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Earlybird delivery discount: Check out reductions available on this page. Take advantage now.
Now is the time to pick up an ex-display building during our annual sale. See remaining models here At LEAST 30% Off

Earlybird delivery discount: Check out reductions available on this page. Take advantage now.
Now is the time to pick up an ex-display building during our annual sale. See remaining models here At LEAST 30% Off

Shows image of Onduline roofing sheet

Installing a garden room outside your home is an ideal way to create an entirely new space that you and your family can enjoy. Home offices, summerhouses and multipurpose sheds can serve many purposes, but choosing the suitable roofing materials might be one of your most critical choices.

No matter what you’re using your garden building for, a sturdy and secure roof is a vital structural aspect that will help keep the room’s contents safe from external elements. The suitable roofing materials can also provide additional insulation, keeping your garden room warma> in the cold winter months.

Roofing materials provide a functional purpose and can affect the style, design, and overall aesthetic of your garden room. Whether you’re hoping to complement the modern architecture of your home or blend in with the current design elements in your garden, numerous roofing options will provide both protection and appealing design elements.

From roofing felt to EPDM, here are in-depth explanations for all the key roofing materials for your summerhouse or garden room. These are some of the most popular options currently on the market. This will provide you with all the relevant details to make the best choice for your new outdoor building.

Factors to Consider

When planning your garden room project, your mind may immediately start planning the interior colour schemes, decor, furniture and windows. Still, there are more important considerations for you to make first and foremost. The type of roof may be something that you have yet to consider in detail, but as mentioned earlier, it’s a vital component of your garden room. Your final choice of roofing material will contribute to several factors, including longevity, durability, aesthetics, design and budget. Keeping these things in your mind will help you make an informed choice regarding your garden room roofing. With that being said, here are some key factors to keep in mind when weighing up the different types of roofing for your new garden room:

  • Climate and weather conditions
  • Durability and longevity
  • Aesthetics and design
  • Budget

Your ultimate goal is to choose a roof for your garden room that offers considerable durability and strength, protection from the outdoor elements, longevity for decades to come, low maintenance properties, cost-effectiveness to install, and excellent aesthetic appeal. When delving deeper into the wide range of roofing options, it’s essential to consider all these factors to make the best choice for your garden structure. Here’s a little more detail about each factor for you to consider.

Shows image of EPDM roofing sheet

Climate and Weather Conditions
When you’re planning on building a garden structure in the UK, it’s challenging to ignore the fact that rain, wind and cold weather are the types of climate we’re looking to protect your building from at all costs. Although we tend to see some warmer spells now and again with the Great British weather, you need to choose roofing material that offers good protection against the harsh weather conditions we often face. Therefore, waterproofing and insulation are vital considerations when picking your final roofing material. Nobody wants a leak entering their new garden room or cold temperatures, which deem the space unusable.

Durability and Longevity
When you install a garden building, you want it to last very long. You want to avoid replacing the roof and maintain the space for many years. You can expect a small amount of upkeep with all of the leading roofing options, but you want to look for high levels of durability and longevity for your summerhouse or garden room roof.

Aesthetics and Design
The ideal garden building is based on your visions and style preferences. Your garden room should blend in with your outdoor space or create a stand-out feature in your garden. You can also support biodiversity and reduce your carbon footprint using green living roofing options, which will be explored in more detail later in this article. In addition to considering your building’s functional and practical elements, you should also consider the type of appearance you want to create. Choosing a sensible balance between practical properties and aesthetically pleasing elements will give you the best final choice when selecting the roof materials for your garden building.

Budget
Much like every project you do in and around your home, you probably have a set budget you need to stick to. Having a precise figure in mind can be the ultimate deciding factor on whether you choose one roofing material over the other. Plenty of cost-effective options will still provide you with the durability and design features you want. Shopping around and weighing up the Pros and Cons of each material will help you to decide which one is the right choice for your project.

Popular Roofing Materials

Shows image of cedar shingles

Numerous roofing materials have proved extremely popular for those building garden rooms, summerhouses and multipurpose sheds in their outdoor space. Here is a summary of some of the most popular roofing materials available for your garden building:

Roofing Felt A popular choice due to its generally low cost and an ideal option for flat roofs. The minimum recommended thickness of felt on a garden shed should be at least 40kg in weight. This ensures the right balance of durability and flexibility. Always check beforehand

Felt Shingles An easy-to-install, traditional roofing option which offers a clean appearance and high performance. They are made from cellulose, bitumen, and other fibres. They are commonly used to provide waterproofing and protection for quality garden buildings. Felt roofing shingles are known for their versatility, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. They come in various colours and styles to suit architectural designs and preferences. Installation of felt roofing tiles is relatively straightforward, making them a popular choice for many garden projects.

Onduline Roofing Onduline roofing is a great product and designed for roofs. It has a corrugated effect on the roof and is made from bitumen, the same as roofing felt. However, it is a lot thicker, making it quite rigid and strong. The design element of the Onduline combined with the thickness means it has a design life of at least 15 years. If you have the option, your new garden shed, summerhouse, or timber workshops will benefit.

EPDM Roofing EPDM felt is a durable material made of ethylene propylene diene monomer synthetic rubber roofing material. It is commonly used for flat roofs due to its excellent weather resistance and longevity. EPDM is known for its flexibility and ability to withstand extreme temperatures, making it a popular choice for commercial and residential roofing applications. It is waterproof, UV-resistant, and easily installed using adhesive or mechanical fastening methods. EPDM felt it is an environmentally friendly option as it can be recycled and has a long lifespan (often over 50 years), reducing the need for frequent replacements.

Metal Roofing Metal roof sheets originated from Scandinavian architecture and offer a sleek aesthetic for garden room roofing. Usually only found in garages or metal sheds.

Wood Shingles Wooden shingles are thin, tapered wood often used as roofing material. They are frequently made from cedar, redwood, or pine and provide a natural and rustic look to a building. Wooden shingles are durable and can last for several decades with proper maintenance. They are environmentally friendly and offer good insulation properties, making them popular for traditional and historic homes.

Concrete Tiles Concrete roof tiles are durable roofing materials from sand, cement, and water. They are available in various shapes, sizes, and colours to fit different architectural styles. Concrete roof tiles are known for their longevity and resistance to harsh weather conditions, making them a popular choice for homeowners looking for a low-maintenance roofing option. These tiles are designed to mimic the appearance of traditional clay or slate tiles but are more affordable and more accessible to install. With proper installation and maintenance, concrete roof tiles can last for decades, providing excellent protection and aesthetic appeal to the building.

Green Living Roofs Green living roofs are vegetated roof covers that support plant growth, which helps mitigate urban heat island effects and reduce energy consumption. These roofs provide insulation, absorb rainwater, and improve air quality by capturing pollutants. They also create habitat for wildlife and can extend a roof’s lifespan by protecting it from UV radiation and temperature fluctuations. Green living roofs contribute to sustainable urban development by promoting biodiversity and reducing carbon emissions. The roof will typically need extra strength to allow for the weight.

Pros and Cons of Each Material

Shows image of felt tiles

Now that you have an awareness of each type of roofing material. Let’s delve into the Pros and Cons of each option so that you can explore the properties of every material and what they have to offer your garden building.

Roofing Felt
Pros Roofing felt is a very popular choice for those building summer houses as it is very low cost. They’re ideal for low-pitched or flat roofs as the felt has a continuous surface. Roofing felt is also very easy to install and requires minimal maintenance over the years.
Cons If you’re looking for a modern design, you may not be enamoured by the aesthetics of roofing felt. The overall appearance could be more favourable for a summer house or garden building roof.

Felt Shingles
Pros Felt shingles are another affordable option for your garden roof and can be laid out in sections. This makes installation very easy, and replacements are simple, too, as a section can be relayed. There are also more design options than roofing felt so that it may be slightly more stylish than the previous option.
Cons Although they can easily be replaced, felt shingles can easily become damaged, giving them a shorter lifespan than other roofing materials. With felt shingles, you may have to maintain your roof every ten years, depending on damage.

Onduline Roofing
Pros Made from hard-wearing materials, Onduline offers a mixture of durability and aesthetics for garden sheds, outbuildings and summerhouse roofs. When Onduline sheets are fixed, a water-tight seal will be created to stay securely in place. There are also a variety of colours and styles available to complement your outdoor space.
Cons Although Onduline is a fairly durable option, adverse weather conditions can directly affect the material. Onduline can weaken over time if exposed to the elements, so it must be monitored regularly.
EPDM Roofing

Pros EPDM rubber is hard-wearing and ideal for flat roofing styles. It’s a very durable and cost-effective material with good waterproofing properties and UV stability. The weatherproofing benefits of EPDM rubber roofing are significant.
Cons EPDM is a plain roof covering that may not work with everyone’s aesthetic choices. Unfortunately, EPDM rubber can quickly become pierced or damaged if it comes into contact with sharp objects. This can lead to unexpected leaks and ongoing maintenance costs.

Concrete Tiles
Pros Concrete tiles provide excellent durability and aesthetics for your garden room roof. They have excellent thermal efficiency and fire resistance and are manufactured in an environmentally friendly way.
Cons They are one of the most expensive options for your garden building roof. They are also very dense and heavy because of their high thermal mass.

Metal Roofing
Pros This trendy roofing material is appealing to the eye. Metal sheets are hard-wearing, so they are a great choice for roofing due to their high durability and excellent energy efficiency.
Cons Metal roofing costs more upfront than other roofing options, so it may not fit everyone’s budget. Some metal roofs are also susceptible to rusting, scratches or dents over time due to the external elements, so they may be more time-consuming to maintain.

Wood Shingles
Pros Wood shingles are natural and environmentally friendly for your garden roof. The texture and rugged appeal attract those looking for a more natural aesthetic. Wood shingles are also known for their high insulation qualities and can improve the energy efficiency of a garden room.
Cons Wood shingles must be installed by an experienced professional, which can be time-consuming. This may be worth the time and cost for an excellent finishing product for a small garden building.

Living Roof
Pros A green roof, also known as a living roof, is an alternative material to help an outdoor building blend seamlessly with the rest of the garden. Green roofs are eco-friendly, provide a home for wildlife, and help enhance the air quality around your summerhouse. Living roofs also have the benefit of insulation and are extremely energy efficient.
Cons On the downside, a green roof requires high maintenance and requires specialised insulation to put it into place. It also requires a sturdy base over the roofing structure to support the additional weight.

What Type of Roofing is Normally Used on 1st Choice Buildings

Sapphire Sheds 16mm (12mm finished) T&G match boarding with roof purlins supported as necessary on sturdy roof trusses and beams. This Swanwick model features heavy-duty polyester-based green mineral roofing felt as standard.

Diamond Sheds 16mm (12mm finished) T&G matchboard on sturdy roof purlins and covered with a heavy-duty Polyester based roofing felt. On apex models, we offer cedar shingles or long-life felt tiles if you prefer something more decorative.

Diamond Summerhouses 16mm (12mm finished) T&G matchboard on sturdy roof purlins and covered with a heavy-duty Polyester based roofing felt. On apex models, we offer cedar shingles or long-life felt tiles if you prefer something more decorative.

Diamond Workshops The roof itself is constructed from 16mm (12mm finished) T&G matchboard on sturdy roof purlins and covered with a heavy-duty Polyester based roofing felt. On apex models, we offer an option of cedar shingles or long-life felt tiles if you prefer something a little more decorative.

Diamond Potting Sheds 16mm (12mm finished) T&G matchboard on sturdy roof purlins and covered with a heavy-duty Polyester based roofing felt. On apex models, we offer cedar shingles or long-life felt tiles if you prefer something more decorative—a half-glass roof on some models.

Platinum Potting Sheds Heavy duty green mineral polyester-based rolled roofing felt atop 16mm (12mm finished) T&G match boarding as standard with an option to upgrade the rolled roofing felt to Onduline—half glass roof on some models.

Platinum Workshops Maintenance-free Onduline sheeting (no-cost option for green mineral roofing felt) on 16mm (12mm finished) T&G match boarding with roof purlins and rafters supported as necessary on sturdy roof trusses and beams. The roof incorporates a unique soffit venting system, which ensures good airflow within the roof space.

Platinum Summerhouses A heavy-duty green mineral polyester-based roofing felt atop 16mm (12mm finished) T&G match boarding with roof purlins and rafters supported as necessary on sturdy roof trusses and beams. The roof incorporates a unique soffit venting system, which ensures good airflow within the roof space. If desired, we can fit apex models with decorative felt tiles, the unique Onduvilla roof tile system, classic Tapco slate effect tiles or beautiful warm cedar shingles.

Trentan Apex Log Cabins 18mm thick T&G boards used on the roof sections supported by strong roof beams. Roof beams meet EN 388 stringent standards. Untreated. Supplied with felt tiles (shingles) in red, brown, green, or polyester-based felt as standard. 100mm (approx 4in) overhang all round.

Trentan Pent Log Cabins 18mm thick T&G boards used on the roof sections supported by strong roof beams. Roof beams meet EN 388 stringent standards. Untreated. Roofing felt included as standard, with the option for an EPDM felting system—an overhang on the sides and rear. On the front, there is usually a roof overhang.

Humber Log Cabins Solid 19mm thick T&G boards supported on 145mm roof purlins are used on the roof and provide a solid roof. Supplied with EPDM rubber felt, which has a 50-year life expectancy. Also included is a gutter edge drip plate to ensure that water runs away from the side of the building. A roller and adhesive is supplied as standard.

Regent Garden Rooms All apex roof buildings come with long-lasting decorative felt tiles (in a choice of green, red, grey or black) as standard with an option of a warm and natural cedar shingle roof available. Roofs on pent buildings are covered in a heavy-duty polyester-based rolled roofing felt. Like the rest of the building, the roof will be insulated with 50mm Celotex/Kingspan and lined internally with 9mm MDF.

Royal Garden Rooms All roofs are constructed using the principles of a ‘warm deck’ roof system to maximise space within the building using Celotex/Kingspan foil-backed PIR insulation laid atop the roof deck. Pent roof buildings benefit from being covered with the market-leading Firestone RubberCover EPDM rubber roof membrane, glued to the roof deck with a special adhesive. The roof covering is designed to last the entire lifespan of the building. Apex roof buildings come with long-lasting decorative felt tiles (in a choice of green, red or black) specified as standard with an option for Onduvilla (a traditional clay-tile effect), Tapco (a classic slate effect roof tile) or a warm natural cedar shingle roof.

Eight More Tips About Shed, Summerhouse or Workshop Roofs

1/   Making A Choice

The roof on your new garden shed, summerhouse or timber workshop 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 these 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 the 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 boards 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 that 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 upfront – 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 the thickness means it has a 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 come 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 a 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.

In Conclusion

Selecting the roof for your garden building is a vital step in decision-making. Numerous popular materials will create an aesthetically pleasing, long-lasting, durable and budget-friendly roof for your new garden building. Spending some time weighing up the Pros and Cons will help you to make an informed choice.

Opting for a roof that will protect your belongings from the elements and last the test of time is easy as long as you understand what each material offers. Whether building an insulated garden shed with roof felting or an EPDM roofing garden building, staying well-informed of your options while creating your garden room is essential.

Certain factors will influence your final decision, but it’s up to you to choose your main priorities for your garden building roof. With an array of materials on offer, it’s simply down to what will work best for your project and fit your vision in the closest way possible. With all this information, you’re just one step away from finding the best roofing material for your garden building!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Garden Buildings Roof Options

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  • What is better than felt for a shed roof?

    The ideal alternative to shed roof felt is roofing sheets, which are superior in durability and aesthetic values. Sheets made of corrugated bitumen are the most cost-effective solution, while Onduline sheets are the most exceptional choice. Using corrugated bitumen roofing sheets is an excellent choice for projects of a more modest scale.
  • What is the best material to use for a shed roof?

    In most cases, Bitumen felt roof sheets and EPDM rubber roofing materials provide unbroken and seamless coverage, making them the material of choice for flat roofs. Steep roofs, which have a pitch of ten degrees or more, offer superior water run-off capabilities and increased resistance to water intrusion in conditions with a lot of wind and rain.
  • What is the cheapest way to cover a shed roof?

    Felt is arguably one of the materials used the most frequently for re-roofing a shed, and there are a few reasons why this is the case, one of the most important of which is cost! Felt roofing has the following advantages: This is The most affordable choice. In most do-it-yourself stores, it is simple to pick up. It can be set up quickly and is a breeze. It is adaptable, making it suitable for various kinds of roofs.

About Author:

Robin Antill is an established authority in the field of quality garden building manufacturing, boasting over four decades of experience. Having founded Titan Garden Buildings in 1979, he demonstrated a commitment to excellence from the outset by moving away from subpar materials and embarking on crafting buildings of superior quality.


His lineage of craftsmanship, traced back to his father and grandfather's business in Cleethorpes, underscores his dedication to quality and customer satisfaction. Robin's son, Craig, who joined the business in 1990, brings additional expertise, having honed his skills at Guildford College in joinery.


Together, they elevated Titan Garden Buildings, which eventually evolved into 1st Choice Leisure Buildings. Their enduring focus on premium materials, top-notch manufacturing, and unparalleled customer service, along with Craig's digital acumen in creating the company's online presence, showcase their expertise and reliability in the industry.


Robin’s expertise was featured in Realtor.com, Homes&Gardens, The London Economic, and dozens other publications.


Woking Show Site
1st Choice Leisure Buildings
Woking Garden Buildings Show Site
Sutton Green Garden Centre,
Whitmoor Ln, Sutton Green,
Guildford,
GU4 7QA
Phone 01483 237550