For years, sheds have been one of the most underrated and overlooked features of any home. However, recent urban developments have given the humble storage shed a new lease on life. With a little creativity, a shed can be transformed into something more. This is why most customers are not satisfied with purchasing a simple flat roof shed anymore—not when the more aesthetically-pleasing gable roofs and the highly functional skillion roofs are available in the market.
Why the shed roof style matters
People might not fully understand the importance of choosing the right roof for a shed. If it can keep the rain, wind, and sun out, it should be okay, right? Whilst there’s nothing wrong with a simple structure, it is more favourable for any homeowner to choose a shed that is functional as well as pleasing to the eye.
According to real estate experts, a strategically-placed garden shed can improve your landscape and increase your property value by more than $50,000 whilst a converted shed (i.e. shed converted into deck or terrace) can further raise it up to $100,000.
Technically, you can choose to customise your shed’s roof into any of the available different roof types. However, if you want your roof to be functional and appealing, there are three different styles that you should seriously consider: gable roof, pent or skillion roof, and flat roof.
The most traditional and easily recognisable roof style, the gable roof’s trademarked triangular or pitched shape has fueled the creativity of many shed enthusiasts. Carpenters often remark that gable roof sheds are easiest to build. However, improperly built frames can result in roof collapse.
Gable roofs are easier to make as they are usually made out of a common rafter (e.g. cedar shakes, asphalt shingles, concrete tiles, or steel) that are cut into equal sizes for both sides. Sheds with gable roofs are also more resilient and easier to maintain because snow and rain simply slide off their sides. Their peaked-shape structure allows for more ventilation and gives the appearance of bigger space compared to other roof styles.
The degree of slopes for your gable roof can be categorised into three types: low-, medium-, and high-pitch. A low-pitched roof is the easiest to maintain and install. However, it is also not commonly used, especially in regions where severe rain and snowstorms occur, as it might fall under its weight. For this reason, medium-pitched roofs are more commonly used by most shed owners. However, it is not entirely impossible to see some high-pitched shed roofs whose shape can give the shed a very dynamic aesthetic.
A word of caution, though: you need to compute the right angle of slope to make gable roofs work. Ideally, a 40° angle should be good if you live in snowy regions. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you might want to reconsider purchasing a gable-roofed shed, because strong and high winds can peel away your roof and completely detach it from your shed’s walls.
Advantages of Purchasing Gable roof Sheds
With this style as the most popular, you won’t have a hard time searching for a pre-fabricated gable roof shed. Moreover, its traditional pitch shape adds appeal to your landscape – certainly useful if you are aiming to increase your property value. It won’t matter if you live by the countryside or in the suburbs. A gable roof shed will fit right in the setting. It is a highly versatile roof choice that spells sophistication and comfort.
Disadvantages of Choosing Gable roof Sheds
A shoddy shed roof might cost you more than what you had initially anticipated. Make sure that the roof frame is stable and can withstand high winds and severe stormy weather. The roof is one of the most important components of any structure, and it should be built according to the best standards. If you are in doubt, ask your shed seller about the construction of their gable roof sheds to make an informed decision.
Skillion, also known as pent-, half-pitched, or mono-pitched roof, is characterised by its single sloping appearance, with the highest angle attached to the taller wall. Just like the gable roof, skillion is easy to build because it uses fewer materials than any other roof type. It is also excellent for fending off rainwater and snow, given its high slope. It gives the appearance of a higher ceiling or headroom and provides tiny spaces under the eaves of the roof to let the natural light in.
Skillion roofs are essentially useful in backyards or gardens that don’t have much space. They can also be modified as a habitable extension of your home, as they can “lean to” your house.
Its minimalistic appearance might be its strongest point, as it allows functionality without being overtly ostentatious. Furthermore, the single slope reminds homeowners that this shed uses only half of the materials needed to build gable roofs. This means that skillion roofs are, by far, one of the cheapest roof sheds in the market.
Aside from its remarkable price, skillion roofs are also easy to install and fast to construct. Their simple design makes them an ideal roof for do-it-yourself sheds. Their utilitarian look mainly consigned skillion roofs to industrial buildings, although some Aussies also use this type of roof in rural areas.
Like with gabled roofs, you need to compute its appropriate slope to fully maximize its ability to roll off rain and snow. As the skillion roof doesn’t require rubber membranes or skins (as opposed to the typical flat roof shed), its construction helps consumers save money. Those who have half-pitched shed roofs also enjoy a good water drainage system.
Advantages of Purchasing Skillion roof Sheds
For the environmentally-conscious, a skillion roof shed fulfils their need to create an eco-friendly infrastructure at half the price. Its sloping plane makes it easy to install solar panels, which can be used to power up your shed and main house. The incline makes it ideal for natural light to come in, cutting down electricity cost. It is also easier to clear it of leaves and other materials.
Lastly, its popularity (second to gable roof sheds) makes it widely available in the market in almost all sizes. You might also save more money, as you can purchase a pre-fabricated skillion roof shed instead of building one yourself.
Disadvantages of Choosing Skillion roof Sheds
Unlike gable roofs, mono-pitched sheds offer little versatility. The most creative design that one can come up with is to make the shed an extension of your home. Standing alone, it might not be as aesthetically-pleasing as a gable roof shed and would hardly add value to your home unless modified or converted.
Flat roofs are widely used not only in sheds, but also in residential and commercial buildings because of their uncomplicated construction and cheap cost. It's important to note that drilling holes in the roof channel is necessary to facilitate water flow. Without proper drainage, water may accumulate and pose a risk of causing a pool, potentially leading to roof damage or a reduced lifespan.
Its simple, unobtrusive design makes the flat roof shed the cheapest to buy. Easier to install and maintain, the flat roof shed also has the advantage of offering additional space. Some buyers opt to convert the flat roof into a green roof.
A flat roof doesn’t require homeowners to purchase decorative materials (like shingles). Its repair is also simpler because it is easier to climb than a steep slope. Unlike a gable roof and a skillion roof, you can calmly relax with a flat roof, if you live in hurricane- or tornado-prone regions. However, it is not advisable to purchase a flat roof shed if you live in a high-rainfall or snowfall region.
Another consideration in building flat roofs is that you have to make sure the material used to construct the roof is waterproof. You might need to use heavy materials such as roll roofing, metal sheets, PVC, tar and gravel, and rubber membranes.
Advantages of Purchasing Flat roof sheds
Aside from its affordability, a flat roof shed gives the impression of extra space, as you can set the ceiling as high as you want. It is also easier to hide ventilation and/or cooling units with this type of roof. This is extremely helpful if you are thinking of converting your garden shed into a green house or something similar.
Disadvantages of Choosing Flat roof sheds
The biggest disadvantage of a flat roof shed is its implied shorter life span. This is understandable because its almost non-existent slope could not effectively deflect strong winds, rain, and snow. Its small incline might not be enough to help roll off the excess water and snow down the drainage. This also means that flat roof sheds are very prone to leakage. Even when using waterproof materials, it is still possible for the roof to acquire tiny pinholes, as collected water slowly erodes the material.
Its short lifespan can create a hole not only in the roof but also in your bank account, as everything you store within that shed will be subjected to potentially costly water damage, not to mention the impending need to repair or replace the roof.
Its design attracts and absorbs heat. Being highly insulated, anyone staying inside a flat roof shed on a high noon would probably feel like being slowly baked in a human-sized oven. This can be problematic especially under the blistering, hot Australian weather.
So, which one is the best roof for your shed: Gable, Skillion, or Flat?
Each of the three styles are widely available as pre-fabricated sheds in the Australian market. The best style really depends on three factors, namely your budget, space allotted for installation, and purpose or use. If you have a rather big yard or garden, you should consider getting a gable roof shed. Its traditional-pitched appearance would look spectacular on any yard. You can even add some creative touches to give it a stylish façade. Just make sure that you put a proper water drainage system around it to guarantee your shed’s longevity.
If you have a limited amount of space but still want to add a garden shed in your vicinity, then a skillion roof shed is the thing you need. You can effortlessly have it lean on your house. Its minimalistic design can work to your advantage, as it can be camouflaged as an extension or part of your home. It is also very easy to construct, and this is why it has been a long-time favourite of do-it-yourself builders. Best of all, it usually has a working water drainage system, which means you don’t have to dig a ditch around it just to get rid of the water. Just place it near a sewage system and it is ready to go.
Choose flat roof sheds if you live in an area with very limited space and has, more or less, ambient weather. It is also ideal in a location with plenty of shade. This would help mitigate the shortening of your flat roof shed’s life span, which means you can fully enjoy its use. It is also a viable choice if you are under a very tight budget. However, it is better to purchase either gable or skillion roof sheds if you live in regions where the weather is unpredictable.
The best way to choose the right style of shed is to ask experts, like those working in EasyShed. Their vast experience has made them the top manufacturer and seller of garden sheds in Australia. They can help you decide which garden shed would best fit in your backyard and your budget. They also have a wide array of sheds that can suit whatever style preference or need you may have. Browse through their extensive collection of DIY sheds now!