One of the crucial areas of your tiny house project is getting the roof design spot on.
And since the roof of your small home is unarguably one of the most critical building blocks of your living room, you don’t want to do a shoddy job or opt for a roof pitch that doesn’t meet your standard.
Besides keeping your tiny home with small square feet insulated, your roof choice is also crucial as it will keep you and your loved ones protected from harsh weather conditions.
When constructing a roof system for a tiny home, there are two things you must consider.
First, you need to consider the structural design of your home.
Secondly, you need to consider the roofing materials you’d like to build your roof with.
Once you have figured out these two components, you can go ahead to explore your creativity and make up your mind about the type of roof design that’s perfect for you.
We are sure the question on your mind is, what are the choices available to you as far as roof design for your home is concerned?
Well, it all depends on the style of roof you want.
Anything from a shed roof to saltbox roof to a gambrel roof and more should do just fine.
Also, you can choose between steel roofing, ceramic tiles, or asphalt shingles.
What are the best tiny house roof options?
When it comes to tiny house roof styles, there are many superb options you can explore.
Even though some tiny house roof options are purely for aesthetic purposes, the majority of the roof designs we will show you in today’s post will provide tremendous benefits for your living room, including access to natural lighting.
But before you decide which roof style is perfect for you, it’s essential to know how much headroom you want in your loft bedroom as well as how much roof pitch you’ll need.
For those new to tiny house roof design, it will interest you to know that the roof pitch is the slope or angle at which the roof of your small home sits, which is most times relative to the floor or ground.
Let us also add that while a flat roof won’t have a pitch, most gable roof designs feature a pretty large pitch.
And yes, the pitch is super essential, primarily because it determines how quickly rainwater or snow will run off your roof.
The less time water stays on your roof, the better it is at preventing any type of leaks.
Here, check out our list of best roof styles for tiny homes.
This is among some of the popular tiny house roof styles out there.
What’s unique about this tiny house roof design is that it features a single-sloped roof surface.
Not just that, the single sloped roof surface sits on its own and isn’t attached to another roof surface.
- The central selling point of a shed roof is that it is superb for a loft area. And this is true because the peak of the roof is mostly at the max height of the structure.
- This roof style delivers impeccable lighting to your home.
- If you live in an area with no access to clean portable water, having a shed roof will allow you to harvest rainwater easily.
- With shed roof, getting rid of snow pile is a chore
- A shed roof mostly requires a heavy pitch along with a metal roof.
A saltbox roof shares many similarities with a shed roof.
The only thing that sets both roof designs apart is that a saltbox roof has two sides with distinct off-center peaks.
For the most part, a saltbox roof features a small side and a low slope.
Also, this roof design has a larger side and an even downward slope.
- It features a brilliant water run-off design.
- With a saltbox roof, you have the option to add a skylight to the tiny house instead of opting for the odd window option that most tiny house users are accustomed to.
- Since most saltbox roof designs feature an off-peak center, you may notice that the overall weight of the roof is unevenly distributed.
- With saltbox roof designs, you must fortify the end walls amidst other structural reinforcements.
Gambrel or barn style roof design
Many tiny house owners are increasingly turning their attention to this roof design, and that’s all thanks to the brilliant features of this roof design.
This roof design is insanely popular and pretty common with barn-style structures.
The cool thing about this roof design is that it spots two distinct symmetrical sides.
Not just that, the two symmetrical sides also feature slopes on each side.
While one of the slopes is shallow, the other is steeper.
- This roof design is robust and built to last
- It adds some glam to your structure
- It can hold a loft, especially one with a lot of headroom.
- If you plan to build this small roof design, you’ll run into some issues as it is a bit complex, especially for beginners.
- You’ll have to reinforce this roof design at each joint. This is important for maximizing strength.
- It requires a lot of materials.
Like the other roof designs we have highlighted so far, a gable roof is an attractive option for tiny house owners looking for something different.
Besides being a popular roofing style for tiny homes, this type of roof style is also popular with traditional homes.
Since this type of tiny house roof has two connected roof sides, it is excellent for rainwater harvesting.
- This is among the few water-resisting style roofing for tiny homes out there.
- This tiny house roof design is easy to build. Even if you’re just starting out, you’ll find it pretty easy to build this roof all by yourself.
- Gable roof designs aren’t such a great option when it comes to space maximization. More so, they aren’t the right option if you plan to have a loft-style bedroom.
- Like the other roof designs we have highlighted so far, this roof style also requires structural reinforcements. This is important for snowy climates. And if you decide to reinforce, you may lose some headroom.
If you have a small budget to play with and you want to keep things simple, you’ll love this brilliant roof design for tiny homes.
Like its name, a flat roof design for a tiny home has an entirely flat surface.
This also means that it is missing a pitch.
- This roof style is pretty easy to put together, making it an excellent option for newbies who want to build their roofs by themselves.
- It doesn’t require a lot of materials to build.
- Thanks to its clean, symmetrical lines, this roof design is aesthetically pleasing.
- Because of its flat roof design, this type of roof may not be able to withstand snow, water, and other debris in the long run. That said, with some reinforcements, the roof should perform well.
Arched or round roof
If you are interested in a unique roof style, you won’t go wrong opting for an arched or round roof design.
While this roof style spots a superb design, you’ll mostly find it on a caravan wagon.
- What we love about this roof design is that it is solid and sturdy.
- The roof is designed in such a way that it distributes weight evenly.
- Putting this roof design can be pretty complicated. So it isn’t a job for someone just starting out.
- If you plan on going the DIY route with this project, we are sorry to say that it isn’t something a first DIY builder can pull off.
What are the best roofing materials for tiny homes?
Having provided you with some of the best tiny house roofing options along with their pros and cons; it’s time to highlight some of the best roofing materials for tiny homes.
Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Even though there are tons of excellent roofing materials on the market today, not all of them are great for tiny houses, especially tiny homes on wheels.
Just so you know, some materials are pretty heavy and cannot be supported by tiny homes.
Also, some materials have a short life span and cannot withstand beatings from heavy rain and snowy climates.
In terms of materials, we have found roofing materials such as ceramic tiles, asphalt shingles, and metal roofing panels, superb for tiny homes.
Let’s look closely at each roofing material and what it offers.
Metal roofing panels
Metal roofing panels are becoming a brilliant option for tiny house owners looking for quality roofing materials for their homes.
In terms of price, this roofing material will cost you between $75 to $350 per square of steel roofing, which should suffice for 100 square feet.
And if you prefer galvanized steel, you’ll have to cough out between $150 to $350 per square foot of galvanized steel.
What makes metal roofing panels such a brilliant option for tiny homes is that they are lightweight and incredibly durable.
They hold up pretty well even when exposed to extreme weather conditions like heavy wind, water, fire, mold, snow, rust, bugs, and mildew.
Another cool thing is that they are easy to install and will remain perfect for several decades when properly cared for.
Despite the many metal roofing options available on the market, including copper and aluminum, many tiny house owners prefer steel, mainly because it is affordable.
More so, steel roofing panels are durable and built to resist rust.
They are also reinforced to withstand impact elements such as hail and debris.
Galvanized steel is perfect, and that’s because of its zinc-coating.
Thanks to that, it can withstand corrosion.
Sure, it is a lot more expensive than galvalume steel, but if you’re interested in something that is insanely durable and energy-efficient, you’ll not be disappointed to give it a try.
- Metal roofing panels are built to last and can withstand extreme weather elements.
- This roofing material can last for nearly 50 years.
- With this roofing material, you have many color choices.
- This roofing material features hidden fasteners.
- This tiny house roofing material is quite expensive, so not recommended for tiny house enthusiasts on a lean budget.
- This material can be tricky to install, especially on tiny homes with complex roofs.
- This roofing material is lacking In terms of aesthetics.
- It requires special order.
This is another brilliant material for tiny house roofing.
While shingles come in different materials, asphalt is one of the most popular because of its unique benefits.
In terms of cost, asphalt shingles will cost an average of $100 to $150 per square sheet of asphalt.
As per benefits, asphalt shingles are super effective against extreme weather conditions and reasonably priced.
Besides its wide range of colors you can choose from, they are also easy to install, with installation ready within a couple of days.
Just to add, shingles can deliver a brilliant tile look without the extra weight.
Plus, it can withstand extreme weather conditions.
However, before buying asphalt shingles for your tiny house project, keep in mind that this roofing material is perfect for areas that experience a blend of extreme heat and freezing temperatures.
And that’s because asphalt shingles are known to crack.
Also, let us quickly add that asphalt shingles aren’t the most environmentally friendly roofing materials out there, mainly because they aren’t recyclable.
More so, they require a lot of energy to produce.
- During heavy wind or storm, asphalt shingles can be blown off your roof, so you must ensure that it is installed correctly.
- This roofing material is quite heavy and will add nearly 2 to 4 pounds per square foot.
- This roofing material isn’t great for low-slope roofs.
- The material is prone to streaks and staining.
Ceramic tiles roofing materials
If you’re looking for a roofing sheet that is great for your tiny home, you’ll be hard-picked to find any material that is better than ceramic roofing tiles.
And the best part is that it is a more affordable option than other materials we have explored so far.
These materials will cost between $2 to $10 per square foot of roofing tile when it comes to cost.
Compared to the cost of metal panels or asphalt shingles, you’ll agree that this is cheap.
Installing ceramic tiles, especially those made from concrete, slate, clay, or terracotta, can give your tiny house roof a definitive look.
Plus, this roofing material is highly durable and can withstand extreme weather conditions, including hail, heavy winds, and external fire.
Once ceramic tiles have been installed in your home, you won’t have to worry too much about leaks, rust, and insect damage.
The not-so-cool part is that ceramic tiles can be expensive.
While they are cheaper than the other roofing materials highlighted in today’s post, you’ll still spend a fortune buying this material.
Additionally, ceramic tiles are heavy and challenging to install.
That said, ceramic tiles are great for tiny homes built on a foundation, and that’s because of their weight.
Though ceramic tiles are durable and built to last, they can suffer damages from heavy impact, especially from a falling tree branch.
Also, this material is only great for tiny homes with a sharply sloping roof design.
- Compared to other roofing materials, this one is pretty affordable
- Ceramic roof tiles are durable and built to last.
- They are insanely popular and widely available
- They aren’t so challenging to install
- Though ceramic tiles are durable, they can break from heavy impact, especially from falling tree branches.
- Though installation isn’t all that hard, it can be tricky, especially for newbies.
- Not suitable for tiny houses with flat roofs.
Other tiny house roof alternatives
If you’re okay with thinking outside the box and want something different for your tiny house roof designs, then you’ll love some of the alternatives we will be highlighting shortly.
Let’s get to the details right away.
Solar shingle roof: This roofing system for tiny homes is excellent, especially for tiny house owners interested in additional energy sources. Unfortunately, not many tiny house owners find this roofing option worthwhile, mainly because it will add extra weight to their homes.
But instead of just going for conventional solar panels, you can opt for solar shingles. To give you some background, modern solar shingles are made from robust tempered glass. To this end, they can be installed and function almost like normal shingles. The only difference with this option is that it comes with the added benefit of electricity.
Living roof: This is another creative tiny house roof design exploding among tiny house owners. This roof system is brilliant in every way.
To be clear, a living roof is more like having a mini garden space on top of your tiny house structure. Besides providing you with extra space to grow edibles and vegetables, this roofing system also helps maximize rainwater.
The most appealing aspect of this option is that it can add to your tiny house insulation.
Nevertheless, if you intend to explore this option, keep in mind that you have to build a structure that is solid enough to carry the additional weight.
Also, you have to do all the necessary drainage work along with waterproofing.
Frequently asked questions
Are tiny house roofing options expensive?
When it comes to your tiny house roof, you’ll agree that there is no room for error, as any slight mistake can result in significant issues you’re not prepared to deal with.
That said, there are myriads of tiny house roof options you can explore.
While some are affordable, others will cost you quite a fortune.
At the end of the day, you need to sit back and decide what’s best for you, especially something in line with your budget.
What is the most common tiny house roof system out there?
Despite the incredible number of tiny house roof designs out there, some of the most common options we have come across include gable roofs and metal panel roof systems.
These options are popular because they work for traditional homes and tiny houses.
So if you’re looking to keep things simple, you’ll not be disappointed to give these tiny house roof options a try.
Do I need to vent the roof of my tiny home?
There has been quite some argument about whether roof venting is essential for your tiny home, and today, we want to set the record straight.
While some are of the opinion that roof venting is not crucial, other tiny house professionals say it is important.
Nevertheless, we did our homework and discovered that it’s important to vent the roof of your tiny home.
So if you’re still on the fence, now you know it’s important.