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Are Tiny House Shed Roofs the Best Option? (3 Great Benefits)

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The Littlejohn tiny house by Build Tiny

One of the hardest decisions when building a tiny house is choosing a style of roofing.

With so many options, it can be intimidating, but there’s a perfect roof choice for every lifestyle and need.

Tiny house shed roofs are commonplace in the tiny house community and a great fit for many lifestyles.

It’s commonly called a shed roof because the style is one mainly used for outdoor sheds, it’s also referred to as a skillion roof or a half-gable roof.

Tiny house shed roofs have a flat roof with a steeper slope than rises on an incline.

Below, we go into detail about the shed roof, how it might benefit your tiny house and why you should think about installing one. 

What is the pitch of a tiny house shed roof?

The main factor in determining a tiny house’s shed roof pitch is the climate.

In areas with heavy rain and snowfall, your pitch should be higher, to guarantee that water, snow, and leaves slide off.

Since a shed-style roof slopes in one direction, if you’re installing a shed roof on your tiny house and you live in a climate more prone to harsh weather, it’s suggested to increase the roof’s pitch to aid your roof’s draining process.

The universal minimum for a shed roof pitch is ¼ inch increase for every 12 inches of run.

Tiny house shed roof pitches vary between 4/12 (18º) and 8/12 (33º), there’s really no universal determination for a shed roof pitch because it depends largely on the climate and then your own personal style preference. 

How are tiny house shed roofs framed?

Framing a tiny house shed roof is fairly easy in comparison to other styles, making it a cheaper option when looking for contractors or even a great DIY project, especially for expert builders.

Shed roofs distribute the weight load of the roof fairly evenly onto the four walls.

Tiny house shed roof frames require fewer materials than other frame and pitch styles, but they still require just as much care and attention during installation.

Below is a video that goes into detail about tiny house shed roof framing. 

How do you build a shed roof on a tiny house?

While the actual installation practices of your tiny house shed roof will depend on the pitch height you go with, here’s a basic step-by-step guide on how to build a shed roof on a tiny house:

Recommended tools: 

  • Construction adhesive
  • Measuring tape 
  • Protective head and eyewear 
  • Circular or Skill Saw
  • Straightedge 
  • Cordless Drill
  • Utility Knife 

Shed-Roof Basics:

  1. Mark Rafter Locations – Experts recommend installing rafters along with the same spacing as your wall studs. Use a marker or pencil to mark the spaces your rafters will be attached to on your tiny house’s wall frames. 
  2. Cut & Measure Rafters – Again, the exact length of your rafters will depend on the pitch height you go with for your tiny house, but 
  3. Assemble Rafters Into Trusses – You’ll have one truss higher than the rest, as each truss will slowly incline to create the pitch of your shed roof. Your sloped pitch can really face any direction you fancy, just remember that whichever way the incline faces will have the most water draining, you may want to avoid positioning the flat part of your shed roof above your doorway or large windows. 
  4. Attach End Rafters to the Wall Plates of your Tiny House’s Frames – Use a cordless drill to screw your rafters into the wall plates of your tiny house, creating a frame of your shed roof. 
  5. Attach Remaining Rafters – Using your cordless drill, install your rafters along with the spaces you measured and marked earlier on. 
  6. Assemble Shed Roofs Substrate – Now that your shed roof has a stable and secure skeleton, you need to cover your rafters by installing some type of sheathing, typically plywood. Make sure to lay your tiny house sheathing horizontally over your rafters and secure them using your cordless drill and a thick, utility nail such as 8D finishing nails, install a nail every 6 inches along with the plywood.  
  7. Install Fascia Boards – Fascia boards finish the ends of roofing structures. For a shed roof, you’ll need to install 2 fascia boards over the unfinished and exposed sloped edges.

Pros of tiny house shed roofs


There are many pros to installing a shed roof on your tiny house. First and probably one of the most appealing pros of a shed roof, it’s going to be cost-effective. Tiny house shed roofs are easy for roofers to build due to their simple design, and they require fewer materials than other roofing options.

Solar Panels

Shed roofs are also a perfect choice for hosting solar panels, so your tiny house can cut down on electricity bills while also helping the environment.

The tiny house shed roof on the Calliope tiny house by Rewild tiny homes with solar panels.
The tiny house shed roof on Calliope tiny house with solar panels


Also, due to the slope of shed roofs, they typically are great for drainage. Roofing choices with multiple pitches that create valleys leave room for water to pile up and erode your roofing materials, and can lead to leaks in your ceiling.


Last but definitely not least, shed roofs also can add a contemporary, chic look to your tiny house. With the slight slope, it differs from the typical gable roof one sees on tiny houses.

Cons of tiny house shed roofs

Ceiling space

One of the biggest cons of a shed roof is they don’t offer much ceiling space in your tiny house.

You could always make the pitch higher to accommodate your needs, but even so, taking into consideration the roof finishings and insulation leave little room for storage or bunk space.

And, while there are different material choices for your tiny house’s shed roof, the design of it isn’t very versatile. If you’re looking for a roof that can handle detailing and styling, it may not be the choice for you.

High wind conditions

Shed roofs tend to fare poorly in high-wind areas. If you live in an area that’s prone to high winds, hurricanes, or tornados, a shed roof may not be the best fit for your tiny house.


Shed roofs are a great choice for tiny houses.

They’re easy to install and overall rather durable, while also adding a simple but stylish touch to your tiny house’s design.

When deciding on whether or not to include a shed roof on your tiny house, think about the climate in the area your tiny house resides or areas you’ll be taking your tiny house on wheels.

If you are in a climate that’s more prone to rain and snow, a shed roof may help slosh off unwanted water and help avoid any leakage or drainage issues.

Being a great choice for experienced and inexperienced builders alike, installing a tiny house shed roof is much more simple than other roofing options due to the single slope and need for fewer materials.