How to lay roofing felt on a garden shed


Roofing felt is the only thing standing between your garden shed and the elements. Without it, wooden shed roofs are exposed to water damage that can ruin the contents. Luckily, it’s a fairly simply job and just requires a few common tools.

Whether you need to know how to lay roofing felt on your new shed or you’re replacing the roofing felt on your shed, our guide will help you get the job done.

What you’ll need

shed felt

If you’re replacing old roofing felt

  1. Start by carefully removing any timber fixing boards (or fascia) with a claw hammer. These can be replaced later to conceal the overhanging roofing felt.
  2. Remove any old roofing felt, using the claw hammer to pull pieces away from the wood.
  3. Check the roof for loose, uneven or damaged boards (replace if necessary). Pull out any protruding nails or hammer them flat into the roof. Also make sure to clean away any damp patches or debris, so you’re left with a clean, dry surface.

How to lay roofing felt

  1. Measure your roof and make sure you have enough roofing felt to cover the entire area, plus extra for overlap (around 10cm per length of roofing felt used) and overhang on the eaves and gable ends (about 5cm).
  2. Cut the felt on a solid, even surface. Depending on the size of your shed and the width of your felt, you’ll probably need around three to five lengths to cover the roof.
  3. Starting on one side of the roof, lay the felt across the bottom with about 2cm hanging over each edge.
  4. Nail down the roofing felt at one end, at equal intervals of around 10cm. Pull the felt tight, whilst making sure the it still lays flat against the roof, and nail across the bottom at intervals of 30cm. Then nail the other end.
  5. If you’re laying another length of felt before covering the ridge, apply in the same way as the first length, but overlap the previous length of felt by about 10cm.
  6. For the ridge section of the roof, it’s best to apply the felt so that half hangs on either side of the roof and overlaps the previous piece of felt. Before securing, apply a generous amount of felt adhesive directly to the shed. Then secure the edge with nails as before.
  7. If there is too much space near the ridge to cover both ends evenly, you can apply a length of roofing felt on one side that overhangs on the other side by 10cm or so. Then do the same on the other side. Again, use felt adhesive and nails to secure.
  8. Fold down the overhanging felt at the eaves of the shed and secure with nails. Then fold the overhanging felt at the gable ends, using your craft knife to cut a slit at the apex of the roof, and secure with nails. Refit your timber fixings with wood nails to hide the overhanging felt. Alternatively, you can use your craft knife to tidy up the edges.

This method with also work for outdoor hutches and kennels, as well as garden sheds. You’ll need to replace your roofing felt every few years, but keep an eye out for damage regularly.

Take a look at our full range of roofing felt and garden supplies. You can also find more helpful guides for improving your garden in our Expert Advice section.