A Beginner's Guide to Garage Roof Sheets

There are millions of garages up and down the country here in the UK. They’re an invaluable structure for the storage and protection of family vehicles, tools and more. If you want to give your valuable possessions the protection they deserve, it’s vital to choose the right sheet material for your garage roof. But with so many options available, it can be a daunting process for newcomers.

Roofing sheets are the ideal DIY roofing material for garages, as they combine superb performance, durability, and longevity with simple installation. But deciding between your many options as to which is the best garage roof sheet material for you can be tricky. This guide is going to explain more about garage roof sheets, including their many benefits and the difference between the most popular materials.

Table of Contents

What are Garage Roof Sheets?

Garage roof sheets are designed to protect garages and other buildings, offering a weathertight seal that protects the structure underneath. These sheets come in many forms, however often the roof sheets homeowners choose for their garages will be corrugated, and made from bitumen, metal, or polycarbonate. These sheets are chosen due to their durability, easy installation, and longevity.

Garage roof sheets are generally designed for use on pitched roofs, whether they be single sloped or apex. Some roofing sheets are compatible with flat roofs; however, you should always check the suitable pitches before purchasing. If your garage features a flat roof, then a material such as EPDM Rubber may suit you best.

What Materials are Garage Roof Sheets Made out of?

Bitumen Roof Sheets on Timber Garage

Garage roof sheets come in a wide range of materials. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, but all make for a durable and cost-effective roofing solution in a range of styles to suit you. The three most popular kinds of garage roof sheets are:

Metal Roofing Sheets

Metal roofing sheets are the strongest of the three main options. Often made from galvanised steel, these metal sheets are exceptionally sturdy and will protect your garage against adverse weather as well as impact from falling debris. While metal roof sheets are slightly more difficult to work with and install due to their weight and toughness, they more than make up for this with their reliability and long lifespan.

Polycarbonate Roofing Sheets

Polycarbonate Roofing Sheets are incredibly easy to work with and install due to their light weight and the wide range of accessories and fixings supplied by manufacturers to streamline the installation of polycarbonate. What’s more, polycarbonate sheets have the unique advantage that they allow incredible amounts of natural light in during the day, particularly when you choose a clear finish. While polycarbonate has the shortest lifespan of the three garage roof sheet options, it’s simple to replace should you ever need to.

Bitumen Roofing Sheets

Bitumen Roofing Sheets are a common sight on sheds and other garden buildings, as well as many agricultural buildings such as stables. Bitumen sheets have therefore become commonly associated with a more rural aesthetic, making them perfect for garages in villages and the countryside. Combining a lifespan of around 20 years with solid durability and simple installation, as well as starting from just £5 per square metre, bitumen roofing sheets are an excellent choice for your garage. You’ll also enjoy an excellent selection of colours and finishes, so you’ll be able to create the perfect sheet for your property.

Are Garage Roof Sheets Expensive?

While cost can vary from material to material, roofing sheets offer some of the best value for money when compared to materials such as slates or tiles. As well as this, since sheets cover a much larger area, they take much less time to install than individual roof tiles, minimising labour costs should you hire a professional. You will notice a correlation between initial investment and longevity however, with metal roofing sheets being most expensive but offering the greatest lifespan among these roofing sheets.

Unlike many other roofing materials however, roofing sheets don’t tend to cost very much time or money in maintenance. All your garage roof sheets will require is a simple clean and brush off several times per year to keep them looking their best.

How Do You Fit Garage Roof Sheets?

Garage Roof made from bitumen

One of the main reasons why roofing sheets are so popular for garages is their quick and easy installation. This makes garage roof sheets the perfect option for homeowners looking to do the job themselves. Roofing sheets usually require only a few key fixings and accessories as well as simple tools to install.

  1. Cutting the sheets to size

Roofing sheets are also relatively easy to cut on-site, however if you aren’t comfortable doing this then it’s best to consult a professional. If you’re interested in polycarbonate roofing sheets however, we do offer a cut to size service to deliver bespoke sizes to your exact measurements.

  1. Laying the roofing sheets

The garage roof sheets should be lain directly over the purlins attached to the roof trusses. Be sure to also allow for an overlap of at least one corrugation when laying sheets side-to-side, and use a staggered pattern with half a sheet utilised for the second row. Your first row of roofing sheets should also overlap the purlins to allow water to run off easily.

  1. Weatherproof the side and laps

Using lapping tape along the top of overlaps, as well as one strip along side laps and two strips along end laps to effectively seal the roof against water ingress.

  1. Secure the sheets in place

Where possible, remember to use fixings in profile valleys to prevent structural damage to sheets. Nail or drill from sheet to purlin at every point at which sheets overlap one another, as well as the top and bottom of slopes.

  1. Fitting ridges and verges

Once your sheets are securely in place, use ridge pieces with an overlap of 125mm, and then create a verge either using ridge pieces or a raised barge board.

How durable are Garage Roof Sheets?

Sheet roofing tends to boast excellent durability, and once installed will provide decades of protection to your garage with very little maintenance required. While each material possesses different levels of strength and durability against different hazards, there are strengths all roofing sheets share.

Polycarbonate and metal roofing sheets in particular display exceptional levels of impact resistance, making them perfect for areas where your garage may be susceptible to vandalism, or falling debris such as branches.

Roof sheets are excellent at protecting against the weather, offering superb defence against water ingress. One thing to note however is that roofing sheets do tend to make the rooms below warmer than normal, but this can be offset by using effective roof insulation.

So Are Roof Sheets the Best Option for My Garage?

Now that you know the pros and cons of each popular material of garage roofing sheet, it’s time to decide if they’re right for your project. It is undeniable that roofing sheets are among the simplest roofing materials to install, with a range of superb advantages that make them ideal for homeowners looking for a garage roofing material that requires minimal maintenance.

There are, however, many other superb options for garage roof materials. For homeowners looking for a more refined aesthetic to match that of their property, clay roof tiles are commonly used, particularly on garages attached to the home. For a guide to our full range of garage roof materials, from roof tiles to roofing membranes, be sure to read our previous blog on the subject.