How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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Why does it cost so much more to replace a steep roof than a low slope roof?
Monday, June 18, 2018
There are three factors that make a steep roof more expensive to install:
- More materials - The area of roofing of a 12/12 pitch roof (45º angle) over one square foot of floor area is 1.41 square feet. Another way to say the same thing is that a 12/12 pitch roof requires 41% more roofing material than a flat roof. As the slope of a roof gets cranked up higher and higher, the quantity of materials increases. Also, manufacturers may require additional fasteners for high slope roof.
- More labor - It’s not just the additional roof area that uses more labor, the work goes slower on a steep slope roof because of the difficulty moving around and requires an experienced roofing crew.
- Safety equipment - A roof above approximately an 8/12 pitch is no longer walkable without safety equipment, like roof jacks (brackets attached to the roof with walk boards) and safety harnesses with ropes secured to the ridge of the roof, as in the photo below.
Steep roofs offer advantages that help to offset the additional cost, however, like longer lifespan, better resistance to impact damage, improved attic ventilation, and less debris accumulation on the roof surface.
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To learn more about roofs and attics, see these other blog posts:
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