Pent or Apex – Which Shed Is Right For You?

So, what is the difference between a pent shed and an apex garden shed? And how are you meant to decide which one is best for you?

It’s quite simple, really. Here, we’ll explain all the details, using our newest two garden sheds, the uniquely customisable Switch Apex and Switch Pent, for demonstration.

First, let’s get one thing straight. If ever you see the term ‘apex shed’ or ‘pent shed’, it’s specifically referring to the roofing style. Apex and pent are types of roof. Those two terms, even when used in conjunction with the term shed, do not describe any other part of the building, other than the roof. Therefore it’s impossible to tell how thick your walls are or how big your shed is by just the word apex or pent.

Got it?

Apex sheds

Apex sheds are commonly regarded as more traditional, and are based off the design of classic English housing. The word ‘apex’ actually derives from the Latin word for ‘peak’ or ‘tip’. It’s a term that is still in circulation today.

The new BillyOh Switch Apex shed.

The actual definition of the word apex is ‘the top or highest part of something, especially one forming a point’. Technically, then, an ‘apex roof’ is a misnomer; it doesn’t actually make sense. All roofs have an ‘apex’ – the highest point. You could similarly use the word ‘apex’ to describe the top of a mountain (‘we reached the apex’) or a graph (‘at the apex of the curve’).

In the world of sheds, though, it’s come to be used to describe a roof with two sloping sides. These two sides meet at an apex point in the middle, with the ridge running lengthways across the top of the building. An apex shed has two flat gables at either end (known as the gable ends). You could also refer to them as the front and back of the building. On an apex shed, the door is placed on one of the gable ends.

At Garden Buildings Direct, we also stock reverse apex buildings. Don’t worry! Reverse apex sheds are made in exactly the same way as apex sheds. It’s just that the door is placed on the long end on a reverse apex.

Pent sheds

switch pent shed
The Switch Pent.

Pent sheds are classified as being more modern than apex sheds. A pent shed is simply a shed with a flat roof (or a pent roof). They only have one slope. Despite it being viewed as a more contemporary option for a shed, pent roofs likely originated centuries ago. Pent roofs can also be known as flat roofs or mono-pitched roofs. While appearing flat, pent sheds are always sloped, whether it’s a minute or a steep gradient, to ensure rainwater runs off.

Design characteristics

So what benefits does each one offer? That’s what you’re here to find out after all. Let’s have a look.


Apex shed roofs are almost always sloped on a steeper gradient than pent sheds. They also have two slopes, as opposed to the one on the pent. This allows water to run off the roof of an apex shed quicker than it does on a pent shed. The gentler slope on pent sheds won’t necessarily cause any issue, but there’s always the tiny chance that a barrage of rain could lead to a build up of water on the roof.

With our buildings, we offer tongue and groove construction and green mineral felt on all of our roofs, to ensure the structure is as water resistant as possible. This ensures that even with a pent shed, you won’t have to worry about leaking.

Head room

Both the Switch Apex and the Switch Pent offer a standard eaves height of 6’4”. This is at the lowest point, where the roof reaches the walls. Generous, right?!

The Pent, while the slope is gentler, still offers an extra three inches between the eaves and the ridge. At the tallest point, it’s almost 6’8″, so even Peter Crouch wouldn’t have to duck. However, if you need extra room, the Apex offers almost an extra foot of headroom, with the ridge height clocking in at almost 7’8”.

This can be beneficial for both storage purposes (if you’ve got a really long pitchfork) and for human purposes (it’ll allow taller people in) – which is especially good if you’re planning to use the shed as a workshop or as a spot to do some DIY.

Be aware though – if you’re placing a building close to a boundary (your back wall, for example), the overall height of the building cannot exceed 2.5m (about 8’2”) without planning permission. This isn’t an issue with our buildings, as they aren’t super tall. But check with your local council if you’ve got a building that you think might exceed the limit.


Generally, pent sheds, while attractive, stick out less in their environment. This can be a good thing! The pent roof won’t intrude on any overhanging bushes or leaves, and the building will slot into the corner of your garden without any fuss.

Apex sheds are less regular, meaning it’s not as easy to slot them into a spot without the peak poking over the top of the fence. As we mentioned, the added height means you’ve got to be wary, too; there are certain regulations on how tall a building can be in your back garden, without needing planning permission. Refer to your local council’s online guidebook about outbuildings if you’re unsure.

The look

Probably the factor that customers judge their decision on most is their own personal stylistic preference. We think both styles look superb. It’s completely up to you which design you choose, and if you’re not using the shed for anything major, your decision isn’t going to affect the practicality of it either way.

Both the Switch Apex and the Switch Pent come in windowed and windowless versions. Both offer unique practical benefits. The windowed version is a great option for DIY enthusiasts or plant potters who need light to be able to enter the building. The windowless version is good for security; potential onlookers will have no way of viewing the contents of your shed. This is especially useful if you’re planning to store expensive electrical equipment in there like a lawnmower or a motorbike.

The benefits of the Switch

switch pent shed
On the Switch buildings, you can choose to put the doors on the gable ends or on the sides.

Whether apex or pent, the Switch is fully customisable. The main attraction of this is that you get to decide exactly where to put the doors. They can go on either side of the long walls or on either gable end – meaning that wherever you think it would suit your garden best, you can slot it in, easily.

If you’re squeezing it into a tight space with boundaries on either side, doors on the gable end are ideal. Or, if you want the long end on show, stick the doors on either side. It really is completely up to you.

Both sheds are available in three sizes: 8×6, 12×6 and 16×6 and come with the floor, roof, felt and all the fixtures and fittings you’ll need included in the price too, making these prices an incredible deal.

Shop the Switch Apex here or the Switch Pent here right now and have either delivered to your doorstep within seven working days!*

*subject to postcode.