#7 The asymmetric roof – what you need to know…

29 November 2018| News| Mareike Eckhoff

Once a month, we share important tips about building a summerhouse in our series: ‘What makes a quality summerhouse?’ Our architects and wood professionals explain the details that are important when you want a summerhouse to last as long as possible. From material choice to final assembly, everything is covered. This way, you can become an expert on wooden summerhouses yourself!


No house is complete without a roof and that applies to summerhouses as well – roofing is a very important part of every summerhouse and it plays a key role in ensuring that your building will last for a long time. Therefore, it’s crucial to pick the right roof for your summerhouse, and there are two key aspects to consider: first, it should be of high quality; and, second, you must choose the right type of roof for the shape of your garden. While the first aspect is quite obvious and can be achieved simply by following the guidance of professionals, there are many things that need to be kept in mind when choosing the type of roof for your summerhouse, which can make picking the right one a lot more difficult.

In order to help you choose the right roof type for your summerhouse, we have written a series of articles that looks at the different roof types and their advantages and disadvantages. In the previous posts we have looked at apex, flat and pyramid roofs and now it’s time to introduce another type of roof to our readers. The asymmetric roof might be a bit less commonly seen than the other roof types, but it can provide some great advantages in terms of design, functionality and space. If you think that an asymmetric roof might be right for you, keep reading this article to find out more about how to construct and maintain one, and how they compare to other roof types.

What is an asymmetric roof?

An asymmetric roof can seem similar to an apex roof at first glance as they both form a roof ridge at the top, but there is one key difference – while the apex roof has two identical sides that form a straight line at the edges, an asymmetric roof has an asymmetrical overhang on one of the sides (hence the name). That means that each side of the roof is a different length and sometimes even has a different pitch, and their edges form an uneven angle. Due to this, summerhouses with this sort of roof can provide more usable space for their owners than those with a regular apex roof, and they are also very useful in locations that have a lot of rain or snow during the colder months, as the steeper pitch of the roof makes water or snow drain or slide off more easily.

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What are the advantages of an asymmetric roof?

An asymmetric roof has several advantages that can make it appealing to potential summerhouse owners. As already mentioned, the main advantage is the additional space that this type of roof can provide, which is achieved thanks to the increased length of one side of the roof. Due to this, extra space is created underneath it, giving the option of setting up an extra room or providing more space for storage.

Another important advantage of asymmetric roofs is the easier and faster draining of water and snow from the roof, which ensures that these heavy liquids don’t build up to dangerous levels. Asymmetric roofs rid themselves of snow and rainwater more quickly than other roof types because of the shape of the roof, as the pitch of both its sides is quite steep, especially on the longer side. In addition, the increased length of one side means that the snow or rainwater is distributed over a bigger surface, which reduces the likelihood of dangerous build-ups.

Last, but not least, another advantage of this roof type is its appearance, as its unusual shape instantly makes it look more interesting than more common roof types. In addition, asymmetric roofs can provide many excellent and inventive design options and, as mentioned before, in efficient designs they can maximise the space available.

Roofing material

Roofing material is another area where asymmetric roofs have some shared characteristics with apex roofs, as bitumen shingles are most commonly used for both of these roof types. Shingles are lightweight, bend well and are easy to cut. They are also very resistant to the rain, snow and other weather conditions, and provide very good sound isolation that will protect you from external noise.

Lugarde uses high-quality roof shingles which contain a carrier layer of glass fleece, impregnated with bitumen on both sides. On the top side, the shingles are covered with coloured mineral granules that give them their colour – they are usually available in several different colours, which means that the roof colour can be attuned to the overall look of the garden. The standard colours provided by Lugarde are blue, brown, green, red and black, allowing you to choose what suits best.

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How to construct an asymmetric roof?

Given its unusual shape, some people might be put off of choosing an asymmetric roof because of concerns that it will be difficult to construct. This is understandable, as people are often averse to things that aren’t well known to them – in life, not just summerhouse design. It’s also understandable that the asymmetric triangle shape of this roof type might give the impression that it is hard to build, but is that really the case?

Well, actually, it isn’t – asymmetric roofs aren’t much harder to install than apex roofs, which are their closest relatives as they have a similar structure and manner of construction. Of course, there are some things to consider that are specific to this roof type, but, all in all, the construction of asymmetric roofs is pretty straightforward.

After the walls have been assembled, the next step is installing the roof boards. These should be left slightly out of the middle at the top and nailed to the roof construction. Make sure the roof boards aren’t pressed together too tightly – a gap of around 1 mm should be left to allow for expansion. After that, the shingles should be attached in rows. The first row must be fitted upside-down, with the notches pointing upwards, while the second and subsequent rows should be placed with the notches facing down. It’s important to keep the top and bottom overlaps equal and make sure that the notches are located in the centre of the surface of the shingle below. Once you have finished fixing the rows of shingles, the ridge shingles must be cut to size, bent slightly and nailed to the roof one after the other. The bargeboard can then be screwed together and attached to the roof, concluding the process.

Now you know what an asymmetric roof is and what its main advantages are, as well as how to install one. If you have been considering an asymmetric roof, hopefully this article has encouraged you to choose one. Meanwhile, if you’re still not sure which type of roof is the right one for you, take a look at the other articles in this series, where we discuss other roof types.

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