Roof Pitches in Degrees | Slope Vs Pitch | Minimum & Standard Roof Slope | Roof Pitch Angles Chart
What is a Roof Pitch? | The Roof Pitches in Degrees | Slope Vs Pitch of the Roof | Minimum Roof Pitch | Standard Roof Slope | Roof Pitch Degree Chart Table | Roof Pitch Angles | Types of Roof Pitches
What is a Roof Pitch?
The roof pitch is the angle at which the roof rises, measured as the ratio of the rise to the span.
A roof pitch is the slope of a roof, which can range from very low to steep. It is measured as vertical rise divided by horizontal run.
Many factors influence the pitch such as climate, building location, architectural style, material cost, and availability for construction.
There are many benefits to having a sloped roof including water drainage; snow shedding; weight-bearing capability; wind resistance and decreased heat loss in cold climates due to thermal insulation provided by the overhang or eaves.
A house with a steep pitch will drain faster after rainstorms because there is less surface area in contact with the ground preventing water from seeping into cracks that may develop in wooden structures or lead to more severe damage in metal structures.
The pitch of your roof has a significant impact on how much snow is able to accumulate, and the stability of your house in winter weather.
A steep slope will shed snow easily, but can be more difficult to walk up during a storm.
A shallow slope may collect too much snow for you to safely walk on it, or have difficulty shedding water away from the structure when it rains.
The flatter the pitch, the greater the thermal insulation for cold climates.
A steep pitch is not necessarily a bad thing in areas with poor air quality and poorly performing wind turbines and solar panels.
A steep roof will help prevent snow from blowing into your home or windows and blocking your view of nature, as well as reflect back excess heat during negative air pressure days.
The weight of the snow is still distributed on the roof, rather than being piled up in your yard or driveway, but it is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to ward off the snow.
This can also be done by constructing a flat roof or using solar panels; however, this may require constant maintenance and requires more gutters and downspouts to be installed.
This is one of the major differences between a flat roof and a pitched roof.
Pitch and Ceiling
The pitch of the roof determines the height of the ceiling, which is more than just design. A steeper roof also means that less of the roof will be exposed to the sun, which will lead to lower heating costs.
You can also reduce the overall size of the roofing materials, which lowers the price. With the right pitch, you’ll be able to maximize the living space in a building by using sloped ceilings and walls.
Slope Vs Pitch of the Roof
Slope of the roof
Slope is the incline of the roof expressed as a ratio of the vertical rise to the horizontal run, where the run is a percentage of the span. This ratio is always given as inches per foot.
A “4 in 12” slope refers to a roof that rises 4 inches for every 1 foot or 12 inches of run. If the rise is 6 inches for every 12 inches of run, the roof slope is “6 in 12.”
The slope can be stated mathematically as a ratio. The slope ratio denotes the amount of vertical climb for every 12 inches of horizontal run.
A “4 in 12” slope, for example, can be stated as a 4:12 ratio. A “6 in 12” slope is written as 6:12.
Slope is measured as a ratio and in inches per foot.
Pitch is the roof’s incline represented as a fraction calculated by dividing the rise by the span, where the roof span is the distance between the outside of one wall’s top plate and the outside of another wall’s top plate.
Traditionally, the term “pitch” referred to a ratio of the ridge height to the total span/width of the building or a ratio of rafter length to building width. And the ridge was usually in the middle of the span back then.
This is no longer true in modern construction procedures. The ridge can be positioned anywhere throughout the span, from the center to either endpoint.
A “1 to 3” pitch refers to a roof that rises 8 feet over a 24-foot span. If the increase is 4 feet over a 24-foot span, the roof pitch is “1 to 6.”
A fraction can be used to express the pitch. The pitch fraction denotes the amount of vertical rise across the entire span.
For example, given a 4-foot rise and a 24-foot span, the pitch is “1 to 6,” which can be stated as a fraction of 1/6. A pitch of “12 to 24” is represented as 1/2.
Standard Roof Slope
A standard roof slope or pitches that are often used range from 4/12 to 9/12. Pitches less than 4/12 have a small incline and are classified as low-slope roofs.
Even if the pitch is only slightly inclined, pitches less than 2/12 are considered flat roofs.
Types of Roof Pitches
Roof pitches are the incline of your roof, or how it angles from the ground. A pitch of zero degrees means that the angle between your roof and the ground is always one unit.
Pitches typically come in three types: Flat roof pitches, low slope pitches, and steep slopes pitches.
1. Flat Roof
Flat roofs are best suited for sheds, garages, and warehouses. The pitch of a flat roof is zero and may have a fall under 2/12 pitch (below 9.46° roof pitch).
A slope of 2/12 means 2 inches rise for every 12 inches of run represent 9.46° roof pitch.
Flat roofs need to be properly maintained and waterproofed so that the water does not seep through the roof and harm your house.
2. Low Slope
Low slope roofs also have a pitch of between 9.5 degrees to 18.43 degrees but only with some exceptions when there are eaves or other architectural designs on the house that increases the pitch. Low slopes fall under 2/12 to 4/12 pitch.
Low slope roofs can be easier than a flat type roof to maintain, but they will need more maintenance work than a steep sloped pitch roof.
3. Steep Slope
Steep slopes are the toughest and most expensive types of roofs to construct, as stairs must be installed on the roof itself making it not only a challenge to install but also very costly.
The steep slope is between 4/12 and 12/12 pitch (18.43 degrees to 45 degrees).
Other roof types include V-Tilt, V-Tile, Hip Roofs.
What is 5/12 Roof Pitch?
A 5/12 roof pitch is the ratio between the rise and span of a roof. A 5/12 roof has a slope from its lowest point to its highest point that measures out to an angle of 22.62° with respect to horizontal.
This means that for every foot of distance along the ground, it rises five feet up in height.
For example, if you have a 25-foot-long house with this type of pitch on your roof then at one end there is about 5 feet in height. The 5/12 roof pitch means 5 inches rises for every 12 inches of run represent 22.62° roof pitch
A 5/12 roof pitch is a common roof design that offers a steep slope. This type of roof pitch construction can be found in many homes across North America, but it’s most often seen in Canada.
The other most common pitches are 4:12, 3:12, and 6:12.
What is 4/12 Roof Pitch?
A 4/12 roof pitch is a common slope for residential roofs. A 4/12 roof pitch shows the ratio of the rise, or vertical distance from one end to another, to the run, or horizontal distance from one end to another.
A 4/12 pitch means that the roof rises four feet from the low end to the high end, and 12 inches in total horizontal distance. Simply put, a sloping roof with four inches of rise for every twelve inches of run. (4 inches rises for every 12 inches of run represent 18.43°° roof pitch).
This shape is called a “steep” slope because it has a steep angle, which makes it ideal for shedding water off of quickly during rainstorms or snowfall.
Roof pitches are important because they affect how much water and ice accumulate on your roof during winter months.
A greater slope means less accumulation of snow and ice on your roof while a lesser slope will mean more accumulation over time.
Minimum Roof Pitch
The roof pitch is the amount of slope from one level to another, and varies by design. The minimum roof pitch is usually three inches per foot or 3/12 means 3 inches rises for every 12 inches of run representing 14.04° roof pitch.
This means that for every 12 inches up a building goes, it needs to have at least 3 inches of drop in elevation. Roof pitches are measured in degrees or with an angle gauge.
In order to make sure your roof is structurally sound; the pitch of the roof needs to be at least 14 degrees. If you live in an area with low snowfall or a region where it rarely rains, then this requirement may not apply to you.
However, if your home is located in a region that gets heavy rain and high amounts of snow accumulation during winter months, then this requirement does apply.
This is suggested as “minimum,” slope required for water drainage purposes.
The Roof Pitches in Degrees /Roof Pitch Degree Chart Table
A roof pitch is the slant of a roof that determines how quickly the roof rises. A flat roof has a 0° pitch. A 4/12 pitch is 4 inches of rise for every 12 inches of horizontal distance. A 6/12 pitch is 6 inches of rise for every 12 inches.
Roof Pitch Degree (Angles) Chart Table
- 1/12 means 1 inch rises for every 1 foot or 12 inches of run represent 4.76° pitch
- 2/12 means 2 inches rises for every 12 inches of run represent 9.46° roof pitch
- 3/12 means 3 inches rises for every 12 inches of run represent 14.04° roof pitch
- 4/12 means 4 inches rises for every 12 inches of run represent 18.43°° roof pitch
- 5/12 means 5 inches rises for every 12 inches of run represent 22.62° roof pitch
- 6/12 means 6 inches rises for every 12 inches of run represent 26.57° roof pitch
- 7/12 means 7 inches rises for every 12 inches of run represent 26° roof pitch
- 8/12 means 8 inches rises for every 12 inches of run represent 33.69° roof pitch
- 9/12 means 9 inches rises for every 12 inches of run represent 36.87° roof pitch
- 10/12 means 10 inches rises for every 12 inches of run represent 39.81° roof pitch
- 11/12 means 11 inches rises for every 12 inches of run represent 42.51° roof pitch
- 12/12 means 12 inches rises for every 12 inches of run represent 45° roof pitch
Roof Pitch FAQs
1. What’s The Perfect Pitch?
It depends on where you live and what kind of climate you’re dealing with! That being said, most experts recommend that roofs should have a 12–37-degree incline for optimal performance and safety in snowy regions like New York City or Chicago.
2. What is the Standard Roof Slope?
A standard roof slope or pitches that are often used range from 4/12 to 9/12 (which is 18.43° roof pitch to 36.87 degrees pitch).
Pitches less than 4/12 have a small incline and are classified as low-slope roofs. Even if the pitch is only slightly inclined, pitches less than 2/12 are considered flat roofs.
3. Why do houses have such different roof pitches?
There are many factors such as quality of construction, style of home and region in which it is built.
4. How do I measure a roof pitch?
The angle, or pitch, of a roof, is estimated by measuring the number of inches it rises vertically and compared by the number of inches it extends horizontally. A 6-in-12 pitch, for example, is a roof that rises 6 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run.
4. Why do I need to know the pitch of my roof before I can install my home with a solar panel?
A good pitch is essential in order to achieve the maximum potential energy from your renewable energy system. A good pitch allows for as much of the roof as possible to absorb the sun’s rays.
Good pitches also increase the heat retention and reflect solar radiation to keep your home comfortable during hot summer months.
5. What advantages does a steep pitch have?
A steep pitch not only improves the heat retention in the area, but also allows snow to slide off easier.
6. Does a steep pitch have an advantage when installing solar panels?
A steep roof can eliminate a lot of the cost of additional downspouts and gutters needed to install a flat or low-sloped roof.
In addition, you may be able to use the entire face of your roof for solar panels which will add even more value to your home and enhance its value.
7. What is the disadvantages of a steep pitched roof?
A steep pitch can be a disadvantage in areas where snow is a common occurrence. A home in the higher altitudes may require an even steeper pitch to shed the heavy snowfall throughout the winter season.
In addition, homes with steep pitches may have a greater risk of leaks and cracks during bad winter weather.
8. What is a 4/12 roof pitch in degrees?
A 4:12 means that there are four inches of rise for every 12 inches of horizontal distance. Roofs with a pitch of 4/12 are approximately 18.43 degrees, depending on how exactly you’d like to be in your measurement.
9. What is a 6/12 roof pitch in degrees?
A 6:12 means that there are six inches of rise for every 12 inches of horizontal distance. Roofs with a pitch of 6/12 are approximately 26.7 degrees, again, depending on how you’re measuring.
10. What is the most common angle?
There is no standard or common roof pitch for every home; however, the most commonly used are around 15-degree angles and higher.
11. What roof pitch is 30 degrees?
The roof pitch is the angle of a sloping roof. The pitch can be expressed as a number, such as 30 degrees, or with an example like “7 in 12.” Roof pitches are usually given as a ratio between vertical rise and horizontal run. A 7-in-12 slope rises three feet for every twelve feet of horizontal distance.
Other example, if you have a 5:12 pitch (5″ rise per 12″), then your roof would be almost 22.6 degrees slant. On the other hand, if you have an 8:12 pitch (8″ rise per 12″) then your roof will have about 33.7 degrees pitch.
12. Does my house have a bad pitch?
If your roof feels icy on top, you should check the pitch of your roof. If it is not sloped enough to shed snow and ice, it will eventually cause damage to your home.
- 2/12 Flat Roof
- 3/12 Low-Slope Roof
- 4/12 Medium-Slope Roof
- 5/12 Medium Slope Roof
- 6/12 High-Slope Roof
- 7/12 Medium Slope Roof
- 8/12 Medium Slope Roof
- 9/12 Medium Slope Roof
- 10/12 High Slope Roof
- 11/12 High Slope Roof
- 12/12 High Slope Roof.
Low Slope and Steep Slope
Low Slope: These roofs (anything less than 3:12) have progressively demonstrated that they are less sensitive to wind damage but more susceptible to water damage since rainfall takes longer to shed off the roof.
Steep Slope: While the materials and labor to re-roof a steep slope roof are more expensive, the durability is unrivaled by a low slope roof.
Because of the steepness, water sheds quickly off these roofs, lowering the risk of water damage and leaks.
These roofs, however, are vulnerable to wind damage since the wind frequently blows beneath the shingles.
13. What does a 2/12 roof pitch mean?
A 2/12 roof slope indicates that your roof has a 2-inch vertical drop for every 12-inch horizontal distance.
Simply put, it’s a low-pitch roof. As a result, the roof does not shed water as easily as steeper roofs, which is why selecting the proper sort of roofing material is critical.
14. What are the common roof pitch angles used by builders?
The common roofs, or pitches, can vary from flat to steep and every degree in between. Roofs with more pitched roofs are typically used for homes that have higher ceilings because they allow for more headroom at the top of the house.
Flat roof pitches are most commonly found on houses with less than 8-foot ceilings where there is not much need for additional headroom space.
Most builders will commonly use roof pitches that are most range from 4/12 to 9/12. Pitches less than 4/12 have a small incline and are classified as low-slope roofs.
Even if the pitch is only slightly inclined, pitches less than 2/12 are considered flat roofs.
15. What roof pitch is not walkable?
The pitch of the roof is the angle of the roof, which is commonly expressed as inches of vertical “rise” over 12 inches of horizontal “run.” Anything above a 7/12 is considered a non-walkable roof and needs additional equipment and, in most cases, an additional expense to the customer.