Dusty Gedge and John Little, authors of the DIY Green Roof Guide

Building a Small Green Roof

From suggested screw sizes through edge details to drainage suggestions, John & Dusty take you through the process step by step, using text, photos, illustrations and videos

a retrofit green roof on an old shed

Retrofitting a Green Roof

Yes even the smallest of roof spaces can provide a small haven of beauty and a wildlife oasis! The retrofitting section advice can be used to green roof sheds, cycle & bin shelters, garages and house extensions – the fundamentals remain the same!

a new build green roof shed

Small Green Roofs on New Builds

A step by step guide to creating a SAFE and LEAK FREE green roof on a small scale construction project. Learn from the vastly experienced authors how to accomplish it yourself or help provide guidance to your contractors

wildflower plant suggestions for your green roof

Planting Suggestions

Planting suggestions focussed on native species that can provide the maximum biodiversity. Separate lists for the UK, Eastern USA & Canada, Mid-West USA

demonstrating edge detailing for a small green roof

Green Roof Detailing

From suggested screw sizes through edge details to drainage suggestions, John & Dusty take you through the process step by step, using text, photos, illustrations and videos

A Comprehensive Guide to Designing & Building Small Green Roofs

A Practical ‘How To’ Guide by John Little & Dusty Gedge

This online guide is designed to meet the needs of DIY enthusiasts looking to build a small green roof on a garden shed, outhouse, bin shed, bike store, garage or house extension, as well as builders and landscaper contractors who want to gain insight into  building small green roofs.

This guide to small green roofs has been developed to:

  • Provide DIYers with the confidence in initiating & taking a project forward,
  • Set out the basic principles behind which things are needed (or not) and why,
  • Provide simple detailed instructions (down to what nails and screws to use) in a step by step format,
  • Supply construction illustrations that make the green roof building process easy.

Have you ever asked yourself the question – ‘I want to build a green roof…but it all seems so complicated’? If you have, then this DIY Green Roof Guide may well be ideal for you, wherever in the world you are thinking of building and whatever type of small scale green roof you are considering.

Learn from Experts

The intention of the small scale green roof online guide is take some of the mystery out of how to build a green roof. Between them Dusty & John have over 50 years experience in designing, planning, building and maintaining green roofs. As they were both getting numerous emails from people wanting to do a green roof but weren’t sure how to go about it they decided to produce the original DIY Guide in 2008. It was evident that the main stumbling block was a lack of confidence and confusion on what layer went where, what were the planting options and what was feasible on a wide range of small structures?

This online edition [ launched in 2014 ] features multimedia features and useful insights not possible in the plain print 2008 version including;

  • Videos of the various stages giving in a detail visual guide to stages of the building of a small-scale green roof:
  • Detailed plant lists for the UK and other countries, regions and biomes
  • Updates on recent innovations particularly about substrates and edge detailing
  • More detailed sketches and drawings to make the stages of the construction much clearer

Measurements are all metric but wherever possible we have converted into US Imperial to save time for purchasers from the US or other countries that use US Imperial.

This website based guide builds on the material and information in our original pdf – ‘The DIY Guide to Green & Living Roofs’ which we published in 2008. That original information has been taken and updated, new and redrawn diagrams made, and multimedia items added. These include short ‘to do’ videos on specific tasks. There are also publicly accessible videos on our youtube channel if you want a quick preview.

To Summarise

The DIY Guide aims to take the mystery out of how to build a small green roof. Whether you want to know how to safely build one for your garden shed, garage or house extension, we hope to provide a clear pathway to accomplishing it. This is provided in a straight forward manner, structured manner, where possible eschewing the overly technical nature of traditional resources that can easily overwhelm the beginner.

Finally we know that the majority of those who purchased the First Edition have gone on to build their own green roof and we know that if you purchase the guide it’s likely you will also. And we would love to hear from you when you have completed your project!

Get Started Now or Find Out More!

Get immediate access to the all the information you will need to design and build your own small scale green roof.​ Or get a better idea of the site contents first on the overview page, check out worldwide examples of small green roof builds and plantings.

We offer a simple membership plan - lifetime membership for a single household is only £11.50 - no annual subscriptions, no recurring fees!

building a small green roof on a shed

Green Roof Technical Support

Occasionally there maybe confusion over terms used in the guide. Or perhaps something is not completely clear. If you are struggling with specific details and need further illumination then queries should be addressed via the Members’ Support Form and we will do our best to answer as quickly and accurately as we can.