Quarve Contracting
Thursday 2 August 2018

How the Shape of the Roof Impacts Your Roof Replacement Decisions – Part 1

Posted by at 7:22 PM

Replacing a roof on a home is rarely exciting, but for those who own their homes for more than a few years, it's something that has to be dealt with. And when you're planning on a new roof, there are a lot of choices you have to make.  You have to decide what materials to use, what color the roof should be, who should do it and so on. However, you probably didn’t know that you might be limited on the options and decisions you have to choose from and make because of the shape of the roof that you have. With different shapes, sizes, heights, steepness and more, every roof can be different from the next. Due to this, some roofing materials might be better suited for certain roofs over others. It is important to choose the roofing material that works the best for you and your roof. Roof Pitch The roof pitch describes the amount of slant. The roof's pitch is going to make a difference in which roofing materials are best for the roof.  Roof pitch is described with two numbers; the first number is vertical and the second number is horizontal.  For example, a roof with a pitch of 5:12 means that this particular roof rises vertically 5" for every 12" of horizontal stretch.  Roof pitch is also sometimes referred to as 'slope.'  Any roof with a pitch of 3:12 or a lower vertical number is considered a 'low slope' roof. Low pitches are usually seen on just porches, though there have been other homes where the whole house was this slope.  We don't see many roofs with this configuration here in Minnesota because the weight of snow build-up on a relatively flat roof. High pitched roofs create a steep roof. These generally require more skill to install, as working on such a steep angle can be dangerous. You want to go with a long-term roofing decision on this one, as it can be costly to keep having to replace the roof time and time again. If you have a roof with a steep pitch, we would definitely recommend steel or other metal roofing so you'll have a roof you should never have to replace again. Multi-pitched homes are also something that you will find from time to time. Not all homes are created equal and the same goes for the roofs on them.  The most common roof in the U.S. is a gable roof, also called a peaked roof. This design consists of a solid slope on each of the long sides of the home, with gables on each end. Modern homes often have a more complicated design layout to them, and it's not uncommon to have a  home with several different roof areas, with varying pitches. You can see that in the home shown here at right (it's one of our projects.) The pitches over the front entry and the left front side are fairly steep, while the pitch over the garage and the bow window are more shallow. Replacing a roof on a home like this can be a complicated (i.e. more expensive) process, because varying techniques are needed.  We don't recommend that homeowners ever tackle a roof replacement themselves, but especially not in a case like this. It is important to consider the pitch of your roof when it comes to roofing materials. The more steep or intricate the roof is, the harder the job is going to be. This is why it is important to consider having a longer lasting roofing material put on it and a professional that knows what they are doing. Speak with our roof replacement experts here at Quarve Contracting.  We can give you even more information regarding the roofing material we would suggest for the roof’s pitch on your home. Quarve Contracting, Inc. is a licensed Minnesota exterior home improvement company specializing in metal roofing. We serve the greater Minneapolis metro area.