An Explanation of Roof Pitch

Following on from our previous blog post about roof types, we have decided to delve deeper into the mystery that is roof pitch. Deciding on the right roof pitch, which is the rise of the roof over the run of the roof, can affect cost, style and longevity; it’s imperative that the decision is informed. We decided to swiftly run through some key details below.

Firstly, you might want to know about the jargon you could come across when dealing with roofing contractors. Some might talk in degrees, which is pretty self-explanatory, whereas some might talk in ‘pitch’. If you hear someone say “4-in-12 pitch,” that simply means the roof they are discussing rises 4 inches in height with every 12 inches toward the centre – also, the angle of this would be 18.4 degrees, just for reference.

Low-pitched Roofs

Low-pitched roofs are growing in popularity, with flat roofs being used for commercial and industrial properties and a lower roof pitch or flat design showcasing a modern style. What’s more, the improvements of materials means low-pitched roofs more applicable, as they are less susceptible to leaks

The main advantages of low-pitched roofs are that they are easy and cheap to repair, install and maintain: alongside the contemporary styling they offer.

However, the main negatives for this roof design is that they are still more prone to leaks and susceptible to damage from the weight of snowfall, especially if they’re flat; there’s a chance they’ll need frequent repairs.

Medium-pitched Roofs

Implementing a medium-pitched roof has become somewhat of the norm in recent centuries. Many homes can be described as having a medium-pitched roof, as this design is most compatible with different types of roof.

Medium-pitched roofs offer many advantages: a wide spectrum of types to implement, good rain and snow dispersion, and easy inspection and repair.

High-pitched Roofs

High-pitched roofs have somewhat always remained more of a niche, because of their almost aggressive styling and the complexity they offer in terms of construction. However, there is still something to be said about the stance of a thatched cottage, which is one of the main employments of a steeper roof pitch because of the need to encourage water drainage.

The motivation for most high-pitched roofs is their heightened ability to allow for water/snow runoff, and their excitingly striking appearance.

On the other hand, high-pitched roofs are hard to install, expensive and difficult to maintain/repair because of the severity of their non-walkable stature.


Not everything is about practicality and economics, though. Throughout history, we have seen shifts in style to reflect the era of the buildings and it makes for a more diverse roofing landscape.

For example, Georgian buildings are known for having a reasonably steep roof pitch, at around 40 degrees or so, along with parapets. This style offers some stature and a regimented rectangularity to the buildings of the era. Victorian buildings also implemented a steep angled roof pitch, but embellished buildings with decorations to represent the Arts & Crafts era. Since the 20th Century, roofs have seen a shift to lower pitches as a result of costs, contemporary design and the capabilities of modern materials.

Roof pitch is not as complicated as it may seem. Luckily, there isn’t even that much industry ‘lingo’ to look out for. If you’re set on a style, it can be accommodated, especially with the materials we have and are still developing.

If you would like to hear more about the roofing services we offer, please contact us by calling on 07778 188 952 or filling out our online contact form.