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How to Build a Bamboo Roof

Today, we’re focusing on building a roof using bamboo building materials. If you enjoy it, you should also check out our blog post about How to Make Bamboo Walls. Using bamboo for roofing can give you a look that is both beautiful and interesting. When handled properly, bamboo has durability and longevity. It is even resistant to most of the pests that damage wood building materials! The style of roofing you use really depends on the look you want. You can do a bamboo frame covered in palm or thatch, or you can go for a bamboo tiled roof.


Bamboo Framing with Thatching

Many tropical cultures use bamboo framing as a base for thatched roofing. A lot of these buildings are somewhat round in shape and have a slightly pitched roof. This is a simple, traditional method of building that is quite strong. It utilizes joint lashing rather than complex joints and is generally lashed to the top supports of the walls.

These types of roofs are typically made by placing eight bamboo poles on the ground overlapped reciprocally. Ridge poles are added around the outer edge, and the intersections are lashed together. The incline is often increased using a central prop pole which allows the central opening to be much smaller. Additionally, small bamboo rafters are laid to add support, and the roof is covered using palm or thatch.

How to Roof with Bamboo

  1. Place eight bamboo poles on the ground overlapped reciprocally.
  2. Add ridge poles and lash the intersections together.
  3. Roof pitch can be increased using a central prop pole.
  4. The central opening can be much smaller when using a central prop pole.
  5. Small bamboo rafters are laid to add support.
  6. The roof is covered using palm or thatch.

Filipino-Style Bamboo Roofing

This style of roofing has also been described as “Spanish Tile” style bamboo roofing. A supporting frame is built of bamboo or timber, and the roof is tiled by overlapping halved bamboo poles with the top tiles curving downward and the bottom tiles curving upward. If shorter lengths are used, those higher up on the roof overlap those lower down in order to prevent gaps through which water could leak.

The halved poles are interlocked to channel rain toward the roof edge. An additional halved bamboo pole can be used at the edge as a gutter to further direct water away from the sides of the building. It is important to fit the top tiles closely together to help protect the soft inner surface of the bottom tiles from mold and fungus.


  1. On a built frame, interlock halved bamboo poles as tiles.
  2. An additional halved bamboo pole can be used at the edge as a gutter.

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