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Metal Roof & Wall, Project Planning, Products | May 22, 2024

Metal Roof Types and Roof Slopes Explained

A roof is one of the most expensive investments you’ll make in any home or building. Understandably so, roofs are expected to hold up in thunderstorms and snowy conditions so they must be designed effectively. Choosing the right roof and slope is essential to your steel building. There are two main roof lines that Fortify Building Solutions works with and you have a choice of how steep or shallow your roof is. Let’s take a look at these roof types and describe the different roof slopes so you can make an informed decision on what works best for your metal building. 


Roof Types 


Gable Roof 

A gable roof is defined by the triangular portion of the endwall from the level of the eave to the ridge of the roof. Also known as pitched or peaked roofs, gable roofs are easily identified by their triangular shape and are the most common metal roof type. Benefits of metal gable roofs are that they easily shed water and snow as well as allow for more space, providing higher vaulted ceilings and better ventilation. 



A single-slope roof type requires the sloping of one plane. The slope extends from one sidewall to the opposite sidewall. You often see these metal roof types on retail shopping centers. 

Single-sloped roofs also add architectural and aesthetic appeal. A huge benefit of a single-sloped roof is that water easily runs off the low side of the roof. 



A lean-to is more of an addition as opposed to a roof type however, lean-to’s are very distinctly identified and can have a common roof line if attached at the eave of the main building or a different pitch if connected at least 8” below eave. If the design of a lean-to won’t allow it to depend upon a joining structure for support, it can be free standing. It also slopes one way. You often see lean-to’s as an addition to a building or often as a storage room or enclosed porch. 


Roof Slopes 

The more roof pitch you have, the faster water runs off your roof and is less likely to have leaks. Higher-pitched roofs increase both the total cubic footage and the maximum inside clearance. Also, the extra volume lessens heat buildup which is great in metal buildings that are non- air-conditioned. A 6:12 roof pitch is the maximum pitch Fortify offers. (A roof pitch above 4:12 will require you to use purlin strappings.) 

A shallower roof requires less materials, thus is a cost-efficient option. Shallower roofs make a building easier to heat and cool because it reduces cubic footage. However, a shallower pitched roof holds water longer before it runs off and any extra equipment on low pitched roofs could contribute to ponding (pooling of water). 
A standard roof pitch for a metal building is a 1:12 and to 3:12. 


If you would like to consider any other roof type or have a question about roof slopes, talk to your Fortify representative.