1/ Making A Choice
The roof on your new garden shed, summerhouse or timber workshops is at risk as it facing all the elements of our British weather, such as rain, sunshine, hailstones, lightning, wind or snow so its important to check the construction of the roof before committing to that purchase. This will ensure it will serve you well.
You will find that good garden building manufacturers would have spent time ensuring that their building will meet this criteria but cheap shed makers often just go for the cheapest material and with little thought as to how they will cope with being outdoors.
2/ What Will Your New Shed, Summerhouse or Workshop Be Made From?
Above everything else it's important that a garden building roof is made from 'proper' timber boards. This means solid planks of wood and not chipboard, OSB or other man made boards. Ideally you should aim for timber boards which are tongue and grooved (T&G) as these will be stronger than close butted wooden boards. The T&G boards will give a better surface and will be flatter for the roofing felt to go onto.
3/ What Thickness Should the Garden Building Roof Be ?
The minimum thickness of roof you should consider is ½in (12mm) finished thickness. Any less than and the boards won't be strong enough to take the weight of the roofing felt and falls of snow which lays on it. There are some cheap shed makers which use timber boards which are only 1/3in (8mm) thick - (thin) which is ludicrous. These timber board are then covered with roofing felt which is normally nailed into position. This felt protects your new building from the weather so ensure the boards are correct thickness.
4/ Do Not Accept Cheap Roofs Made From Chipboard, OSB or Plywood?
The roof on garden sheds, summer houses and timber workshops need to be made from timber BUT this does not include chipboard, oriental strand board (OSB), wafer board, sterling board or cheap plywood. Whilst some companies claim these are wooden roofs as they are made from wood they are essentially made from timber waste. Chipboard, for instance, is made from wood chips and sawdust which is compressed and glued to make boards. OSB, wafer and sterling boards are made using wood shavings, again compressed and glued. This is slightly better than chipboard but only a little. These type of boards are designed for usage in a dry location so perfectly OK for kitchen or bedroom furniture but outside in the rain?? NO is the answer. You will find the only reason they are used is because they are cheap being made from scraps. You will find that 'proper' garden building manufacturers do not use these cheap, unsuitable materials.
5/ Why Do Cheap Shed Makers Not Tell You About Inadequate Roofs?
The cheap shed, summer house and garden workshops makers don't want you to know they are using chipboard, OSB etc and the reason is - they KNOW they are not 100% suitable and they don't want you to know this. Strangely or not they describe their roofs as being made from 'solid sheet materials'. Sounds far better than roofs made from timber waste. They know the shortcomings so this is why you will not find a single one telling you their roofs are made from chipboard or OSB. In my view this is underhand and short sighted. You are more likely to buy from these companies again if they are open and up front - so it seems that they are in business for a 'quick buck'. Don't be taken in and ensure you buy a building with a 'proper' roof.
6/ What is Onduline Roofing and Is It Better?
Onduline roofing is a great product and designed for roofs. It has a corrugated effect on the roof and it made from bitumen, the same as roofing felt, however it is a lot thicker and this makes is quite rigid and very strong. The design element of the Onduline combined with he thickness means it has design life of at least 15 years. So if you have the option then your new garden shed, summerhouse or timber workshops will benefit from it. You will find that Platinum Garden Buildings use Onduline roofing on most of their timber workshops and summer houses. Besides using Onduline their method of construction surpasses the normal methods used by other companies. These other companies would often only have timber batons to hold up the roof or thin OSB boards. On the Platinum range of building they would have a 'proper' T&G timber roof (at least 12mm thick). On top of that they would put batons onto which the Onduline boards would be laid. The beauty of this is that there would be a space under the Onduline and on top of the roof boards for air to circulate. This will help to keep dampness and mould away from the roof.
7/ What Comes With Your Roof?
If your new garden shed, summer house or workshop is delivered for you to assemble then ensure that roofing felt is included. Also check that the felt is not damaged before you sign for your new building. Besides ensuring the roofing felt is included check what quality of felt you will be getting and not unexpectedly the cheap buildings will come with the cheapest available, sometimes even 'seconds'. It's a good idea to ask what grade of felt there will be supplying and don't be fobbed off. Roofing felt quality is determined by the weight so the heavier the felt then normally the better it will be. A good grade would be at least 20kg. So ensure you check.
8/ Check Fascias are Included with the Roof?
Your new garden shed, summer house or timber workshop should comes with wooden fascia or barge boards and these would go on the end of the roofs. However, you will find that many cheap garden building companies save money by not supplying them. This is false economy as they have an important job to do. Besides 'finishing off' the roof they protect the roofing felt from being blown off. Always check beforehand that they are included and not get caught out.