Roof Pitch Factor Chart • Roof Pitch Multiplier Explained

Roof Online Staff

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Note on Proper Format When Stating Roof Pitch

When you talk about roof pitch, the correct way to say a specific pitch is to use the format “X-in-12”, so if you’re talking about a roof that rises 7 units for every 12 units it runs horizontally, you would say that the roof has a 7 in 12 pitch.

In roofing industry literature, the standard abbreviation used for indicating a particular roof pitch has a colon and takes the form “X:12” or “X : 12”, so for a 7 in 12 pitch, you would write “7:12 pitch”.

As a practical matter, it seems like almost everyone searching for information about roof pitch on the internet is searching for a roof pitch using a slash, as in “7/12”. In order to help more people find what they’re looking for, we are using the “X/12” form in our roof pitch factor table below.

What is a Roof Pitch Factor?

A roof pitch factor, also called a roof pitch multiplier, is a number that you use to find the actual surface area of a pitched roof or the length of a common rafter.

You multiply the roof pitch factor by the area, or footprint, covered by a sloped roof to find the actual surface area of the roof.

You multiply the roof pitch factor by the run (length of the horizontal distance covered) of a common rafter to find its actual length.

Use Standard Pitch to Find the Multiplier

You will need to know the slope of your roof in the standard pitch format “X-in-12″ for the rest of this page to make sense.

For help converting from degrees or percentage to traditional pitch, see our pages Roof Slope Equivalents or Roof Pitch to Degrees • Degrees to Roof Pitch.

Roof Pitch Multiplier Formula

Once you know your roof slope expressed as “X-in-12″ (rise-in-run), the roof pitch multiplier is determined by finding the square root of ((rise/run)² + 1).

Remember that the slope of the roof provides the rise and the run to be plugged into the equation. A roof pitch of 4-in-12 (4:12) has a rise of 4 and a run of 12.

So you divide the rise by the run (the run is always 12 and the rise depends on your particular roof).

Square the result.

Add 1.

Find the square root of the result.

(There’s a good calculator here.)

Using the Pitch Multiplier for Common Rafters

The roof pitch factor is used to calculate the length of common rafters.

To find the length of a common rafter, determine its span from the bottom of the end of the rafter tail to the top of the ridge cut at the ridge board. Once you know the actual horizontal distance it will cover, use the formula above.

Multiply the roof pitch multiplier by the run of the rafter (the horizontal distance covered by the rafter). That will give you the proper rafter length.

To find the location of the heel cut, the multiplier is multiplied by the “effective run” of the rafter. The effective run is the horizontal distance covered by the rafter from the near side of the ridge board, where the head cut will be, to the outside of the wall plate, where the heel cut will be.

Always measure for every rafter, even being off ⅛-inch can make a big difference if the error gets multiplied as you go along.

using a slope finder to find the roof pitch, which is the first step to finding the roof pitch multiplier
An accurate measurement of the slope is one of the most important pieces of information to have about a roof.

Notes

The following table provides the roof pitch multiplier for roofs of various slopes. For a more detailed explanation of the roof pitch multiplier, see “How to Find the Area of a Sloped Roof“.

If you know the roof pitch in degrees, find the secant of the slope using a scientific calculator. For example, if the roof pitch is 45°, then sec(45) = 1.414213. That’s your roof pitch multiplier.

If you’re not sure what the pitch of your roof is and you want to figure that out, we recommend this slope finder on Amazon. It’s very inexpensive and very accurate.

One more thing: if you’re using this table, you should consider getting yourself a construction calculator. This one is very good.

Roof Pitch Factor Table

Roof Pitch Multipliers by Slope
(Roof Pitch Factors)
Roof Slope
(Rise-in-Run)
Roof Slope
(In Degrees)
Roof Pitch Multiplier
0.5-in-12 2.39° 1.001
1/12 4.76° 1.003
1.5/12 7.13° 1.008
2/12 9.46° 1.014
2.5/12 11.77° 1.021
3/12 14.04° 1.031
3.5/12 16.26° 1.042
4/12 18.43° 1.054
4.5/12 20.56° 1.068
5/12 22.62° 1.083
5.5/12 24.62° 1.100
6/12 26.57° 1.118
6.5/12 28.44° 1.137
7/12 30.26° 1.158
7.5/12 32.01° 1.179
8/12 33.69° 1.202
8.5/12 35.31° 1.225
9/12 36.87° 1.250
9.5/12 38.37° 1.275
10/12 39.81° 1.302
10.5/12 41.19° 1.329
11/12 42.51° 1.357
11.5/12 43.78° 1.385
12/12 45° 1.414
12.5/12 46.17° 1.444
13/12 47.29° 1.474
13.5/12 48.37° 1.505
14/12 49.4° 1.537
14.5/12 50.39° 1.568
15/12 51.34° 1.601
15.5/12 52.25° 1.634
16/12 53.13° 1.667
16.5/12 53.97° 1.700
17/12 54.78° 1.734
17.5/12 55.56° 1.768
18/12 56.31° 1.803
18.5/12 57.03° 1.838
19/12 57.72° 1.873
19.5/12 58.39° 1.908
20/12 59.04° 1.944
20.5/12 59.66° 1.979
21/12 60.26° 2.016
21.5/12 60.83° 2.052
22/12 61.39° 2.088
22.5/12 61.93° 2.125
23/12 62.45° 2.162
23.5/12 62.95° 2.199
24/12 63.43° 2.236
24.5/12 63.90° 2.273
25/12 64.36° 2.311
25.5/12 64.80° 2.349
26/12 65.22° 2.386
26.5/12 65.64° 2.424
27/12 66.04° 2.462
27.5/12 66.43° 2.500
28/12 66.80° 2.539
28.5/12 67.17° 2.577
29/12 67.52° 2.615
29.5/12 67.86° 2.654
30/12 68.20° 2.693
30.5/12 68.52° 2.731