What Roof Pitch Should You Choose?

Let us help you decide…

Let us first define what a roof pitch is:

metal building roof pitch

In steel building construction, roof pitch is most often applied to the angle of slope of a roof. It is defined as “rise over run”. Thus, a roof that “rises” 3 feet vertically in a “run” of 12 feet horizontally, is referred to as a 3:12 roof pitch. (see featured image)

Typically, the steeply pitched roofs are designed for heavy snow areas where some building departments may require a steeper pitch for enhanced run-off; however, the pitch requirement usually applies to building materials other than steel. With a pre-engineered steel building, the MBS (Metal Building Software) factors in the following: roof pitch, the distance of column spacing, and psi strength of the steel used – so that a 1:12 roof pitch building can be designed to handle a 60 lb. roof snow load equally as a 4:12 pitch.

Roof Pitch Choice

With this in mind, most customers determine their roof pitch based on

1)    Preference of a particular roof pitch appearance,

2)    Whether or not the roof is colored, and/or

3)    Matching roof pitches of existing buildings in the area.

Preference of roof pitch – If someone was raised in the North East where colonial-style homes are the norm, most likely this individual will prefer a high-rise roof appearance. Accordingly, someone growing up in the South West, with a lot of low-rise roof styles, will probably prefer the look of a flatter roof design.

Based on whether the roof is colored – In most cases an I-beam steel building has a standard galvalume finish. To have a colored roof, factor in additional cost.  Though the galvalume finish is not unattractive, it definitely has a bland appearance at best. Consequently, most would prefer a colored roof finish versus a galvalume finish if the roof is visible. As an illustration, the taller the building plus the angle of the slope will determine whether a consumer will be able to see their roof from a curb view. One will be able to see the roof on a steeper 4:12 pitch versus a flatter 1:12 pitch building no matter the building height. 

A final point to consider,  a colored roof has a 40-year paint warranty finish while a galvalume finish has a 30-year warranty.

The matching look of neighboring buildings – The other determinant is matching the roof pitch rise of other buildings in the area.  As an example, if the new steel building will sit alongside a house with a steep pitch, it might be smart to match the roof pitch and color appearance as much as possible for a harmonious appeal.

All in all, deciding upon the roof pitch of your new steel building is an important factor to consider in the design phase of your inspired new project – enhancing your satisfaction with the building for decades to come!

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Client Testimonials

“I ordered three buildings and this has been an excellent experience. The website is extremely helpful for planning purposes. The order process is efficient and the staff is very efficient and helpful. I have already recommended FSO to a friend.”

– 50x100x16   Connie C. 7/2/2018

“Definitely will do business with this company again.”

– by Ivan Timoshuchuk 10/9/2021

“I have purchased and erected four metal buildings in the past. This transaction was the best price by far and the simplest person to deal with. He never tried to constantly up sell me. All my buildings in the future will come from Factory Steel Overstock.”

– by Ralph B.  75 x 90 x 18

– Feb. 06, 2015