roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

The flat roof of the building, even if it is not in use, needs regular cleaning, monitoring the integrity of the roofing and timely repair. To be able to climb onto the roof without too much difficulty, it must be equipped with a convenient and safe exit. In this article we will talk about how to be access to the roof, how to properly design and equip it.

roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

Exit to the roof of a private house


It is easiest to provide access to the roof with a regular stepladder attached to the wall of the house. This option is valid. But when using it, you need to remember the safety rules. Naturally, the stepladder should be strong, with non-slip steps and quite high. But that is not all. If children can walk in the courtyard without adult supervision, the stepladder must be removed from the wall after use and folded.

Outdoor staircase

A staircase located outside the building is a more complex structure. Its installation requires the involvement of builders and is expensive. However, compared to a simple stepladder, the outdoor staircase will be more comfortable and reliable.

The most common variant of an external staircase is a structure made of metal pipes to which grooved steps are attached with the help of brackets. The steps themselves can be from different materials - wood, metal, plastic.

roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

External stairs for the roof of the house

The external stairs must be equipped with handrails. They can be made from rods, pipes, panels or other suitable materials. With the right approach to the choice of materials for the stairs, it will turn out not only reliable, but also quite aesthetic.

The hatch

The best variant of the internal communication is the hatch installed above the landing of the upper floor of the house. Luke - the traditional version of the exit to the roof of a multi-storey building. In private low-rise construction, this option is also often used.

Many factors are taken into account when designing a roof with a sunroof. First of all, the step of the rafter legs is taken into account, as well as the weight of the frame and the hatch cover. Strapping hatch should be located at a distance of about 7 cm from the rafters. The outer surface of the manhole cover is often covered with the same roofing material as the entire roof. This is necessary in order to achieve the most accurate joining of the surface of the roof and cover. But modern technologies allow to make hermetic high-quality hatches from new materials. For example, you can make a transparent hatch.

roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

Transparent sunroof

It is advisable to immediately design a roof with a sunroof. The presence of this element significantly affects the decision truss construction. If you need to install the hatch in the already finished roof, gently contact the architect, who will calculate all the changes to the roofing system and consider the option of its reconstruction.

You can buy a standard ready-made hatch, and you can order it. Typical hatches come in a variety of models. There is an opportunity to purchase a design that opens to the side or upwards. Keeping the lid open, most often with gas springs. Manufacturers provide protective mechanisms to prevent accidental closing of the cover. If necessary, homeowners purchase and install roof covers with protection against burglary. The hatch above the residential floor should be insulated.

roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

Roof hatch on a sloping roof
On our site you can find contacts of construction companies that offer roof repair services. Directly to communicate with representatives, you can visit the exhibition of houses "Low-rise Country".


For maximum protection of the exit, as well as to increase its functionality, the hatch can be supplemented with a special small add-on. In this case, the person climbs the stairs through the hatch into the superstructure, while remaining inside the building. Then the door to the roof opens. This option is especially convenient for roofs in use, as it allows not to close the hatch cover every time.

In some projects, the add-in is thought of as another mini floor. They climb up the usual stairs, such as the attic, and from there they go out onto the roof through the usual front door. This design solution complicates the design of the building, but makes the exit to the roof very convenient and completely safe. If the house is built without a mini floor, it is very difficult to build it, as this will require a complete reconstruction of the roof.

roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

Exit to the roof through the superstructure

Foldable ladder

A fixed roof can be attached to the hatch leading to the roof stairs. But in order to save space on the roofing underfloor, many homeowners use folding ladders. The hatch with a folding ladder should be equipped with an additional internal cover.When folded, the ladder is located in the space between the inner and outer lid.

Foldable ladders are divided into scissor and sectional. The second option is simpler to use, so more often in homes install hatches with sectional structures. The most convenient way is to use a ladder that folds and unfolds automatically. To expand it you need to pull the cord down, and if you lift the lower steps, it will fold.

roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

Foldable stairs to the roof of a house

Foldable stairs have an attractive appearance, are quickly and easily installed, fully replace normal fixed ones in operation stair construction. When choosing a manhole with a staircase, several important nuances should be taken into account:

  • the distance between the steps should not be too large;

  • width steps should allow to put both legs side by side;

  • in height it should correspond to the height of the ceiling under which it will be installed;

  • indicator loads should be sufficient, not less than 100 kg.

Such stairs are made of metal or wood. Their cost depends on size, technical characteristics and design. Installation is done by experts.

It may be interesting! In the article on the following link read about the passage of the chimney through the roof.

Attic Window

Attic floors are often equipped with windows built into the plane of the roof. Through these windows you can also go to the roof. Modern manufacturers produce roof windows of various sizes and designs. There are options for installation in a flat roof. The main purpose of the attic window is insolation of attic rooms and airing of the under-roofing floor. But sometimes they are installed exclusively for access to the surface of the roof.

roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

The skylight with an iron ladder on the roof plane. Therefore, through them does not penetrate inside the premises moisture, and the warm air does not go out. If the slope of the roof in which the window is built in is sufficiently steep, you need to install a fixed ladder on the roof. The window for access to the roof should be of a comfortable size, besides it should be convenient to open to the full width.


Special roofing ladders or gangways should be installed on the sloping roofs, especially with a high incline angle. Regardless of how the exit to the roof is equipped, it must be equipped with ladders. This is necessary for safe movement on the pitched roof. For example, if an exit is provided from an external staircase, the ladder should start at the overhang of the roof so that it can be reached up to the ridge.

roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

Roof maintenance ladder

The distance between the steps is determined by the slope of the ramp. If it does not exceed 30 degrees, the step between the steps should be about 70 cm. On roofs with a higher incline, the distance should be much smaller - up to 40 cm. If the roof is tiled, it’s very simple to calculate the step size - on gentle slopes the level of each second tile row, and on high roofs at the level of each row.

The standard width of the roof ladder is 25 cm. This design, made of metal and painted to match the color of the roofing, usually fits well with the design of the building. But if the metal of the ladder is not at all combined with the roof covering, it is possible to install the structure with wooden elements.

On small roofs, instead of ladders, you can install separate metal steps. There may be several such steps, the main thing is to correctly calculate the distance between them and their location on the slopes. Competently located steps allow you to maintain the roof without much difficulty. However, they do not attract attention and do not violate the aesthetics of the roof.

Girder for a roof ridge

It might be interesting! In the article on the following link read about a folded roof.

Variants of access to the operated roof

The exit to the operated roof is used more often than the technical exit to the pitched roof. It should be more convenient and safe during operation, since it will be used by all family members and guests of the house.

Hatches with ladders for access to the roof

Glazed superstructure

This option shows the possibility of arranging the exit through the mini floor. The superstructure is made of modern materials. It is almost completely glazed and gives the opportunity to go to the roof through one of several sliding doors. This type of superstructure can also be used when installing a sunroof on a house.

roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

Glazed superstructure above the exit hatch

Dormer skylights

The photo below shows a variant of a cozy small terrace on the roof of a private house with exit from the attic floor through the dormer windows dormer. In this case, the roof has a complex shape. It is partly pitched, partly flat. The slope of the roof above the terrace can be serviced without additional stairs or ladders. But on the opposite ramp installation of fasteners is necessary. For convenience and aesthetic spectacularity, the windows are planned to be rather high - in the entire height of the attic.

roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

Exit to the roof through the attic window

Transparent hatch

It is easiest to make an exit through the standard hatch. In the example below, you can see the roof terrace during construction and the already installed sunroof with a transparent cover. Here the hatch has a rectangular shape, thanks to which the staircase leading to it may not be very steep. If you install a square hatch, the ladder should be set almost vertically.

roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

Transparent hatch on the operated roof

The hatch with the staircase

In the image below you can see what could be the design hatchway with stairs. Here is a simple compact staircase that hides between the hatch covers. This way of arranging the output is quite economical. It is suitable for roofs that are not very often exploited. Such an access hatch to the roof will not disturb the interior design of the upper floor, and its design will reliably protect the premises from wind and precipitation penetration.

roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

Staircase for access to the roof

Wooden staircase

If there is a terrace on the roof, which is often used, to enter it, you can make a stationary internal staircase. For example, it may be a construction of wide boards, reinforced with metal fasteners. If desired, it can be supplemented with a comfortable and durable railing.

roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

Stationary stairs to the roof

Outdoor stairs

Cottages in a classic style, with a roof in place, often equipped with internal exits. Exit from the inside of the upper floor is associated with a number of technical difficulties, but the external staircase on the facade of a classic building looks like something extra, foreign. But the houses in modern style have mostly geometric shapes, so on their background the linear staircase design looks quite harmonious. Thanks to this, modern cottages with flat, exploited roofs are often designed with external stairs.

roof exit device, requirements for pitched roof

Outdoor stairs to the roof of the cottage
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Roofing is an important element of any building. In order for it to serve for a long time and reliably, it is necessary to closely monitor its condition. Flat roof can be used as a terrace. In any case, need access to the roof. The arrangement of its arrangement depends on the type of roof, its size, covering material and financial possibilities of the owners.


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