7 Questions to Ask Before Building a Rooftop

Ever been tempted by the idea of covering your home with a rooftop terrace to take advantage of those beautiful views? Well, you are not alone. City dwellers in particular want it for extra open space. Rooftops are getting more and more popular. It can be a small space to chill in the morning with a newspaper and a cup of coffee or for a small party with friends. Whatever your dreams in terms of 'getting' to the top, ask yourself these 7 questions before you commit to designing a roof terrace.

1. Why do you need a rooftop terrace?
The first thing is that rooftop terrace gives you an open view without too much hassle. When built and planned well, a rooftop terrace can be used all year round. No garden on the ground floor?  The rooftop terrace can be your main outdoor space.

2. What are the negative sides?
There’s really no negative side, but you need to consider the budget and maintenance needs based on your own situation. It is important to get it right from the get go to prevent future problems such as damage, leakage, etc.

3. How much money do you need?
There are a few things to factor in. For example, getting a finished roof (requiring additional structure, substrate, waterproofing, finished floor, handrails, and others) is approximately 40 to 50 percent more expensive than using the roofing sheets you use for the same area. For [JT1] rough estimation, if the entire rooftop terrace costs you around 5 million, building a rooftop deck of the same size can cost you around 8 million. [U2] Also, keep in mind the additional costs: stairs or access to your rooftop terrace, shading structure and other features, such as planter boxes or outdoor furniture. 

4. What does the work entail?
Many underestimate the scope of the changes involved, especially for period houses. Most of the time, the work goes beyond removing the old roof and installing some waterproof flooring. You will most likely need to install new structural joists and floor joists to carry the additional load, which means removing and replacing the entire roof and ceiling of the room below. Every project is different. With luck on your side, you may find it relatively easy to build a rooftop. 

5. Do you need waterproofing?
Even if you have an ordinary roof without a terrace, properly designed and installed waterproofing is non-negotiable. Each property is unique and comes with different challenges. 

6. What material do you want?
Tile or wood? Take your time to consider the materials, because roofs are directly exposed to heat from the sun. While easy to maintain, tile surfaces heat up easily and in turn radiate that heat to your sitting area and down into the room below. Wooden decks require painstaking care, but are much cooler on your feet.

7. Can you shade the roof?
There’s this urban myth that shading your rooftop terraces for anything other than obstructing the view from the street or your neighbor is impossible. In the summer - even in the mildest locations - your rooftop can get really hot, so some form of shading is a must. Remember to ensure a good shade design that allows the air to flow to keep the room cool.



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