# Roof Pitch Calculator

When the topic of discussion is on constructing new buildings, or trying to renovate the old ones, or purchasing new property altogether, then you’ll notice that certain things are all in common in them. One such commonality is the roof pitch of the building or the house you have your eye on to construct or purchase. Meanwhile, roof pitch is the measure of the angle or how steep a roof is. Because the pitch of a material helps determine the size of the roof, it is important to know that.

Not only that, the pitch can also determine the quantity of material required along with the structural integrity of the roof. These reasons are an indicator to why one should accurately calculate the roof pitch of the building. In this article, you’ll find out everything you need to know about a roof pitch calculator.

## What a Roof Pitch Exactly Is?

Before moving forward, for those of you who don’t know what roof pitch exactly is then not a problem because we are just going to explain that to you.

Roof pitch is the measure of the vertical rise of a roof per horizontal foot. It is usually the ratio of height to the width of a building. Roof pitch can be classified into three categories:

- Flat slope
- Low slope
- Steep slope

### Flat roof

A flat roof has a pitch of **0 to 10 degrees** and is common in commercial and industrial buildings.

### Low-slope roof

A low-slope roof has an angle of **10 to 20 degrees.** And it is most commonly found in buildings of commercial and residential nature.

### Steep slope roof

A steep slope roof has a pitch of **20 degrees or more.** It is typically used in buildings of a residential nature.

Not only it can help in determining the type of roofing materials to be used, the number of materials needed, and the structural integrity of the roof. But It also affects the amount of sunlight and rainwater that can reach the roof, which can affect energy efficiency and water drainage.

Read More: Construction Engineers vs Structural Engineers

## How to Calculate Roof Pitch Manually?

Now coming towards calculating the roof pitch, we’ll see how we can calculate it manually. For calculating the roof pitch manually, we need to measure the vertical rise and horizontal run of the roof.

### Measuring vertical and horizontal rise

To measure the vertical rise, one end of a level is placed on the roof and the other end is held level. After that, the distance from the roof to the level is calculated. To measure the horizontal run, the distance from the roof edge to the wall is measured.

### Roof Pitch Formula

Once the vertical rise and horizontal run have been measured, the roof pitch can be calculated using the roof pitch formula:

**Roof pitch = vertical rise / horizontal run**

For example, if the vertical rise is 6 feet and the horizontal run is 12 feet, the roof pitch would be:

Roof pitch = 6 / 12 = 0.5 or 1:2

### How to calculate the rafter length, angle, and grade of the roof?

Once we have calculated the pitch, we can use it to calculate the rafter length, angle, and grading of the roof. The rafter length can be calculated using the given formula:

**Rafter length****2**** = rise****2**** + run****2**

Similarly, the angle can be found as:

**Angle = arctan (rise/run)**

We can also calculate the grade by expressing the pitch in percentage:

**Grade = (rise/run)100**

## Calculating Roof Pitch Using Roof Pitch Calculator

Instead of calculating the roof pitch manually, we can make our task easier for us by directly using a roof pitch calculator. A roof pitch calculator is a tool that is utilize in calculating the pitch of a roof with the utmost accuracy and efficiency. Moreover, a calculator is especially useful, easy and convenient if the roof design is much more complex. These calculators are easily available online and are not difficult to use.

All you need to do is enter the height of the roof, the width of the building, and the type of roof as input in the calculator and it will give you the answer. Moreover, if the roof design is much more complex, using a roof pitch calculator is a lot easier and more convenient.

Learn More: **Floor Area Calculator**

## Roof Slope Calculator — Usage

Here’s an easy example for you of how to use a roof slope calculator. Let’s say you have a shed roof with a span of 12 feet and a rise of 2 feet. Now to calculate the roof slope:

- Find any roof pitch calculator online.
- Enter the span and rise of the roof in feet. In this example, you would enter “12” for the span and “2” for the rise.
- Now click the “Calculate” button.
- The calculator will provide the pitch of the roof in multiple formats, such as degrees, rise/run, and ratio as well. In this example, the roof pitch is 1:6, which means that for every 6 units of horizontal run, the roof rises by 1 unit.
- Here you can also calculate the angle of the roof using the information provided by the calculator itself. In this example, the roof pitch is approximately 9.5 degrees.

## Factors to Consider While Calculating Roof Pitch

Several factors can affect the pitch of a roof depending on the climate, location, and building design. For example, the shape of the building can affect the pitch of the roof. Furthermore, if a building is being constructed in an area with heavy snowfall, then its roof should have a steeper pitch to prevent snow buildup.

A building with a gable roof will have a different pitch than a building with a flat roof. That is why it is important to consider all these factors while calculating the pitch of the roof so that the safety and durability of the building are not compromised.

Read More: **Wind Load Calculator**

## FAQs

**What type of roof pitch can be considered the best one?**

As the ideal pitch depends on numerous factors such as the climate, building design, and personal preferences, there is no singular “best” pitch for a roof. However, a roof pitch of around 6/12 (or 26.6 degrees) is recommended and often considered a good compromise between water-shedding ability and ease of construction. For greater aesthetics and better water drainage, steeper pitches are the best option. Meanwhile, lower pitches are much cheaper and simpler to build.

**What is the standard roof pitch?**

The standard pitch for a roof can vary depending on factors such as the type of roof and the local climate conditions. However, in general, the standard pitch for a roof is between 4/12 (18.4 degrees) and 9/12 (36.9 degrees). A 4/12 pitch means that the roof rises 4 inches vertically for every 12 inches horizontally. Whereas a 9/12 pitch means that the roof rises 9 inches vertically for every 12 inches horizontally.

**What is the best roof pitch recommended for snow?**

The best roof pitch for snow boils down to a number of factors that include the amount of snowfall in your area, the type of roof, and the materials used for the roofing. However, a steeper roof pitch is better because it doesn’t allow for snow to build up. Apart from that, the material used for the roof must also be able to hold the load of heavy snow. Additionally, proper insulation and ventilation are a tool to keep ice dams from forming, which can cause damage to the roof.

**What kind of roof pitch can be considered walkable?**

Generally, a roof pitch of 6/12 (26.5 degrees) or less is considered walkable. This means that the roof rises 6 inches vertically for every 12 inches horizontally. However, it’s important to note that even a low-pitch roof can be dangerous to walk on if it’s wet, icy, or covered in debris. Before attempting to walk on any roof, it’s essential to take safety precautions such as using a safety harness and having someone spot you from the ground.

**What minimum slope of the roof is possible?**

The minimum slope of a roof depends on several factors, including the roofing materials used and the local building codes. In general, the minimum pitch for a roof is 1/4:12 (1 degree), which means that the roof rises 1/4 inch vertically for every 12 inches horizontally. However, it is very important to consult with a roofing professional and local building codes to determine the appropriate minimum slope for your specific roofing needs.

**Can a roof pitch calculator be used for all types of roofs?**

Roof pitch calculators can be used for most types of roofs, including gable, hip, flat, and shed roofs. However, some specialized roofs, such as curved or domed roofs, may require more complex calculations alongside using the roof pitch calculator.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, knowing the pitch of a roof is important in any construction project. Roof pitch calculators can be a useful tool in quickly and accurately determining the pitch of a roof. They can also help you save time and energy providing that they are easily accessible online.

However, while calculating roof pitch, one must not ignore the factors that can affect the roof pitch such as climate, location, and building design. The safety of the roof can be guaranteed only if you keep in mind all these things and follow the accurate and proper methods as described.