Flat & Low Slope

Different Roof Pitches Affect Roofing Material Choices!

When decidiMontgomery Roofing Contractor - Schulte Roofingng what type of roofing materials are the best to use, pitch, slope or angle of a roof will play a large role. There are quite a few options such as shingles, metal, and wood shakes; however, determining which type is best is greatly affected by the pitch. It is important to learn exactly how this particular element affects the type of material used. Working with a professional Montgomery roofer will provide all available options.


There are some roofs that are very steep and others that are practically flat, both of which are referred to as slope extremities. The no pitch version began in the 1960’s and has been very popular, while those with sharp angled tops started in the Victorian era.

The slope of a roof is generally measured in fractions such as 7/12 or 5/12 and they are fairly easy to read. The top number denotes the height, while the lower number or denominator refers to the width. Therefore, a fraction of 7/12 means there is a seven foot rise in height for every twelve feet of width.


Selecting the best type of material depends on the level of the slope or pitch. Following is a list of the most suitable materials and which is best for each type of slope.

  • Wood Shakes – When these shingles are laid flat, they are loose and susceptible to leakage. This material is best suited for buildings with steeper angles and a slope between 5/12 and 12/12.
  • Asphalt or Composite – These popular types of shingles are best suited for slopes with a medium pitch ranging from 4/12 to 12/12. This is a highly-recommended material since it is considered as the most serviceable for many angle requirements.
  • Tar Paper – Tar paper rolls and hot tar or torch-down is best if a lower pitch ranging from 1/12 up to 3/12 is involved; it is commonly used for industrial buildings and contemporary styled houses. Shingles don’t work properly on such a low slope since water won’t drain fast enough which allows moisture to permeate the structure and encourages moss and algae growth.

Other Considerations

There are several variables to be considered when determining a roof’s pitch and which materials to use, of which cost is primary. Even the slightest change to pitch affects the overall construction costs. For instance, choosing a 9/12 pitch rather than an 8/12 can add up to four percent to building costs because other construction materials such as rafters, sheathing and underlayment also increase by four percent. Before making even a small slope change, the cost for that change must be considered.

Weather and location must also be recognized. For areas with a lot of rain and snowfall, a steep roof is more practical. Research local building codes to learn about area slope requirements.

Understanding which pitch and materials are best suited for a building design helps in a roof’s planning phase, especially when consulting a local contractor. The best design options for that particular area will ensure that a job is done with high-quality workmanship and provide many years of worry-free service!