Great Advice & Tips About Garden Sheds Roofs Before Buying
The garden shed or summerhouse roof is fully exposed to all the elements whether it's rain, snow, hail or sunshine so it's vital that it is designed correctly. Yes - I said designed - and not just knocked together like many of the cheap sheds available. It's crucial that the correct type of material is used and that the shed roof is properly sealed to keep it dry from the weather.
Beware! What is The Garden Shed or Summerhouse Roof Made From
The most important thing is that the roof is made from proper timber boards meaning they should be made from solid timber boards. Ideally ensure that T&G (tongue and grooved) boards are used as this will give a better service for the felt to go onto, although close butted boards can do an adequate job. Ensure that the thickness of the roof boards used are no smaller than 12mm (½") finished thickness otherwise the boards may not hold the weight of the roof adequately when covered in snow. I come across where the roofs are only 8mm (1/3") thick - CRAZY. The roof is then covered with roofing felt which is normally nailed into position. The felt will protect the shed or summerhouse from the weather.
Beware Cheap Roofs Made From Chipboard, OSB Board or Cheap Plywood
However when I talk about wooden roofs this does not mean chipboard, OSB, (oriental strand board), wafer board, sterling board of cheap plywood. Whilst technically these are all wooden roofs they are made from a selection of scrap materials which are stuck together. Chipboard is made using wood chips which are squashed down and glued together which makes flat boards. OSB, Sterling and Wafer boards are made from wood shavings, which is a little better than chipboard, and again are squashed down and stuck together forming a board.
These boards can then be used in construction projects but they do need to be kept dry. If they aren't then the damp can get into the boards and will make the boards fail - and this means an early demise for your shed or summerhouse if they have been used. And because your shed or summerhouse is outside (well it would be silly to have it inside) there is a great chance that damp will get into these boards. These type of boards are used on cheap sheds for the reason that this type of material is cheap being made from scrap materials. You won't find these on 'proper' sheds or summerhouses because the decent building manufacturers, such as 1st Choice Leisure Buildings, know this.
Even the cheap shed producers know this but don't want you to know. If you take a look at their specifications you will find quite often that the roofs are described as 'sheet materials'. Why? Because they know the shortcomings of these boards and don't want you to know they are using them. To me this is very sneaky. Maybe I'm 'old school' but I believe you should be open and up front about what you are offering.
Other options include Onduline roofs. These roofs have the appearance of a corrugated effect and are made from bitumen, the same as roofing felt, but a lot thicker. This means that the Onduline boards are quite rigid and strong and because of this you will often have a 15 years design life. Well worth considering if you have the option available. Some garden workshops, such as the Platinum workshops, come as standard with it which adds to their appeal. Only normally available on apex (gable) roofed buildings.
What Comes With The Roof?
If your new garden shed or summerhouse is delivered for you to assemble yourself you would expect the roofing felt to be supplied. Again there is a great deal of different qualities available, and again, the cheap shed will come with the cheapest materials. Always ask what quality of felt you are getting so that you know. The quality is usually determined by the weight so the heavier the felt - the better it is.
Check Your New Garden Building Comes With Fascia Boards
Your new garden building should come with fascia boards which would go on the ends of the shed roofs. Again many of the cheap shed companies save money by not providing any. In that instance you will often see a ragged end of the felt with also the possibility that the felt will blow off. Don't be caught like this - check before buying.