DIY Guide: How to Calculate Roof Pitch in Under 2 Hours

DIY Guide: How to Calculate Roof Pitch in Under 2 Hours

Understanding Roof Pitch

Calculating the roof pitch is essential for determining the slope of your roof. Roof pitch is often expressed
as a ratio, such as 4:12, where the first number represents the vertical rise for every 12 inches of horizontal
run. The pitch of your roof is crucial for selecting roofing materials and ensuring proper drainage.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Calculator

Steps to Calculate Roof Pitch

  1. Measure the Rise

    Start by measuring the vertical rise of your roof from the edge to the peak. Use a ladder and have someone
    assist you for safety.

  2. Measure the Run

    Next, measure the horizontal run of your roof. This is the distance from the edge of the roof to the peak
    along a horizontal line.

  3. Calculate the Pitch

    Divide the rise by the run to determine the pitch of your roof. For example, if the rise is 4 feet and the
    run is 12 feet, the pitch would be 4:12.

  4. Convert to Degrees

    You can also convert the pitch to degrees using a simple formula: arctan(pitch) = angle in degrees. This
    will give you the angle of your roof slope.

Tips for Accuracy

  • Double-check all measurements to ensure accuracy.
  • Use a level to ensure your measurements are straight.
  • Work with a partner to make the process safer and more efficient.


Calculating your roof pitch is a straightforward process that can be completed in under 2 hours with the right
tools and guidance. Understanding the pitch of your roof is vital for various home improvement projects and
maintenance tasks. By following these steps, you can confidently determine the pitch of your roof and make
informed decisions about your roofing needs.

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