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What Type Of Roof To Build For Your Shipping Container Tiny Home?



The standard flat roofing a container comes with can serve most people and saves money, but adding a sloped roof will save you even more in the long run. Hot air rises so most of the heat from your home will be lost through the roof, which makes proper insulation and roofing the best option for saving. Slopes also ensure that water is directed away from the surface to prevent water damage. When choosing a roof for your shipping container home, there are a few styles to consider.

What Type Of Roof To Build For Your Shipping Container Tiny Home?

  • Shed: Shed style roofing is slightly sloped and is very cheap and quick to build. This style is popular because it can be easily fitted with solar panels to increase energy savings. Installing shed style roofing involves welding right-angled steel plates across the length of the container on both sides. On each side, a wooden beam is attached to the steel plates and trusses are screwed into the beams. Steel bars are attached for structural support across the trusses. You can use shingles, or steel sheets to cover the roof. The trusses of the roof must hang over the container to allow for adequate ventilation.
  • Gable: Gable style roofing is similar to that of traditional homes with its distinguished triangular shape. This sloped style provides great water drainage which prevents leaks and extends the roof life. Installation is similar to that of a shed style roof and will also require the help of a structural engineer. As with the shed roof, you will need to make sure the roof has adequate ventilation and you can use shingles, or steel sheets to cover the roof.
  • Flat: Containers already have flat roofing and for most people this is adequate. It is important to remember that while this may be a cheaper option, it does leave your roof at risk for water pooling.


You will need to enlist the expertise of a structural engineer to help calculate load-bearing weights for your roof. The load-bearing weight is the total weight the roof can hold without collapsing. They will provide the calculations for you and ensure that these are met for safety purposes. The weight will differ across locations as each area will have different weather challenges and exposures.


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