How To Sheet A Roof

Sheeting your roof is an outdoor activity that any outdoor-inclined person is sure to enjoy. Learning how to sheet a roof is an essential skill that comes in handy in many situations and is a useful life skill. In this guide, you will learn how to sheet a roof, how to put a sheet a shed roof with metal and more. Stay with me! 

What is a Sheet?

A sheet is a roofing material used to cover the top of your house. It is attached to a frame and keeps your home protected from unfavourable weather conditions amongst other things. There are metal and plastic sheets. Metal sheets are subdivided into two, which are, polycarbonate and corrugated sheets. Each type of roofing sheet has its advantages and disadvantages and specific use cases.

Types of Roofing Sheets

Metal roofing sheets:

Known for being resistant to adverse weather conditions, this type of sheet’s popularity is no surprise. This is an affordable roofing option and can last far longer than others.

Polycarbonate roofing sheets

Polycarbonate sheets have a significant advantage in that they are highly resistant to harsh conditions. This makes the polycarbonate roofing sheet an excellent installation and a good bargain.

Plastic Roofing Sheets

Plastic roofing sheets are especially suitable for gardens (remember your vegetables). You have to bear in mind that plastics are not that strong and durable. That’s why they are best suited for being used in gardens and other less-duty areas.

Conditions necessary to sheet a roof

1. Ventilation area should cover at least 1/150 of the total square feet. If the total square feet is 2000 sq. ft., then the ventilation area should be at least 13.3 sq/ft. Some places allow you to reduce this ventilation/area ratio by meeting some requirements. To check for general conditions and regulations on roofing, click here.

2. The baffles you install should provide at least 1-inch free space between your under roof decking and your framing; this is to ensure the ventilation path remains free.

Tools used to sheet a roof

You will need tools to install these sheets, and some of the tools include:

  1. Roofing nailers
  2. Conservatory roof ladder
  3. Conservatory roof cleaners
  4. UPVC hinges
  5. UPVC door handles
  6. Roofing hammer
  7. Hard hats
  8. Harnesses

Installing a metal roofing sheet

There are two types of metal sheets; corrugated roofing sheets and plain steel sheets. You will be learning how to install them.

Corrugated roofing sheet

Firstly, when allocating sheets to each part of your roof, you should make sure that you ration them in such a way that there is an overhang (the portion of the roof that protrudes and extends from the ceiling). Panels are always longer than required, so the next step after allocating them is to cut the roofing sheets into the desired lengths. Note, some of these sheets will overlap each other, so cut with that in mind. Since you are working with corrugated sheets, you need to drill holes in them to attach your screws. The holes you drill should maintain 8 inches spacing. Plastic and polycarbonate sheets come with already drilled holes.

You might encounter problems holding corrugated sheets together. If you do, I advise using a lapping tape to hold everything together. Align the corrugated sheets with the roof’s drip edge so that water and the likes have a streamlined route to flow through.

Now, using a screw or nail, hold the sheets in place very tightly and nail/screw them to the frame of your roof. Make sure they are fastened correctly. Ensure the ends of the roof frame are closed with either wood or plastic strips, as this will prevent rain, wind, and other little annoyances that might creep in from there.

This is how to install corrugated sheets with plywood and with a little variation, it is basically the same way to install a sheet with an oriented strand board (OSB).

Steel roofing sheets

  • Set up the roof properly:

Firstly, you have to install the underlayment membrane from the roof’s bottom corner. This underlayment membrane serves as a base for other work. After rolling the underlayment membrane, you should use nails (or screws depending on the type of steel sheets you have) to hold them tightly in position.

After that, you also need to install edges across the board, as explained in installing corrugated sheets. These edges, along with the underlayment membrane, helps keep out unwanted condensation and corrosion.

  • Install Shingles:

Shingles are needed if you want to have a roof that is both watertight and water-resistant. So the next thing you will be doing is to install shingles. Shingles are installed wherever there is space at the bottom of the roof. You need to use steel nails to hold each shingle in. Shingles are installed, starting from the edge of the roof. Ensure each shingle is hooked to the one just before it until you reach the end of the roof. If any part of the shingle sticks out of the pattern, you can cut it off.

  • Installing the sheet: Starting from the highest elevation, lay the metal sheets one after the other and use steel nails to secure them.

Installing a polycarbonate roofing sheet

They are almost installed in the same fashion as with others, but this one has few variations which include;

1. Laying the glazing bars: You lay these down starting at the edges of your roofing panels and ensure the holes are spaced 500mm apart. These holes are where you will fix in your bars for the sheet installation properly.

2. Laying the sheets: You should attach each sheet to a glazing bar in such a way that the glazing bar is positioned between 2 sheets, effectively sealing the air gap between them.

3. After this, you can now hold the sheets down with your screw caps and screws.

Installing a plastic roofing sheet

Installing a plastic roofing sheet is a bit more complicated than others since you are working with plastic and any error could ruin the sheet as a whole.

  1. Measurements: You have to take proper measurements of the roof frame you are installing the sheet on and then cut out a sufficient length of plastic to cover it and still have an inch or two to spare. The cutting can be done with an electric saw.
  2. Drilling: The next step is to make holes in the plastic sheets with an electric drill. These holes are where you are going to put screws or nails to hold the plastic sheets firmly in place.
  3. Installation: Finally, you install the sheets to the frame by joining them end to end and then using a nail or screw to hold them down

Frequently asked Questions

Should I use OSB or plywood for my roof?

I will advise plywood as it holds less water and dries out faster than OSB (oriented strand board). This makes plywood suitable for every type of weather. For a more in-depth analysis of this topic, watch the video below

How thick does the plywood need to be?

If you finally decided to go with plywood, then congratulations on making the right choice. Plywood thickness should range from half an inch to about an inch for maximum reliability and functionality.

Should I use treated plywood?

Yes, you should. Untreated plywood is liable to rot. This rot is caused by excess buildup of moisture, so using treated plywood should be your best option.

How do I make my room heat resistant?

You can take some steps to make your room heat resistant so that it will be more comfortable to stay in during the hot summer. You can paint your room white, install roof vents to help with the ventilation, and add insulation to your roof. Either of these methods will significantly reduce the amount of heat entering your room.


Learning how to sheet a roof is a proper life skill. There are many methods used to sheet roofs like a pro, and there are also materials used depending on the result you want.

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