How To Build A Sod Roof

Lead Image
  • 12-32 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 1,200 3,000
What You'll Need
Wood pieces
Staple gun
Waterproof paint
Paint brush
Pond liner
Potting soil

A sod roof has become a popular choice as more people attempt to “go green”. This type of roof has been used for centuries and remains one of the simpler techniques to top a house in an energy-efficient manner. It is also aesthetically appealing. This roof lowers the structure’s inside temperature. One important aspect of this roof is its ease in installation. Unlike traditional roofing techniques that require training and skill acquisition, sod roofing can be accomplished through simple physical effort alone. Once installed, maintenance is limited to watering the roof just like one would the front lawn.


Make sure the structure you want to roof can handle the weight. Also, make any necessary repairs looking for damage done by water, rotten wood and other areas of concern. If a professional assessment is needed, hire a local roofing professional to evaluate your roof. You might need to employ a roofer to prepare your structure for a sod roof.

Line the Roof

The exterior edges of the roof should be lined with wood three inches tall, securing them using a staple gun.

Waterproof Paint

Coat the roof with a layer of waterproof paint to prevent damage when applying the sod, preferably applying it with a power-gun. Allow 24 hours for drying time before proceeding with the project.

Pond Liner

Once the waterproof paint has dried, lay the pond liner across the roof. Make sure to overlap the individual liners to keep water out. Use a knife to cut the pond liner to size. Carefully attach the pond liner to the roof, applying a staple along the edge in equidistant spots using a staple gun.

Soil and Gravel

Three under layers are needed before applying sod. The first and top layers are one-inch thick potting soil. The middle is a one-inch thick layer of gravel.

Lay the Sod

Place sod pieces on top of the potting soil layer across the roof. Where necessary, use your utility knife to cut the sod pieces to fit. Don’t leave sod overhanging the roof edge.

Water the Roof

Lightly water the layer of sod placed on the roof. Make sure to check the roof periodically for watering and, as funny as it sounds, any need for weeding. Your new roof is alive and sometimes needs help to maintain a healthy look. You may even find the need to cut it occasionally making sure it stays good looking, vibrant and alive.

A sod roof can be used on any structure – a house, shed, barn, utility building – on either a flat or sloped surface. Just make sure that small structures possess roof trusses strong enough to handle the weight a sod roof will have.