So, it sounds like “shed roof” is really just any roof you slap on top of a shed. And by one definition, that’s exactly what it is. But if you’ve got a shed with a roof, that roof has a specific name that refers to the design. As imprecise as “shed roof” may sound, this is a specific roofing style. Some shed roofs can be shed roofs…but not every shed roof is a shed roof. And if you found that confusing, it’s time to learn a whole lot more about shed roof design.
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The shed roof, or shed box roof, is also known as a skillion roof, though it’s most commonly called a lean-to. It’s also known as a pitched roof, a pent roof, or an angled flat roof. It’s also called a mono-pitch roof. With that many different names floating around, it’s really easy to get confused.
But the real term for this design is shed roof. And once you know how to recognize it, you won’t ever forget that little piece of trivia. This is a simple, slanted roof. To be precise, a shed box roof is a single roof that slopes at one angle.
Traditionally, shed roof designs have been used to cover home additions, sheds, and porch areas. More modern home designs are using this roof design in recent years, however. The sloping design of the shed box roof is an eye-catching topper for any modern-style home. This is one design that everyone notices right away. It stands out and it looks surprisingly great when covering entire homes.
The Good and Bad of a Shed Roof
Why would you want to use a roof design on your home that’s best known for being used on sheds? On homes, the shed roof becomes a very striking feature that looks incredibly modern. It’s an attention-getting style that stands out when it’s on a larger structure. The shed roof gives houses a distinct look on the outside and on the inside.
There’s another huge advantage to having a shed roof: weather. Because of the sloping side, shed box roof designs are highly resistant to rain and snow damage. Moisture doesn’t build up on the roof. Debris, snow, and rain come right off the shed roof.
The pitch of the roof can be altered depending on your climate. People building a shed roof in more southern climates may opt for an angle that isn’t very steep, while those in mountainous regions will want a much sharper pitch.
Because water slides off the roof easily, this is an extremely low-maintenance design. It isn’t difficult to clean off shed roofs when debris and snow do find a way to pile up. Just about anyone can use a ladder to get to the roof and simply clear the junk away. It’s also relatively easy to repair a shed roof since it’s such an accessible design.
And since the design is so simple, most roofing contractors and construction companies can install this style for you. You won’t have a lot of trouble finding someone with the expertise needed to frame out and install a shed roof because they’re used all over the place for all sorts of structures. It’s very common to throw a shed roof up over a porch or patio, to finish off a new addition with one, or of course, to top off a shed or outside storage unit with this design.
Another fun feature of the shed box roof is that you can get creative with the design. A shed roof can be installed to emphasize the slope and used to cover a house from right to left. This means the front face of the house will go straight up to the slope of the roof, while the roof itself covers the house from the side to create a visible angle.
You can also build a shed roof to cover the house from front to back, with the low point of the slope above the front door and angling up toward the back of the house. You can place a shed roof in any direction on the house to create a unique look, and that’s a fun thought to play around with.
If a shed roof is well-built with good materials, it’s a very long-wearing design.
But before you start thinking this is a totally perfect roof, the shed box roof style does have its drawbacks. In areas with high winds, this roof is not the most practical choice. Depending on which direction the wind is coming from, the full force of the wind will hit the house. If you live in an area that’s prone to hurricanes, it’s not advisable to choose a shed roof for your home.
How to Build a Shed Roof
The shed box roof is a very straightforward, simple design that gives you plenty of room to play around with your home style. You don’t have to use rubber skins or roofing membranes for this roof, so you can experiment with different finishing looks. Tiles and shingles can be used to complete a shed roof, but they aren’t a necessity.
This roof design is also a great candidate for solar panels, faux slate, metal, or a green roof that’s literally alive with grass and plants. All you need is a roof membrane to fully cover the roof before you add soil and seeds.
Because the design is so simple, it is possible to build your own shed roof if you really want to try it. This angled roof requires wood framing, a skill that can be completed if you have the right tools and guidance. You can find tutorials online to learn how to build a shed roof, though most guides are designed for smaller buildings and not entire homes. The basic principle is the same. You’ve got to determine the exact side of your shed roof, figure out the pitch, and install framing to make it happen.
However, it’s much safer to hire a professional roofing company to have your shed roof constructed. Since this is such a simplistic design, shed roofs are a very affordable option compared to other roofing styles. A shed roof can be installed relatively quickly. In most cases, this entire project can be completed by a professional roofing company in one day.
Choosing a Shed Box Roof
Is a shed box roof right for your house? If you want something that’s striking but simple, low-maintenance, and affordable, a shed roof is a great option. You can adapt the roof to add green elements, which makes any house look more modern. There are a lot of reasons to choose a shed roof, but there’s really only one that matters: how much you want it.
KC Morgan has been a professional freelance writer since 2006. Over the last decade, KC has published thousands of articles and blog posts that have been read by millions. A DIYer in her free time, KC has written hundreds of how-tos, guides and tutorials for different DIY and improvement projects around the house.
KC’s articles have appeared in “Popular Mechanics,” and have been featured on Bob Vila’s website. KC has written in-depth DIY articles for Sears.com and Overstock.com, as well as dozens of other websites. When she’s not writing or DIYing, KC enjoys watching college basketball, playing with her cats and experimenting with new cupcake recipes. Follow KC on Twitter @KCMorganWrites.