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Help with roof pitch on 8’ ceiling new build!

Angela
September 21, 2019

Hello, we are building an open floor plan 1400 square foot house, one story (low country style). Our builder asked what roof pitch we want. We are putting one large dormer that will open into the main area. The ceilings are 8’. We are thinking 9/12 or 10/12 roof pitch to put a large picture we have up but I cannot find images of what the inside ceilings will look like with these pitches. Help!

Comments (59)

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    You will never see any significant difference between a 9/12 and a 10/12 slope roof. Pick one. It won't matter.


    If your builder doesn't have accurate, dimensioned plans to share with you, you need to find another builder. ASAP!


    Your posted plan and perspective are in need of substantial improvements. Now's the time, before construction starts.

  • new-beginning

    that angled kitchen counter is horrible.

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  • Angela

    I guess we'd be open to small changes but nothing major as construction has already begun and we've closed on our construction loan, so no major changes allowed. We had an architect do a floor plan with dimensions but it shows so small on here I don't think it would be viewable. There are minor changes we've already made that aren't shown on the drawings.

    The house faces the east. We have a beautiful view of the mountains on a fairly level slope for western NC. The price difference between 8' and 9' walls is over $10,000 as we were told so it's really not worth it for us. We will most definitely be using the screened in 3 sided deck. That will likely be used more than the inside. :)

  • Angela

    I will post the updated floorplan I just hope it comes out visibly! :)

  • Angela

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/r3i2m6m0fbez0a9/Angie's Floorplan- Bathroom Option One.pdf?dl=0

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    WARNING: Posting your entire floor plan opens you up to facts you may not want to know, but should. Be prepared for suggestions that will make for a better design. Keep a thick skin, open mind, sense of humor, and a glass of wine within arms reach. You may not enjoy it, but everyone else will and you will be better off in the long run if you heed well the advice.

  • Angela

    Lol thank you Mark!

  • cpartist

    You won’t be using the deck in the afternoon if it faces west!

    Im sorry but there’s a lot of issues with your house but i’m on an ipad for the next to days so it’s hard for me to comment if you don’t post it on this thread.

    First thing is the toilet up against the master bedroom wall

    That kitchen is very poorly designed. I suggest before you go further you post your kitchen in the kitchen forum

  • Angela

    As I said the house faces east, not west, no part of the porch faces west at all. The toilet is fine, every house I've ever lived in had the same design and haven't had an issue yet in 40 something years. lol Thanks for the suggestion but we're good with the kitchen. :)

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Well...sounds like construction is underway and you really don't want any further advice.


    The slope of the roof really doesn't matter whether it's 9/12 or 10/12, since you won't be able to look at the house and tell the difference.


    Goid luck!

  • Junk*Salvation

    Where did the dining room go on the floorplan? The original one showed a dining space. I'm not seeing one on the new plan.

  • chispa

    The plan was done by an architect or a draftsman?

    Lots of small changes that would have improved your plan. $10k is real money, but if you ever need to sell, you will be docked way more than that for the 8' ceilings.

    Best of luck with the build!

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    How far along is the construction and how fast is the builder building?

  • vinmarks

    Will you have no dining area?

  • Angela

    Thank you Virgil Carter Fine Art! Since you said it won't make much difference I think we'll do the 9/12 pitch and call it a day. :). It will still give us the higher ceilings in the center but also help with energy efficiency by not being too high.

    So far on the construction the basement walls are up and floor poured. The house should be done by around January depending on weather. We are looking at a folding table that goes against the wall for a dining table but no dining room. Such a huge waste of space and we are downsizing to live more simply. This is our retirement home. We just used an architect to draw up our plans and she was phenomenonally helpful on measurements and space issues! :).

  • lafdr

    It looks like you will have a wonderful retirement home. Enjoy it. I know a lot of thought went into your design and lot placement and I hope you have many great years in it!

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    Consider having at least 18" of counter space on each side of a kitchen sink. A 6' wide walk-in closet will give you less than 2' isle space. In inclement weather, walking directly into a living room from the main entry doors is not ideal. A shower head located in an exterior wall in cold climate areas invites frozen pipes. The double door entry near the garage seems like an overkill. A corner clothes closet is an inefficient waste of space. If the person that drew the plans is not licensed as an architect by the State in which they practice, please do not refer to them as an "architect".

    And I agree with lafdr.

  • Angela

    Thanks for the ideas! We actually won't really be using the front entry except to enter the porch, we will be entering either through the garage or through the mudroom double door. The reason for that door is for our fur babies as that will be the primary door in and out. The door to the garage is there for entry into the garage and because its required. I guess I don't understand the corner clothes closet one, the walk-in in the master bedroom? That's a definite necesiity if so. Lol

    Actually she is licensed in the state she practices but thank you for the info. Thanks for the heads up and thanks for the good thoughts! We are very excited to finally be in our "forever" home. Take care!

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Well...if you actually won't be using the front entry have you considered omitting it and saving the cost of a door?

    Just a little joke for all those who post here, thinking the front entry and foyer design of their house are not important...

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    That is just plain ugly and serves no purpose at all and you would be saving a lot of money on construction and heating and cooling too. I have a ranch with a low pitch roof and no “roof Monitor” and I love it it has lots of large windows and a nice overhang to keep the sun out in the summer and allow it in in the winter to help heat the house. This is my LR and I have never thought I needed it to be vaulted.




  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    Since you will be using trusses, I assume the thing on the roof will be fake so you can call it whatever you like but if you want it to look like a dormer, you'll need a pretty steep roof.

    You will also need drawings including a section drawing cut through the thing on the roof.

    The roof monitor shown below contains a clerestory window but in this case, because its a strong roof element, I would call it a roof monitor.

    When you add trusses it doesn't actually have a function so its difficult to know what to call it. Perhaps "simulated dormer".

    If you want it to look like a dormer, design the space under the roof as if it might have been occupied if not full of trusses.



  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    What is the function of the space shown in the circle in the partial plan below?


  • Angela

    That's a closet in the study.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Does it strike you as an unusual closet?

  • vinmarks

    This is your forever home. I understand wanting to downsize and live simply but you have no area for dining. Even if you use a fold up table where exactly is it going to fit? Will you have family or friends over for dinner and where will they all sit to eat? Then you have that weird closet in the study. Why a corner closet? Why not make a regular reach in closet to the right of the study doorway? Do you plan to watch any tv in your living room? If so where will the tv be placed?

  • Angela

    There is a small area to put a fold out table in the dining area. its called a cowboy kitchen and is a Murphy style setup. We will not have many people over and maybe twice a year, our preference. The corner closer is a storage closet. It has to go there as we have a Murphy bed along the back wall that will take up the space when pulled out and we have a Murphy desk for in there also. The TV is over the mantle over the fireplace. That's where we've always had it and it works out wonderfully as it can also be seen from the kitchen. The shows on HGTV always make my husband and I laugh when the biggest concern is entertaining and having guests over and people base their whole house around what for some will be 3-4 tines a year. Fortunately that's not our lifestyle so we don't waste space on it. :). My favorite saying...guests are like fish, after 3 days they both start to smell. lol

  • K H

    I can tell budget is a concern. Depending on the depth of your house and whether you plan to have the porch under the trusses or if you are going to break the pitch at the porch should determine main roof pitch. Looks like you have a break at the porch. You don’t want too much roof that would be more costly. The best way to tell appropriate size is a 3-d model. I would go with an 8/12. Our main house (44’ depth) has the porch under the roof but our garage side is a 7/12 with a depth of 29’. Easy way to determine roof height is take your house depth/2 then multiply that by your roof pitch. ( for us 29/2*7/12) We had planned to do an 8/12 and stepping down to 7/12 saved us $2000. I think we could have gotten away with a 6/12 because of our house depth! Congrats on the new build!




  • Angela

    Yes budget is definitely a concern. As we're in the mountains, at least I'm guessing that's why, construction is much more expensive then the state we moved from, PA. That's a good point. We are breaking the pitch at the porch, and the bedrooms etc. The higher pitch is just for the main area as we were in another house he built and the pitch was 3/12 and felt terribly claustrophobic! That was what that owner wanted though so it was perfect for her. So it sounds like that will help us with the cost having it not over the porch. Thanks for your help!

  • Angela

    Some of the previous advice helped so thank you! I found out my husband, who used to do plumbing, already planned on moving the shower head to where the handle is on the interior wall. I forgot we are putting a built in bench on the exterior wall in the tiled in shower. Also we did decide to move the kitchen window and Fisher and Paykal Dishdrawer down so that we could put one of our 18" cabinets to the left of the sink for counter space. We thought about that more and that would be useful. Thank you!

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect

    You may want to think more about that corner storage closet too. Chances are a closet without an angle would be more useful.

  • Angela

    By the way KH your pictures of your house just pulled up, beautiful! That is actually the same color siding we are going with also along with our metal roof. :)

  • Angela

    Thanks but I know we are keeping the corner closet. It works with our Murphy bed and I also talked with my husband and like he said we still have the full closet for storage shelves. It won't have a hanging bar but instead shelves so we can use it for storage the whole ength of both sides. Thanks though!

  • Angela

    KH do you possibly have a picture of the inside of where your pitch is? That's really what I've been trying to find somewhere to determine what ours should be. I'm trying to see how much space we have higher up for a large painting we have and for a possible feature wall. :). Thanks again!

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    What are you asking?


    Your original pose states you have an 8' high wall.

  • K H

    Our ceilings/walls are 9’ we chose not to have a vaulted ceiling. Although it could have been designed into the trusses it would have been a more expensive truss and we would have to heat and cool that space up there so the expense of a vaulted ceiling would have been lifelong! Same expensive trusses if we would have done a room in truss this option added 6k more. Our dormer is not functional.

  • K H

    You can step up trusses but I would assume you would need a load bearing wall where the step up or vault falls. After we designed our house I found a house online that had a similar design using trusses. I really wish we could have had a stick built roof in the end but money got us there too. Let me find that link and maybe it will help.

  • K H

    https://www.architecturaldesigns.com/house-plans/nicely-proportioned-traditional-house-plan-77617fb

    If you scroll down to the bottom is shows the blue house being built and you can see the vaulted ceiling and how the trusses are made. This house has an 8/12 pitched roof. Here is a more direct link to the construction pic. https://www.architecturaldesigns.com/house-plans/nicely-proportioned-traditional-house-plan-77617fb/client_photo_albums/1099

  • Angela

    Thank you so much KH!!! That helps quite a bit! I didn't realize that just because you have a higher pitched roof it doesn't mean you have a vaulted ceiling. Still new to this. lol Thanks again!!

  • live_wire_oak

    Roof pitch has zero to do with ceiling height. Your walls and ceiling is the low 96” throughout. A big flat box. A taller ceiling is cheaper than a vaulted ceiling with it’s more complex insulation details and more expensive trusses. A new home with only 96” ceilings is pretty unusual. That’s going to negatively hit value and resale a lot more than the 10K expense would do. .

  • Angela

    I will politely disagree, maybe it depends on the area?. We priced both and it is significantly less for us to do the vaulted ceiling. in this area 8' ceilings are the norm. I'm sure it can vary depending on the area. Fortunately for us this is our retirement home so we're not as worried about resale as it won't be going for sale. :). I am fortunate we don't have that to worry about. lol

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    You must have a crystal ball. Can I borrow it?

  • Angela

    Sure! It says I know this is my retirement home. I'm staying put. :)

  • PRO
    RES 3d Sketches

    You've waited too late to ask for advice and your drawings are too poorly drawn for anyone to help you with your roof.

    The elevation drawing appears to show your ceiling height at about 16 ft. How did that happen?






  • Angela

    I am amazed that there are people who don't feel they can make their own decisions on their futures and where they will reside. Sure glad I can!

  • Angela

    Wow you really read a lot into my husband"s drawing that was just a sketch. lol Nope that was just a sketch to give the builders we interviewed an idea of what we were looking for. KH and Virgil along with others were very helpful. I spoke with the company about the trusses today. Everything is set up and thank you to those who were so helpful! The truss person did a 3d sketch, which was also helpful and I was unaware they could do, and it looks fantastic! Exactly the right house for my husband and I! :)

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen

    Angela, sometimes Life decides things for you. You must be a pretty young retiree if you haven’t experienced that! We were in our early 40’s when the other half was diagnosed with a permanent debilitating disease. It sure changed a lot of plans! He retired disabled, and I became a Certified Aging in Place Specialist to help others who faced trying to live in their existing homes or create accessible new homes. A retirement home should be fully accessible. That starts with the approach and entry into the home being step free.


    It’s great that you think you won’t move from this home. Given some of the issues with it though, you will be facing some remodeling at some point. Don't you think that it would be better to address some of its issues before it’s built rather than down the road when income and ability may not be as great as it is now? Why design in accessibility problems that you will really regret and will need to change? This forum can really help you with many issues, both functional and aesthetic, if you will allow it to. Defensiveness is only hurting you.



    Good luck with your project!

  • Angela

    I can certainly appreciate your situation and personal decisions. Life will always bring changes, in fact that is why we have planned accordingly with a one story home with the only steps being in the front of which are more for appearance sake. This is the right plan for us of which my husband and I both work very hard to pay for and are proud of.

    No defensiveness just assertiveness. Online bullying has become the norm for many spineless slugs that would not have the guts to say those things in person. I do not back down to such childishness just state where I stand. I have appreciated those that were professional in their suggestions and it is very easy to spot and filter out the non professionals on this site. The professionals truly know how valuable they are. To each their own are definitely words to live by as each person should have the insight to make their own decision as to what is right for them. Have a wonderful day!

  • live_wire_oak

    Not understanding that ceiling height has nothing to do with roof pitch is a pretty big red flag astounding display of showing you that you don’t know what you don’t know about design and construction. That’s huge. Whopping big. On something that obvious and well known? And you didn’t understand that? Take heed!

    You’re willing to risk huge sums of money betting that there aren’t other things that you don’t know you don’t know? There are quite a few issues here that will bite you. Some harder than others. Do you want to benefit from others mistakes? Or do you want to spend 6 figures making your own? WHY wouldn’t you accept help? It’s why you posted!

  • K H

    Did you get vaulted trusses then? 8/12? 9/12? Share a pic of the truss rendering! I’m excited to see how it will look!

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art

    Well...exterior wall height, roof pitch, and ceiling type (flat, vaulted or coffered) are all very different and independent elements in the design and construction of a house.


    Each one is independent of the other.

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