How to Choose the Proper Roof Pitch for Your Building

When you design a pre-engineered metal building, one thing you need to consider is your roof pitch, or how steep of a slope your roof has. Roof pitch affects everything from the cost of your building to how high its overhead clearance is and how effectively rainwater or snow drains off of it, so there are some important considerations you may need to make before deciding how steep your roof should be.

Common roof pitches for metal buildings

Your roof’s pitch tells you how many inches it rises for every 12 inches of horizontal space it covers. For example, a 1:12 roof pitch is almost, but not completely, flat, because it is a low-slope roof that only rises 1” for every 12” of horizontal space. Most metal buildings have roof pitches that fall somewhere between 1:12 and 5:12. Steeper roof pitches are also available, but roof pitches that exceed 5:12 typically require custom engineering and cost more as a result.

Benefits of lower roof pitches

Typically, buildings with lower roof pitches are more affordable than those with higher pitches. This is mainly because it takes more material to fabricate a building with a steeper roof. When you opt for a lower roof pitch, the roof may not be visible from the street, and this may also save you money, because colored roofs mean additional costs. Certain types of buildings, such as mini storage buildings, typically have low roof pitches. This is due to their cost-effectiveness, and it is also because many self-storage business owners do not want snow falling off the roof and blocking renters’ access to their storage units.

Benefits of higher roof pitches

If you are looking to design a steel home, a farm building or another type of structure that has a certain type of aesthetic, a higher roof pitch may help you accomplish it. Metal buildings with higher roof pitches look less boxy and more like traditional homes, farm buildings and other popular types of structures. When your building has a higher roof pitch, water also runs off of it faster, helping reduce the chances of condensation forming while enhancing watertightness.

Have questions about what roof pitch or roof style might work best with your building’s size and intended use? Whether you’re looking for a gable roof or a single-slope design, Sunward Steel can help you determine the best roof pitch based on your specific building needs.