. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
  15. Please note

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only.