Building a rooftop terrace is one of your options if you want to have a grand outdoor living space. Not only does it allow you to take advantage of the beautiful views, but it also gives you the space to entertain large crowds.
In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know when building a rooftop deck, including the costs and challenges you’ll usually encounter. We’ll also share some awesome roof garden ideas that will leave you inspired.
Why build a rooftop terrace?
With careful drafting and planning, a rooftop terrace can be used all year round. It’s a place that gets plenty of sun exposure, even during winter. By comparison, some ground-level yards only get direct sunlight for a limited period and others don't get any sun at all.
Having a rooftop deck also gives you a better view of the city or your surroundings. If you add some furnishings to make the space more comfortable, you can easily host some great parties on your rooftop.
Who can help you build a rooftop terrace?
Building a rooftop terrace is not cheap, but working with highly skilled professionals ensures you get the best value for your money.
Here are some of the professionals you might need to hire for a rooftop terrace project:
- Building designers: Experienced building designers will make sure that the rooftop terrace design matches the aesthetic of the home. They will also ensure that the space remains private. Apart from providing the construction drawings, they can also help you obtain planning and building permits.
- Engineers: These professionals will make sure that there are no structural and waterproofing issues in the plan.
- Builders: Your team of builders will construct the rooftop terrace using high-quality materials and make sure that it will last for years to come.
Think twice if you have these types of roofs…
Whether or not a rooftop deck is suitable for your property depends on your rooftop design. It might not be ideal for small, urban properties with a hip roof facing the streets. Building a rooftop deck may alter the look of the original house and go against the bylaws of the neighbourhood.
Adding a rooftop deck to homes with steep gable roofs can also be a costly challenge. In most cases, you will need to build a home extension and add a rooftop deck above.
Cost of building a rooftop terrace
Building a rooftop terrace is an expensive project because it requires funds for waterproofing, finished flooring, handrail installation, and more. You need to prepare for these and keep additional costs in mind (i.e., for building stairs or access to your rooftop terrace, installing shade structures and other features you may want, buying planter boxes and outdoor dining furniture).
If you want to learn more about rooftop terrace building costs, feel free to request a free quote.
Basic considerations when building a rooftop terrace
Adding a rooftop deck to an existing home has plenty of benefits, such as giving you extra entertaining space. However, you need to be prepared for all the challenges you might encounter, including:
1. Council approval for a rooftop terrace
Every neighbourhood has its own rules and regulations regarding rooftop terraces, so you need to work with a local designer who is familiar with the requirements, most especially when you live in a heritage area.
2. Structural changes
When building a rooftop deck, there’s a huge chance that your building designer will have to move structures that were originally on the roof of the house, like chimneys and parapets. You also need the approval of a structural engineer to build a deck on the roof.
3. Accessibility and functionality
Most people want a rooftop terrace because they want a huge entertaining space. But walking up the stairs while carrying food and drinks every time they have friends over can be a huge challenge.
If you want a rooftop terrace that’s perfect for entertaining, consider incorporating an outdoor kitchen to reduce the hassle. It requires a bigger budget, but it will be worth it because you will spend more time here and enjoy the space more often.
Waterproofing is non-negotiable and required when building a rooftop terrace.
Note that every project is unique and requires different challenges. The waterproofing needs of a simple terrace with a lounge are different when there’s a pool or a garden.
Also, ensure there’s adequate fall to gutters and the size of the gutters is correct. Opt for oversized gutters because we never know how much rain we’ll deal with.
Give plenty of thought to material selections for the flooring, because your rooftop terrace will be brutally exposed to the elements from sun up to sundown.
Timber decking is one of the top choices of homeowners across the country. It gives the rooftop deck a warm and contemporary feel, adding personality to your house and making it stand out in your neighbourhood. What’s more, it increases the value of your home.
It is highly recommended to have a source of shade on your rooftop terrace. You will need it in the summer because the roof can get very hot.
What you want is a shelter that one can’t see from the street level, won’t affect your heritage facade, or won’t be seen by your neighbours.
When you have a well-shaded outdoor space on the rooftop, you are more likely to spend more time there.
When you start thinking of rooftop garden ideas, think of the weight of landscaping as well. The weight of soil, plants, and shrubs can make the deck too heavy for the support beams. For that reason, it might be better to use artificial plants or turf.
If you’re planning to host parties that extend all the way to the evening, you’ll need to add some outdoor lighting fixtures and electrical outlets. Make sure that the fixtures you choose are waterproof, so that they won’t get damaged by rain.
Inspiring rooftop terrace ideas
Thinking of rooftop deck ideas requires a lot of creativity and research. Thankfully, we’ve done the hard work for you! Check out the cool designs below and let us know if you want to build one in your home:
Terrace garden ideas
1. Turn plants into a privacy screen
This clever terrace garden design uses plant walls to add privacy to the rooftop terrace.
2. Build a green paradise
Covering your rooftop terrace with artificial turf is a great way to add greenery to your home, even if you don’t have a ground-level lawn.
3. Use pots and planters
Don’t be shy to add as many planters as you can as finishing touches to your rooftop terrace. Just be sure to choose plants that are suitable for your local climate.
Rooftop terrace shade ideas
1. Install a pergola
Installing a pergola is a simple way to add permanent shade to your rooftop deck.
2. Use umbrellas
Umbrellas are inexpensive and convenient, especially since you can fold them if the sun isn’t too harsh.
3. Add cabana beds
Cabana beds will turn your rooftop deck into the perfect place to relax and unwind. They will also make you feel like you’re in a tropical paradise.
Rooftop terrace entertainment space ideas
1. Buy a barbecue
Most people want a rooftop deck so they can host a barbecue in the summer. Before buying a grill and a regulator, be sure they’re certified for use in Australia.
2. Use benches
Benches make it possible to host a party for a large group of people without having to add plenty of furniture.
3. Add a hot tub
If you have extra room in your budget, consider adding a hot tub. This will make parties a lot more fun for your and your guests.
Get started on your rooftop terrace project
Having your own rooftop terrace means you can always have a place to relax and admire the view outside. It’s also an ideal place to have barbecue parties or afternoon tea.
If you’re excited to get started on your rooftop terrace project, Superdraft can help. Sign up for our free platform now so we can help you with the following: