How To DIY Roof Pitch and Know Your Roof’s Size

Knowing how to use roof pitch, you can find the measurements of your roof’s size and better understand the amount and the kinds of materials you need. This helps you find more accurate estimated costs for any related tasks that need to be done, whether installing a new roof, replacing an old roof, or fixing any damages.

It helps you find the most appropriate installation methods and calculate how much snow load it can hold. You can find different slopes at houses and buildings: no slope, flat, and steep slope. The roof angle varies by many factors like the weather, the State code, and the region you live in. Whether you are a homeowner or a roofer, you can DIY calculate roof pitch to find out the roof’s size.

What is a Roof Pitch?

Roof pitch is the measurement of the angle of the roof’s slope, also known as the steepness of the roof. Roofers calculate the numbers and find the number of inches it elevates vertically, every 12inches, it expands horizontally. Measuring the roof pitch is important for roofers because it helps determine the type of roofing system, the type of material to use, and whether it is easy or hard to do any tasks on the roof.

Higher pitches are ideal for houses located in rainy and snowing regions. A steeper angled roof can quickly and easily runoff rainwater and snow away from the roof and gutters into drains. Lower pitches are ideal for commercial buildings due to their energy efficiency, low maintenance, and low cost.

Get Up on The Roof and Use the Measuring Tools

Actually, going up on the roof and measuring roof pitch is the most accurate way to do so. You will need a level that is more than 12inches long and a tape measure. Even though it is just a simple task, make sure you are wearing long sleeves, jeans, and toe-closed shoes to keep yourself safe. When you place the ladder on the floor, make sure it is stably placed. Then, you can proceed to go on the roof and start measuring. Start by holding the level perfectly level and measure the height from the roof to the level 12inches away from where the level touches the surface – measurement for the rise. It should be something like rise: 12 formula.

Measure It from The Inside of The House

Measuring from the inside is a safer way to do so if the weather isn’t good. If you have a high ceiling in the house, you will need a ladder to reach the inside roof’s edge. You can go to the attic if there is one in your house. Make sure no one is around you when you are on the ladder, so nobody gets hurt in case you drop the measuring tools. You do the same technique as you would do on the roof. Measure the rise over a 12inches run of the roof rafters, and that’s it. It is simple as that.

Does Pitch Affect the Cost of Roofing?

Depending on the steepness of the roof, the cost for installation, repairment, and removal may vary. The steeper roof can cost more labor because it is much more dangerous to be on the roof than on a flat or low-slope roof. Also, a steeper roof means more surface than other roofs, so it will cost more to purchase materials.  A low-slope roof costs 10 percent more, and a high-slope roof costs 20 to 30 percent more than a flat roof to do any kind of task. If you plan to get a new roof, make sure to talk to multiple roofers to find the most suitable roofing system for your home that will be cost-efficient and require low maintenance.

How To Convert Roof Pitch to Degrees

Doing this calculation can give you a headache, but if you follow the steps carefully, you can find the measurement you are looking for. To find the roof’s angle in a degree measurement, you first have to convert the pitch to a slope, then a slope to a degree by finding the inverse tangent or arctangent from a slope. Let’s start with converting the pitch to a slope. Convert the rise and run from fraction to a decimal form.

Rise/run = rise divided by run = slope

For the pitch that is expressed in inches per foot, first, convert to a fraction.

Ex) 4 in 12 pitches = 4//12 = 4 divided by 12 = .3333

Then, find the degree by finding the slope’s inverse tangent.

Inverse Tangent Formula: y = tan(x) and x = arctan(y)

Degree = Arctan (Slope)

Now, you have the degree.

You can also find standard roof pitches tables on the internet, where you don’t have to do the math yourself. It’s always beneficial to know how it is calculated so you can use it in different ways.

Terms You Should Know to Properly Use Roof Pitch Calculator

Using a roof pitch calculator is another option you could do. You can find many good roof pitch calculators on the internet that could save you time. Here are some terms you should know to properly use a roof pitch calculator.

  • Slope: Slope is represented as A divided by 12 (A/12). ‘A’ is the number of inches in rise for every 12 inches of run. In some calculators, the slope is shown as ‘grade.’
  • Angle: Angle is the same as ‘slope.’ It is just represented in degrees. It’s represented as an angle because sometimes a roofer needs to cut a bevel with a circular saw that is not calibrated for a roof pitch style. This circular saw needs an angle to get the job done.
  • Rafter Length: Rafter length represents the length of a certain line, which is the line from the plate’s outside edge to the centerline of the ridge.
  • Pitch: Pitch is the incline of the roof represented as the ration of rise to the span.
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How To DIY Roof Pitch and Know Your Roof’s Size
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