By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Forum House Ad Zone

Use Chequer (Tread) Plate as Roofing Sheet?

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Clive Foster03/08/2021 14:13:55
3173 forum posts
113 photos

Due to a fortuitous temporal co-incidence between two jobs that need to be done before winter I got to wondering if aluminium chequer (tread) plate can be used as roofing sheet.

The tread plate job needs one sheet cut into several strips. Cost £150 (ish) including cutting and delivery.

The felt over shuttering ply roof on my storage hutch behind the workshop needs re-doing. Looks OK but some of the ply is rot. Roughly £150 for plywood and felt with a fair stash of both left over. Hafta collect and cut too.

Two sheets of tread plate at £300 (ish) will cover the hutch roof and supply four sufficiently wide offcut strips to do the aforementioned tread plate job.

Cost being essentially the same tread plate will be less messing about, no felt and supplied cut to size, but will need a bit of creativity with silicon sealer round the edges and, probably, something made to put an upstand on the side that joins the workshop. But will it work OK?


John Haine03/08/2021 14:26:13
4718 forum posts
273 photos

And some insulation to prevent condensation on the inside?

DMB03/08/2021 14:36:23
1355 forum posts
1 photos

Ally is light but treadplate thick and heavy - are you sure about using it? Could you not use copper roofing sheet? Quite thin and light probably much lighter than treadplate.

Brian H03/08/2021 15:00:11
2312 forum posts
112 photos

You will definitely need some thick insulation on the underside.


Clive Foster03/08/2021 15:44:39
3173 forum posts
113 photos

Brian, John

Insulation obviously needed to stop condensation. I have embarrassing quantities of 2" polystyrene sheet hanging around until it comes in handy so thats not an issue.


Not worried about the weight. Total roof area is about 15 ft x 2 ft and a bit. Question only arose due to the co-incidence of time and prices. Normally I'd have just done standard felt on ply but having just priced up the tread plate job the similarities in price made me say "Hang on!". Loosing all that polystyrene in a good cause being a side benefit.


Speedy Builder503/08/2021 16:15:52
2653 forum posts
219 photos

Cut the bit off that you want and flog the rest on e-bay at an inflated price. Go out and buy a new shed ??

Polystyrene - great fire risk, use it wisely.

bernard towers03/08/2021 17:29:03
691 forum posts
141 photos

DMB , Treadplate comes in several thicknesses.

DMB03/08/2021 17:31:01
1355 forum posts
1 photos

Speedy Builder5, I have used 2" polystyrene in my workshop roof. Its OK, just dont use gas torches in shed!As regards new shed, just helped a neighbour erect an Ebay shed. Quite flimsy thicknesses of timber but OK for the average garden shed, I suppose. Also been helping with one of the club's sheds. Old and cladding and some of the frame rotted. We stripped the outer cladding in stages and replaced with similar but thicker planks. It had previously been lined with some nasty stuff, might have been chipboard which had got very damp at the bottom. That's been replaced by 9mm(?) plywood. The door was also stripped to the frame and re-covered, with all new locks and bolts. We think that we now have an almost new shed for a bit under a grand. New roof and felt. Shed about 12 x 10 or 8ft.

Bazyle04/08/2021 21:47:23
6387 forum posts
222 photos

Chequer plate has to be more expensive that just plain flat aluminium sheet. Or corrugated iron, or flat galvanised sheet.. Appropriate roofing sheet has the advantage of additional strength over flat sheet. Best of all, and still probably cheaper than chequer is insulated two layer roofing sheets with say 4in thick.

Clive Foster04/08/2021 23:34:18
3173 forum posts
113 photos


Difference between tread plate and plain alloy is less than you might think. For 1.5 mm thick plain alloy is about £110 for 2500 mm x 1250 sheet whilst 1.5 mm tread plate is about £140 inc VAT.

But this is one of those oddities where other factors make more expensive material into a cheaper job! With the tread plate I get free delivery and free cut to size with essentially no waste from 2 sheets. Other stuff coming on same order means the extra sheet moves me up into a higher discount bracket too.

Ply and felt I have to collect or pay minimum order delivery charge from the builders merchant then cut ply myself and when all is done will be left with about 2/3rds or more of a roll of felt left over and a significant bunch of none too useful ply offcuts. Bit like Colemans making their money from the mustard left on the side of the plate. Its the offcut waste and collection time or builders merchant delivery cost that makes the difference.

Proper corrugated roofing sheets can't be sealed against the end of my workshop and would need to be cut too. A job I hate with passion.

Its weird really but just this one time ...


Bikepete05/08/2021 08:51:17
246 forum posts
34 photos

Is EPDM (aka rubber membrane) an option rather than felt? Nowadays I always prefer it - it lasts basically forever, 20 years so far on my shed with no issues, advertised as 40+ years expected. Offcuts, adhesive etc. readily available on Ebay. Still needs a ply base, but because it never leaks that doesn't deteriorate.

Former Member05/08/2021 09:50:11
1085 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Chris Gunn05/08/2021 16:36:19
430 forum posts
27 photos

Clive, just built a new shed from the remains of a playhouse, and fed up with roofing felt failing quickly, I tried Cladco roofing, after seeing it on my daughters gazebo. It is not expensive, and you can buy all the accessories for it. No ply needed underneath, just joists. For a workshop you will need to insulate, but the roofing itself seems good so far. Google Cladco for more info.

Chris Gunn

ega05/08/2021 16:55:45
2567 forum posts
203 photos

I tried an alternative to felt called Liquid Rubber, an experiment which turned out badly; a shame because the idea of just "painting" on the necessary waterproof membrane (complete with detailing) is an attractive one.

jimmy b05/08/2021 18:44:37
791 forum posts
42 photos

When my felt roof gave up, I went with corrugated zinc sheets.

Best thing I ever did!


Phil Whitley05/08/2021 20:01:54
1450 forum posts
147 photos

I would get used or reject box profile sheeting with 50mm insulation, cheaper for the size than the alloy, goes on quick and its fit and forget! Look on ebay!


All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Sign up to our Newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter and get a free digital issue.

You can unsubscribe at anytime. View our privacy policy at

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Rapid RC
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest