How-To Create A Living Roof

A reader named Mark passed this onto me the other day. It’s a how-to article on setting up a shed roof for growing plants. This seems like an excellent idea for those with limited space and a shed or tiny house. I’ve always been a little skeptical about anything on a roof except roofing material because I grew up in a house with a partially flat roof and leaks. Adding a living roof seems like a good way to invite trouble.

But I must say the idea is definitely worth some research and consideration because of the numerous benefits of a rooftop garden.

  • Adds home insulation
  • Provides food if you grow edibles
  • Attracts wildlife like birds
  • Blocks exterior noise
  • Utilizes rain water that would otherwise run off

Of course there are some important considerations like can the existing structure support the additional weight of the living roof and the work that’s needed for waterproofing and drainage. But if the right circumstances are in place a living roof might be a great addition to any shed or tiny house. Visit for the complete article. Photo credit

5 thoughts on “How-To Create A Living Roof

  1. bob says:

    I read about someone who did a living roof in the south and ended up with fire ants not only nesting in the roof, but tunneling through it and causing leaks.

    • Michael Janzen says:

      I’m a bit of a skeptic too. I love the idea of a true underground house but a retrofit green roof brings up all sorts of additional challenges.

  2. whysup says:

    bob: Thanks for the comment regarding fire ants, I was just thinking of playing keep-away from the rabbits and deer. Thanks for all of the resources here! I have added a link to Tiny House Design on the sidebar of my blog.

  3. Lisa says:

    Can’t you put a galvanized aluminum liner or some other kind of nonpermiable underlayment before constructing the living roof?
    Okay, so it’s not being a purist, but it does put a permanent barrier between you and the bugs; it might be worth the trade off.

  4. Star says:

    How-To Create A Living Roof…. what a misleading title….. it was a good article about having a living roof….. but where was the ‘How-To’ part???

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