Types of Roof Angles

Last updated on September 24, 2023

Explore the fascinating world of roof angles as we delve into various types, their benefits, and architectural significance in today’s blog post.

Welcome to my blog where I share my knowledge and expertise on all things roofing! Today, we’ll be discussing one of the most important aspects of a roof – its angle. The angle of a roof plays a crucial role in determining its durability, style, and functionality.

From flat roofs to steeply-pitched ones, there are various types of roof angles that homeowners should consider when building or renovating their homes. In this article, I will take you through the different types of roof angles and help you understand which one is best suited for your home.

So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of roofing angles!

Pitched Roof

types of roof angles

They have a slope that ranges from 5:12 to 12:12, which means for every foot horizontally, the roof rises by five to twelve inches vertically. Pitched roofs are popular because they offer excellent drainage and ventilation while also providing ample space for an attic or storage area.

One of the benefits of a pitched roof is its durability. The steep angle allows rainwater and snow to slide off easily, preventing water damage and leaks in your home’s interior.

Pitched roofs can withstand strong winds better than flat ones since their shape creates less wind resistance.

Pitched roofs come in different styles such as gable, hip, gambrel or mansard depending on your preference and architectural design needs. Gable style has two sloping sides that meet at a ridge forming an inverted V-shape while hip style slopes down on all four sides creating more stability against high winds compared with gables.

Gable Roof

It’s a simple, triangular-shaped roof that slopes downward on two sides and meets at the ridge or peak in the middle. Gable roofs are commonly used in residential homes because they’re easy to build and provide ample space for an attic or storage area.

The steep pitch of a gable roof allows rainwater, snow, and debris to slide off easily without accumulating on top. This makes it ideal for areas with heavy rainfall or snowfall as it prevents water damage from seeping into your home’s structure.

Another advantage of a gable roof is its versatility when it comes to design options. You can choose from various materials such as asphalt shingles, metal roofing panels, clay tiles among others depending on your preference.

Hip Roof

It has four sloping sides and no vertical ends or gables. The hip design makes it more stable than other types of roofs in high winds and snowy conditions.

Hip roofs are commonly used in residential buildings but can also be found on commercial structures.

One advantage of the hip roof is its ability to provide extra living space by adding dormers or a crow’s nest at the top. This additional space can be used for storage or as an extra room such as an attic bedroom.

Another benefit of the hip roof is its aesthetic appeal; it gives homes a unique look that stands out from other roofing styles like gable roofs which have two sloping sides with vertical ends.

Gambrel Roof

This type of roof has two slopes on each side, with the lower slope being steeper than the upper one. The design originated from Dutch colonial architecture in North America and was later adopted by other countries.

One advantage of this type of roof is that it provides more space in the attic area due to its steep pitch. This makes it ideal for those who need extra storage or living space without having to build an additional floor.

Another benefit is that gambrel roofs are highly durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions such as heavy snowfall or strong winds. They also provide excellent ventilation, which helps regulate temperature inside your home during hot summer months.

Mansard Roof

The lower slope is steeper than the upper one and often contains dormer windows. This type of roofing style was popularized in France during the 17th century and has since become a staple in European architecture.

One of the benefits of having a Mansard roof is that it provides additional living space within your home’s attic due to its steep sides. It also offers excellent drainage capabilities, making it ideal for areas with heavy rainfall or snowfall.

However, constructing this type of roofing style can be more expensive than other types due to its complex design and requires skilled laborers to install correctly. Maintaining this kind of roofing system can be challenging because cleaning gutters or repairing leaks may require specialized equipment.

Flat Roof

It is commonly used in commercial and industrial buildings, but it can also be found in residential homes. Flat roofs are easy to install and maintain, making them a popular choice for many homeowners.

However, one of the main drawbacks of flat roofs is their tendency to accumulate water due to their lack of slope. This can lead to leaks and other issues if not properly maintained.

To avoid this problem, modern flat roofing systems incorporate drainage systems that help remove excess water from the surface.

Another advantage of having a flat roof is its versatility when it comes to design options such as rooftop gardens or solar panels installation which makes them an eco-friendly option for those who want sustainable living spaces.

Mono-pitch Roof

This type of roof features a single sloping plane that is higher on one side than the other. The slope allows rainwater to run off easily while providing ample headroom on one side of the building.

One advantage of mono-pitch roofs is their versatility in design. They can be used for both residential and commercial structures, including garages, sheds, and even entire houses with multiple levels.

Another benefit is their cost-effectiveness compared to more complex roofing systems like gable or hip roofs. Mono-pitch roofs require fewer materials and less labor during installation which translates into lower costs.

However, it’s important to note that mono-pitched roofing may not be suitable for areas with heavy snowfall or high winds due to its low pitch angle which can cause snow buildup or wind uplift respectively.


They are commonly found in commercial and industrial buildings but can also be used in residential homes. Low-slope roofs offer several advantages over steeply-pitched ones.

For instance, they are easier to install and maintain since they require fewer materials and labor hours.

However, low-slope roofs come with their own set of challenges such as poor drainage which can lead to water pooling on the roof surface causing leaks or even structural damage if not addressed promptly.

To mitigate these issues, it’s important to ensure that your low-slope roof is properly designed with adequate drainage systems installed by a professional roofing contractor who understands the unique needs of this type of roofing system.


They typically have a slope between 4/12 and 9/12, which means that for every foot of horizontal distance, the roof rises by four to nine inches vertically. This angle is perfect for areas with moderate rainfall or snowfall as it allows water and snow to slide off easily without causing any damage.

One advantage of conventional roofs is that they provide ample space for an attic or storage area beneath them. These types of roofs are relatively easy to construct and maintain compared to other complex designs like mansard or gambrel roofs.

However, one disadvantage associated with conventional roofing angles is their limited aesthetic appeal compared to other more intricate designs like hip or gable roofs.

Steep Slope

This means that for every 12 inches of horizontal distance, the roof rises by at least nine inches. Steep slope roofs are commonly found in areas with heavy snowfall or rainfall as they allow water to run off quickly and prevent damage to the structure below.

One advantage of a steep slope roof is its aesthetic appeal. It adds an element of grandeur and sophistication to any home design, making it stand out from other houses in the neighborhood.

However, there are also some disadvantages associated with this type of roofing system. For instance, installation costs can be higher due to safety concerns during installation and maintenance work on such roofs can be challenging due to their angle.


The most common types of residential roof angles are pitched, gable, hip, and flat roofs. Pitched roofs have a steep slope that allows for efficient water drainage while providing ample space for an attic or storage area.

Gable roofs are triangular-shaped and provide excellent ventilation to homes while adding aesthetic appeal to their design.

Hip roofs have slopes on all four sides which make them more stable than other roof types during high winds or storms. Flat roofing is popular among modern-style homes as it provides a sleek look but requires proper installation to prevent water pooling.

When choosing a residential roof angle, homeowners should consider factors such as climate conditions in their area and architectural style preferences before making any decisions. A professional roofer can help determine which type of angle will work best for your home’s needs based on these considerations.

Selecting the right type of residential roof angle is crucial when building or renovating your home since it affects its durability and overall appearance significantly.

Commercial and Industrial

The roof angle for these types of structures is usually low-slope or flat, which allows for easy installation of HVAC systems, solar panels, and other equipment that may need to be placed on the roof. Low-slope roofs are also easier to maintain as they provide easy access for cleaning gutters and making repairs.

However, it’s important to note that low-slope roofs can be prone to water damage if not installed correctly. That’s why it’s crucial to hire a professional roofing contractor who has experience in installing commercial or industrial roofing systems.

When choosing the right type of roof angle for your commercial or industrial building, consider factors such as climate conditions in your area, building codes and regulations specific to your industry sector (e.g., food processing plants have strict hygiene requirements), budget constraints among others.

Low Vs. Conventional Vs. Steep

Each of these types has its own unique characteristics that make them suitable for different types of buildings.

Low-slope roofs have a pitch angle of less than 2/12 (9.5 degrees). They are commonly used in commercial and industrial buildings because they provide more space for equipment installation on the roof.

Low-slope roofs also require less material compared to other roofing systems.

Conventional roofs have a pitch angle between 4/12 (18 degrees) and 9/12 (37 degrees). These types of roofs are commonly found in residential homes as they offer good drainage capabilities while still providing ample attic space.

Steep slope roofs have a pitch angle greater than or equal to 10/12 (40-45 degrees). They provide excellent water runoff capabilities but require more materials due to their steeper incline.

Steep slope roofing is often used in areas with heavy snowfall or rainfall as it prevents water from pooling on the roof surface.

Choosing the right type of roof angle depends on various factors such as climate conditions, building design requirements, budget constraints among others. It’s important to consult with an experienced roofer who can help you determine which type will work best for your specific needs before making any decisions about your new roofing system!

Roof Pitch Determination

The pitch, or slope, of a roof refers to its angle relative to the horizontal plane. It is usually expressed as a ratio between vertical rise and horizontal run.

To determine the pitch of your roof, you will need a ladder, measuring tape or ruler, level tool (such as a carpenter’s level), and pencil and paper for recording measurements. First off, climb up onto your rooftop with caution using proper safety gear such as harnesses if necessary.

Next up is taking measurements; measure 12 inches horizontally from one point on the underside edge towards centerline then mark it with pencil before measuring vertically from this point straight upwards until you reach where it intersects with another line drawn at 12 inches horizontally away from centerline – this intersection gives us our rise measurement which we divide by our run measurement (which was 24 inches) giving us our slope ratio.


What are common roof angles?

Common roof angles include 4/12, 6/12, and 8/12 pitches, with respective rises of 4, 6, or 8 inches per 12 inches of horizontal distance.

What are the different pitches of roofs?

There are two types of roof pitches: high-pitched and low-pitched, with low-pitched roofs appearing almost flat but having a slight 1/12 pitch to drain water.

Why should 45 degree roof pitch be avoided?

Answer: A 45-degree roof pitch should be avoided because it does not conform to the Golden Ratio and is considered aesthetically unsatisfying by traditional architects.

What degree is a 4 12 pitch roof?

A 4/12 pitch roof has a roof pitch angle of approximately 18.4 degrees.

How do roof angles affect energy efficiency in a home?

Roof angles affect energy efficiency in a home by influencing solar heat gain, natural ventilation, and the ability to support insulation, ultimately impacting temperature regulation and energy consumption.

What factors should be considered when choosing a roof pitch for a specific climate?

"Key factors to consider when choosing a roof pitch for a specific climate include local weather conditions, snow accumulation, rainwater drainage, and regional building codes."

How does the roof angle influence rainwater drainage and snow accumulation?

A steeper roof angle promotes better rainwater drainage and reduces snow accumulation by allowing water and snow to slide off more easily.