15 Most Popular Roof Styles for Sheds [With Pictures]

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Have you ever driven through different neighborhoods and wondered why there are so many different shed roof styles? Why does one neighbor have a gable roof and another a shed roof?

The roof of a shed affects its overall look, but it’s not just for show. The roof design is influenced by the climate, its complexity, the cost, and the builder. I personally prefer the shed roof style for its simplicity and low cost of construction.

Not sure which roof style is best for your shed? Here are the 15 most popular shed roof styles with their advantages and disadvantages to help with you.

shed roof styles
Top 5 Considerations for Building a Shed Roof

A roof is like a hat, it helps to protect a building from the weather. Many reflect traditional designs from other countries that have immigrated with earlier settlers. Each roof design has pros and cons and is designed to meet the requirements of the environment. Here are some things to consider when building a roof:

Weather Conditions

Day to day weather is the greatest influence on roof design. Rain, snow and wind cause damage and heat and cold can make life miserable.

Some roof designs help shed snow and rain better, some take the winds better, and others help keep the inside cooler or warmer. Select a roof design that meets your climate needs.

Roof Slope

The slope of the roof is very important. The greater the slope the quicker snow, rain, and debris will slide off.

The direction of the slope also determines where the precipitation goes and how the wind hits your shed. Ventilation, which affects the temperature inside the shed, is influenced by the slope. A higher slope usually provides extra storage space inside a shed too.

Framing Complexity

A roof with one slope is usually less complex to build than a roof with multiple slopes. The more angles to measure and cut, the more math you have to do, the greater the chance for making a mistake; at least for me.

The complexity of a shed roof framing can also showcase the builder’s skill and the owner’s ancestry and wealth.

Roof Materials

The roof design influences the roofing material. Ribbed sheet steel may work better on a shed or gable roof, while shingles may work better on a hip or octagonal roof style.

Shingles refer to asphalt, clay, slate, cedar, metal, tar and gravel, and roll roofing products. Some other roofing materials which are used for low slope, curved or butterfly roof styles are PVC, TPO, and rubber membrane.

If the roofing material is going to match your house, then the roofing material will affect the design for the same reason.

Cost

The cost of the roof is based on a number of things. The more angles to cut, the more time and usually more materials needed.

The more complex the design, the more expensive it usually is due to increase of materials and time to build it. A single slope will be less expensive than a hip or rounded roof.

 

15 Most Popular Shed Roof Styles

1. Gable Style Roof

Gable Style Roof

A common roof style with 2 sloped roof sections meeting at a peak centered above the end walls forming a symmetrical roof line. It can be built with rafters that run from the walls and meet at a raised center ridge to form a peak or gable above two opposite walls; or with prebuilt trusses.

It is a fairly simple roof to build but slightly more expensive and complex than a shed roof. It is easy to vent out the gables or from the soffits to the ridge.

Best Roofing Material: shingle or ribbed steel sheet

Pros Cons
  • Has extra storage above the ceiling for storage, a loft, or just extra headroom
  • Snow and rain shed easily, especially if the slope is 4/12 or better
  • It is easy for a beginner to build
  • Can be damaged by strong winds, so the use of hurricane brackets is a good idea
  • If the slope is low, snow load can be a problem

 

2. Gambrel or Barn Style Shed Roof

gambrel roof style

 A gambrel or barn style roof shows Dutch colonial influence. The use of gussets to connect and reinforce the chords or parts of the rafters provides greater usable attic or loft space.

The rafters require more cutting and angles, so are slightly more complex than a gable roof. It can be vented at gable ends or the center ridge. If insulating this roof style will need a separate air handling system installed.

Best Roofing Material: shingle or ribbed sheet metal

Pros Cons
  • It’s easy to add a loft for upper storage space or leave open for the extra headroom
  • The roof style sheds water and snow easily
  • It is more difficult for a beginner to build
  • High winds can cause the roof to collapse unless it is properly braced or reinforced
  • The ridges also need extra waterproofing or they may leak
  • It has a higher profile, which may not be acceptable in some neighborhoods

 A Helpful Video:

 

3. Skillion & Lean-To Style Roof

Skillion & Lean-To Style

Image courtesy of seans.com

A Skillion or Shed style roof shed has one wall higher than the opposite wall creating a single slope roof. It looks like half a gable roof.

It is one of the easiest roofs to build and usually the least expensive. 2×6 (or greater) planks span the distance between the high wall and the low wall, often with an overhang. The span is limited by the strength of the rafter.

The key difference between a Skillion roof style and a shed roof style is the slope, a Skillion roof is usually greater than 6/12.

Best Roofing Material: ribbed steel sheet or shingle; rubber waterproofing isn’t needed due to the slope.

Please make sure to check out my post about how I built Lean To shed 😉

Pros Cons
  • The roof overhang provides shade and protection for the walls from rain and snow
  • The greater slope sheds snow and rain well
  • The higher wall height can also create space for a loft or attic storage
  • It is a good for solar panels if oriented westward
  • It is also easy for a beginner to build
  • The slope and wall heights make it susceptible to damage by high winds
  • Depending on the height of the low wall, it can have a low ceiling on one side
  • Ventilation of the roof or attic area can be an issue too

 

4. Slanted or Shed Roof (also known as a pent roof)

Slanted or Shed Roof

Similar to the Skillion, the Slanted or Shed style roof has a tall wall opposite a shorter wall. The rafters or joists span the distance between the walls.

The span is limited by the strength of the joists, which are usually notched to sit on the wall plate. It has a single slope, usually between 2/12 and 4/12.

It is a good roof style for against a fence or wall.

Best Roofing Material: ribbed steel sheet or shingle, waterproofing is needed due to the lower slope.

Pros Cons
  • A simple roof to construct but slightly more expensive than the Skillion due to the lower slope needing waterproofing
  • It does shed rain and snow shed more easily with the greater slope
  • It has a lower profile than the Skillion or gable so may be more suitable to some neighborhoods
  • Like the Skillion, it is a good for solar panels if oriented westward
  • It is also easy for a beginner to build
  • The lower slope means the roof should be protected with 30 LB tar paper or roofing membrane
  • It offers less “attic” storage space, and high winds can damage the roofing

 

5. Simple Hip Style Shed Roof

Simple Hip Style Shed Roof

A Hip style roof is a more complex to build with compound cuts or angle joist hangers where jack rafters tie to hip rafters. All 4 sections of the roof slope inward from the walls, usually with a common slope, so there is no gable end or peak.

There is a center ridge like the gable roof, but shorter. Soffit to ridge ventilation doesn’t work for the whole roof, so it needs a different ventilation system if being insulated.

Best Roofing Material: shingle or ribbed sheet metal

Pros Cons
  • The hip roof is more stable than a shed, gable or gambrel roof
  • It withstands high winds or heavy snows better and sheds rain easily
  • It can have a vaulted ceiling or extra storage above the ceiling
  • Is a more complex roof so more expensive to build
  • It has more seams or hips to waterproof and a greater chance of leakage
  • It also requires more time to build and expertise to the layout
  • Тot an easy for a beginner to build

A Helpful Video: 

 

6. The Saltbox Style Roof

Saltbox Style Shed

A Saltbox roof has two parallel roof sections, often with the same slope, but one is narrower than the other. It forms an off-center 2 slope roof with an asymmetrical roof line.

It looks like a gable roof with a shed roof attached to one side. It can be built with rafters that run from the walls and meet at a raised ridge to form a peak or gable above two opposite walls, or built with prebuilt trusses.

It is a fairly simple roof to build but slightly more expensive and complex than a gable roof. It is easy to vent out gables or from the soffits to the ridge.

Best Roofing Material: shingle or ribbed steel sheet

Pros Cons
  • A saltbox roof is more resistant to strong winds than a gable roof
  • Rain and snow slide off it easily too
  • The offset peak provides extra storage space in the attic or higher ceiling space
  • Although more complex than a gable, it is reasonably easy for a beginner to build
  • The saltbox is more complex than a gable so more expensive to build
  • The longer slope may also need extra bracing in high snow load areas
  • High winds can still damage roofing materials too

 

7. The Pyramid Style Roof

Pyramid Style Shed Roof
Similar to a Hip roof but all four sides of the roof meet at a point; it has no ridge. It is a more complex roof to build than the Hip roof, with more compound cuts or angle joist hangers where jack rafters tie to hip rafters.

All 4 sections of the roof slope inward from the walls, usually with a common slope, so there is no gable end or peak, just a point.

The roof overhangs all walls and helps protect them from precipitation.

Best Roofing Material: ribbed steel sheet or shingle

Pros Cons
  • The Pyramid style roof is very stable in high winds
  • Snow and rain run off very well too
  • It also provides extra ceiling height or attic space
  • Is difficult to work on due to the slope and lack of a ridge
  • There are a lot of angle cuts to make so it is more complex and more expensive to build
  • It can be a tall roof too so check local codes
  • Like the hip style, it requires more expertise to the layout; not an easy roof to build for a beginner

 

8. Octagon Style Roof

Octagon Roof
An Octagon style roof is an 8 sided structure with 8 triangular sloped roof sections. Like the hip or pyramid roof style, it has 8 hips running from the wall “corners” to a single center point.

The rest of the roof structure is short rafters and jack rafters. There are several ways the point or center of the octagonal roof can be laid out which also make the roof stronger and more rigid.

It can have a low slope or a steep slope. The greater the slope of the roof, the more storage or loft space the octagon will have.

Best Roofing Material: shingle

Pros Cons
  • A very strong for wind and heavy snow-load
  • The roof overhangs the walls protecting them from precipitation and providing shade
  • It is a unique roof style so may be a great conversation piece
  • Very complex, so more expensive to build
  • Ventilation is difficult but depends on the center design where the hips meet
  • Like the hip and pyramid roof styles, it requires more expertise to the layout; not easy to build for a beginner

 

9. Flat Style Roof

Flat Style Roof

A flat roof looks flat but has a slight pitch for run off. It is built like a regular shed style roof, but the supporting shed walls are almost the same height.

It has a very low profile so may be more acceptable in some neighborhoods.

Best Roofing Material: Tar and gravel, Rubber, TPO or PVC membranes-less seams mean less risk of leakage or sheet metal

Pros Cons
  • The flat roof style is easy and less expensive to build
  • Similar to the shed style, it is a good for solar panels if oriented westward
  • It’s easy for a beginner to build
  • Difficult to insulate and will need an alternate ventilation system if insulating
  • It doesn’t shed rain or snow quickly; water can puddle and seep through the roof
  • Will also require regular maintenance

 

10. Dormer

Roof with Dormer

A dormer is a window in a roofed box added to the sloped roof to create more space, light and ventilation. It is often roofed to match the style of the roof it is added to, but not always.

It can be added to most roof styles that have a large enough space on a slope.

Best Roofing Material: shingle or ribbed steel sheet (depending on size and shape to match roof)

Pros Cons
  • A dormer can increase attic space, lighting, and ventilation
  • It can divert rain and snowmelt from doorways below them
  • It isn’t a difficult addition for a beginner
  • The added seams and valleys need more waterproofing and may leak
  • They also require more frequent maintenance
  • A dormer is an additional cost to a roof construction project

 

11. Curved Style Roof

Curved Style Roof

A curved roof offers a mix of the flat and gable roof style, creating the curve or arch. It is often used to increase headroom without adding much height.

It can be made by bending plywood over ribs or arch cut rafters. Another method is using tongue and groove planks laid over curved ribs or arches.

It can be slightly curved or more arched or rounded. Bending of plywood or ribs is done using steam or Kerfing.

Best Roofing Material: PVC, TPO, rubber membrane, or flexible sheet steel

Pros Cons
  • The curved roof offers a lower roof profile with greater headroom
  • It is more resistant to high winds too
  • The greater the curve, the better for shedding rain and snow
  • Although more complex than a gable, it is reasonably easy for a beginner to build
  • It can be a more complex style depending on size and curve
  • A curved roof usually requires more maintenance, which increases the cost
  • There is also not a lot of attic storage with a curved shed roof

 

12. Jerkinhead Style Roof

Jerkinhead Style Roof
Image courtesy: Ian Poellet

A Jerkinhead style roof looks like gable roof with a shortened hip roof over the gable ends. It has a longer center ridge section and very short hips.

The short hips visually reduce the height of the gable ends making the roof appear lower. Ventilation is similar to a gable roof; through the gable ends or soffits to the ridge.

Best Roofing Material: shingle or ribbed sheet steel

Pros Cons
  • More stable than a gable roof, it is better in high winds
  • It has more attic or loft space than a hip roof
  • Rain and snow shed off the Jerkinhead easily too
  • Although slightly more complex than a gable roof, it is an easy build for a beginner
  • The Jerkinhead roof style is slightly more expensive to build than the gable roof
  • Similar to the gable, it is susceptible to high wind damage too

 

13. Bonnet Style Roof

A hip style roof with a double slope over each wall like the Mansard, but the upper slope is greater than the lower slope. It looks like a hat with a brim.

The lower slope often extends beyond the walls creating covered porches or storage; great for outdoor storage under the extended eves. Dormers are often added to a Bonnet style roof.

Best Roofing Material: shingle or ribbed steel sheet

Pros Cons
  • The Bonnet style roof offers more attic space or higher ceilings
  • The overhangs provide shade and protect walls from water and snow damage
  • It is better in higher winds than a gable or shed roof
  • Rain and snow shed well from the upper slope and the lower slope is long enough to usually prevent back up
  • Is more complex so more expensive and needs regular maintenance
  • It requires waterproofing in valleys where the two slopes meet and at the hips
  • Ventilation can also be more difficult with this style too

 

14. Mansard Roof

Similar in style to a hip roof, it is a more complex roof with 2 different slopes on all 4 roof surfaces; the upper slope is low pitched and the lower slope is almost vertical. It is the reverse of the Bonnet style roof.

The roof style creates ample attic or loft space. It is a difficult roof to build structurally. The Mansard style also often has dormers added to improve lighting and ventilation.

Best Roofing Material: a heavy shingle due to the steep almost vertical slope, but the low slope needs a lot of flashing and waterproofing.

Pros Cons
  • The Mansard roof increases attic or loft space
  • The lower steeper slope sheds water and snow easily
  • The Mansard creates the illusion of a lower roof profile so may be more acceptable in some neighborhoods
  • This is a complex roof system so expensive to build
  • It requires more maintenance on the upper slope and is not easy to re-shingle
  • The low slope portion of the roof isn’t great in areas with high rain or snowfall
  • It also requires more time to build and expertise to the layout

 

15. Butterfly Style Roof

The Butterfly style roof has two slopes that meet downward in the middle. It looks like an upside down roof. There are two higher walls to allow ceiling clearance in the middle.

The inverted peak or valley requires a beam or posts for support. The higher walls can have windows up higher for more light, which could also mean fewer windows down low creating more storable wall space.

The two high wall sections may also be used for attic or loft space depending on the size of the shed. In dry climates the Butterfly roof can be used to collect rainwater and solar energy. The Butterfly roof would also need a ventilation system.

Best Roofing Material: Continuous seamless waterproof material, PVC, TPO, or sheet steel

Pros Cons
  • The Butterfly style is great for water and solar collection
  • It has a low roof profile so is stronger in windy areas
  • The low roof profile may also help where height restrictions may be an issue
  • A more complex design so more expensive to build
  • It has a greater risk of leakage and requires regular maintenance
  • Is not great for high snowfall or rainy areas
  • The design requires more expertise to the layout; not an easy roof to build for a beginner

 

Conclusion

There are many different styles of the shed roof. The 15 shared here are the most. The climate affects the roof style.

The roof style affects the slope and framing complexity. The complexity and the roofing materials affect the price.

A shed roof may be easier to build and a hip roof more expensive, but you can build them. As you’ve seen, some roof styles may be better suited for a drier climate, but most will withstand a blizzard with a foot or two of snow.

Pick the roof that best suits your style and ability, whether a beginner or expert, make it your own.

I hope you found the article enjoyable and informative. Your comments are appreciated.

If you have any questions or some additional information, please let us know. If you know someone building a shed, share with them if you liked it.

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