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Roof Pitches

For a lot of people having or gaining an understanding of the basic principles of how a home is constructed is fairly easy, but when they turn that need for knowledge on the roofing it becomes a lot less clear. From many people’s viewpoint there is a confusing array of boards and timber, all fixed and cut at various angles that can seem complicated and mysterious. In roofing there is a need to understand some roof pitching basics that once grasped can then help towards understanding roofing in general. Here is a look at roof pitches and what you need to know to have a basic understanding.

Basic terminology and what it means

There are certain terms that are specific to roofing and knowing them and what they mean can help a  great deal when talking to your roof contractor or the workers! For example carpenters and roofers would use the term rake rather slope. The rake of the roof might then be denoted with phrases like sin in twelve or four and twelve. Roof pitches are indicated by how much vertical rise there is per twelves inches of horizontal measurement. So a four and twelve roof is one that is 4 inches higher than it was 12 inches going back. A six and twelve roof is one that every 12 inches goes up by 6 inches.

Deciding on roof pitches and knowing there are limitations

There are a number of factors that influence the decision as to what pitch any given roof will have, though of course one of those is about aesthetics. Certain pitches are more suited to certain styles of homes and that is important to consider.


However there are limits to the pitch you can have. If you go for something tall and steep that cannot be walked on and are dangerous to work on, this can have a huge impact on costs to work on it, and then the same for when repairs and maintenance come round. A taller roof also needs more materials as there is more square footage to cover. Most people when designing their roof stick to roof pitches and rakes that are more reasonable and accessible.

The steepest roof that can be walked on

If you are looking for the steepest roof you can walk on without needing assistance, you are looking at a 6 and 12 roof. After that there is an 8 and 12 roof and that can be walked across but needs toe boards, and materials become harder to find too. A 45 degree angle roof is created with a 12 and 12 roof and that needs a lot of safety equipment and any build or work takes a long time to complete as a result.



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