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What You Need to Know About Roof Pitch

By Steve Bielinski, COO

There are a few things that you don’t think about much until you start building your home. Roof pitch is one of those things. But what really is the difference between this slope or that slope on a roof? Here’s the breakdown.


Before we get into it, let’s define what roof pitch really means. Our roof pitch is represented by a number. For example, let’s say 8. But that number is really a ratio — 8:12. That means for every 12” horizontally, the roof rises 8” vertically. If a roof has a pitch of 7:12, that means for every 12 horizontal inches, the roof rises 7 vertical inches.

But all you really need to know is that a higher vertical number means a steeper pitch.


Not to be shallow, but sometimes looks really are important. And the pitch of your roof is no different. Steeper pitches often look more expansive and grand. Some Bielinski Homes premiere and other high-end neighborhoods will require a roof pitch above a certain amount because it looks more impressive.

Roof pitch can be determined by the style of home. A modern prairie-style home will generally have a lower roof pitch, while a French country home will generally have a steeper roof.


But roof pitch isn’t only about style. A steeper roof pitch allows snow and water to move off the roof quicker. In the winter, if snow stays on your roof, the freeze/thaw cycle may cause ice dams underneath your shingles that could possibly contribute to roof leaks. For that reason, Bielinski will never build roofs with pitches of 6 or below. It just simply would not work in a Wisconsin winter in the long term.

When you’re ready to get into a new home designed and built specifically for Wisconsin weather, start by checking out our new homes near you.
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