A rooftop terrace: additional living space in summer

1323 Doucet

You live in the city and you have little or no outside space, but you would like to have a little outdoor oasis where you could relax, invite over friends and enjoy the good weather…why not build a rooftop terrace?

Almost 100% return on investment

A rooftop terrace is one of the best investments that you can make. You add livable space to your residence and at the same time you increase its resale value, especially if it is situated in the heart of the city. A terrace on your roof can mean an important investment, but you can use it throughout the summer, as long as you remain the owner of your house. When it comes time to sell your home, you will recuperate most if not all of the investment in your terrace. According to an article in La Presse from June 2007, it is easier to sell a city property when it has a rooftop terrace.

What do you need to know about constructing a terrace on your roof?

The construction of a terrace on the roof should not be taken lightly.

First, you have to verify that your roof could support the weight of the terrace. Consult a building engineer and take into account all the elements of your design. For example, if you want to add a small garden or a spa to your terrace, it will add considerably to the weight that the roof will need to support.

Verifying municipal regulations is also very important, as they can influence the design of your terrace. Some municipalities require that a terrace not be visible from the street or that it must be built a certain distance from neighbouring buildings. When it will come time to obtain your permits for the construction of your rooftop terrace, a design that takes into consideration these regulations will make the process easier.

Additionally, have your roof inspected. Unless it is recent and in excellent shape, complete any necessary repairs or replace it before beginning the construction of your terrace. The last thing you want is to have to demolish your recently built terrace because your roof may collapse…

When it comes time to choose materials for the construction, opt for materials that are resistant to UV rays, such as cedar or ipe wood. An iron or aluminum stairway is an excellent choice to provide access to your new rooftop terrace, unless you already have available access to the roof.

Design advice for your wood rooftop terrace

To best fully appreciate your rooftop terrace, certain design elements are important.

Take into consideration the fact that a roof generally offers little protection against the sun. Install a pergola that will protect you. Screens can also be a good idea, as they offer a bit more privacy.

You will need a railing all around the structure of your rooftop terrace to ensure security. However, if you want to maintain the view that you have, think about installing hardened glass railings, which will provide security without compromising your panorama. Also keep in mind the fact that access to your rooftop terrace will probably be by a stairway, and try to limit the frequent trips by installing storage space for cushions or other objects that you will often use.

Another important element is an outside kitchen. If you have workspace available on the roof, it will allow you avoid preparing meals inside while your guests are relaxing on the roof. Also consider installing plumbing and electricity for your terrace.

Finally, also take into consideration weather conditions. Make sure that you secure anything that can fly away, and safely store your small objects…

The construction of a rooftop terrace is an excellent way of expanding the space available in your home, creating an outside oasis, and increasing the value of your residence.

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