How to Build a Roof in Project Zomboid

One of my personal favorite features in any sandbox survival games is the ability to build your own house. The ability to fully customize the place where your player comes to rest is great for the role-playing experience. In Project Zomboid, the player can also build their own buildings and furniture through the Carpentry skill. Using raw materials, the player can build their own walls, doors and roof.

This guide will show you exactly how you can build a roof in Project Zomboid. This can be particularly difficult to new (and old) players as it isn’t very well explained within the game. Fear not, because after this guide you will be building your dream box home!


Roof Variants in Project Zomboid

In Project Zomboid you can craft many different items from many different types of materials. When it comes to building ceilings, there are two different variants. There is the Metal Roof and the Wooden Floor. Even though one is technically called a roof, and one is called a floor they both function in the same way. Both can be walked over and both will block rain from coming through if placed on a second story.

A player sitting next to a Metal Roof and a Wooden Floor in Project Zomboid
Both the Metal Roof and Wooden Floor function in the same way

Required Materials/Skills for Building Roofs

The difference between using these is both in the skills and materials required. If you wish to build the metal roof you will need to search out the book “The Metalwork Magazine Vol.1” to learn the crafting recipe. In order to build the Wooden Floor you will only need a Carpentry skill level of 1. The materials required to build both items are as follows:

Metal Roof “The Metalwork Magazine Vol.1” Propane Torch
Welding Mask
1 Welding Rod, 1 Scrap Metal,
1 Small Metal Sheet
Wooden FloorCarpentry Skill Lvl 1Any Hammer1 Nail, 1 Plank

As long as you have all of the requirements, you can build whichever type you’d like.

How to Build a Roof

Now that we have all the required information on what we need, we can move on to how to actually build a roof in Project Zomboid. With all the required materials gathered, build up your walls in the house of your dreams. Set up your walls using the right-click menu and selecting Carpentry. From here, you can build whichever items you wish. I’ve just started with a small wooden house in the image below.

A player standing next to a self-build wooden house without a roof on it in Project Zomboid Build 41

Building a Staircase

Now that you have your walls and a door on you can build up your roof. If you wish to build a roof, you will first have to build a staircase. There is currently no way around this. You must build a staircase in order to build a roof in the current version of Project Zomboid. As the game is still in Early Access, it is impossible to know if this is going to change in the future. For now, we will make a staircase by once again opening up the right-click menu and going to Carpentry.

A player going through the carpentry menu in Project Zomboid
You will need 15 planks, 15 nails and a carpentry skill of 6 in order to build a staircase

The trickiest part here will be managing to get your carpentry skill high enough to build the staircase. I’ve written a small guide on how to level up your carpentry which may be helpful for those struggling to get enough experience in the skill. Now that we have a staircase, you will see there is already a roof tile at the top of the staircase. This is what we are going to build off!

Building the Roof

Now that we have finished the previous steps we can finally make our very own roof. First, you must scale the stairs in order to build a roof. You cannot simply just try to add onto the tile from downstairs. This will just have your character move to another point on your Z level and place down a floor. Walk up the staircase and select the Wooden Floor by using the Right-click menu.

Now all you have to do is place the floor down against the tile at the top of the stairs. Make sure you have the materials and start building whichever roof you wish.

Building the first pieces of a makeshift roof in Project Zomboid whilst standing on a staircase

Now you will see that your character will build the floor on the correct Z level. You have finally started to build a roof! You can repeat this process on the tiles you wish to have a roof over. Simply select the roof you want to craft in the right-click menu and place it down next to the one you had previously placed. You should have a roof in no time!

A player standing on a finished custom wooden roof in Project Zomboid
A finished wooden roof in Project Zomboid Build 41, which protects the interior from rain!

Building Multiple Stories/Levels in a House

Once you’ve build the roof you may have already realized that it is possible for your character to walk on this. So in essence, you’ve already built a second story. But what if you want to go higher? It is entirely possible for your character to build a skyscraper if they wish. To so this, all you have to do is build another staircase on top of the roof that you’ve already built. This will then allow you to go up to the next level and build a wooden floor/metal roof there too. You don’t just have to stop at a 3 story building. You can keep building up and up if you wish. Just be careful. One small slip-up from this height and you’ll meet a very quick fate…

Building lots of floors and roofs in Project Zomboid
A player created tower with multiple floors

In Conclusion

I hope this guide has helped you figure out how to build a roof in Project Zomboid. As the game is in early access mechanics are likely to change. If they do change, you can expect us to do our best to keep the information in this guide up to date! If you have any more questions about Project Zomboid, try using the search bar on the right side of the page! We’ve written a lot of content about Project Zomboid over the last months so if you’re stuck, check it out!


2 thoughts on “How to Build a Roof in Project Zomboid”

  1. Hi Jeff, thanks to take the time to do this guide, but I have a question. Forgive my bad english, im not english native.

    If anyone try to expand an existin house, warehouse or any type of building, some times the game didn’t detect it as a closed area, even if you try to build a small room inside of a big building, it will detected unprotected, but, if you make the entire perimeter of walls, it will work.

    Before I try to surround a cabin in the woods with walls, I need to ask you if that will work

    • Hey Mike,

      yes, I think it is still a bit buggy with Player-built structures in Project Zomboid.

      There’s a couple tricks that some people have talked about it on this reddit post.

      I’ve also had the same thing in the past where the game didn’t detect the house after i built it. Last time I broke down one of my walls and then put it back and the house was then considered indoors. Can be a bit strange still.

      I hope that helps somehow.


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