In the UK, most traditional houses have roof pitches between 40° and 50° but can go as high as 70° (above 70° is actually a wall!). It is up to the architect to choose the pitch, so different period homes may have different angles. There is usually at least 15° of slope to a pitched roof, but usually much more.
By roof pitch, you mean the ratio of a roof’s slope. If you’re wondering what the typical roof slope is, there isn’t really one that will work every time. Among other things, roofing plays a vital role in determining your home’s roof pitch. The following are some common types:
Flat roofs – A Flat roof is typically used in commercial buildings because it provides good protection from weather conditions such as rain or snow. They also allow easy access for maintenance purposes. However, flat roofs do not offer any insulation value.
Gable-end roofs – Gables end roofs are very popular with homeowners who want an attractive look without having to deal with steep slopes. These roofs are often found in Victorian-style homes.
Hip roofs – Hip roofs are another type of gabled roof that has become increasingly popular over recent years. This design offers many benefits compared to other styles of roofs. For example, it provides excellent ventilation while still offering great aesthetics.
Ventilated hip roofs – Ventilated hip roofs are similar to regular hip roofs except that they include vents along their ridgeline. This allows air to flow through the roof, allowing heat loss during winter months to be minimized.
Sloped roofs – Slope roofs are generally considered to be the easiest form of roof to install. They provide maximum exposure area and therefore maximize solar gain. In addition, they are relatively inexpensive when compared to other forms of roofing.
The best way to determine your ideal roof pitch would be to consult a professional roofing contractor. You should always seek advice before making significant changes to your property.
What is the Golden Ratio?
To put it simply, the Golden Ratio (a ratio of about 1:1.62) is used merely as a benchmark to test an architect’s intuition when he is not satisfied with his design.
Sir Edwin Lutyens, perhaps the most famous of British architects, is often quoted to prove that this is true. The pitch angle of 45° annoyed Lutyens. ‘The ugly angle’ is what he referred to as 45°.
The Golden Ratio is a ratio that the majority of traditional architects don’t use when designing houses. If you ask why the majority will tell you it’s not a ratio that conforms to the Golden Rule. You will achieve a much better result with a somewhat steeper pitch.
Choosing the Right Pitch
Your roof pitch is dependent on the style of home you’re building or renovating as well as, to a lesser extent, the area in which you live.
Traditional houses tend to have steeper pitches, with Victorians usually having the steepest and Georgians usually having the shallowest.
To save on costs, most houses of the 20th century had shallow pitches. However, in recent years, house design interest, coupled with a desire to maximize roof space, has resulted in steeper slopes.
Pros and Cons of Different Types of Roof Slopes
There are several pros and cons associated with each type of roof. Here we discuss these issues in detail.
Flat Roof Pros & Cons
A flat roof does not require additional support structures like walls or columns. Therefore, this makes them easier to construct than sloping roofs. On the downside, however, flat roofs cannot withstand heavy winds or strong storms. Also, if water gets into the attic space, it could cause damage to the structure below.
Gable End Roof Pros & Cons
This type of roof requires less material than others since it only needs two sides instead of four. As a result, it costs less money to build. Another advantage of this particular roof is its ability to shed large amounts of precipitation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t perform well under extreme temperatures.
Hip Roof Pros & Cons
As mentioned earlier, hip roofs are among the most versatile designs available today. It can easily accommodate different shapes and sizes. One drawback is that it may take longer to complete construction projects involving hip roofs due to the need for more complex engineering calculations.
Vented Hip Roof Pros & Cons
Vented hip roofs have been gaining popularity recently. They combine the advantages of both hip and gable ends. Like gable end roofs, vented hip roofs don’t require extra supports. The main difference between the two types of roofs is that ventilators are included in the former but not the latter.
Sloped Roof Pros & Cons
One of the biggest drawbacks of slope roofs is that they tend to leak at high wind speeds. If you live in areas where there’s frequent rainfall, then you’ll probably find yourself dealing with leaks sooner rather than later. Slope roofs also cost significantly more than flat roofs.
Which Type Of Roof Should I Choose?
If you’re looking for an affordable solution, then a flat roof might be what you want. However, if you’d prefer something that will last much longer, then you should consider installing a sloping roof on your home.
In order to make sure that you get the right kind of roof for your house, you should hire a reputable builder who specializes in residential work. A good roofer will help you choose the perfect style based on your budget as well as your personal preferences.
Do Certain Materials Work Better for Certain Pitches?
Choosing the pitch of your roof should be entirely your choice, but there are a few factors that may limit your options. Some roof materials can’t handle extreme pitches, for instance. When used on flat or low-sloped roofs, asphalt shingles allow water to penetrate more easily than other materials. Roofs with conventional pitches are best suited to them.
Roofing materials such as asphalt and gravel do much better on low-slope roofs than rubber membranes. On steep slopes, however, these two don’t likely work since they appear unattractive from a distance. Roofing materials such as tiles and shingles are better suited to steeply angled roofs.
It’s also worth mentioning that metal roofs are suitable for lower pitches.
How Does the Local Climate Affect a Pitch?
The local climate should influence your choice of roof pitch. A flat or low-slope roof is not recommended in areas that experience white winters because snow could accumulate and cause the roof to cave in. Furthermore, steep slope roofs will not fare well in snowy places since the snow will slide down the eaves.
To be on the safe side, stay within the standard range of roof slopes where ever you may be. They’re popular for a good reason, after all.
Local Regulations and Building Code for Roof Pitch
The building code in your area will dictate how steep a roof must be. In some cases, this regulation applies only to new homes, while others apply to existing structures. You should check with your city officials before making any decisions about changing the pitch of your roof.
What is a Roof Pitch Calculator?
A simple online tool called the Roof Pitch Calculator allows homeowners to determine their ideal roof pitch without consulting a professional. It takes into account both the size of the structure and its location. The calculator uses data provided by the National Weather Service, which provides information regarding average annual precipitation levels across the country. This helps users decide whether it makes sense to install a pitched roof over a flat one.