How To Calculate Pitch Of Roof?

How to Calculate Roof Pitch in Degrees

1. First, you need to measure the run of your roof.
2. Next, you need to figure out the rise.
3. Now, divide the rise by the run.
4. Then, divide 1 by your tangent.
5. Finally, multiply this result by 180/π and you’ve calculated your roof pitch!

What is a 4/12 roof pitch?

Measuring Roof Slope and Pitch by Nick Gromicko, CMI® and Benjamin Gromicko Both pitch and slope indicate the incline of a roof, expressed as a proportion of the vertical to the horizontal. This article describes both roof slope and roof pitch, and the differences between them, as they are not the same. The illustration above shows a simple gable roof and the general relationship between rise, run and span. Roof framing is a practical application of geometry, and roof slope is based largely on the properties of a right triangle. In roof framing, the base of the right triangle is called the run.

The run is the distance from the outside of the wall’s top plate to a point directly below the center of the ridge. The vertical leg of the triangle is called the rise, which is the distance the roof rafter board extends upward above wall’s top plate. Slope Slope is the incline of the roof expressed as a ratio of the vertical rise to the horizontal run, where the run is some portion of the span.

This ratio is always expressed as inches per foot. Slope Ratio A roof that rises 4 inches for every 1 foot or 12 inches of run is said to have a “4 in 12” slope. If the rise is 6 inches for every 12 inches of run, then the roof slope is “6 in 12.” The slope can be expressed numerically as a ratio. The triangular symbol above the roof line in this architectural elevation provides information on the ro of’s slope.

as a ratio; andin inches per foot.

Pitch Pitch is the incline of the roof expressed as a fraction derived by dividing the rise by the span, where the roof span is the distance between the outside of one wall’s top plate to another. Pitch Fraction Historically the word ” pitch ” meant a ratio between the ridge height to the entire span/width of the building or ratio between the rafter length to the building width.

And back then, the ridge was typically in the middle of the span. This is no longer the case in modern building practices. The ridge can be placed anywhere in the span, from directly middle to either span endpoint. A roof that rises 8 feet over a 24-foot span was said to have a “1 to 3” pitch. If the rise is 4 feet over a 24-foot span, then the roof pitch was said to be “1 to 6.” The pitch can be expressed numerically as a fraction.

The pitch fraction represents a certain amount of vertical rise over the entire span. For example, given a roof with a rise of 4 feet and a span of 24 feet, the pitch is “1 to 6” pitch, which can be expressed as the fraction of 1/6. A “12 to 24” pitch is expressed as 1/2. Using the illustration above and information we just learned about slope and pitch, we can see that a 2:12 slope can be expressed as 1/12 pitch, assuming the span is twice the length of the run. If the slope is 4:12, the pitch for the 24-foot span is 1/6.

Asphalt shingles should be installed on roof slopes 2:12 or greater (2015 IRC R905.2.2). Clay and concrete roof tiles should be installed on roof slopes 2.5:12 or greater (2015 IRC R905.3.2). Metal roof shingles should be installed on roof slopes 3:12 or greater (2015 IRC R905.4.2). Mineral-surfaced roll roofing should be installed on roof slopes 1:12 or greater (2015 IRC R905.4.2). Slate shingles should be installed on roof slopes 4:12 or greater (2015 IRC R905.6.2). Wood shingles should be installed on roof slopes 3:12 or greater (2015 IRC R905.7.2). Wood shakes should be installed on roof slopes 3:12 or greater (2015 IRC R905.8.2). Built-up roofs should be installed on roof slopes 0.25:12 or greater (2015 IRC R905.9.1), except for coal-tar built-up roofs that have a minimum roof slope of one-eighth unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (1% slope). Metal roof panels should be installed on roof slopes according to particular seams (2015 IRC R905.10.2):

minimum roof slope of 3:12 for lapped, nonsoldered-seam metal roofs without lap sealant appliedminimum roof slope of 0.5:12 for lapped, nonsoldered-seam metal roofs with lap sealant applied minimum roof slope of 0.25:12 for standing-seam roof systems

Modified bitumen roofing should be installed on roof slopes 0.25:12 or greater (2015 IRC R905.11.1).Thermoset single-ply roofing should be installed on roof slopes 0.25:12 or greater (2015 IRC R905.12.1).Thermoplastic single-play roofing should be installed on roof slopes 0.25:12 or greater (2015 IRC R905.13.1).Sprayed polyurethane foam roofing should be installed on roof slopes 0.25:12 or greater (2015 IRC R905.14.1). Liquid-applied roofing should be installed on roof slopes 0.25:12 or greater (2015 IRC R905.15.1).Photovoltaic shingles should be installed on roof slopes 2:12 or greater (2015 IRC R905.16.2).

Asphalt Shingles The slope of a roof affects the surface drainage of water and can determine the type of roof-covering materials that should be installed. Asphalt shingles should be used only on roof slopes 2:12 or greater. Asphalt-shingle roofs are designed to shed water, and not meant to serve as a waterproof barrier.

The slope of a roof affects its ability to shed water and determines the limits for using asphalt shingles. Most asphalt shingles may be used on roof slopes from 4:12 to 21:12, using standard application methods. Asphalt shingles may be used on slopes from 2:12 to 3.9:12, if special low-slope application procedures are followed.

An inspector will usually find roll roofing materials installed on slopes of less than 4:12.

Measuring Slope You’ll need a carpenter’s level, a tape measure and a pencil.Measure 12 inches from one end of the level and make a mark.

You can take measurements from the unfinished attic space under the roof or at the rake board area, or on top of the roof-covering materials. Measuring the slope from the roof surface may not produce the most accurate measurement because of the inherently uneven surface of the roof covering.

Crawl into the unfinished attic space. Locate a roof rafter board that is readily accessible to you. Place the end of the level against the bottom edge of a roof rafter and hold it perfectly level. Measure from the 12-inch mark on the level vertically to the bottom edge of the rafter. That measurement is the number of inches that the roof rises in 12 inches.

Locate a rake board that is readily accessible to you. Keep the carpenter’s level perfectly level while holding the end against the bottom edge of the rake board. Measure from the 12-inch mark on the level vertically to where the tape measure touches the bottom edge of the rake board. An inspector may find the use of mobile technology valuable. There are applications for mobile devices that accurately measure the slope of a roof, including the ability to take digital pictures of the slope from the ground. Summary Pitch and slope do not mean the same thing.

What is the formula of roof?

To calculate your roof area, simply multiply your roof length by your roof slope height, and multiply this by two. This should give you the total area of your roof, not accounting for a chimney or other sections of your roof not covered by tiles.

What is a 30% roof pitch?

What roof pitch is 30 degrees? A 30° roof pitch is roughly the same as a 7/12 roof pitch.

What is a normal roof angle?

Standard Pitches: 3/12 through 9/12 – Standard pitch roofs are the common roofing pitches you’ll find on the main living areas of residential homes. Unlike low slope roofs, areas that have a standard slope can use regular roofing shingles without worry.

What is a roofing calculator?

The roofing calculator allows you to determine the area of the gable or shed roof of your house and to accurately estimate its cost. All you have to know are the dimensions of your house and the roof pitch, and this roof cost calculator will do the rest for you.

What is the standard height of roof?

For residential building standard size of roof height is given as 10 feet. And for commercial building it is given as 10 to 12 feet.

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What is roof slope height?

We’ve put together a handy guide for calculating the pitch of your roof – don’t worry if you get stuck, we’re happy to help and answer any questions you may have! One of the most important considerations, when planning your extension, is to consider what pitch you’d like the roof to be.

Far more than an aesthetic property, the pitch is integral to the build of your home, especially when looking to specify attic trusses. Generally speaking, the steeper the pitch, the more room height that will be available in your attic room. What is the roof pitch? Roof pitch is the angle that is created as the rafter leaves the ceiling joist.

It can also be represented as the proportion between the rise and the run of the roof (for example for every 1 metre in width, the roof rises 1 metre in height – or otherwise known as 45 degrees). The Maths Bit The angle of your roof is calculated the same way you’d work the angle of a right-angled triangle. If you prefer to work the angle out the traditional way without our handy calculator, you can use the following equations to find the length of the rafter and the slope:

Rafter² = Height² + Width² (from Pythagoras, remember that at school?) so; Divide the height of your roof by the width (not the full width, if you’ve measured the full-width wall to wall divide this by 2 first!) (H/W), to get your pitch as a percent. Take your pitch percent and press shift (maybe 2nd Function on your calculator) then press tan and than equals – most smartphone calculators have a scientific option in the settings.

Additional Info Roofs generally fall into 1 of 4 categories. • Shallow Pitched Roofs: Under 25 degrees is considered a shallow roof, Shallow roofs can require additional maintenance and can narrow available tile style selections to specialists forms designed to withstand a shallow angle.

• Conventional Pitch Roofs: Anything between 25 degrees and 47.5 degrees would be considered a conventional pitch truss. These are the easiest to construct and maintain. • High Pitched Roofs: Over 47.5 degrees would be considered a high pitched roof. Higher pitched roofs often need specialist tiles and fitting methods.

A steeper pitched roof could require extra fasteners. • Flat Roofs: In reality flat pitched roofs are not flat. All flat pitched roofs generally contain a fairing or wedge (like cheese!) that gives one side of the roof a little more height than the other.

Is 20 degree roof pitch good?

What impact does the pitch of my roof have on my home? – Your roof pitch is an important aspect of your roof, for everything from achieving a particular architectural aesthetic design to the ease of roof maintenance. The amount of effort put into a roof determines whether the roof can be customised to be either a low, medium or high roof pitch.

This makes roof tiles an ideal choice when concerns about roof angles come into play for roof maintenance and other reasons. But what are the features and benefits of different roof pitches and how do they affect your home? Low Pitch Flat roofs have become synonymous with modern luxury. Not only are they cost effective, but repairs and DIY maintenance can be conducted better and safely on them because they have a low elevation.

Many commercial buildings opt for a low roof pitch because they are cost effective for the roofing industry; because they can be easily installed and air conditioners can be easily serviced on them. Low roof pitch angles range from as little as 4 degrees to 20 degrees.

Medium Pitch Medium roof pitches are completely balanced and perfectly optimised for residential properties. They can be fitted to meet visually engaging classic and contemporary design requirements and because of the steepness of their angles most debris will run-off their surfaces. This makes medium pitch roofs a safe choice for any climate or environment.

Medium roof pitch angles range from 20 degrees to 35 degrees. High Pitch Due to the vertical and steep angle of high-pitch roofs, they are practically immune to debris build-up, which makes them ideal for wet and snowy environments. However, they are the most costly roof type to install and all maintenance MUST be performed by a licensed expert.

Because high pitch roofs have such steep angles, their design has the potential to capture the appeal of onlookers from great distances. Besides residential homes, other common buildings types with high roof pitches include churches, barns and towers. High roof pitch angles range from 35 degrees and over.

To find out more about other design considerations when selecting roof tiles, view our downloadable design guide here.

Is there an app to measure pitch?

Singscope Singscope is a mobile app that shows the pitch of your singing. It analyzes your singing voice, estimates its pitch values, and draws the pitches in a graph as a function of time. The pitches are shown in music scales (C, D, E, F, G, A, B). From the graph, you can check if your singing is stable and on pitch, and can also observe some vibrato characteristics of your singings.

This app is made for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and requires iOS 9.0 or later. It is optimized for real-time* pitch graph display while you sing, for devices with 64-bit CPU, including iPhone 5s and higher, all iPad Air / iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation and higher, iPad mini 2 and higher, and iPod touch 6th generation and higher.

*On earlier generations of iOS devices, the graph display might be slower and delayed. At the end when the graph rendering is completed, you will still get the full pitch graph displayed. See Device Compatibility section later for details. To use Singscope app, simply go to the Singscope View, tap on the Microphone button, and sing to your iPhone (or iPad/iPod). While you sing, watch your pitch graph being drawn in progress. Note that if Singscope does not respond to the voice, please make sure the Microphone is enabled for Singscope in the device’s Settings > Privacy > Microphone, Singscope is sensitive to ambient noise, so it performs better when you sing in a quiet place. Don’t play instruments or music loudly in the backgound while you sing to Singscope. If you’d like to play music for your singing, use earphones or headphones. When you are done with your singing, tap on the Microphone button again to stop recording (or simply keep quiet for a few seconds and wait for the recorder to stop by itself). Then, you can review the pitch graph by pan-and-zoom using typical touch gestures such as drag and pinch. To hear the voice you recorded, tap on the Play button. To clear the pitch graph and start a new one, tap on the New button. Singscope also provide functions to review and save your recorded voices. For details, please see Singscope User Guide,

We regularly update our app to add new functions, improve the usability, and fix problems. To learn more about additional functions, please refer to the following link:

The pitch of your singing is drawn in the music scale as function of time. We call this drawing a pitch graph, In the graph, each vertical grid line indicates a time mark in the unit of seconds. Each horizontal grid line indicates an exact semitone pitch frequency and is labeled by music name and octave number. Here are two sample pitch graphs of singing voices. You can see the moving of your pitch as you sing. You can also observe the vibrato of your singing in the graph. This is a feature pack that adds supports for MusicXML sheet music or lead sheets. With this feature pack, you can import and use your own lead sheets for singing exercises. It also comes with a set of sheet music for singing warm-ups and exercises. When you open a sheet music in the app, you get the following extra functions:

• Highlight the position of the musical notes in pitch graph, so you can check your singing pitch against the musical notes prescribed by the sheet music.
• Play musical notes in the sheet music with piano sound.
• Change tempo, by modifying metronome mark in the sheet music.
• Change key, by music transposition on the sheet music.
• Record your singing voice while playing the musical notes.
• Playback your singing voice with the musical notes sound mixed.
1. For details about this feature pack, please check out its User Guide :
2. For the information about the type of MusicXML Lead Sheets files that are supported and how to use it, please refer to the following link:

This app relies on CPU power for pitch estimation and graph rendering. For smooth real-time graph output, it is recommended to use 64-bit platforms (Apple A7 CPU or higher), including iPhone 5s and higher, iPhone SE, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation and higher, iPad mini 2 and higher, and iPod touch 6 and higher,

For the 32-bit platform with A6 CPU, such as iPhone 5/5c and iPad 4, the app still performs ok without much noticeable delay. On the devices with A5 CPU, such as iPhone 4s, iPad 2/3, iPad mini 1, and iPod touch 5, you might see some delay on real-time graph drawings. Although the drawing of pitch graph might be delayed, at the end when the graph rendering is completed, you still get the full pitch graph displayed.

If you’d like smoother real-time graph display on slower devices, you can lower the setting of Sample Rate (which reduces the voice recording quality), or Spectral Measure Rate (which reduces the pitch graph resolution). These adjustments can reduce the computation complexity and therefore get smoother pitch graph drawing. Singscope utilizes spectral analysis and pitch detection algorithm to estimate pitch from audio signals. The method has its limitations. The first limitation is the range of pitches. Singscope cannot recognize pitches that are too high or too low. The exact range depends on the timbre or characteristic of voice.

1. The second limitation is related to the stability of input sound.
2. Singscope cannot handle voices that are either too short or changing too fast.
3. It may miss a short note.
4. It may also have problems handling large-extent or high-rate vibrato (that is, pitch frequency swing too large or too fast in the vibrato voice).
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Singscope cannot handle more than one singing voice or polyphony. Ambient background music sounds, instrument sounds, and additional singing voices could interfere with its pitch detection. The performance of pitch detection algorithm could also be affected by personal characteristic or timbre of voice, the words in the singing, and some singing styles.

For some types of voice, some harmonics or partials could be mistakenly identified as a pitch. Currently we continue collecting and analyzing more varieties of singing voices and improving the pitch detection performance. The improvement will come in the future app updates. The terms of this app is Apple App Store’s Licensed Application End-User License Agreement.

That is part of the Terms and Conditions you agreed when you signed up with Apple iTunes & App Store. THIS SOFTWARE AND THE INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THIS WEB SITE ARE PROVIDED “AS IS”. ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ARE DISCLAIMED.

IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR AND DEVELOPER, SPRINGWELL MUSIC LLC, BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

: Singscope

What is 4 slope in inches per foot?

While writing our last post, an interesting question came back to me. It was the same question I had when I received the Holts Roof Gauge after purchasing it on eBay and began to look at it closely. What’s the difference between slope and pitch? 1/4 pitch is 6:12 slope? 7/12 pitch is 14:12 slope? What the heck is going on here? I have been in roofing for 35 years and slope and pitch has always meant the same thing to me. Well that sent me off to the internet. I like to think I am a good Googler, so I thought real hard on what would be the best search terms to use and came up with “what’s the difference between roof slope and roof pitch.” I told you I was a good Googler.

I hit enter, and voilà, my question was answered. Hello Mr. NACHI (that’s The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors for those who are not friends). The NACHI website has a super duper good answer to my question. Granted, the NACHI article is geared more towards shingles and Mule-Hide doesn’t make shingles anymore, but the information on slope versus pitch is just as relevant for low-slope roofing too.

Here’s what they had to say: Slope Slope is the incline of the roof expressed as a ratio of the vertical rise of the horizontal run, where the run is some portion of the span. This ratio is always expressed as inches per foot. Slope Ratio A roof that rises 4 inches for every 1 foot or 12 inches of run is said to have a “4 in 12” slope.

If the rise is 6 inches for every 12 inches of run, then the roof slope is “6 in 12.” The slope can be expressed numerically as a ratio. The slope ratio represents a certain amount of vertical rise for every 12 inches of horizontal run. For example, a “4 in 12” slope can be expressed as the ratio of 4:12.

A “6 in 12” slope is expressed as 6:12. Slope is expressed:

as a ratio; and in inches per foot

Pitch Pitch is the incline of the roof expressed as a fraction derived by dividing the rise by the span, where the roof span is the distance between the outside of one wall’s top plate to another. Pitch Fraction Historically the word “pitch” meant a ratio between the ridge height to the entire span/width of the building or ratio between the rafter length to the building width.

And back then, the ridge was typically in the middle of the span. This is no longer the case in modern building practices. The ridge can be placed anywhere in the span, from directly middle to either span endpoint. A roof that rises 8 feet over a 24-foot span was said to have a “1 to 3” pitch. If the rise is 4 feet over a 24-foot span, then the roof pitch was said to be “1 to 6.” The pitch can be expressed numerically as a fraction.

The pitch fraction represents a certain amount of vertical rise over the entire span. For example, given a roof with a rise of 4 feet and a span of 24 feet, the pitch is “1 to 6”, which can be expressed as the fractkion of 1/6. A “12 to 24” pitch in expressed as 1/2.

What is a 1 in 100 fall?

Introduction to Gradients – A gradient is a complicated word for quite a simple concept. The gradient refers to the change rate or how steep a slope is. Take for instance a gradient of slope that is 1 in 100 (1:100) A 1:100 slope means that for every 100 metres along the ground, the slope height increases or decreases by 1 metre.

What happens if roof pitch is too low?

Low pitch roofs can have difficulty draining and may leak – Low pitch roofs benefit from allowing more rain to run-off than flat roofs do, however, they can still struggle with water building up and weighing the roof down. This is why it’s key to use roof tiles that are good quality, lightweight and non-porous.

How do you calculate roof rise?

Determining Roof Pitch The angle, or pitch, of a roof is calculated by the number of inches it rises vertically for every 12 inches it extends horizontally. For example, a roof that rises 6 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run has a 6-in-12 pitch.

Can you walk on a 7 pitch roof?

In a continuation of our “You should probably already know this” educational blog series, this week we’re taking a look at the importance of pitch and how you can easily find it today. (Trigger warning: this blog contains the use of technology in roofing and may cause anyone who uses the phrase “back in my day” to leave angry comments below, you’ve been warned.) The pitch of a roof is one of the most important considerations in your project. It’s a huge factor in all of your linear measurements, eyeball it at your own peril. When pitch is miscalculated, it can cost you in supply overages, shortages, and even your labor rates! When your crews are actually on the roof, the pitch can be the difference between a quick and easy tear-off and a scaffolding and steep-charges nightmare.

1. For the vast majority of residential roofs, the pitch won’t exceed 9/12, usually falling somewhere between there and 4/12.
2. Now’s a good time to talk about how pitch is usually represented.
3. The roof’s pitch is the angle of the roof, usually presented as the inches of vertical “rise” over 12 inches of horizontal “run.” Generally anything above a 7/12 is considered a non-walkable roof and requires some extra equipment and usually some extra cost to the customer.

The roof you see to the right is a 15/12, as you can see from the pitch finding app the roofer uses in the middle of the video. Try to resist the urge to call OSHA. Determining the pitch prior to creating the project estimate is absolutely pivotal. If you’re a RoofSnap subscriber, or have ever ordered a SketchOS report from us, you’ll know that while we offer different tools for determining pitch from aerial imagery, we always suggest confirming pitch on site during your inspection.

• This week we want to highlight how to do that quickly and easily.
• A quick caveat, we here at RoofSnap love using technology to make our lives and your job easier and more efficient.
• That being said, when you introduce new technology to your workflow, it’s important to test it thoroughly to be sure you know the best practices and don’t introduce inaccuracies.
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One of the quickest and easiest ways to determine pitch now is through one of the many apps available in the Google Play and iOS App stores. Many of these now use your device’s camera to gauge the pitch, and can be very accurate. User error is always a possibility though, make sure that you follow your app’s instructions on usage to insure your measurements are accurate. With most camera-based pitch gauges, you’ll want to stand directly in front of the rake and far back for accuracy. We’d be remiss if we didn’t include our good old-fashioned level in this list. Though we probably shouldn’t call this bad boy “old-fashioned.” With it’s short form-factor and digital display, this is the kind of non-app tool that we can really get behind.

As long as you don’t leave this in the truck or back at the office, it’s about as quick of a measuring solution as any, The only downside with a physical measuring solution is that it isn’t the only tool you’ll need to determine your pitch. If you don’t have your ladder with you as well, you and your level are stuck on the ground.

If you do have your ladder, but not your level, an app that utilizes your device’s internal gyroscope to determine pitch can be a lifesaver. Just make sure that both your phone and the app are calibrated correctly, and maybe try it out on some roofs you’ve determined pitch on previously before you trust it fully.

1. Lastly we’d like to highlight our in-app pitch finding solutions.
2. On your iOS device, you can use either Google’s Street View or Apple Flyover imagery in conjunction with our 3D pitch card to determine pitch before you get on site.
3. When the imagery is available, this is a great way to come prepared to your appointment, with an estimate already in hand.

And we’re working to bring this feature to our other platforms in the near future. Unfamiliar with the RoofSnap pitch card? Click here to see it in action! If you take away anything from this week’s blog, it should be that pitch is nothing to overlook when it comes to your project. Whatever method you use to determine the angle of your roof, make sure it’s tried and true.

Is a 4/12 roof steep?

Architecturally described as a ‘dramatic pitch,’ the extremely steep roof (ESR) is considered to have a pitch in excess of 12:12, up to a plumb vertical plane. OSHA defines a ‘steep roof’ as any roof with a rise/run ratio over 4:12 (18.43 degrees).

Is a 4/12 roof pitch good for snow?

now is a reality in just about all mountain environments. For those who choose to live in snow country it can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective and the situation you are currently facing. If you are standing at the top of Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort the morning after a big snow storm, you will likely be counting your blessings. A mountain home designed by Hendricks Architecture in a moderate snow year. Snow and the mountain environment are tough on everything, and your home is no exception. A mountain home should to be able to withstand all that nature throws at it and provide its inhabitants with a warm, dry sanctuary from the elements.

1. When we design homes in the mountains, we pay careful attention to all the details of the building envelope to insure that the finished product will perform well.
2. The most important component in a building’s envelope is the roof.
3. A good roof can be the difference between a home that ages gracefully and one that deteriorates quickly and requires frequent maintenance.

It is not uncommon in our area to have several feet of snow on a roof in the winter. Besides being able to support the weight of all that snow, a roof needs to be designed to avoid ice dams, sliding snow, excessive icicle formation, and drainage onto high traffic areas.

• The easiest and most common sense approach is to keep the roof as simple as possible, avoiding excessive valleys, crickets, dormers, and mechanical roof penetrations.
• This is easier said than done, and in general the more complex the floor plan is the more complex the roof will be.
• Simple roofs also may tend to look “plain”.

On mountain style homes it is always a fun design challenge to create a roof that looks good, works with the desired floor plan, and handles snow well. Some general guidelines that we try to adhere to:

Avoid areas that will trap snow and lead to excessive accumulation, especially on the North side of the roof. The roof should be designed with overhangs large enough to provide protection for the walls and windows below. Roof slopes lower than 4/12 tend to perform well with metal roofs, which are less prone to leakage and ice dam formation. At these slopes, snow creeps rather than slides and is easy to manage. On roof slopes between 4/12 and 6/12, rough textured roofing materials work best. They hold the snow in place and keep it from accumulating and then sliding off in large slabs that can be dangerous. People have been killed by snow avalanches sliding off roofs during big snow winters. Slopes greater than 6/12 will tend to shed snow regardless of the texture of the material on them, so roof slopes should be configured to avoid shedding anywhere people might be walking or exiting. The higher the roof pitch, the more often the snow slides off. So in general, the shallower pitch can be more dangerous with bigger slides. If the design necessitates a roof slope that drains onto a traffic area, snow retention devices should be provided to hold the snow in place. Proper roof ventilation and high R-value roof insulation is essential to minimizing ice dam formation. In some cases, roof snow melt systems or heat tape can be used to combat ice accumulation on eaves and in valleys. Shed dormers are easier to waterproof and shed snow better than gable dormers. Shed dormers should be considered if the design and style of the home allow. In areas prone to excessive snow accumulation (like Schweitzer and similar alpine environments), gutters should be avoided if possible. Sliding snow tends to tear them off, require frequent replacement or repair. In general, on mountain homes we recommend using gutters only where they are necessary to avoid undesirable drainage situations. Try to combine roof penetrations for plumbing and HVAC vents. Routing them to a central chimney helps limit cluttering the roof with vents that sliding snow can damage. Use direct vent mechanical appliances that vent through the wall when possible.

Common sense would suggest that snow accumulation on a roof is a bad thing. In fact, having a reasonable depth layer of snow on a roof is a good thing as long as the roof is designed to handle the weight. It is a sign that the roof is adequately insulated and vented.

• It also provides an additional level of insulation and protects the roofing material from sun exposure, which is your roof’s worst enemy.
• A house that has a bare roof when all the others in the area are covered in snow or has excessive ice formation is a sure sign of poor insulation and inadequate venting.

In extreme big snow winters, excessive snow accumulation is unavoidable. Unless your home is purposely designed for much more than the typically required snow load, this is a problem that the best design can’t always resolve. As far as we know, there is only one solution – get out the shovel, call your friends (or winter maintenance company), and get to work! Selle Valley Construction, a Sandpoint contractor, has some great winter weatherization tips,

If you are looking to build a new home or remodel your existing one, we can help you design a beautiful home that will provide shelter from the mountain weather and provide a sanctuary for your family for generations to come. Tom Russell, LEED AP, and John Hendricks, AIA Architect ‍ Hendricks Architecture specializes in the design of mountain style homes and cabins, often with a rugged, rustic appearance including the use of stone and timbers.

Most of the homes we’ve completed are in mountain resort areas throughout the West. Visit our portfolio for examples of some of our recently completed custom projects. Previous Post: Residential Heating Options