Roof-Only Hay Sheds

Roof-Only Hay Sheds: Pros, Cons & Prices

When you are building a new hay shed there are a few things to consider like size, price and the configuration. 

In fact, how much does it cost to build a hay shed? and, what size hay shed do I need? are probably the two most common questions about building a hay shed. 

But, the configuration of a hay shed is also a hot topic (hopefully not literally!), particularly if you are considering a roof-only hay shed. You might be wondering – what are the advantages and disadvantages? Or, most importantly; will a roof-only hay shed protect my hay? 

If you are asking any of these questions – or if you are not entirely sure what we mean by a ‘roof-only’ configuration – then keep reading! In this article we discuss what you need to know about roof-only hay sheds including the pros and cons, prices and project ideas. 

Let’s start with the basics – what is a roof-only hay shed?

What Is A Roof-Only Hay Shed?

As the names suggests, a ‘roof-only’ shed configuration only has the roof clad and the four sides are left open and unclad. 

While roof-only hay sheds used to be a common sight in paddocks, these days they aren’t as popular – but that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t build one. Like most shed designs and configurations, there are both advantages and disadvantages of building a roof-only hay shed.

Roof-Only Hay Sheds

Advantages Of A Roof-Only Hay Shed

There are a number of ‘pros’ or advantages of building a roof-only hay shed including weather protection and cost savings. 

Firstly, if you are working with a limited budget, a roof-only hay shed is a cost-effective way to protect your hay from the weather. A roof-only hay shed provides better protection against weather damage and dry matter loss than other cheaper or cost-saving hay storage alternatives such as hay tarps or hay caps. Hay caps and hay tarps can be used effectively for short term storage in good weather, or in situations where maintaining the quality of the hay is not the number one priority, but they are not a long-term investment and storage option like a roof-only hay shed.

The other key advantage of a roof-only hay shed is that allowance can be made to add wall cladding in the future. All that is involved for this is welding cleats on during the manufacturing stage – this ensures that the cleats are fully hot-dip galvanised along with the frame. 

The benefit of this is that if your budget or cash flow does not allow you to the clad the wall on your shed now, you can easily do it in the future. This also means that if you are currently undecided on the ideal configuration for your shed – whether it will be open-front, drive-through or fully-enclosed – you do not need to make the decision right now, giving you time to decide which will work best. 

Disadvantages Of A Roof-Only Hay Shed

There are a few potential disadvantages or ‘cons’ of building a roof-only hay shed that we should keep in mind, such as the additional cost of building a shed project in two stages.

While cladding a roof-only hay shed in the future can be an advantage, it does have a disadvantage in that it can incur additional costs compare to completing the project in one stage. For example, installing cladding later could mean extra labour costs such as additional travel or equipment hire charges. 

While the potential additional costs are not ideal, we understand that every situation is different and building a roof-only hay shed now may be what works best for you. 

The other negative of a roof-only hay shed is that this configuration provides the least amount of weather protection out of all the hay shed configuration options. This is particularly critical if you are planning on selling your hay and need to retain the appearance, quality and nutritional value of your hay. 

On this point, the best shed configuration for storing hay is a three-sided open-front hay shed – typically facing east – this ensures that the hay comes out of the shed in the same condition as it went in. 

Having said that, remember that a roof-only hay shed is better than no hay shed at all! 

A roof-only hay shed is better than no shed at all! If your budget or cash flow does not allow you to clad the walls on your shed now, build a roof-only and allow to do the walls in the future.


Keep reading to learn about sizes, prices and ideas for your project. 

Roof-Only Hay Shed Sizes & Prices

Here are some of the most popular hay shed sizes and the approximate prices of roof-only configurations.

Prices include GST, footings and install.

  • A 32m x 18m x 6m roof-only hay shed costs approx. $75,000 – $95,000. Stores 1,008 big square bales.
  • A 48m x 24m 7.5m roof-only hay shed costs approx. $160,000 – $185,000. Stores 2,280 big square bales.
  • A 64m x 24m x 7.5m roof-only hay shed costs approx. $200,000 – $235,000. Stores 3,648 big square bales.

Note, these prices are approximate only and are subject to change. For an accurate costing, please give us a call or fill out and submit the ‘request a quote’ form.

Project Ideas

Browse the gallery below for ideas for your hay shed project – for more project inspiration, check out our latest project gallery.

Useful Resources 

 Here are some videos and resources such as our hay storage calculator that may be relevant to your project. 

Will I Need To Get Permits For My Hay Shed?

In the video below Jason explains the different types of shed permits and outlines the permit application process. 

Should I Install A Canopy Or Girder Truss On My Shed?

Canopies and girder trusses are two ways that you can customise your shed project. In the video below, Lennie discusses the advantages and disadvantages of these options. 

Hay Calculator

To help you determine the best shed size for storing hay, use this calculator.

Choose your bale type, and a few shed dimensions and the total number of bales stored will be shown in the last field.

Useful Articles


We hope this article has helped you understand the advantages and disadvantages of roof-only hay sheds! To discuss your hay shed project, give us a call or request a quote. Or, for more articles and resources like this, check out our Learning Hub

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