Garage and Shed Roofing: The Basics

Homeowner Learning

Author: Amy Freeman | September 12, 2023

While you might pay close attention to the condition of the roof on your house, when's the last time you thought about the garage or shed roofing? The roof on your detached garage or shed needs some care and attention just like the roof on your home. But can you fix it yourself, or do you need to call a contractor? If you think it might be time to replace or repair the roof on a detached building, learn more about your options.

Shed in a wooded backyard
Should you try to replace garage or shed roofing by yourself? It depends.

Materials for Garage and Shed Roofing

The materials used for a garage or shed roof mainly depend on the shape of the roof. Your budget will also influence the type of materials that are appropriate for your roofing project.

The roof on your garage or shed might be low slope (with a rise-over-run ratio of 3:12 or less), or steep slope (with a slope of 3:12 or more) according to the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA). Roofing materials for flatter, low slope roofs need to be waterproof, while materials used for steep slope roofs need to shed water easily.

Examples of materials you might use on a low-slope shed roof include metal or EPDM, a type of sturdy rubber membrane. Popular materials used on steep-slope roofs include asphalt shingles, clay tile, wood shingles and wooden shakes.

When choosing materials for a shed or garage roof, it can be helpful to consider the type of roof you have on your home. If the garage or shed has a steep slope and your house does, too, you might want to match the materials. If your house has a steep slope and your shed or garage is low slope, you won't be able to get a perfect match, but you can aim to have the roofs complement each other in color and style.

In terms of cost, EPDM for low slope roofs and asphalt shingles for steep slope roofs tend to be the more budget-friendly options. Metal, clay or shakes are likely to cost significantly more.

Can You DIY a Detached Roof Repair?

Unlike the roof on your house, the roof on your garage or shed is probably on the small side. Since your shed or garage is likely just a single story, it's also going to be closer to the ground. Tackling the replacement of your shed or garage roof might seem like the ideal starter project, right?

It all depends on how comfortable you feel replacing a roof and how well you understand the process. Even if a shed roof is smaller than the roof on your house, replacing it is still a pretty big undertaking. You'll want to make sure you keep the replacement roof from leaking and that it will protect the structural integrity of your garage or shed.

Without proper protective equipment like professional roofers use, a fall from a garage can also cause serious injuries. If you don't feel totally confident in your roofing abilities, you're better off finding a roofing contractor to do the job right.

How to Find a Roofing Contractor for Your Garage or Shed

When you're looking for a contractor to replace the roof on a garage or shed, use the same criteria you would when looking for a contractor for the roof on your home. The NRCA recommends looking for a company with a proven track record and appropriate licensing and insurance that will provide a written description of the project. If you get an estimate, ask the contractor to break down the costs of the project and explain what exactly you'll be paying for. Your roofing contractor should explain the entire project to you and what you can expect so that you know exactly what you're getting into.