Pitched Roof Installation: What You Need to Know

We all know that roofs are an essential part of any building, so choosing the right type is really important. A roof protects the property’s inhabitants from external conditions, and a properly fitted roof can be the make or break factor to achieve a well-insulated property. Drainage is a massive factor of roofing, and an ill-fitted roof can cause many problems. Pitched roofing provides great drainage solutions, making it a great choice.

What Is a Pitched Roof?

It’s pretty simple: pitched roofs slope downwards, in one, two, or more parts. They descend downwards from a central ridge, the highest point of the roof. Pitched roofs used to be made of timber, but modern pitched roofs are built of concrete and timber. 

Building Regulations Around Roofs

A new roof for a new build property, repair, or an extension, needs to meet legal requirements. If you want to carry out repairs on 25% or more of a roofs surface area, you need to submit a building regulations application. A new roof needs to:

  • Resist weather
  • Be able to support loads
  • Provide insulation
  • Be ventilated
  • Have adequate drainage
  • Resist spread of fire from one property to another

What Makes Pitched Roofs Better than Others?


  • Look good. Pitched roofs are visually pleasing and have a great traditional look. 
  • Effective drainage. Thanks to their sloped design, pitched roofs prevent pooling and leakages.
  • Maximize space. Pitched roofs allow a lot of space for storage and/or for loft conversions.


  • Cost more. Due to the extra materials needed, they can cost more than flat roofs.
  • Harder to install. More complex design than a flat roof, which means it can take longer to install.

Although they may cost more and take longer to install, pitched roofs are likely a better investment than flat roofs. This is thanks to their longevity, better drainage and sound structures.

What Insulation Is Best for Pitched Roofs?

Pitched roof insulation can be easy and affordable with the right products. There are two ways to install insulation for pitched roofs; over rafter and under rafter. Also, a vapour control layer should always be added to remove the risk of condensation and black mould.

Over Rafter Insulation

Insulation positioned over roof rafters of a pitched roof is called a warm roof. Insulation should always be

placed between and over rafters. Over rafter, insulation is installed directly onto the rafters and followed

with counter battens, and then the tiles are placed onto the battens. This application is better suited to

breathable forms of insulation, to allow moisture to escape the roof.

Under Rafter Insulation

This is the opposite of an over rafter; the insulation is installed between and under the rafters. This is

called a cold roof. For this application, a non-breathable product is ideal to stop moisture from reaching

your rafters, ideally a product with a built-in vapour control layer.

How to Install Pitched Roof Insulation

Insulation should be applied directly to the roof from the roll; you can do this horizontally or vertically. To make installation a breeze, you want to have the right tools for the job; having the correct tools means you will fit your insulation correctly and effectively.

When applying externally, start at the bottom of the roof and work upwards. When applying internally, then you need to start at the top of the roof and work downwards. 

Make sure to staple the insulation in place at the start of the roll. Tension should always be applied when installing insulation to ensure no draping.

You always need to ensure that each layer overlaps at each join. Make sure to staple the insulation in place at the start of the roll. Tension should always be applied when installing insulation to ensure no draping.

Ensure to seal all joints, tears, and cuts with tape, ensuring there are no penetrations through the insulation; you want an airtight finish for best results! Click here for further information about installing pitched roof insulation.

If you have any questions regarding insulation for pitched roofs or just want some further guidance around pitched roofs in general, here at SuperFoil, we are more than happy to help. Please send us an e-mail, or give us a call on 01636 556733.


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