Summer House Roofing Guide

Whether you are building your very own summer house from scratch or are looking for ways to breathe new life into the worn out structure sitting at the bottom of your garden, picking the right roof is a great place to start. With a variety of shapes, styles, and materials available, it can be difficult to pinpoint which is the right choice for your summer house. To help you decide, we’ve created this handy guide covering both pitched and flat roof styles and materials, providing an overview as well as the pros and cons of each.

Table of Contents

Pitched or Flat Roof?

The best roofing material for your summer house will depend on the type of roof structure you choose. Although summer houses traditionally have pitched roofs, many homeowners are now opting for a flat roof summer house, for a more contemporary aesthetic.

Pitched Roof

The pitched roof is a classic choice for summer house structures. With a multitude of different shapes and roofing materials available to choose from, the pitched roof offers a great sense of versatility for homeowners. The angled slopes provide greater head space within the building for a more open feel, plus allows water to flow freely away from the roof for enhanced drainage. Although installation can be a little more costly and time-consuming than flat roofing, the durability and longevity of the structure in the long-run is well worth the initial investment.

Flat Roof

Sleek and minimalistic, flat roofing structures provide a more modern take on the classic summer house design. Although described as ‘flat’, flat roofs are actually designed with a slight slant of up to 10 – 12.5 degrees. This creates the appearance of a completely level roof design whilst also allowing water to drain effectively from the lower side. Utilised for its affordable, easy installation and low-level maintenance, flat roofing is a great option for homeowners who looking to cut costs and save time.

Popular Summer House Pitched Roof Shapes

Pyramid Roof

Also known as a pointed roof, the pyramid roof incorporates a multitude of triangular shaped sides, sloped downwards from a singular centre point. Hugely popular in the summer house industry, the pyramid roof creates a beautifully eye-catching look that blends seamlessly into virtually any garden environment. The structure is highly robust and stable, providing excellent weather resistance all year round. For an added touch of personality, some homeowners also choose to complete the design with a roof ornament such as a weather vane or chrome ball.

Apex Roof

Simple and traditional, the apex roof features two angled slopes which meet in the centre at the highest point of the structure. Although seemingly basic in design, the apex roof offers homeowners huge flexibility to create their dream summerhouse with a variety of compatible roofing materials. The angled sides offer enhanced headroom for a more open internal space, plus make it easy for water to effectively run off and drain.

Asymmetric Roof

Combining a stylish mix of classic and contemporary design, the asymmetric roof shape is ideal for those in search of something different. Although similar to an apex structure, the asymmetric roof instead utilises two sides at varying lengths and pitches to form an uneven angle, whilst creating an asymmetrical overhang. This type of roof structure often provides even more headspace than the traditional apex, plus allows better drainage thanks to the steeper slope.

Pent Roof

Commonly spotted on smaller-scale and cornered summer houses, the pent roof incorporates a singular slope only. The highest point of the slope sits at one full length side of the building and then angles downwards to the opposite site, creating an incline. As the structure can be positioned snug against a wall or fence, pent roof summer houses are perfect for outdoor areas with limited space or lots of trees. They typically fit in well with more modern garden designs because of the minimalistic look the pent slope creates.

Pitched Roofing Materials for Summer Houses

Bitumen Felt Shingles

A classic choice for summer houses and garden structures, bitumen felt shingles offer excellent durability and weather resistance. Although relatively thin and lightweight, these highly robust roofing shingles can last anywhere from 15 – 25 years with a completely waterproof, no leak structure.

Affordable, stylish, and easy to install, bitumen shingles are perfect for any crafty homeowner looking to take on the summer house as a DIY project. They are available in a selection of sizes, colours and shapes including the traditional square butt and hexagonal. Strip tiles are also on the market for those looking to save even more time whilst fitting.

Although generally very durable, due to the thinner tile structure, bitumen shingles can be susceptible to tears and damage on high impact contact. This is something to bear in mind if your summer house is positioned close to overhanging trees with falling branches and natural debris. 

Average Lifespan: 15 – 25 Years

Cedar Shingles

With a stunning earthy look that blends perfectly into any garden environment, cedar roof shingles are ideal for anyone looking to create a natural aesthetic for their summer house. Produced from renewable and sustainable sources, cedar shingles have one of the lowest carbon footprints of any roofing construction material.

They are incredibly robust and weather resistant, although still very lightweight so can be handled and transported with ease. This practical roofing material also offers fantastic heat and sound insulative properties to create a comfortable, quiet spot for you to relax even in the cooler summer evenings.

In order to maintain the beautiful natural condition of your cedar shingles, semi-regular maintenance will be required to remove leaves, moss, mould, and debris, especially if your summer house in positioned with overhanging plant-life. It is also important to note that the brown timber finish will eventually fade out to a silvery grey colour which will alter the look of your roof.

Average Lifespan: 40 – 50 Years 

Slate Effect Tiles

Affordable, lightweight, and elegant in design, plastic slate effect tiles are the ideal alternative to natural slate material. Weighing in as low as 12kg per square metre, synthetic slates make a highly practical match for summer house structures. They are easy to install without the need for professional hire, plus guarantee effective weather resistance all year round.

Manufactured using a mix of natural and recycled materials, slate effect tiles are considered a very eco-friendly and ‘green’ roofing material. They are perfect for those on a budget plus require only minimal maintenance, so you won’t be faced with any unexpected costs further down the line.

Typically synthetic slates can last anywhere from 20 up to 60 years when correctly installed. Although pretty impressive, in comparison to the potential 100 year lifespan of real slate, some may consider their lesser longevity to be a drawback. 

Average Lifespan: 20 – 60 Years

Flat Roofing Materials for Summer Houses

EPDM

Highly popular throughout both commercial and residential flat roofing projects, EPDM is a synthetic rubber material manufactured for use on flat roofing structures. With its easy installation and highly robust finish, EPDM membranes have become a go-to roofing material for flat roof summer houses and garden buildings.

It creates a simplistic, contemporary look that perfectly suits the modern garden; however some may find it sticks out in very natural environments. The rubber itself is made up of fully recycled materials for excellent sustainability plus is highly flexible in nature so won’t be prone to cracking, rotting, or blistering. EPDM roofs are not completely indestructible as foot traffic and debris can cause tearing at high impact. However, this kind of damage is pretty rare and easily fixable with minimal hassle. 

Average Lifespan: 50 Years

Green Roof

Designed to create a stunning organic haven for wildlife and plants, the green roof is the perfect roofing solution for those looking to create a flourishing natural environment in their garden. Robust and durable, green roofs protect your summer house from the elements whilst encouraging biodiversity and beneficial growth atop the structure. They are beautiful to look at, completely immersing you into nature, plus can even help to improve the insulative properties of your summer house.

Providing a vast range of environmental benefits such as air purification and reduced ambient temperature, green roofs are ideal for nature lovers, garden enthusiasts and any homeowner looking to improve their carbon footprint.

Although green roofs are pretty self sufficient most of the time, you will need to provide some level of consistent maintenance to ensure your plant life can flourish and grow in the best conditions. Green roofs can also be pretty heavy, so dependant on the size and strength of your summer house, additional structural support may be needed to hold the additional weight.

Average Lifespan: 30 – 50 Years

Which Roofing Material is Right For my Summer House?

So now we’ve talked you through some of the most popular roofing materials, you may be wondering which is the best choice for your summer house. In order to pick the best roofing solution for your garden structure, we do recommend that you take the time to weigh up the advantages and drawbacks of both. However, to make the decision a little easier, we have weighed up some of the fundamental benefits of each material:

For my summer house pitched roof, I want a pitched roofing material that is:

Long-lasting: Slate Effect Tiles

Natural looking: Cedar Shingles

Weather resilient & waterproof: Slate Effect Tiles

Easy to install: Bitumen Felt Shingles

Affordable: Bitumen Felt Shingles

For my summer house, I want a flat roofing material that is:

Good for the environment: Green Roof

Low maintenance: EPDM

Long-lasting: EPDM

Durable & weather resistant: Green roof/EPDM

Sleek & modern looking: EPDM

Natural looking: Green Roof

Where to Buy Summer House Roofing Materials?

Here at Roofing Megastore, we stock an extensive range of high-quality roofing materials supplied by leading experts in the industry. From synthetic tiles and shingles to EPDM rubber and green roof kits, we have you covered for your summer house project.

For any further information on our product range as well as any additional questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly customer service team who will be more than happy to help. Simply give them a call on 01295 565565, email sales@roofingmegastore.co.uk or leave a message in our handy live chat.