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HomeFactsHow Do You Figure Out The Pitch Of A Roof

How Do You Figure Out The Pitch Of A Roof

Why Calculate The Slope Of A Roof

How to Find Roof Pitch in Less than a Minute

If you are planning to work on your roof, no matter how big or small your project is, before you begin you must calculate the roof pitch.

In the case of a new roof, the slope plays a role in the choice of covering: not all materials can withstand a steep slope, and not all are suitable for a flat roof!

If you are doing major renovations, you should also be aware that the slope affects the amount of snow that your roof can support.

Even if you are not doing your own renovations, calculating the roof pitch will help you get more accurate estimates from your contractor. In addition, the contractor will be able to anticipate the safety measures required for their workers.

Calculating the slope of your roof will save you time and help you avoid making mistakes!

What Is A Roof Pitch Multiplier

A roof pitch multiplier, also known as a roof pitch factor, is a number that, when multiplied by the area covered by a sloped roof, gives the actual area of the roof. The math behind this number is that it is the square root of 2 + 1). Roof pitch multipliers are extremely useful in estimating the amount of material required to fit your new sloped roof, as conventional mathematics will leave you short!

What Is The Roof Pitch

Roof pitch is simply the slope created by the rafter. It can be assessed in two ways either as the angle the rafter makes with the horizontal or the proportion between the rise and the run of the roof.

Roof pitch is often expressed as a ratio between rise and run in the form of x:12. For example, a pitch of 1:12 means that for every twelve yards of building length, the rise will be equal to one yard.

We can divide roofs into the following categories:

  • Flat roofs are not perfectly flat in reality they need a small slope for water runoff. Generally, these roofs have a pitch from 1/2:12 to 2:12 .
  • Low pitched roofs have the pitch below 4:12 . These are generally difficult to maintain, as they require special materials to avoid leaks.
  • Conventional roofs have the pitch ranging from 4:12 to 9:12 . They are the easiest ones to construct, and they are safe to walk on.
  • High-pitched roofs often require additional fasteners. They have a pitch that can be as high as 21:12 .

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Different Roof Pitch Calculations

To calculate the pitch of your roof in percent or degrees, you will need two pieces of information: the height and horizontal width of one side of your roof.

If you want to know the angle as a percentage, simply use the following mathematical formula: P = 100*H/W.

P is the percentage, and H and W are the height and width respectively, which you have measured beforehand.

If you want to get a result in degrees, use the following formula: P = 180*ATAN/. ATAN represents the tangent.

Finally, you may need to get the result in the form of a ratio. The tools you will need for this are a level, a flat piece of wood and a tape measure. Place the piece of wood parallel to the edge of the roof, and the level perfectly horizontal. From the point of contact between these two tools, you will measure a distance of 12 inches: from this point, you will measure the vertical distance between the level and the piece of wood.

The resulting measurement is the first number of the ratio, and the second number will be 12. For example, if you measured a vertical distance of 4 inches, the ratio would be 4:12. A carpenters square can also be used to calculate the ratio.

If you need to calculate the pitch as a percentage, you can simply use the following formula: P = *100.

If youre not sure how to do these calculations, there are several specialized computer programs that can help you.

Check Your Local Regulation

Roof pitch calculator

If you are planning on changing your roof soon, be sure to check your local regulations for building codes. Some may have a minimum roof pitch requirement. Additionally, it is always a good practice to check codes when it comes to changing anything about your home. To undo a roof because it does not follow code could end up costing you significantly. There may also be regulations regarding material, color, and other determining factors of your roof. Consulting a local roofer can also help you discover any rules or requirements.

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What To Do With Your Roof Pitch

Now that you have your roof pitch calculated, you can share this with your roofer so they can determine the amount of materials needed for a new roof, roof repair, or updates that you need to your shingle roof. Measuring the steepness of your roof pitch is rather simple if you have the tools on hand, with just a level and a measuring tape you can quickly determine the rise over run of your roof. provides cost guides, comparisons, and term cheat sheets for hundreds of remodeling, installation and repair projects.

Understanding Roof Pitch Terminology

Are pitch and slope the same?

Roofing measurements are tricky, especially when it comes to calculating the roof’s incline. You’ve got rise. You’ve got run, slope, span, and pitch! Whats the difference between all these complicated architectural terms? And for the average homeowner gathering roof estimates, do the differences even matter? Keep reading to find out…

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You can do all the digging youd like for the scientific answers to these contractor debates, but at the end of the day the exact similarities and differences between all the measurements doesn’t matter too much for the average homeowner.

Whether slope is different than roof pitch or the same doesn’t help you determine how many roof square is on the home so you can order the correct amount of roofing materials. And if you’re a home owner, it doesn’t help you make sense of all the calculations that are jotted down on your roof estimate.

Some of you may want to know the exact scientific differences, however. So if that’s you, keep reading below. But if you want to know the basic similarities and differences between slope and pitch, you can just click here.

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How To Calculate Length Of Rafter

take the measurement of horizontal run length:- it is horizontal distance out side of walls top plate to a point directly below the centre of the Ridge or hip of roof, assuming it is 10 meters

measure the vertical height of rise of your roof, assuming it is 2.5 meters.

to determine the rafter length by using this formula, as Rafter^2 = rise^2 + run^2, Rafter^2 = 2.5^2 + 10^2, Rafter^2 = 6.25+100, rafter = 106.25, Rafter = 10.31 meters, hence rafter for pitched roof will be 10.31 meters.

What Roof Pitch Is 30 Degrees

How to Find the Pitch of an Existing Roof

A 30° roof pitch is roughly the same as a 7/12 roof pitch. To convert from degrees to the American ratio:

  • Find the tangent of the angle, tan. This gives you the pitch of the roof.
  • Multiply the pitch by 12 to find the x in the ratio x/12.
  • Check your results with the Omni Roof Pitch Calculator.
  • Enjoy having one less thing to worry about.
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    One: Measure From The Roof

    One method to find the pitch is to climb on the roof and measure the rise for a 12 run. Youll need a level that is 12 or longer and a tape measure.

    On the roof, hold the level perfectly level, and measure the height from the roof to the level 12 inches away from where the level touches the surface this will be the rise.

    For example, if the end of a level is 4 above the roof at a point 12 away from where it meets the surface, then the pitch is 4:12.

    How To Determine The Typical Roof Pitch For Your Home

    If youre planning to make changes to the roof of your home such as adding an extension, installing features , or cutting new rake boards, it will be necessary to calculate the correct roof pitch.

    Also called the roof angle, the roof pitch is defined as the numerical measure of the steepness of a roof, or the ratio of the rise of the roof to the horizontal span. You can calculate the roof pitch by the number of inches that it rises vertically for every 12 inches that it extends horizontally. As such, a 7/12 or 7-in-12 roof pitch means that the roof rises 7 inches for 12 inches that it runs horizontally.

    There is no single set standard for roof pitch across the country, but contractors typically refer to thresholds when figuring out what to charge for roof installation. A low pitched roof, for example, falls within the range of 2:12 and 4:12. Medium pitch would be between 4:12 and 9:12. Anything that is 9:12 and up will then be considered a steep slope.

    How to determine the typical roof pitch for your home

    You can also calculate the roof pitch from the top of the roof. Place the level at any point on the roofs angled slope. When youre sure that the level is steady, measure 12 inches. From that 12-inch mark, measure down to the roofs surface. If you get a distance from the level to the roof of, say, 5 inches, then the roof pitch is 5:12.

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    Interesting Facts About Roof Pitches

    • There is no universal roof pitch. Factors like architecture, material, climate, and cultures affect how flat or steep a roof is.
    • The standard roof slope in the US is 4/12 to 9/12.
    • In the UK, the typical roof pitch is 40-50 degrees.
    • It would be best if you avoided 45-degree slopes for stability during storms.
    • Contemporary houses have near-flat roofs. They have slopes of 1/40.
    • Italian roofs have 16 to 25-degree roof pitches.
    • The minimum roof pitch suitable for snow-shedding is 6/12 or 7/12 .
    • A roof is walkable if its slope is less than 6/12 or 26.5 degrees. You can walk 7/12 roof pitch with caution. You can walk even 8/12 to 10/12, but it is not advisable and it calls for extreme caution. Roofs beyond this range are not walkable.

    Some people apply the Pythagoras theorem, which makes it unnecessarily complex to understand. All you need is the slope, and the above four methods are sufficient to find it.

    Please keep it simple and understand the logic behind it.

    That is all about the roof pitch calculation. Remember, the basic idea is to standardize it into inches per foot.

    The angle determines the pitch based on the rise and run sizes.

    No matter what method you choose, measure the rise and run to get the slope, directly or indirectly.

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    How Roof Pitch Determines Suitable Roofing Systems

    Roof Pitch Calculator: What Is A Roof Pitch? How Can We Measure It?

    Flat and nearly flat roofs cannot be covered with shingles or shakes of any material since there is not enough angle to combat the danger of blow-off. For that reason, flat roofs are limited to these types of covering materials:

    Built-Up Roofs

    Tar and Gravel. Alternating levels of hot asphalt and heavy roofing felt finished with a gravel coating can be applied to a flat roof for protection. Typically, between three and five layers are built up. The cost for this utilitarian roof covering lies mostly in the labor and will vary greatly depending on the location of the building.

    For a 2,000 square foot roof expect to pay around $3,500 for materials and supplies and upwards of $9,500 for professional labor. Built-up roofs are not a DIY project and will require professional installation but the waterproofing for flat roofs cannot be beat. A built-up roof can be expected to last 20 years.

    Modified Bitumen. Historically, the word bitumen has been used interchangeably with asphalt and tar. It is a naturally occurring goo that develops from millions of years of decomposing organic material and has been used since prehistoric times as a sealant.

    In modern roofing, bitumen is infused into plies of polyester or fiberglass to create a weatherproofing roof material. The installation technique is similar to building up with tar and gravel, but the plies are less expensive by half about $2,000 for materials and supplies. Labor is a bit faster and expect a tab of about $8,500.

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    How To Calculate Roof Pitch

    Generally, roof pitch is calculated from the same formula that describes a right triangle. You can use the following equations to find the length of the rafter and the slope:

    • rafter² = rise² + run²
    • rise / run = pitch, where pitch is expressed in percent and
    • pitch = tan , where angle is the roof pitch expressed in degrees.

    If you want to find the roof pitch in the form of x:12, simply calculate the pitch and substitute 12 for the run length. The value displayed as the rise will be your x.

    An Easier Way To Determine Roof Pitch

    • Start by measuring 12 inches from one side of your 18- or 24-inch level and make a mark.
    • Next, enter your attic and place the end of the level up against the very bottom of a roof rafter.
    • Measure vertically, starting from the 12-inch mark on the level going straight up to the very underside of the rafter.

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    Top Tips To Understanding A Roofs Pitch

    by Craven Construction | Nov 8, 2022 | New Roof

    As a homeowner, your roofs pitch is an important number that you should not only know, but also fully understand. The roof pitch is a key number that determines your roofing material, gutters, effectiveness in inclement weather, and many more roofing choices. If you are planning on a roofing project in the near future, you will want to figure out the pitch first.

    Keep reading to learn what the roof pitch is, how to determine what the pitch of your roof is, and a few other tips to help you understand it. Craven Construction has over 20 years experience in the roofing industry and utilizes the roof pitch for all roofing repairs, maintenance projects, and new roof installations.

    Why Its Important To Calculate Pitch

    How to Calculate Roof Pitch

    Calculating the pitch of your roof is one of the most important things to do before beginning the project. As we previously mentioned, accurately calculating the pitch of your roof will help you determine which materials would be right for the job as well as the potential price range.

    Although a roof can be measured in degrees, its often simpler, faster, and more accurate to calculate the pitch. There are a couple of Do-It-Yourself methods for measuring the pitch of a roof, which well go over later this blog. One of the methods is more accurate while the other is usually quicker and easier. The reason for this is that the first method involves climbing up on the roof while the second one allows for a quick calculation when theres no ladder available or you need to quickly estimate the size or price of the roof.

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    How Do You Calculate Roof Pitch Angles

    Obtain the pitch, or slope angle, of a roof by calculating the ratio of the change in the roofs height to the corresponding horizontal distance. Roof pitch is expressed in ratios of 12 because it is measured by the foot. For example, a roof with a 6:12 pitch rises 6 inches for every horizontal foot.

  • Measure the roof
  • If measuring a physical roof, get a ladder, and place it on a solid surface. Climb up to the roof with a carpenters square set to a foot of length. Place it above the roof so it forms a right triangle with the slope of the roof.

  • Determine pitch

    Look at the measurement where the carpenters square meets the roof, and make a note of this number. For example, assume the roof has a pitch of 4 inches. The roof should intercept the carpenters square at the 4-inch mark. This is a ratio of 12, so it would be a 4:12 pitch.

  • Convert the fraction to a decimal

    Dividing 4 by 12 yields a decimal result of 0.3333. This number is needed for the next step.

  • Take the inverse tangent of this decimal

    Open a calculator application or use a scientific calculator. Enter the decimal, then press the key labeled tan,arctan or similar. The decimal 0.333 converts to an angle of 18.434 degrees.

  • Four: Measure With A Speed Square

    You can also use a speed square and level to quickly measure the roofs pitch. Set the level on the edge of the speed square as shown below, then place the heel of the speed square on a rafter or gable edge of the roof.

    Holding the level and speed square level, locate the measurement on the speed square where it meets the rafters bottom edge to find the angle of the roof in degrees.

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    What Angle Is A 25 12

    A 5 12-pitch roof has an angle of approximately 11.77 degrees. This angle is created by the pitch, which is the measurement of the roofs slope, and the rise, which is the vertical distance from the edge of the roof to the peak.

    The pitch is typically expressed as a ratio, such as a 12-pitch, which means that for every 12 inches of horizontal distance, the roof rises vertically 2.5 inches.


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