Choosing a Roof For Your Garden Shed

Your guide to the advantages and disadvantages of gable, heritage, skillion, and flat roofs for sheds

Gable Roof Garden Shed In Backyard
Gable Roof Garden Shed In Backyard with Wooden Floor and double doors

When it comes to garden sheds, choosing the roof type can be a source of confusion. In this article, we break down your options.

SteelChief offers four choices. These are: 

  • Gable
  • Heritage
  • Skillion
  • Flat

Factors to consider when choosing a roof type

Drainage

The three key factors to consider regarding drainage are:

  1. Gardens. Do you want to direct water to your garden or away from it? Obviously your garden needs water, but too much at once can cause erosion.
  2. Wall foundations. Unless your foundations are sealed by concrete, you’ll need to direct water away from them wherever possible.
  3. Neighbours. Don’t invite the wrath of your neighbour by flooding their property.

Structural integrity

The roof shape affects the strength of the shed. For this reason, flat-roofed sheds are limited to smaller sizes while gable-roofed and skillion sheds can be made larger.

Aesthetics

Once you’ve sorted the drainage, and when you’re sure about the structural integrity of your shed, it really comes down to how it looks. To some extent, this is matter of personal preference, but you’ll also need to consider placement and how the shed fits into the rest of your yard. For example, skillion-roofed sheds tend to look best when placed against walls or in corners.


Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s go into more detail for each shed roof type.

Gable-roof sheds

Timber Garden Shed Australia
Timber Garden Shed Australia by SteelChief

The pitched angle of a gable-roofed shed provides the feeling of spaciousness, not to mentioned improved ventilation. This, in combination with the flexibility of adding an awning to the front, makes gable-roofed sheds a good choice for workshops. Adding an awning means:

  1. You’ll be able to leave the front door open even in heavy rain.
  2. You’ll have a ventilated workspace right there in front of your shed but out of sun and rain.
Gable Shed with Sliding Doors Gable End
Gable Shed with Sliding Doors Gable End

Drainage

The fact that water drains off both sides of a gabled roof has its advantages and disadvantages. Since each side drains just half of the area of the building, you may get away without erosion and flooding provided you have well draining soil on both sides of your shed. If you don’t though, you may need to install a drainage solution on both sides of the shed. In that case, you might be better off choosing a skillion roof.

Aesthetics

Gable-roofed sheds have a classic, timeless look, meaning they’ll add value to your property. That alone may make the gable roof worth the extra cost.

Heritage roof

Heritage Garden Shed with window and finials.
Heritage Roof Garden Shed with glass louvre window and finials. Size is 3.0m x 2.26 and 1950mm wall height. Caufield green with slate grey roof and door.

The key difference between the heritage roof and the classic gable roof is the angle. SteelChief’s standard gabled roofs are 11 degrees, while our heritage roofs are steeper at 30 degrees. This added steepness does a few things:

  1. It’s aesthetically pleasing. The heritage roof is considered classic Victorian style so it tends to suit the yards of older houses. 
  2. It restricts the maximum recommended length of the shed to 2.26m. The higher roof angle means there’s more wind exposure, so heritage-roofed sheds can’t be made as large as classic gable-roofed or skillion-roofed sheds.

It provides more interior space. Heritage-roofed sheds feel even more spacious than  classic gable-roofed sheds. They also offer superior ventilation.

Height

Steel Chief’s standard heritage-roofed shed walls are 1.95 meters, meaning you can choose a taller door if needed.

Drainage

Water drainage considerations are the same for heritage-roofed sheds as for classic gable-roofed sheds.

Skillion roof sheds

Heavy Duty Skillion Roof Garden Shed
Heavy Duty Skillion Roof Garden Shed
Corrugated garden shed
Corrugated garden shed

Skillion-roofed sheds offer a nice combination of strength and versality, making them the most commonly chosen roof type for sheds in Australia.

Flexible water drainage
A key advantage of skillion-roofed sheds is that by draining on just one side, they are often the best choice when drainage is an issue.

Excellent cost performance
Having a single roof angle simplifies construction and requires less unique panels. This lowers both build and install costs. 

High wall
Steel Chief’s standard skillion-roofed sheds have a 1.95m wall, making the door taller so it’s easier to get bulky items in and out.

Blends in
Skillion-roofed sheds tend to blend in nicely when placed next to walls and fences. This makes them a good choice when you’re dealing with less space.

Flat roof sheds

Small Flat Roof Garden Shed with sliding doors
Small Flat Roof Garden Shed with sliding doors

Flat-roofed sheds are the best choice for compact spaces. The most common placements for flat-roofed sheds include:

  • In a carport
  • In a narrow space between a house and fence
  • In a garden

Drainage

Because flat-roofed sheds don’t direct water in a specific direction, flooding over the rib at the base of the shed can be an issue in the event of very heavy rain. This limits the maximum recommended depth of a flat-roofed shed to 1.52m.


When you order a shed from SteelChief, you always have option of customizing it to precisely meet your needs. Here’s an example of a flat-roofed shed with custom access door that allowed the owner to store kayaks in the tight space at the side of his house.

SteelChief’s team of professionals are always ready to answer your questions and are happy to guide you through the process of choosing, designing, and installing the perfect garden shed.