The pitch of a roof refers to how steep it is, ranging from nearly flat to extremely high-pitched. Some of the reasons that pitch varies from house to house is the kind of materials used in the roof, the greater proportion of the structure, the architectural style, and walkability desired.

Pitch is expressed in ratios that refer to the range of the angle. The main purpose of a pitched roof is to drain water and stop it from pooling on the surface, which would cause the roof materials to break down over time. For that reason it’s less common to find flat pitched roofs in areas of the world that get a lot of precipitation.

Pitch is also a central part of adopting an architectural style. Gothic facades bring to mind gabled roofs with severe pitches, while a southwestern ranch brings to mind something much flatter. During construction, the pitch is created by the angle of the rafters above the frame.

The pitch of the roof is one of the most important decisions you can make with a custom home plan. A home designer can help you determine what pitch is best for you.