Flat vs. Pitched Roofs

There are a lot of different types of roofs out there, but they can be divided into two broad categories: pitched and flat.

Pitched is more popular for homes, and flat is more popular for businesses – but why?

Read on to learn more about pitched vs flat roofs and see how a great Los Angeles roofer can help you with whichever of these roof types you have!

Flat Roofs

Flat roofs are most common in commercial and industrial buildings, and in multi-family homes like apartment buildings. If you look closely at one of these buildings, you may notice that it’s not completely level up top – there’s a gentle slope.

In the construction industry, a flat roof is any roof with less than a 2% pitch. A slight angle can help rain drain off instead of pooling on top.


Flat roof installation in Los Angeles is inexpensive when compared to pitched roofs. This is because it uses significantly less material and labor. Repair costs tend to be cheaper, too.

These roofs can also provide a lot of extra space. That can mean a safer place to put an A/C unit or two, but it can also mean a rooftop garden or deck. The sky is – quite literally – the limit.


Even with a gentle slope to let rain drain off, these roofs collect a lot of water. This can mean your flat roof installation in Los Angeles takes a pounding in a rainstorm – a once-rare weather phenomenon that could soon become all too common.

Stress from weather, along with the fact that flat roofs tend to get more foot traffic, leads to a much shorter lifespan than a pitched roof, as well as more frequent repairs.

Additionally, flat roofs can’t be shingled. This means that when a repair needs to happen, it’s not a simple matter of installing a few new shingles on top.

Pitched Roofs

A pitched roof is typically between 25 and 47.5 degrees – the bigger the number, the steeper the pitch. The slant allows water to drain off easily.

Most single-family homes or duplexes in the Los Angeles area have pitched roofs.


Pitched roofs tend to be much more durable. A shingle roof expert will tell you that a well-installed roof can last 20 years or longer, depending on the material used.

That’s what makes them a popular choice for homes; the average owner will only have to re-roof once at most.

These roofs also leak less often than flat roofs. As rainstorms in the LA area only get more severe, this can be a major plus.

And, as mentioned earlier, a repair on a pitched roof often just means replacing one or two shingles. You can’t get faster or easier than that.


Pitched roofs can be 3-4 times more expensive than flat roofs to install or replace. You simply need more materials and labor.

With a flat roof, it’s possible to investigate a potential problem yourself. However, it’s unsafe for a homeowner to do that on a pitched roof; you need to hire a shingle roof expert.

Final Thoughts

Whether your roof is flat or pitched, you can make the most of it by using high-quality materials and a high-quality Los Angeles roofer. Investing in your property always pays off in the long run.