To Pitch Or Not to Pitch, That is the Question

Washington roofing contractors give advice on the type of roof to choose for your new construction.

Flat Roofs or Pitched Roofs: Which One is Best?

A roof can make all the difference in the appearance of a house or business. There are many factors that should be considered when choosing what kind of roof to install, and curb appeal is only one aspect. It is always a good idea to explore all the options that are available especially with a big financial investment like a roof.

Defining Terms

So what are pitched roofs and flat roofs and what is the difference between the two? These are not necessarily terms that come into daily vocabulary unless a person is part of a roofing company. A pitched roof is what one might call a traditional roof for a home in this part of the world. They are angled and form a point or ridge at the top that gives a home its triangular top. 

flat roof, on the other hand, is fairly self-explanatory and is often seen on an apartment building or a business.  There are positives and negatives about each roofing type, and in the end, the owner needs to be satisfied with whatever decision they make.  

Flat Roof Pros and Cons

Flat roofs tend to be a good commercial option and give a definitively modern aesthetic. Though they are called flat, they are built with a slight grade in order to encourage water flow toward the gutter system. 


  • Less Expensive: There is a smaller initial cost for flat roofs due to simpler design and less time to build
  • More Uniform Space: The pitched roof creates a triangular attic space which can be much harder to make a usable area.
  • Modern Curb Appeal: The flat roof goes very well with a modern straight-lined building.


  • More Maintenance: Because the roof does not as easily clean itself as a pitched roof, the flat roof is more often in need of maintenance, even if that maintenance is just removing debris. Roofing repair and roof leak repair can add up to significant costs.
  • Shorter Lifetime: Flat roofs only reliably function for about 10 years. This is less than half the lifespan of a pitched roof.
  • More Leak-Prone: Because the roof is flat it more easily collects water and detritus which can lead to roof damage and leaks.

Pitched Roof Pros and Cons

Pitched roofs with their traditional looks and ability to repel rain and snow are an excellent choice for homes but do come with extra cost.  Their maintenance is less and they can last a very long time. The quick reference of plusses and minuses below should give anyone a place to start when they are considering new builds or roofing replacement.


  • Length of Lifespan: The traditional asphalt roofing lasts a minimum of 20 years, and can function well beyond that. A pitched roof with metal roofing can last 50 years and beyond.
  • Traditional Aesthetic: If the area has more traditional-looking homes, a matching look may be ideal for the home. 
  • Fewer Maintenance Issues: The angle of the pitched roof decreases the amount of damage it takes from inclement weather, and things that fall on it have a tendency to roll off.


  • Dated Look: If a homeowner is going for a more up-to-date modern look for their home, a pitched roof may be incongruous with the design aesthetics.
  • Initial Cost: Pitched roofs take more material and time to build, therefore they are initially much more costly. This is often made up for in lack of later maintenance.

About Cobalt Exteriors, Inc.

With over thirty years of experience in the business of roofing and siding, Cobalt Exteriors, Inc. provides its customers with personalized solutions and high-quality materials. Our reliable staff will do their best to meet our client’s needs. Call Cobalt Exteriors today for information on roofing in the Woodinville, WA area.