Roof Slope:
Is It Really That Important?

I'm unaware of many people who think much about roof slope or roof overhangs. But paying attention to this aspect of building your green home can have some far-reaching effects.

Professionals measure roof pitch or slope in terms of fractions, in this case, twelfths. Suppose your measurement is 6/12ths. For every 12 units across the roof, you would then go up 6.

Building codes generally have stipulations regarding minimum slope requirements according to climate concerns. For instance, New England,with its heavy yearly snowfall, will have a different pitch requirement than Florida, which deals with hot weather and plenty of rain.

Codes vary from country to country and even from state to state, so be sure you find out what your local code requires.

Besides appearance, why would the degree of roof slope matter?

roof slope

Cost Concerns

Did you know that the steeper the pitch of your roof, the more cash you will fork over for it?

Here are some little-known reasons for why a steeper pitch, though attractive, will end up costing you hard-earned cash.

~ Steeper roofing requires more material in the framing to support it.

~ It is tougher to install, making the labor more dangerous and more expensive ( I have a friend who was permanently disabled in a construction - related fall).

~ Steeper pitch = more area to cover. Material (including underlayment, support, and shingles) costs will increase.

~ In some instances, depending on the severity of the slope, special equipment may be needed onsite to install the shingles.

~ Though you may be tempted to make your roof slope the minimum allowable, keep in mind that steeper angles improve drainage and shingles will last longer. (This may be one time where wisdom would dictate a "happy medium".)

A healthy house will also include careful consideration of roof overhangs. Check out all of the advantages on
this page.

You may feel at times like you are in a balancing act between cost factors and longevity. Just be encouraged and remember that your time and effort to make the best choice (which may be the "good enough" choice) may save you a hefty sum of money !

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The time is NOW. The future is HERE. The color is GREEN.


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