How to Build a Tool Shed Roof

shed rafters
  • 4-30 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-1,000
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Framing square
Fascia boards
Nails and tacks
Roof cement
Roofing paint

Building an outdoor tool shed is the most effective way to provide additional space for storing a variety of garden tools. A tool shed’s roof is generally made from metal or felt and is an easy task to complete as a DIY project.

Step 1 - Establish the Pitch of the Roof

The pitch of the roof is important as it provides a way for surface rainwater to run from it. If a flat roof or shed roof style is being used, the minimum pitch that the roof can be is three inches although this can be higher depending on snow and weather conditions. The pitch of the roof is determined by the height from the base of the shed construction to the top of the wall at both the front and back of the building.

Step 2 - Insert Rafters

rafters during construction

Insert rafters into place before applying the roof. The rafters should be a foot longer than the total length of the building at each end of the tool shed. For instance, if the length of the roof is 8ft then the rafters will need to be 10ft long. Use a framing square to mark out where notches will need to be and cut into the rafters with a hacksaw to ensure they fit snugly into the walls of the shed construction. Secure the rafters into place and make sure that they are evenly spaced out.

Step 3 - Fascias

Fix fascia boards to the rafters, the boards will need to be the same length as the rafters and should be the width of the rafters plus the space distance. For instance, if the rafters are eight inches in width and are spaced eight inches apart then the fascia boards will need to be 16 inches wide. Ideally, they should reach from the center of one rafter to the next.

Step 4 - Membranes

A tool shed does not necessarily require the application of a protective membrane under the roof. However, if felt is being used as the roof covering then use a lightweight membrane such as polythene and ensure that it slightly overhangs the roof surface. Do not bond it to the rafters as this will allow the tool shed to move without damaging the roof.

Step 5 - Felt Covering

front of a tool shed

When applying the felt roof covering, ensure it overhangs the tool shed roof by about two inches as this will encourage rainwater drainage. The felt should be pulled tightly over the shed construction but not too tight as this will cause it to tear. Tack the felt into place and when the entire roof has been covered, use nails to secure it.

Step 6 - Seal Seams

Use roof cement to bond any vertical overlapping in the felt. When the roof is complete, paint over the felt and the nail heads with a layer of roofing paint to provide an additional means of protection from adverse weather.