5 Considerations When Building Your Rooftop Deck


One of the best investments you can make is that of a rooftop deck. This is especially true if you live in a city or a cramped suburb, because a nice rooftop deck can give you some much needed privacy and solitude. That, and there’s something so very endearing about being able to sit on a nice chair and overlook the rest of your neighborhood/town/city.

Just as with any big home improvement venture, there are a lot of things you’ll need to consider before designing your new rooftop deck. Some of these are pretty self-evident, given the nature of home improvement, but some of them are not, and that’s why it’s important for you to be aware of the different factors that go into designing a rooftop deck.

Now, let’s begin!

5 Rooftop Deck Considerations

1. Understand Your Local Building Codes And Requirements

Image Credit – designbuildersmd.com

Here’s the thing, your neighborhood/city/state will have their own codes and requirements regarding rooftop decks. For example, the building codes and requirements in Arkansas are different from those in New York.

Some neighborhoods don’t even allow you to have a rooftop deck! Which is why it’s very important that you check and understand these codes and requirements before you begin the process of designing your new rooftop deck.

Some of these requirements make a lot of sense, others are very specific when it comes to things like “You can only use outdoor wood flooring” instead of other materials that may be better or more eco-friendly.

Why this is, none of us can say. Regardless, make sure to read and understand the rules and regulations that must be followed.

2. The Rooftop Deck Material That You Will Be Using

Image Credit – chicagoroofdeck.com

There are all kinds of good rooftop decking ideas that you can find online. Without getting into the specifics of those ideas, it must be said that the right material can help you so very much, while the wrong material can lead to results that are significantly less good.

For example, PVC and vinyl are known for being poor materials, especially in hotter climates, due to the direct sun exposure, which means that walking barefoot is not a good idea. On top of that, such materials aren’t very eco-friendly and the air-flow is inconsistent.

Make sure to do your research on materials that work for the climate that you’re in, and plan accordingly when it comes to protecting your deck against the elements, because rooftop decks will be more exposed to things like sun and rain and snow then any other part of your home.

3. How You – And The Contractors That You Hire – Will Access Your Roof

Image Credit – roofdeckandgarden.com

This is a seemingly obvious consideration, but there are many people who fail to ask themselves the question of “How am I, and my contractors, going to access the roof, so that we can begin building the rooftop deck?” Even fewer people ask the question of “How am I going to access the rooftop deck, once it has been built?”

These questions are of the utmost importance. In some cases, you’ll have a staircase or a window or something that allows you to easily reach, and work on, the roof. In some other cases, you won’t, and so an external platform will have to be built for that purpose.

Let’s say that you don’t have any known way of getting to the rooftop deck, once it’s been built. Well, in that case, you might have to install some kind of doorway or some other entrance that will allow you to reach it. Perhaps, it’ll be a roof hatch, or even an exterior access, such as a little outdoor staircase.

Whatever it is, you need to ask yourselves those questions. They are incredibly important, and not asking them will lead to questionable results.

4. The Purpose Of Your Rooftop Deck

Image Credit – hgtv.com

So, what is the purpose of your rooftop deck? Do you want to have a pool? Is it because you want to make your home nice? Are you building one because you want to sell your home, and you know that rooftop decks greatly increase your home’s market value?

Ask yourself those questions, and then consider what the ultimate purpose of your rooftop deck is. For many, it’s simply a nice place to relax and hang out with friends and family. That’s a great purpose! For others, it might be a bit more complex.

Apply this same line of thinking to the materials as well. Do you want to use natural wood decking simply because you like its look? How will the climate affect that wood? Are there any disadvantages to using that type of wood?

5. The Logistics Of Your Rooftop Deck

Image Credit – Baltimore Sun

How is this going to get built? What kinds of tools and resources will you need? How will you deal with the waste that will, inevitably, be generated?

Consider the scale of your home, the materials you’re using, and the contractors that you’re hiring. Depending on the size and scale, you might need a crane, for example.

Working with a contractor to consider and understand the logistics of this project is very much recommended, because they will have a much better grasp of the entire process.

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