When you delve into the world of roofing, you’ll come across various terms and measurements. One of these is the roof pitch, often represented as a fraction like 8/12. But what does this fraction mean, and is an 8/12 pitch roof considered steep? In this blog, we’ll break down roof pitch, explain what an 8/12 pitch means, and discuss whether it’s steep or not.

Understanding Roof Pitch

Roof pitch is a crucial aspect of roofing design. It indicates the steepness or slope of a roof. Roof pitch is typically expressed as a fraction, with the first number representing the vertical rise, and the second number representing the horizontal run. For example, in an 8/12 pitch roof, for every 8 inches of vertical rise, there are 12 inches of horizontal run.

What Does 8/12 Pitch Mean?

Now that we know how to read roof pitch, let’s interpret what an 8/12 pitch roof signifies:

  • The first number (8) represents the vertical rise, which is 8 inches.
  • The second number (12) represents the horizontal run, which is 12 inches.

So, for an 8/12 pitch roof, there is an 8-inch vertical rise for every 12 inches of horizontal run.

Is an 8/12 Pitch Roof Steep?

Whether an 8/12 pitch roof is considered steep depends on various factors, including personal perspective and regional standards. Here’s a general guideline:

  • Low Pitch: Roofs with pitches between 2/12 and 4/12 are considered low-pitched or low-slope roofs. These are relatively flat and are often found on modern homes.
  • Moderate Pitch: Roofs with pitches between 4/12 and 8/12 are considered moderately pitched. They strike a balance between flat and steep and are common in many residential constructions.
  • Steep Pitch: Roofs with pitches of 8/12 or higher are classified as steep-pitched roofs. These roofs have a steeper slope, which can have both functional and aesthetic advantages.

So, by general standards, an 8/12 pitch roof is considered steep. It has a significant vertical rise for every foot of horizontal run, making it steeper than the average residential roof.

Advantages of Steep Pitch Roofs

Steep-pitched roofs offer several advantages:

  1. Better Drainage: Steeper roofs allow rainwater and snow to run off quickly, reducing the risk of water damage and leaks.
  2. Enhanced Aesthetics: Many homeowners prefer the look of steep-pitched roofs for their architectural appeal.
  3. Additional Living Space: Steeper roofs can create usable attic or storage space, increasing the overall square footage of your home.
  4. Improved Ventilation: Steeper roofs often allow for better attic ventilation, which can help regulate temperatures and extend the lifespan of roofing materials.


In conclusion, an 8/12 pitch roof is considered steep by general standards. It has a significant slope, offering advantages such as efficient water drainage, enhanced aesthetics, and additional living space. However, whether a roof is steep or not can be relative, and what’s deemed steep in one region may not be the same in another. Understanding roof pitch is crucial when planning roofing projects, as it influences design, material choices, and the overall look of a structure.


As a civil engineer and roofer, I love to share the experience that I have gained through the last couple of years. In the roofing industry, practical experience is a very crucial fact that can help you a lot. Hence, I want to help you with my blog.

Write A Comment