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What Pitch Is My Roof

How To Determine Roof Pitch

How to Find Roof Pitch in Less than a Minute

Heres how to measure and calculate roof pitch from inside your attic.

The angle, or pitch, of a roof is calculated by the number of inches it rises vertically for every 12 inches it extends horizontally. For example, a roof that rises 6 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run has a 6-in-12 pitch.

How To Convert Roof Pitch To Degrees

To find the angle of a roof in degrees, convert the pitch to a slope, then convert to degrees by finding the slopes inverse tangent, or arctangent. First, convert the pitch to a slope.

To do this, simply convert the rise and run as a fraction to a decimal form, e.g. rise/run = rise ÷ run = slope. For a pitch expressed in inches per foot, convert to a fraction first, e.g. a 4 in 12 pitch becomes 4/12, then divide.

Next, find the degrees by finding the slopes inverse tangent, e.g. degrees = arctan.

For example: lets find the angle in degrees for a roof with a 4 in 12 pitch.

slope = 4:12 = 412 = .333


Considerations For Changing The Pitch Of Your Roof

A change in the pitch of your roof will affect everything from the way your roof looks, the way it handles water, and more.

Its not a low-cost project, so be aware that youre getting into a major renovation if youre changing your roofs shape.

If changing the shape of your roof isnt necessary, some builders would advise you to simply leave it as it is and search for a new home. It doesnt just include the framing of the roof, but it could potentially impact the plumbing and electrical systems inside your home as well as the insulation and drywall costs for replacing and adding what was lost.

However, for some homes, it could solve a variety of problems like water pooling and debris trapping and make your next roof last a lot longer. It could also create more space in the attic.

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Measuring Slope From The Roof Surface

  • 1Confirm the roof is safe to walk on. Climb up a ladder without your tools to take a look at the roof surface. Do not walk on a wet or icy roof, a very steep roof, or one with obvious structural damage. Even a mild slope can be dangerous to walk on if the roofing material is slippery, gritty , or loose . XResearch source It’s best to walk on a roof when the sun is out and morning dew has evaporated. Never walk directly on a slate roof slates can easily be broken by stepping on them. Special scaffolding equipment is required to safely work on slate roofs, both to prevent damage to slates and to mitigate fall hazard.
  • Curled shingles or other non-flat roof coverings make this method less accurate.XResearch source Consider measuring from the rake board at the edge of the roof instead.
  • Wear clean, dry, basketball shoes or sneakers with soft soles. These have good traction but are less likely to leave footprints on your roof.XResearch source
  • 2Measure 12 inches on a carpenter’s level. Mark the length with the marker. Many levels are equipped with a ruler on the side, but this mark is more visible.
  • 3Organize your tools. Place the level, a tape measure, paper, and pen in a bucket or tool belt. Make sure you can ascend the ladder and move around easily while carrying the tools.
  • It may help to lock your tape measure in extended position before you climb. You’ll only need about 12 inches.
  • Crouch down or sit, as to minimize the potential for slipping.
  • Why Is : 12 The Minimum

    How Do I Determine the Pitch of my Roof?

    The challenge with very low sloped roofs is simple gravity. At a very low slope, any water on the roof, whether rain water or snow melt, drains very slowly and there is a risk of lateral water movement around and through the shingle overlaps. It is important always to confirm the specific slope requirements with the shingle manufacturers product installation instructions and in accordance with local building code requirements, as some shingles may have a minimum slope recommendation higher than 2:12. As well, a slope of 4:12 is most commonly considered the lowest slope for standard shingle installations. Most manufacturer and industry recommendations require, or at the very least recommend, special underlayment or other considerations on roofs between 2:12 and 4:12. . At slopes below 2:12, a granule-surfaced asphalt membrane can be installed, and many are available in colors to complement the shingle colors.

    If your existing roof has shingles on it and its time to re-roof, you can very likely use shingles again, but on questionable lower slopes its best to confirm the slope is above the 2:12 minimum just to be sure.

    Read Also: Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Roof Leaks

    What Exactly Is Roof Slope

    Roof slopes are most commonly defined by the rise-over-run ratio. If a roof slope rises, say, 4 inches when measured 12 inches along the bottom of a horizontal roof truss, the roof slope is said to be 4:12 i.e., 4 inches of rise per 12 inches of run. . You can measure the roof slope on the bottom side of the roof deck at an easily accessible point such as the rake, using a tape measure and simple geometry. Alternatively, there are smart phone apps that can help, but shingle manufacturers distribute convenient pitch estimator cards which provide a quick way to ballpark the slope.

    A handy roof slope estimator can help you determine if your roof slope is likely too low for shingles.

    The majority of North American residential roofs have historically been constructed with a slope between about 4:12 and 9:12. Roofs at the lower end of the range are relatively easy to walk and work on. . Steeper roofs show the shingles better, and are therefore better suited to premium designer styles. Shingles on a steeper roof also tend to weather at a slower rate due to their favorable angle to the suns rays.

    What Roof Pitch Is Walkable

    A roof pitch of 6/12 or less is considered easily walkable, and no extra precautions are required. A roof of pitch 7/12 is manageable, but caution should be taken. Pitches between 8/12 and 10/12 are also considered walkable, but it is not advisable and, if you have to walk on these roofs, extreme caution should be taken. Roofs any steeper than this are considered not walkable, and special equipment or scaffolding is required. Please do not take risks on roofs, as the fall can be fatal.

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    What Is The Average Quote For Getting A Roof Pitched

    There are a lot of factors that will affect how much getting your roof pitched will cost design, style, accessibility, cost of labor etc. In the USA, you can expect to pay between $3.19-$4.43 per sq.ft. for asphalt shingles. If you choose another material, such as metal or wood, the range is $7.35-$10.73 per sq.ft.

    In the UK, the price of getting a roof fitting is £72-£75 per square meter. These are only estimates though, talk to your neighbors to see what roofing costs in your area.

    How To Calculate Shed Roof Pitch Using A Formula

    How to find Roof pitch or slope

    Calculating the roof pitch is straightforward. Remember that pitch is calculated as the height or rise of a roof pitch over 12 inches of horizontal run. Therefore, if your roof rises 4 inches over the course of 12 inches of horizontal run, then your roof pitch is 4:12.

    Constructing a new shed roof at the desired pitch is as easy as knowing how to use a speed square. As stated in the video, speed squares have useful markings on them from 0 to 12. Each number represents a pitch, so 1 would indicate a pitch of 1:12, 2 would be 2:12, and so on. Line up the pivot on one end of your rafter, at the corner. Then rotate the square until the desired pitch number is lined up with the top edge of the rafter. Make your line.

    Do this with the other end. Then you use the speed square and same pitch number to cut the birdsmouth joints learn how to do that from my shed roof framing guide.

    Once you are done with your cuts, youve not only calculated roof pitch but also constructed rafters to fit your shed at the pitch you want.

    Now, lets say you want to build an 8×10 shed with a gable roof. Since the ridge of our gambrel roof will run the length of the shed, down the center, that leaves us with about 4 horizontal feet from the ridge to the outside edge of the shed.

    Next, multiply both numbers by 12. That gives us 6:12. And there is your pitch.

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    What Is The Importance Of Roof Pitch

    Simply put, roof pitch is the measurement of the angle, or the steepness, of your roof. Because it is one of the many key elements that determine the safety of the roof over your head, there is a very good reason to understand the purpose of roof pitch.

    The pitch of your roof is determined by the measurement of the vertical rise by the horizontal run. That is to say, the roof pitch tells you how many inches the roof rises for every 12 inches of depth. So, lets say a roof rises 6 inches for every 12 inches in depth towards the peak. The roof pitch would be described as a 6:12 pitch.

    The primary reason roof pitch exists in the first place is to redirect water. It is an essential element to ensure water drains properly off of your roof. The pitch of your roof also helps determine the type of materials that can be used on your roofing system.

    Roofing materials are designed specifically to be compatible with the pitch of the roof. Special application processes are used depending upon the roofs pitch. In addition, roof pitch determines the walkability of your roof, which is very important when roof maintenance is required.

    There are two main types of roof pitch to choose from when deciding what roof will be best for your home: low pitch and high pitch roofs. Below, we detail common pros and cons of each roof pitch variation. These factors are important to consider before moving forward with the building of your roof.

    How Do You Raise The Pitch On A Flat Roof


    Also, how do you pitch an existing flat roof?

    The downsides of flat roof to pitched roof conversions How to Make a Flat Roof Have a Pitch

  • Step 1: Determine the roof span and pitch.
  • Step 2: Tear-off the old materials and apply roof sheathing.
  • Step 3: Install the new material.
  • Additionally, how much does it cost to pitch a flat roof? On average, a flat roof costs about $250-$350 per square, which is a measurement that equals 100 square feet, to install. Similarly priced and much easier to assess than typical sloped asphalt-shingle roofs, flat roofing offers different advantages and features that are important to review before making a decision.

    Also asked, how do I increase the pitch on my roof?

    Change the pitch on an existing sloped roof by removing the old roof and framing. Take off shingles or other roof covering and remove the membrane and sheathing. Use a pry bar to pull loose shingles and wood decking. Strip the roof to its rafters or trusses.

    Can you change a flat roof to a pitched roof without planning permission?

    Converting your flat roof to a pitched roof does require planning permission, as any alteration that is higher than the highest part of the existing roof requires approval. Depending on why you want to replaces your roof also means that you have to comply with different rules.

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    Are Metal Roofs Sloped Differently Than Shingle Roofs

    No, but yes. But no.

    Heres why: metal roofs are metal.

    Thank you, well patiently wait for your applause.

    But in all seriousness, metal roofs dont really suffer from the issues listed above. This is because pooled water has a much tougher time leaking through metal than a shingle.

    Crazy, right?

    And when it comes to wind, there arent any layers for the wind to peel up.

    Summary: your roof pitch isnt that big of a deal when you have a metal roof, because metal roofs are the big, bad dogs of the roofing world.

    They dont play by the same rules.

    Speaking of things that dont play by the rules, lets welcome our next contestant:

    Four: Measure With A Speed Square

    Quick Guide to Roof Pitches

    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.

    Also Check: How To Figure Shingles For A Gable Roof

    How To Calculate Roof Pitch

    Homes and other buildings have roofs with slopes ranging from no slope or flat to very steep slopes. Roof pitch describes the slope, or angle, of the roof.

    Knowing roofs pitch is essential in determining the appropriate installation method and how much roofing material youll need. Its also an important factor in cold climates for calculating snow load.

    Roof pitch, or slope, is a measure of vertical rise to horizontal run expressed in inches per foot. A roof with a 6 rise for every 12 run has a 6 per foot, or 6 in 12 pitch.

    Thus, the pitch is the ratio of the rise in inches to a 12-inch run and is often expressed using a semicolon, for example, 6:12. Sometimes the pitch is also expressed in fraction form using a fraction with a slash, such as 6/12.

    You can measure roof pitch by finding the rise and run, or by converting from the angle if it is known. See the chart below for the rise and run values for standard roof pitches.

    Well cover four methods to calculate roof pitch below.

    What Pitch Should My Roof Be

    4.7/5roof pitchesslopeanswer here

    Common Roof PitchesThe most commonly used roof pitches fall in a range between 4/12 and 9/12. Pitches lower than 4/12 have a slight angle, and they are defined as low-slope roofs. Pitches of less than 2/12 are considered flat roofs, even though they may be very slightly angled.

    Subsequently, question is, how do you determine the pitch of a roof in degrees? If you know the angle of the roof in degrees you can find the roof pitch by converting the angle in degrees to a slope, then finding the rise by multiplying the slope by 12. First, find the slope by finding the tangent of the degrees, eg. slope = tan. Then multiply the slope by 12 to get the rise.

    Herein, what type of roofing is best for a low pitch roof?

    In general, standard asphalt shingles or slate shingles used in moderate to high-pitched roofs cannot sustain the health of a lowpitched roof. To ward off drainage problems, homeowners must turn to roofing systems that can be sealed.

    What is considered a low pitch roof?

    Lowslope roofs typically have a minimum slope of one-fourth inch vertical to twelve inch horizontal depending on the roofing material. Roofs are considered lowslope roofs up to 3:12 pitch. Lowslope roofs traditionally have been constructed with an asphalt built-up roof covering.

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    Factors Influencing Shed Roof Pitch

    There are tons of reasons to consider when building a shed roof, and the first has to take into consideration the safety of whatever is going to be in your shed. Convenience and interior space are great, but if everything in your interior is wet from leaks, then it doesnt matter how nice your roof looks.

    The Single Pitch Roof

    How to Calculate Roof Pitch

    There isnt a lot left to the imagination with this type of roof. Its a roof with a single pitch in one direction.

    Yes, thats correct: in one direction. What a spicy concept.

    For some context, heres what were working with:

    Where do you see these? Usually in modern homes or sheds. Not a whole lot of use cases besides those two.

    Is this type of roof worse than the standard multi-pitch roofs you see?

    No. It all comes down to the angle and materials, which youve picked up on by now.

    Summary: wicked low angle with shingles?

    Be concerned.

    Any angle you please because you have a metal roof and spend most of your time laughing at the neighbors who dont?

    Be less concerned.

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    What Is The Standard Pitch Of A Roof

    Roof pitch refers to the measurement of the slope of a roof and you express this as a ratio. Although theres isnt any standard pitch of a roof used on all kinds of sloped roofs, you can determine the range of pitches by using a roof angle calculator and by considering factors like the local climate and roofing materials.

    Express roof pitch as the ratio of the amount of the vertical rise of a roof or rise over the corresponding horizontal distance or run. You write the pitch assuming a run of 12-inches thus, the ratio would describe how much a roof rises for each foot of the run.

    As aforementioned, there is no standard pitch of a roof. But the most commonly used pitches range between 4/12 and 9/12.

    Measuring Slope From The Rafters

  • 1Access a rafter. Measuring from the underside of the roof is usually the most accurate way to find the slope, since there is no roofing material to make an uneven surface. Any of the following will give you a good measurement:XResearch source
  • A rafter in the attic.
  • The overhang of a rafter at the end of the roof.
  • A barge rafter at the side of the gable.
  • 2Position a level against the underside of the rafter. Place one end of a carpenter’s level against the underside of the rafter. Adjust the level until the bubble is centered between the two lines.Advertisement
  • 3Find the 12 inch mark on the level. If your level does not have inch marking, measure it with a tape measure and draw on a 12 inch mark.
  • 12 inches is the traditional measurement in the U.S. If you don’t have an imperial ruler, however, you can use any units. Just use the same unit for all measurements, and measure a length at least this size .
  • 4Measure the vertical distance from level to rafter. Extend your tape measure perpendicular to the level. Measure the distance from the 12 inch mark to the underside of the same rafter, directly above it. Make sure the level stays in position during this measurement.
  • 5Find the slope. The slope of your roof is the ratio of vertical distance to horizontal distance . Just write down the measurements you found. There’s no need to simplify them.
  • For example, if you find 4 inches of height with the tape measure at the 12 inch mark on the level, your slope is 4:12 or “4 in 12.”
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