If you have a flat or low-sloped roof over your home but want vaulted ceilings or more attic space, then you’ll need to change its pitch. You might have other reasons to raise your roof’s pitch, such as having additional attic space for storage or enhancing your home’s visual appeal. But be aware that it’s also necessary to consider several factors before constructing your new residential roofing system.
You should also know that this type of renovation often requires replacing many components of your current roofing structure, if not all. And with the precise measurements involved, you’ll need to work with a qualified professional who has the right experience for the job. Calculating the incline of your new roof can be tricky, and it often involves not just the pitch but the slope, span, and run as well. All these terms are different from each other, but they’re all necessary to properly build your new roof.
Changing a roof’s pitch requires careful planning. If you want your new residential roofing system to meet your expectations, make sure to hire the right contractor for the job. And with De Palma Construction, we’ll guide you through each step of the roofing process so that you’ll know how your new sloped roofing system gets built.
What To Consider When Changing Your Roof’s Pitch
Major Structural Changes – When you decide to change your roof’s pitch, you have to consider how the structure of your current roofing system will be changed. It will undergo major structural changes such as replacing the eaves, props, internal walls, trusses, and rafters. Nearly all of your current roofing system’s components are replaced to accommodate the added weight of a sloped roof replacement. It’s a big investment, but it’s also worth the cost when properly built.
The major structural changes are necessary to ensure your new sloped roof is built properly. Even if you already have an existing sloped roof over your home and just want to raise its pitch, a full replacement may be necessary to build a sturdy system that won’t sage or collapse under the added weight. You also shouldn’t hire just any contractor for the job if you want a successful roofing job. Make sure to do your research and hire the right residential and commercial roofing contractor to avoid costly mistakes.
The Age and Condition of Your Roof – If your flat roofing system is near the end of its expected lifespan, you won’t think twice about getting it replaced soon. But since you’re going to replace the entire roofing structure, why not consider changing your roof’s pitch as well? This can also be more beneficial for your home as it can easily direct water runoff to your gutters and prevent water pooling, which may otherwise cause more damage if left unaddressed.
Home Expansions – If you’re building a second story on top of your home, then you’ll likely have to tear off your existing roof and redesign its structure with better support. This is necessary even if you’re just rebuilding your residential roofing system to get additional attic space. This is to prevent costly repairs and accidents such as a roof collapse due to the foundations that weren’t properly reinforced.
The Difference Between Pitch and Slope
While both pitch and slope are used interchangeably, they don’t mean the same thing. This is mainly because roofing has become more complex, which is why the terms are used interchangeably when you get roofing estimates from prospective contractors. Just keep in mind that “pitch” is a more accepted term while “slope” is easier to calculate, especially if you want to build a non-gable roof.
Measuring Your Roof’s Incline
Changing the pitch will involve some mathematics that will be applied to your current flat roof. To put it simply, flat roofing surfaces have slopes of zero while completely vertical surfaces have what’s called an undefined slope. Whatever’s in between these will have an incline, which essentially means a slope and pitch. To get your roof’s pitch, roofers will need to calculate the following:
Span – This is the end-to-end measurement of your current roofing system that’s calculated using a 100-foot tape measure. It used to be a crucial roof measurement in older homes, but as designs become more modern and intricate, roofing systems also become more complex to build. This is because modern roofing systems aren’t just straight up and down; most are typically designed with different sections that include dormers and other types of additions.
Run – This is the horizontal change between two points that roof repair and replacement contractors use to measure the distance between the ridge or peak of the roof and the roof’s edge. If you’re planning to have a gable roof, for instance, the run’s measurement will be half its span. But this is assuming you’re building a perfect gable roof; as we mentioned earlier, modern roofing systems are usually complex structures with chimneys, valleys, dormers, and so on.
Rise – This refers to the vertical change between two points. In the roofing industry, it measures how much something goes up between point A and point B. This is used regardless of whether pitch or slope is calculated. Rise is also the first number in both pitch fraction and slope ratio, which displays any given roofing system’s pitch or slope.
Slope – Professional roof repair and replacement contractors may also determine the slope of a roofing system to get its pitch. This is what’s called a hybrid pitch-slope combo, which is a measurement of your roof that’s shown as a pitch but is technically a slope. Of course, this is calculated the same way as a normal roof slope, which is calculating the difference between its measured rise and run. The result is expressed as a ratio, which represents a specific amount of vertical rise for every 12 inches of horizontal run. For instance, if the rise of your roof is six inches for every 12 inches of run, then the roof slope is 6 in 12 or 6:12.
Pitch – This is the incline that’s calculated by dividing the rise by the span of the roof. It’s expressed as a fraction that represents a certain amount of vertical rise over the entire span. For instance, if the roof has a rise of four feet and a span of 24 feet, the calculated pitch is one is to six or ?.
You can get an honest roof estimate from a contractor that’s locally trusted in the community. And when it comes to top-notch residential and commercial roofing services, De Palma Construction has got you covered! Call us at (717) 638-1131 or just fill out our convenient contact form.