luscious green roof on a garden shed

DIY Green Roof Guide

The comprehensive resource for building small scale green roofs on all manner of buildings including garden sheds, garages, carports and house extensions

a green roof on a new bike shed

New Builds

A step by step guide to creating a green roof on a new small scale construction project. Learn as John & Dustytake you through how to accomplish it yourself or provide guidance to your contractors

a small green roof on an old garden shed


Even the smallest of roof spaces can provide a small haven of beauty and an oasis of biodiversity. The retrofitting section advice can be even used on garden sheds, cycle & bin shelters as the fundamentals remain the same!

green roof details like flues and skylights covered


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

plant ideas for a garden shed green roof

Planting Ideas

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

The Small Scale Green Roof Online Guide

This online guide builds on our original downloadable pdf – The DIY Guide to Green and Living Roofs. The guide has been updated with new elements with more sketches and now multi-media input such as videos.

The Guide still contains step-by-step instructions on how to build a green roof on a shed, an extension or a new build. Many of the approaches could be of use on larger buildings/roofs and certainly the ‘principles’ would apply. However this is not a comprehensive guide for large-scale construction.

The first edition will be available to download so it can be printed out. However this will not contain any updates. It will be clear in the online edition what is not included in the pdf. And we are sure many of you will have smartphones or tablets, which will mean printing off the original pdf will not be needed.

The Small Scale Green Roof Online Guide has been designed to be user friendly on tablets and devices with smaller screens.

The intention of the small scale green roof online guide is take some of the mystery out of how to build a green roof. Many sites that sell green roof products can confuse people. This is why the first edition was published. We were both getting many emails from people wanting to do a green roof. However it was evident that the main stumbling block was a lack of confidence and confusion on what layer went where and why?

So the Guide has been written to:

  • Give confidence
  • Provide the principles behind why certain things are needed (or not) so choices can be made
  • Simple step by step instructions (down to what nails and screws to use)
  • Detailed construction sketches

And we will continue to provide email support where necessary. Our aim was never to make a mint out of the guide but to get people building. Occasionally there is confusion or something is not clear. Email us and we will do our best to answer. Although we are both English speakers we have set up mechanisms to deal with questions in the other languages.

What’s New or Updated?

The Small Scale Green Roof Guide Second Edition features more multimedia features.

  • 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
  • In time we will update with plant lists for 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.

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!

Why an Online DIY Green Roof Guide rather than another PDF/eBook?

An online resource let’s us be more dynamic. We regularly update the material. We will add more multimedia items such as videos. When new methods are discovered we will add these to the site. It also allows us to provide relevant articles and case studies.

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.