Does a Shed Roof Need an Overhang

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If you have just started thinking about a new shed project or need a proper place to store your beloved personal belongings, you are going to want your shed built right. Great protection starts with a solid foundation. Protection is complete when a safe, enclosed space is sealed and protected from harmful outdoor elements. So, will an overhang help provide a good foundation for a shed?

Does a shed roof need an overhang? Yes. Rain will slide down the sides of your shed foundation and lead to rot over time. An overhang will protect the foundation from water and debris from winds. Too much water can also lead to mildew and mold.

There are many other potential benefits to incorporating a shed overhang, such as relief from harmful sun rays which may help to keep the shed’s overall work temperature down. Proper overhang helps maintain the outer walls from rot, paint damage, and improve the overall long-term health of your shed foundation.

There are many other potential benefits to incorporating a shed overhang, such as relief from harmful sun rays which may help to keep the shed’s overall work temperature down. Proper overhang helps maintain the outer walls from rot, paint damage, and improve the overall long-term health of your shed foundation.

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Is Overhang Essential for a Shed

When thinking about a foundation’s structure, the overhang is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, when you realize the important benefits that come with an appropriate amount of overhang on your shed, you may change your tune. Check out some of the incredible benefits of owning a shed overhang below.

  • Ultimate Weather Protection – Overhang not only presents a charming aesthetic, but it also provides protection from harsh weather elements such as rain, debris, and snow.
  • Safely Redirects Water – This simple addition will help shield your windows, walls, and doors from rain, and direct the water away from your shed’s foundation.
  • Keep Work Temperatures Consistent – A shed overhang will be essential in the summer months for shielding harmful rays from entering your shed and raising the temperature significantly. In the winter months, when the sun is lower, sunlight will be able to enter your windows and provide warmth against the cold weather conditions.
  • Add Storage Space – Many people add a significant amount of overhang on one side of their shed, also known as a “lean-to.” This may provide additional storage space for firewood, lawn equipment, or other storage items that can be left in outdoor conditions.
  • Stylize Your Shed – If your shed does not have an overhang, you may want to consider adding it to stay away from that flat, boxy look your shed will have with no overhang. Do not let your shed be an eyesore to your neighbors. Instead, invest in a shed overhang.

As you can see, having a little bit of overhang can go a long way, and will help protect your shed from harmful elements such as sunlight or rain that may cause damage over time. It may be a short-term lifesaver when working on a rainy day and you must unlock your shed, for the roof overhang will protect you from the rain while you are unlocking the door.

Another benefit to having a shed overhang is the relief that you will feel when working long periods of time in the heat, for a shed overhang will help your shed stay cool and protected from harmful heat rays. No more unnecessary sweating and foggy glasses when you decide to invest in a shed overhang.

Most importantly, the shed overhang significantly increases the longevity of the building. Your shed will even be protected from harsh wind-blown rain from a slight overhang, and the base of the shed will not get excessively damp and cause mildew or rot. It is in the small details like this that make a shed last a long time from the onset of its construction to the final days of its usage. Store your items for a lifetime and protect your space by incorporating a shed overhang.

What Are the Different Types of Overhang

Having an overhanging roof is essential for maintaining the temperature and longevity of your shed, but what are the different ways in which you can employ a roof overhang? Are certain types of roof overhang options better for different shed designs?

Learn the answer to these questions in our comprehensive overhang gallery below:

Type of roofStyle of roof
Flat Shed Roof Slightly Wider Overhang Acceptable, Cheapest Option, Ideal for Storage, Overhang Extends Past All Four Walls
Gabled RoofsExtends Beyond Wall Caps, Angled Roof Overhang, Narrow Maximum Width, Easy to Construct or Add On
Slanted Shed RoofRedirects Water Away from Foundation, Facilitates Proper Drainage, Added Storage Space, Can Be Medium or Long in Length Comparable to Other Designs
Gambrel RoofFlared Eaves for Steep Angle, Narrow Design, Provides Cover Over Shed Entrance
Lean-to Shed RoofAttached to a Larger Structure, Redirects Runoff, Provide Additional Storage, Length Is Determined By Design and Optimal Storage Use

There are as many overhang design options as there are sheds. Likewise, there is no straight-forward answer to how much overhang is necessary for different shed designs because each shed is different and will have different weather challenges. Decide which roof design is best for your weather and storage needs, and make sure there is a proper overhang on the design you choose.

Can You Add an Overhang on an Existing Shed and How Much Is Needed

Maybe you have a shed that does not have a proper overhang because you were getting a deal, inherited it from previous owners, or simply overlooked that feature when picking out your shed design. Adding an overhang on most shed roofs is an easy task, and you may want to consider the advantages that you will receive from having a proper overhang on your shed.

So, can you add an overhang on an existing shed? Yes. There are different ways in which you can add an overhang to a shed. One simple way is by extending each rafter beyond the parameters of the four existing walls and creating something many builders call “rafter tails” on each side for eave overhangs.

Once the rafter tails are installed, cut them down to the appropriate overhead length for your shed. A rake overhang will be essential in protecting your window and door areas at each end of your shed.

How long should the shed overhang be? Overhang sizes for eaves on most shed types will usually lie between one and two feet (1’-2’) while the rake overhang will usually be less than 1 foot (1′)

Start by removing the existing trim and expose the rafters. Provide extensions no longer than 2 feet to avoid having to restructure the foundation of the shed.

Attach extensions to the exposed rafters with framing nails. Add the trim and roof underlay under the extensions you have created, and make sure to pick shingles that match the color of the existing ones on your shed’s roof. If the roof has seen a considerable amount of sun damage, you may have to rework all the shingles on the roof before adding an extension.

If you are adding extensions over the gable ends of your shed, you will need to buy soffit ladders, also known as gable ladders. Start with your desired extension length and work your way to the peak of your shed.

Next, you will have to appropriately cut the cross pieces that will make the ladder and install them about every 16 inches for optimal support. You can assemble the ladder with common deck screws.  You may need to incorporate a shed roof framing device to properly line up the ladders on each end of your roof gables, and you can install the frame using 3-inch deck screws for seamless roof construction.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have learned about the importance of having a proper overhang for your shed and how to construct an overhang on an existing shed, nothing can stop you from getting the most out of your storage space. Do not let your shed be a stuffy workroom that you do not want to work in or even look at for that matter. Instead, maintain the temperature of your storage space and ensure proper drainage with functional gable and rake overhang.

Although overhang may seem like a small detail that can be overlooked, it will make a huge difference in the performance and longevity of your storage space. Roof overhangs effectively disperse the water on your roof to promote proper drainage, protect doors and windows from debris or harsh windy rainfall, and maintains the proper temperatures to keep your beloved personal belongings safe. Give your shed the treatment it deserves and invest in overhang for your shed today!

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