Building A Rooftop Deck: 6 Steps To Success
Written byChris Nolan on Tue, Feb 5, 2019 @ 05:02 AM
People with flat roofs love rooftop decks, and why not? Oftentimes, its an otherwise wasted space. A rooftop deck can provide a whole new perspective for you. You can have a commanding view of your whole area. What a great viewpoint. Before you get started, though, there are many important things to consider. Its best to do your homework first.
Can My Roof Support A Deck Essential Guide
The allure of ending a summer evening on a private, rooftop deck is enough to motivate any homeowner to consider this addition to their home. However, adding a roof to your deck is a much more complex situation that building a patio in your yard. With so many aspects of safety to consider, many homeowners are left wondering if their dream could ever turn into a reality.
Can my roof support a deck? If your roof deck is in optimal condition and can safely support at least 55 pounds of weight per square foot, your roof may be able to support a deck! The final decision, however, is much more complex and requires the advice and oversight of a professional contractor.
Although you will need to hire a contractor to design and build a deck on the roof of your home, there are a few things you can determine ahead of time as you decide whether a rooftop deck is a right decision for you. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about building a deck on the roof of your home.
Can I Build A Deck On My Rooftop
Can your roof structure support the additional weight? A building code official may be able to help you here. Or not. At a minimum, they will likely know what the loading requirements are in your area. You may also need a master builder or structural engineer to determine the loading capacity of your roof. They can determine whether your existing roof can support the extra weight of a deck. Never build a rooftop deck without checking this first.
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Misc Notes & Tidbits:
- First a word of WARNING this product is not designed for fire pits & should be kept 4 away from them
- For each 100 SF installed it basically saves 50 auto tires & 1500 plastic containers from going into the landfill
- The scratch resistance & strength of these is quite simply outstanding, especially compared to normal products
- These can be cut with jig-saws, circular saws, and chop saws do not force the blade & let it do its job or you risk gumming up your blade
- If you are interested in learning more you can contact AZEK for a list of dealers & installers
Roof Decks On Flat Roofs: Benefits And Considerations
Roof Decks on Flat Roofs: Benefits and Considerations
This is the time of year when decks are used more than in other seasons. Do you dream of having a large deck for relaxing with your family but dont have enough room to build it? If you have a flat roof, perhaps you could have a rooftop deck installed. If youre considering a roof deck for your flat roof, here are some of the flat roof deck benefits & advantages, along with a few considerations and warnings.
Benefits of Having a Rooftop Deck
Rooftop decks offer several benefits:
- One of the main advantages of having a rooftop deck is that it adds additional seasonal living space.
- A rooftop deck is ideal for entertaining.
- It provides homeowners with outstanding views.
- Having a deck built on a flat roof gives it fire resistance and high-quality thermal performance. This type of deck also provides your roofing system sound, structural support.
- It creates a slope for improved wind-uplift performance and a slope for drainage.
- Rooftop decks offer a large space for growing vegetables and plants in container gardens. Consider that vegetation grown in large planters can take advantage of full-sun exposure in open areas.
- A deck on your roof can add personality to your house, making it stand out in your neighborhood. Whats more, you can increase the value of your home.
Flooring Materials Used
Considerations and Warnings
What to Consider When Searching for a Roofing Repair Company
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Research Guidelines & Limitations
Depending on the area in which you live, you may realize there are guidelines and limitations regarding rooftop decks or additions. Two of the groups you will need to contact are your homeowners association or neighborhood board and your local building department.
If you have a homeowners association or neighborhood board, you will likely have to submit your rooftop deck design for approval. This may even include reaching out to your neighbors to inform them of your intent to build a deck on the roof.
Rubber Membrane Vs Pvc Membranes Flat Roofs
This rubber material resembles an inner tube and can be mechanically anchored with fasteners, ballasted with stone, or glued. It is relatively lightweight and durable, however, the standard black material absorbs heat. There are light-colored options available but they are about 30% higher cost. Comparatively, it is a higher cost option, but it is something a homeowner can install. It does not, however, make a good surface for a flat roof deck and would require an additional assembly to make the flat roof acceptable for that purpose.
PVC Sheet membranes have similar performance expectations, although PVC membranes have 2 distinct advantages.
1 when installed by a professional applicator, PVC membranes are integrated into the building envelope and come with a sound warranty.
2 PVC sheet membranes once again are the only product of these comparisons that provides an attractive walking surface in addition to its roofing membrane performance in a single product application.
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Considering A Roof Garden
Are you thinking of utilising an unused flat roof into a roof garden? Here are our top tips:Investigate support issues before construction will you need walkway pads and slabs?Ensure your home remains waterproof by installing a flat roofing membraneConsider drainage pointsWhat sort of roof garden do you want? You could choose a green roof, decking or artificial turf
Whatever outside space you choose to create, please be aware that you are legally required to install a permanent handrail with any flat roof terrace, balcony or garden.
Building A Deck On A Flat Roof
Before we look at how to build a deck on a flat roof, heres an example of what not to do
Tar and gravel roof with sleepers perpendicular to the slope. You could grow rice.
As debris settled into the cracks of the gravel roof it became a muddy sponge, and the sleepers became dams with big rains. The standing water eventually seeped through and rotted the frame. It never had a chance.
With the new deck were running the sleepers parallel to the slope of a new rubber membrane, water will run-off like its on a ducks back.
Note the strips of rubber to pad the sleepers.
Rip the tapered sleepers.
Lay the sleepers down on the rubber strips and dont use any fasteners that penetrate the membrane.
Start with your straightest boards as the floating sleepers can move around on you. Once you get a few boards screwed down they stabilize. Double check the thickness of the deck boards stacked on the sleepers before driving any screws down, we used shorter screws towards the house where the sleepers were thinner.
Space the decks boards to allow for drainage.
Finished deck .
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How To Waterproof A Plywood Deck Roof Or Balcony
This Spring, I was busy, busy building a big playhouse for my kids. I designed it to look like a mini version of our barn.
But, the playhouse has a recessed upper deck on one half of the roof. This post is all about how to waterproof a plywood deck, roof or balcony with Liquid Rubber Deck Coating.
Spoiler Alert, I love this stuff!
When my Dad and I framed out that deck, we sloped it a little for drainage. That was easy enough to do since one side of the deck is open.
But, some people need to waterproof a roof top deck or other surface without an open side for drainage. In that case, you will need to install some sort of drain to get the standing water off of the deck.
UNLESS, youre actually trying to trap water. I know some people use this stuff to waterproof the inside of wooden planters.
Thats a clever way to keep water in your soil while extending the life of that wood.
Some links on this post are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
Anyway, lets get to those steps for how to waterproof a plywood deck, roof or balcony with Liquid Rubber Deck Coating.
Whats The Finest Materials For A Flat Roof
Excessive-Performing Industrial Roofing Materials Varieties
- PVC Roofing. For a lot of initiatives, PVC roofing is our most well-liked alternative as one of the best flat roof materials on the market.
- Steel Roofing. A business standing seam steel roof is the perfect alternative for a constructing with a roof slope higher than 2 inches.
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Do You Need Planning Permission To Put A Balcony On A Flat Roof
With some properties planning permission for a roof deck or balcony may need to be taken into consideration in case there are immediate neighbors who might object to it on the grounds that privacy would be lost to them. Whats more, there may be building regulation approvals that you need to make sure the perimeter has enough balustrade or sufficient strength to support the weight of what would be included on a roof deck.
Can I Put A Deck On My Flat Roof
flat roofwill installflatflatthe roof
To safely install a roof deck, the roof needs to be able to support about 55 pounds of weight per square foot in general. For instance, if you plan on installing something heavy like a planter or a hot tub, the and roof may require additional load-bearing capacity.
Secondly, can I turn my flat roof into a balcony? If it is constructed of traditional felt, attempting to upgrade it into a terrace or balcony is not recommended. Flat felt roofs have a short life span â many house insurers refuse to cover older felt roofs. Over the years, they are affected by the elements, blistering, cracking and attracting moss and algae.
Also to know, do you need planning permission for decking on a flat roof?
Planning Permission. Putting up , or other raised platforms, in your garden is permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission, providing: together with other extensions, outbuildings etc, the or platforms cover no more than 50 per cent of the garden area.
How do you attach a roof to a deck?
Use a speed square to mark and cut your rafter angle to the roof pitch. Lay out your rafters. Most hand-framed porch rafters are installed at 16″ on center along the ledger board. Toe nail the rafters in place to the ledger board.
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The Weight Factor & Specs:
- The regular paver & grid measures 2.38 in height, covers 1.78 SF & weighs in at 16 pounds.
- Coverage basically triples from 2.4 SF to 7.1 SF & the weight per SF is almost a third
- The permeable unit has the exact same measurements as above but weighs in at 14.6 pounds or 8.2# per SF
- The resurfacing unit covers the same amount of ground, but is only 1.75 tall & weighs in at 6.4 pounds or just under 4#s per SF
Select Your Rooftop Deck Framing
The basic options are sleepers, wood framing or adjustable pedestal systems.
- Sleepers. Sleepers are less costly up-front, but they have pros and cons. Check out this article on installing sleepers for a better understanding.
- Wood Framing. Traditional wood deck framing is an option, too. The benefits are also a low-cost option, up front. The downside is they may potentially be too heavy for your roof to support the extra weight. Because a low-clearance rooftop deck is a harsh environment, wood joists may warp, twist or rot.
- Aluminum Joists. A high-performance adjustable pedestal system with aluminum joists is more expensive up front. However, they will not rot, warp or twist and they are non-combustible.
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Do You Need A Roof To Cover A Patio
If youre looking for a roof to cover your outdoor living space, then this is a smart choice. Its one of the more expensive roofs, but will be as durable as the roof on your home and provide you with the same level of protection. When building your structure, you need to use the right type of wood, otherwise, it will rot.
Benefits Of Using Ib Deckshield Assembly
- Enhances the appearance of decks
- Eliminates annual painting and staining of wood decks
- Durable, slip resistant waterproofing system
- Resists mildew, chemicals, and UV rays
- Eliminates hazardous wood splinters and unsightly concrete cracking
- Complies with ADA requirements
See costs in your areaStart Here – Enter Your Zip Code
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What Happens If It Rains On Wet Liquid Rubber Deck Coating
Try to pick a few dry days in a row to waterproof your plywood deck, if possible. I tried doing that, but when you live in a humid part of the south, unexpected showers pop up all the time.
My first coat of the Liquid Rubber Deck Coating was only about 70% dry when it was rained on. Luckily, it didnt ruin my deck. You can see what happened in the video above.
But, all of the Liquid Rubber that was dry before the rain stayed dry. The spots that were wet mixed with rain water.
I used paper towels to gently wipe up that wet mixture of Liquid Rubber Deck Coating and Rain.
Once I removed all of that wet deck coating, I let the surface dry, then applied another full coat of the Deck Coating.
Everything dried fine. I applied 5 coats in total with a couple extra coats in the edges and around the posts, to be extra safe.
Thats it for how to waterproof a plywood deck, roof or balcony with Liquid Rubber Deck Coating.
Looking for more of my Easy DIY Home Improvement videos? You can see them here, on my YouTube channel.
Heres What I Used To Waterproof My Plywood
- Minwax Wood Filler
- 40 Grit Sandpaper and a power sander to prep the surface
Be sure to always read the directions on the containers to be sure you know how to waterproof a plywood deck.
They could always change a formulation or the instructions after I write these steps. Or, youre plywood deck, roof or balcony might have special circumstances I dont cover in this tutorial.
AND, you can pick a smooth or textured version of Liquid Rubber, depending on what you want to use it for.
A textured surface might be best if youll be walking on it with wet feet. Like near a pool.
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Why Is The Roof Included In A Flat Lease
However, the High Court ruled that the roof and airspaces of the garages were included in the leases to the flat owners because the lease divided the demise of each garage from the garages on either side of it vertically but made no reference to the parts above or below it i.e. any horizontal division.
Watch The Wildlife In Your Roof Garden
Would you like to create more outside space but youre not sure where and how? Do you have a flat roof? If so, you could soon be enjoying additional outdoor living and entertaining space!
t is far easier than youd think to convert a flat roof into a terrace or balcony you just need to have the right materials. For example, what is your existing flat roof made of? If it is constructed of traditional felt, attempting to upgrade it into a terrace or balcony is not recommended. Flat felt roofs have a short life span many house insurers refuse to cover older felt roofs. Over the years, they are affected by the elements, blistering, cracking and attracting moss and algae. The last thing you want is to construct a beautiful new outside living space, only to find that it needs to be dismantled so that you can access the felt to make repairs.
You will be expecting your flat roof to bear more weight, which means that you must consider the implications of this extra load before building commences. By engaging the expertise of a structural engineer to advise on how your flat roof can support whatever materials you decide to use patio slabs or decking you can save yourself a lot of hassle and money further down the line.
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Do Flat Roofs Always Leak
The main reason that flat roofs are more likely to leak is that they are less able to shed water. In other words, they do not allow elements like water to slide off them as easily as steeply sloped roofs do . All roofs are sloped at least a few degrees to avoid the allowance of sitting puddles of water.
Walkable Pvc Sheet Membranes For Flat Roof Decks
A waterproof membrane and a pedestrian traffic coating in one product solution can be the most cost effective way to turn a flat roof into a low-maintenance leisure deck area.
Just be sure to select a professionally installed product that has been tested to meet building code requirements for both a roofing membrane and pedestrian traffic coating.
When you are comparing options for flat roof deck projects, feel free to use this handy checklist on product testing requirements.
Before with torch-on and After with Duradek PVC Membrane.
If you would like more information on how you can incorporate a walkable, flat roof into your projects to create private, outdoor leisure space, contact an in your area to discuss your options.
See how one asphaltic tar-over-concrete roof deck was transformed into an attractive, low-maintenance roof deck in Case History #156 Roof Deck Renovation, Washington, DC.
And while we poked a little fun at the missing 4th flat roof on the article from the This Old House website, we are big fans of This Old House too. For all of you other This Old House fans, you might like this story of how PVC membranes contributed to the renovation and waterproofing solutions for a 200-year-old Home.
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