What is a dual pitched roof and what are the pros and cons?

timber clad self build in large field
(Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

Dual pitched roofs are among the most common in the UK — but what does it mean and what do they look like? 

Having a firm grasps on construction terms and phrases such as foundation types, roof pitch and building materials will ensure any project, big or small will be clear and easy to follow, for both you and your architect/supplier. 

Find out what you need to know about this type of roof below, how to spot one in the future, and what the advantages are to this roof style. 

What is a dual pitched roof?

A pitched roof simply has a structure with a slope to it, so a dual pitched roof has two sides which are angled. We see these commonly in a A shape in gable ends. 

A roof pitch with only one slope is known as a monopitch, a style which is usually seen on lean-to extension and modernist building designs. 

The phrasing can lead to some misconception that a 'dual pitched roof' means a home with two separate (usually) gables roofs.   

white cottage with timber clad extension to side

The white section of this home has a dual pitched roof, while the single-storey timber-clad extension has a monopitch lean-to extension.  (Image credit: Nikhilesh Haval)

Can a roof have two different pitches?

While most roofs meet at the same angle or pitch, there are some homes that can include different pitches of roofs that join together. 

While this style of roof is difficult to get right and look appropriate, it can achieve some interesting designs. 

Dormer windows are often a good example of two different pitches on one roof structure, but also pitched roof extensions set at different angles can help to distinguish the new addition from the old property. 

Why choose a dual pitched roof structure?

Dual pitched roofs are chosen for most homes because they offer strong structural stability that can withstand heavy rain (the slope helps with run-off) as well as snow. The design usually means that the home benefits from more living space in the roof, or the use of loft or attic for storage. 

Pitched roofs also offer the ability to include vaulted ceilings in an interior design — a feature that is proving increasingly popular in home designs. 

traditional oak frame home with sun room and garden patio

This home features two dual pitched roofs (one above the timber and rendered section, and the other above the sun rom). Designers at Border Oak carefully ensured that the different pitches of each roof look appropriate when sat together.  (Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

What are the disadvantages of pitched roofs?

Pitched roofs don't always offer the desired house style in self builds and extensions so homeowners may choose to use more contemporary-style flat roofs that also offer the ability to support a green roof. 

Generally, pitched roofs cost more than flat roofs and can take longer to install thanks to their more complex structure and need for more materials.

However, if you're looking to include solar panels on your roof, you will have to consider the cost of mounting them on a flat roof compared with a pitched one.

Green roofs can also increase the cost of flat roofs as they require more structural support and intricate waterproofing for best results.

Amy Reeves

Assistant Editor Amy began working for Homebuilding & Renovating in 2018. She has an interest in sustainable building methods and always has her eye on the latest design ideas. Amy has interviewed countless self builders, renovators and extenders about their experiences for Homebuilding & Renovating magazine. She is currently renovating a mid-century home, together with her partner, on a DIY basis, and has recently fitted her own kitchen.