How to lay roofing felt

Laying roofing felt on the garden shed

In order to protect a garden shed from the weather, it must be provided with a waterproof roof. One way to do this is to attach roofing felt to the garden shed. The cardboard can either be glued or nailed on. We would like to present both variants in more detail below.

Roofing felt must be laid overlapping

In general, roofing felt should be laid with an overlap. This is the only way to ensure that no water can penetrate. Instead of an overlapping installation, bitumen adhesive tape can also be used, which is then stuck onto the two sheets of roofing felt in an overlapping manner.

Glue roofing felt

Especially in the case of smaller garden houses, which include dog houses or playhouses, for example, it makes sense to glue the roofing felt on. These houses or huts are usually equipped with a pointed roof, the legs of which are not particularly long. Here the roofing felt is cut to size, the side on which the tar or bitumen is applied is heated with a gas burner and glued on directly. Please wear work gloves for this so that no skin injuries can occur. An approximately 20 centimeter wide strip of roofing felt is then glued over the roof ridge or at the joint of the two sheets, thus overlapping both sides by approximately 10 centimeters. This ensures that no water can penetrate at the top of the roof.

  • Roofing felt
  • Folding rule
  • pencil
  • Gas burner
  • possibly bitumen adhesive tape
  • working gloves

Before you set up a new garden house, you must inquire at the local building authority whether a building permit is required and apply for it if necessary.

Nail the roofing felt to the garden shed

Instead of gluing the roofing felt, it makes sense to nail the material in larger garden houses. With a new garden shed, the roofing felt and the fastening material are usually included in the scope of delivery. But even those who want to re-cover an existing garden shed should fall back on the easy-to-install roofing felt. Of course, the roof underneath must be clean, smooth and free of defects or defects. For example, if there are holes in the roof, the first thing to do is to remove them. If moisture has already penetrated the roof, a roofer should be consulted under certain circumstances; instead of attaching the roofing felt, greater measures may be required here.

Cut the roofing felt to size on a flat surface with the help of a cutter and a folding rule. Make sure that the individual strips overlap by about 10 centimeters and that there is a protrusion of at least 3 centimeters at the edges.

At the beginning, have all the necessary materials ready to hand. This includes

  • Roofing felt
  • Bitumen adhesive sheets
  • ladder
  • Folding rule
  • Roofing nails
  • hammer
  • cutter
  • working gloves
  • possibly gas burner and bitumen adhesive tape.


First, make sure the surface is clean. Any damage to the wood must be removed or compensated for. Now lay out the roofing felt so that it protrudes at least 3 centimeters on one side and fasten the membrane with roofing felt nails. If another sheet of cardboard is required, it must overlap the other sheet by about 10 centimeters. You can either nail down this membrane or fix it with heated bitumen adhesive tape. If the garden shed has a pointed roof, the roofing felt must be butted on both sides and fastened with roofing nails. A strip about 20 centimeters wide is then to be nailed to the top, which overlaps the roofing felt underneath by about 10 centimeters on both sides. This strip should also be attached with the special nails, but sticking with bitumen tape is also possible.

Roofing felt is now also offered in shingle form. These ensure that the roof looks similar to a normal house roof. However, roofing shingles are very heavy and must be installed very carefully. That is why it may make sense to hire a roofer to do this. With many roofing shingles, which are usually offered per square meter, instructions for fastening are also included.

The protruding 3 centimeter wide side strips can be fastened with the panels to be attached to the roof. To do this, simply bend the roofing strips and nail the panels in place. In the case of an already existing garden shed, it makes sense to unscrew the panels beforehand and fasten them again after the cardboard has been laid, whereby the 3 centimeter wide overhang should also disappear under the panels. First the gable panels are attached, followed by the eaves panels.

Lay the bitumen adhesive membrane

Instead of normal roofing felt, also provided with bitumen, bitumen adhesive sheets can also be laid on garden houses, playhouses, carports and also greenhouses. These are cut to size beforehand and must also overlap by a few centimeters. The adhesive strips are provided with a film that simply has to be peeled off. Then the membrane has to be pressed onto the roof and also fastened with roofing nails. When laying these sheets, care must also be taken to ensure that they protrude by about 10 centimeters. The remnants protruding from the sides of the roof are in turn fastened using the panels.


Even for the inexperienced, it is not too difficult to provide the garden shed with roofing felt. The materials and tools required for this are available in every well-stocked local hardware store, but also on the Internet. Please note, however, that you do not over-calculate the required amount of roofing felt. The measured roof area offers a first orientation, but the necessary overhangs and overlaps have to be taken into account. If, on the other hand, you have bought too much roofing felt and a roll has not yet started, the local hardware store may take it back and reimburse you for this part of the costs.

If there are no more panels on your garden shed, carport or children's playhouse, you should install new panels. These prevent moisture from penetrating between the roofing felt and the wood from the side.

Article image: © pwrmc / Shutterstock

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