What is a Skillion Roof?

skillion roof

The skillion roof is a type of roof that takes its name from its similarity to the angle of a sloped lean-to or shed roof. Like other types of roofs, they can be designed with different slopes and shapes for varying purposes.

What Makes Up a Skillion Roof?

Skillion roof generally has an industrial/minimalist look, which often leads to a choice of more streamlined roofing material. The skillion is simple and cost-effective, making it suitable for many types of structures in any climate.

What Material is Used for Skillion Roofs?

Materials commonly used include metal, polycarbonate, glass, fibre cement, polyurethane foam (PUR), wood shingles (and shakes), asphalt, slate stone and composite tiles.


Made from either steel or aluminium, metal has a sleek modern appearance that makes it what most people think of when they envision a skillion roof. It’s perfect for shed roofs and other small informal utility buildings where budget is a concern.


Polycarbonate is a plastic material that can be made into what’s called “structural glass.” Although not as hardy as conventional glass, it has the advantage of being lightweight and shatter-resistant. It doesn’t create sharp shards when breaking either, which makes this an excellent option for skillion roofs in public roof space where little ones might play.

Fibre Cement

Made from a mixture of sand or clay, cellulose fibres and other materials, fibre cement is extremely tough while also being lightweight. It’s able to stand up to whatever weather Mother Nature throws its way, making it easier to maintain than other options.

With the exception of metal, skillion roofing materials are reasonably easy to come by. All you need is your local building supply store and a few simple tools like a circular saw, drill and level.

Skillion roofs require very little maintenance, provided they’re made from high-quality materials. Asphalt shingle roofs in particular last for decades without needing any repairs or upkeep (provided they’ve been installed correctly). A bit of repainting professional repointing every five years or so usually does the trick too.

What is a Skillion Roof Used for?

The skillion roof, thanks to its angled slope, is a versatile roofing choice, one that is used for both indoor and outdoor construction.

As an outdoor roofing option skillion roofs are suitable for warehouses, commercial buildings that require minimal upkeep and for small-sized factories.

As an indoor construction option skillion roofs are suitable for sheds where the roof is angled to direct water away from the walls and buildings where there is a need for minimal interior support.

Skillion vs Standard Flat Roofs

The advantages of the skillion roof are very much what makes it attractive to homeowners. For example, because of its simplicity, it can be installed without too much time or cost for many types of buildings.

The design is also often considered simpler and more modern than that of other types of roofs. It can be installed atop buildings with diverse shapes, sizes, and materials.

The main difference between the two is the slope of the roof. Skillion roofs have a fairly steep slope at their edges while flat roofs typically have a fairly shallow one.

Skillion roofs are more practical for houses with lots of big windows because there’s less chance for leaks around window frames or sills if the roof isn’t flat.

In some climates, skillion roofs can be a better choice because of what’s on the ground. In areas with heavy snowfall or areas with high winds, a flat roof can accumulate too much weight and cause structural damage. In such cases, a skillion may be the better choice.

skillion roof
Modern Skillion Roof Inside the House

Skillion Roofs vs Gable and Hip Roofs

Generally, skillion roofs are less complex and don’t require such complicated supports.

Skillion roofs are a more cost-effective option than hip roofs, which have timbers that need to be cut in more specific, structural shapes.

As of 2015, skillion roofs are more popular in Australia – although what exactly constitutes a skillion roof can vary across borders.

Does a Skillion Roof Cost More?

Although materials for skillion roofs are generally more expensive than what’s required for a flat roof, the simplicity of the design means that installation is also less expensive.

In Australia, skillion roofs cost less than what they do in other countries. Skillion roofs are usually cheaper because the construction technique is simpler. Moreover, it’s also possible to get a cheaper quote from a contractor because there’s less over-the-top machinery and labour involved.

The cost of skillion roofs can vary widely depending on what material you want for your roof. The cost of the materials is going to depend on what you’re looking to use and what’s available in your area. You can get a quote from a contractor by providing them with what materials you want and what type of roof that you prefer.

Skillion Roof Disadvantages

Skillion roofs, as structurally sound as they may be, do face some challenges such as what is known as an ice dam. Ice dams happen when the snow and ice melt on the roof and run down to the lowest part of the roof. This can be a problem if there is no drainage present for the water.

Skillion roofs also have what is called a “chimney effect” which happens when snow and ice accumulate along what is known as a “ridge.” The snow then slides down what’s called a “snow track” which leads to what is called an “ice blockage” at what’s known as a “gutter line” which can lead to what is known as “roof leaks”.

What Pitch is a Skillion Roof?

Skillion roofs have an angle of incline, which is what is considered the pitch. A slope is what’s measured and what’s called the pitch of a roof. Skillion roof usually has a steeper slope than what is considered for most flat roofs.

The pitch of the roof determines what type of weather it can withstand and what materials need to be used.

What is a Skillion Roof in Australia?

The skillion roof is what is known in Australia as a framed structure that has little overhang. This type of skillion roofing is what you see on sheds or what are called garages.

Skillion roofs are what is known in Australia as a framed structure that has very little overhang. It is what you see on sheds or what are called garages.

Is a Skillion Roof a Flat Roof?

No, what is known as a “skillion roof” is actually what’s called an “angled roof.” This type of roof slopes at a single predetermined angle.

A skillion roof is what’s known as a mono-pitched roof, meaning it is flat or very gently sloped.

What Roofing Style of Skillion Roofs are There?

Skillion roofs come in a variety of styles, from flat to moderately sloped, to what is known as a cantilevered skillion, which is what gives the roof its streamlined look.

Skillion Roof Advantages

Skillion roof advantages will save you what can be thousands of dollars on installation costs. Skillion roofs work very well with tile, metal roofing, and other roofing materials.

Different Types of Roofs

Butterfly roofs were popularized by architect and engineer, William Stewart (1854-1943) and what he did was take what’s called a “monitor” or what the Brits call what is called a “conservatory”, and what he did was add what he called a “butterfly roof.” The monitor roof is what follows its own inclination – that is, the roof tilts inward.

The butterfly skillion roof then takes that same monitor roof and turns it on its side so that what you get is what we know as the “gable” design. This means that this type of skillion roof has one steeper side and one side with a less steep incline.

The gable design – gable roof, creates what is called “gables.” These create what is known as what’s called a “valley” which can increase what is known as what’s called “notching weathering”.

Cantilevered skillion roofs are what is called what is known as what is called a “lean-to.” This type of skillion roof is what you see what’s known as what’s called what is known as what is called “shed roofing.”

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