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Roof Pitch Lingo

Every building has a roof, but each one is different based upon its pitch. The pitch of the roof greatly contributes to a home’s character. Not only does it provide height and design to the exterior of the building, but it also determines what type of ceilings the interior can have. The slope of a roof can also contribute to lighting within the home and helps with drainage.

The pitch of a roof is calculated by measuring the number of inches it rises vertically for every 12 inches is extends. This is referred to as the rise and run. Roofing lingo you might hear would be something like “a four and twelve pitch.”

As a homeowner, there are many instances when knowing the pitch of your roof could come in handy. Say for example, you are shopping for new roofing material, you want to install a skylight, build an addition, or buy insulation. Although you can always rely on you roofing contractor’s advice, it helps to know a bit about the subject yourself.

The pitch of the roof is also referred to as the slope. Some of the more conventional slopes are a flat roof 2/12, a conventional sloped roof is 4/12-9/12, and a steep slope is over 9/12. The steeper the roof, the more custom the home appears.

Most homes have a standard 4/12 or 6/12 slope as this is the most economical and easiest to install. More custom homes will have more than one slope, helping to contour their architectural design. If you have a steeper pitch, you may encounter more expense for replacement. The roofing contractor has to take into account the steeper conditions that will require special equipment and more precautionary steps for the crew.

If you have a roofing question or need assistance with a project, then request free estimates from prescreened roofing contractors in your area.



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