Living Shed Roof




I decided to make a living roof addition for my shed because I like them and wanted somewhere to plant more wild flowers to help the bees.

Step 1: Build a Frame

Firstly make sure your roof has sufficient support to hold all the additional weight, it's heavier than you think. If not you will need to add extra supports in place. Because of the weight factor I decided to build my living roof to cover approx half my roof also this will still allow me to collect water for my water butts. Measure the size of the area you want the roof and build a rectangle frame that size, I used some old mahogany from a patio door frame for the front (so it looked nice) and various off cuts for the rest of the frame. I then added cross supports and further support going across the entire length. This will help stop the soil from being washed away in heavy rain. These were simply cut using a saw and screed together.

Step 2: Sanding

Sand down any rough edges so any birds looking for bugs don't get injured. I also used a belt sander to get the years of old varnish off the mahogany, make sure you use correct safety equipment.

Step 3: Add Plastic and Treat Wood

Treat the wood using product of your choice to help protect the wood from rotting. Add plastic to the base of your structure. This will stop water soaking into your roofing material. It will also help keep the soil in place and keep the moisture in the soil. Make sure there is some drainage though! To add plastic just screw in place or use a staple gun. I used old bird seed bags. Leave extra at back and side edges to allow you to fold over frame.

Step 4: Fold Edges of Plastic

Fold the edges of the plastic over and secure down. This will help keep soil in place and help keep the moisture from running straight out of the soil. Do allow some drainage though.

Step 5: Add Soil

Put frame onto roof and screw in place. Screw through the edges of the frame into the edge of your shed. Add the soil and compost mix. This is hard work, ask for help with the lifting. Alternatively build the frame directly on top of the roof. When soil is in place, add some wild seed mix. I also added some strawberry plants at the back and sweet William seeds I had collected from my garden.

Step 6: Treat Wood

Add finishing coat of wood treatment, I used hardwood oil for mahogany and creo for other parts of framework and then your finished, hope the bees enjoy my effort!



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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I have wanted to do this on top of the new addition, very little slope, but I worry about the weight. The roof decking is only 1/4-in plywood. I trusted my best friend when he said he was an excellent builder so I didn't pay much attention and didn't question. Big mistake! Now I question, among other things, the correctness of using only 1/4-in plywood. Do you have an estimate of how much weight your living roof adds?


    2 years ago

    Great thought. Thanks for caring for the environment.