However, we recommend putting more thought into choosing shed roofing materials, as this choice will not only affect the look of the shed; it's also about the durability and long term waterproofing performance of the membrane Plus, let's not forget about the fact that depending on the shed roof material of your choice, your expenses will vary greatly.
As a consequence, choosing the roofing material isn't easy - though you don't need to worry! We have prepared this guide on the best shed roof materials that will help you make the best decision based on your priorities and preferences.
What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing Shed Roof Material?
Even though for many people, the choice of a shed roof material is made based on aesthetics only, it is only one of many factors that you should consider. Sure, the aesthetic value of the shed roof material is probably going to be at the top of the list of your priorities, as you don't want to avert your eyes every time you approach your shed. At the same time, if you ever decide to sell your property, you'll find more willing buyers if your garden's beauty isn't ruined by an abhorrent shed roof. However, we recommend remembering other aspects as well.
Is It Waterproof?
One of the primary functions of a shed roof is to protect everything stored inside from the elements. You don't want your tools to be besprent regularly, as it would have a negative impact on their lifespan. That's why you need to choose a shed roof material that will not let the water in. However, not all types of roof materials will provide the same level of protection against water. That's why some of them, like cedar shingles, are used primarily with relatively steep roofs so that the water won't stay on the roof, but will drain from it over time.
On the other hand, even if you decide to choose a roofing material that is well-known for its waterproof properties, like EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), you will have a 100% guarantee that your roof won't leak in any case. We recommend at least 6* slope at the minimum, though if you are going to choose one of the less waterproof materials, the slope should be considerably higher.
How Long Will It Last?
When you are choosing a roofing material for your shed, their appearance will be one of the deciding factors; however, you should remember that, depending on your choice, your roof might not retain its looks in a decade or so. Wood shingles look great, but the sad reality is that they will eventually decay, and you'll have to replace them.
On the other hand, if you choose metal as the roofing material, there is a high chance that your roof will last you up to half of a century. Because of that, if the price of a shed roof material is your primary concern, we recommend comparing its price and durability. Some types of roofing materials need more maintenance, whereas others are easy to install - you should factor those costs into the equation as well.
Although it is pretty understandable why you might want to avoid spending too much on your roof, we recommend considering whether it's not better to pay a little more now and save some money in the long term.
Is It Easy to Install?
Different types of shed roofing materials require a varied amount of time and skills during their installation process. It means that if you are low on time, you might need to hire a specialist to do that for you. Still, some shed roof materials might be too difficult to install for those without much experience, and they will have to delegate this task to experts. Either way, it will result in additional costs.
At the same time, even if you know how to do it, the installation process of some types of roof materials takes more time, and we all have busy lives. That's why you should make sure to check whether the roof material that you've chosen is easy to install before you make a purchase decision, or you might discover that you aren't sure how to do it, and the entire endeavor would end up being more costly.
Does It Require a Lot of Maintenance?
Some types of shed roofs might serve you for long years, but only if you remember to check their state regularly, and if the need arises, conduct maintenance. However, some people are willing to spend extra money on the roof or even dedicate an entire weekend just to install the shed roof correctly if it means that they won't have to waste time on maintenance later on.
What about the Roof Pitch?
Another aspect that you should consider is the pitch of your shed. If you live in a region with plenty of rainfall and snowfall, your roof should be steeper to prevent water or snow from staying there for a longer period of time. However, the roof pitch is important for choosing the best shed roofing material.
If your shed has a gentle slope, let's say 6*, you shouldn't choose shingles, as there would be a significant chance of leakage. Instead, they should only be used in the case of steeper roofs. At the same time, although you might think that snow doesn't weigh a lot, if it snows a lot during winter in your area, a flat roof could be dangerous, as it could simply collapse under the weight of the snow if it isn't removed manually.
Now that you know what are the factors that you should consider when choosing a roofing material for your shed, let's now focus on the roof materials themselves.
The Types of Shed Roof Material
Roof felt is one of the most popular roof-covering materials, which is primarily due to its low cost, and simple installation. All that you'll need to complete the job is a hammer, roofing nails, and a little bit of free time. It should offer enough protection from the water; however, this roof felt might get damaged during strong winds.
Though it really depends on the conditions in your area, typically roof felt lasts 10 to 15 years, which means that it isn't particularly durable, but its cost is the primary reason for its popularity. If you are trying to spend as little as possible on your shed roof material and want the installation process to be simple, the roof felt is definitely an interesting choice.
If you aren't entirely happy with the protection offered by the shed roof, you could install asphalt shingles on top of the roof felt. Although it would be an additional cost, asphalt shingles aren't expensive either. You could argue that asphalt shingles don't look particularly appealing, but as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
On top of that, we must mention that although asphalt shingles don't top our list when it comes to durability, they should serve you from 20 to 30 years. If we add to that the fact that they are pretty cheap, it's no surprise that they are so commonly used for shed roofs.
However, it might not be the best of all roofing options if there are trees right next to your shed. Why? Asphalt shingles are not resistant to impact, which means that even if a small branch falls on the roof, the damage will be pretty significant. Still, they are easy to install and cheap, which is why we think it's a choice that you could consider.
If both of the previous options don't seem particularly enticing as you think that they lack the visual appeal, you should consider yet another option - wood shingles. If you choose a high-quality wood, like oak, then they might be even quite durable and last you up to 35 years. On the other hand, e.g., cedar shingles will serve you from 15 to 25 years, which might not be a lot when compared to other materials, but it's not that short either.
Their installation is rather simple, and shouldn't be a problem. When it comes to their cost, you'll find both relatively cheap and quite expensive wood shingles - it all depends on the type of wood.
At the same time, the roof should be at least a little steep so that the water won't stay on it for a long period of time, or it might rot and need to be replaced much more quickly. However, if you want your shed roof to be pleasant to look at, wood shingles are at the top of our list.
Metal roofing is quite popular due to its durability and resistance to the elements. The life span of metal roofs depends on the type of metal used. If you make sure that the metal is covered with paint to prevent corrosion and the water doesn't stay on the roof for too long (you might need to install rain gutters to take care of that), you shouldn't face any issues.
If you choose corrugated panels, which are particularly known for their durability, you might not have to replace your shed roof for another 50 years, which is plenty of time. Now, depending on the type of metal, the installation process shouldn't be too complicated, unless you choose corrugated panels, which aren't easy to install.
However, if we take into consideration how long-lasting they are, we think that additional effort or costs if you decide to hire a specialist might be worth the result.
EPDM Rubber Roofing
EPDM could be your perfect shed roofing material. Why? The installation process of EPDM is extremely easy, and you won't need many tools and only adhesive.
EPDM offers great protection against the elements and can be installed even on completely flat roofs. If you are interested in choosing EPDM rubber roofing, you'll be happy to learn that it isn't particularly expensive, and if installed correctly, it's very durable and could serve you from 30 to 50 years.
If you are not sure which materials would be best for your garden shed roof, you should know that you have plenty of options from which to choose. However, before you even start checking which type of roof shed materials is the easiest to install, there are several factors that you should consider first.
The roof pitch affects not only the water-resistant properties of your garden shed roof but even the choice of the materials. Cedar shingles shouldn't be used for flat roofs, as in the next couple of years, the roof would start to rot. On the other hand, if you have a flat roof, choosing EPDM rubber roofing would be a great option, as it’s known for its water-resistance.
At the same time, the price of various shed roofing materials varies; however, we recommend checking their durability as well. Some shed roof materials cost quite a bit but will last you several decades, and they might be a better choice than low-cost materials that you'll have to replace after 10 or 15 years.