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How To Build A Deck On A Flat Roof

Roof Over Deck Designs

Installing the Flat Roof Deck â Day One

Let us know if you like any of the styles from the images in the section above. As for design, there are three main types of roofing that you can choose for your deck. They include:

  • Gable Gable roofs are easier to build since they dont require complex roof framing. They have gables at each end and sloping sides.
  • Hip Hip roofs are similar to gable roofs since they have sloping sides, however, theyre reconnected without using gables. On a deck roof, the supports should have a finished look since theyll be exposed rather than hidden.
  • Shed This is the most common option for deck roofing because its the only one that works with the architecture for many homes.

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When Is A Flat Roof Needed

Sometimes town planners will not allow the height required for a pitched roof. This is because it may obscure a neighbours view or light. Sometimes a pitched roof is not appropriate for an extension because it would mean obscuring light to the home owners own windows. Usually however, a flat roof is constructed when an extension butts up to an existing building.

To use a pitched roof in these circumstances would mean adding roof valleys or box gutters and make draining the roof difficult and expensive. Using a lean-to flat roof allows water to run easily away from the building into new gutters which can be connected to existing drainage systems or even new soakaways.

Occasionally a new flat roof will be required to replace an old roof, for example asbestos or corrugated tin roofs which are either not allowed under building regulations or are in a complete state of disrepair.

Care should always be taken when removing old asbestos and advice sought from the local council on the correct way to dispose of the asbestos.

Old asbestos roofs are often replaced with flat roofs

Why Not Other Options For Waterproof Decking

Sure, there are other options when it comes to covering a flat roof, but none of them tend to work well if you want a true waterproof seal, or want to use your roof as an outdoor living space. Here are a few other options and why they typically wont work:

  • Asphaltic Tar: Yikes! Talk about hot and smelly not the best solution if you want to enjoy a nice day on your roof deck. The materials used are also heavy and can clog up your gutters and drains.
  • Torch on/ Modified Bitumen: Again, probably not the best option for the same reasons above. If you did want to convert your flat roof to this surface you would need to add a finishing product on top, for an additional cost, rather than just covering with PVC vinyl decking in one go.
  • Built Up Roof : This option looks ok but probably isnt very comfortable to walk on and can be pretty heavy.
  • Spray On Coating : This is a pretty expensive option used primarily in commercial applications. Although it offers great waterproofing since its seamless, its not meant to be walked on and doesnt look that attractive .

If you already have one of these types of roofs, you *could* potentially cover the existing roof with PVC vinyl decking , but youre much better off taking the roof down and starting over with a high-quality vinyl decking material that will give you a waterproof flat roof deck you can immediately enjoy. See our post on the principles behind vinyl roof deck construction.

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Heres What I Used To Waterproof My Plywood

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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Do You Need A Roof To Cover A Patio

Building a Deck on a Flat Roof

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.

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Approaches To Take With Deck Construction

With a deck on a flat roof, ensure you have adequate spacing between decking boards to allow drainage and aeration.

Rubber packers should be used to keep the decking off the roof membrane.

Make sure you use a high-quality waterproof membrane to ensure it is watertight and has long durability. It is not something you should skimp on to save a few dollars. PVC membranes are the way to go.

Can You Build A Deck On A Tpo Roof

Yes, you can build a deck on a TPO roof. A deck constructed on top of a TPO roof is quite similar to a deck constructed on top of a concrete patio, but its important to note that TPO is simply a material used in a roof.

Its normal for the top fibers of a TPO roof to become loose, particularly if there have been any problems with weathering. A deck constructed on top of a TPO roof could reduce the roofs life span.

You can build a deck on top of your flat or slanted roof as long as you check with your municipality for city building codes and contact your insurance company to see if adding property will affect premiums.

Follow the same procedures when placing decks on top of flat roofs made of wood, fiber cement, concrete, or asphalt shingles. However, never place decks on roofs that have not been designed for them.

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There Are Many Different Types Of Decking To Choose From

There are many different types of decking to choose from. You can get decking that is made out of wood, plastic, or even metal. Each type of decking has its own advantages and disadvantages. You will need to decide what type of decking is right for you based on your budget, the look you want to achieve, and how much maintenance you are willing to do.

Building On An Existing Deck

Building A Deck Over a Roof in Austin, Step One Roof It RIght

Where local building codes allow this practice, you can bolt a patio overheads posts directly to existing deck beams, joists, or other heavy structural members. Or, you can lag-screw through post bases and decking into the top of a deck joist or beam.

When bolting to the decks structure, be sure to use heavy-duty galvanized lag screws that are long enough to penetrate the decks framing by at least 2 inches.

In some situations, you may be able to use the homes structure to support an overhead above a deck. For a good example of this, see the article This Patio Roof Sheds Water, Allows Natural Light.

Read Also: What Is Recoverable Depreciation On A Roof

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Things So Consider When Adding A Roof Over A Deck

A roof over a deck should be part of the original design and construction, but still, we must consider these elements when building the deck. The soil bearing capacity. Required footing size, along with the location of the post in relations to the deck footing and beams. Some of these things can be calculated and designed with your local building code, but often a covered deck will involve an engineer to verify load and support. Consult your regional permitting offices before proceeding, but here are some areas that will need to be analyzed.

Can My Roof Deck Support A Hot Tub

A hot tub may normally be installed on a rooftop deck as long as the roof can hold at least 55 pounds per square foot, with half of the weight on the deck. A hot tub must be installed on the ground level, as it would not stand on a roof.

However, a heated blanket would work great for a hot tub, and fresh air is always needed in a hot tub room. Its important to add drainage no matter where you put the hot tub.

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Waterproof Flat Roof Decks: A Bit Different

Whats the difference between a regular roof and a flat roof deck, and why does it require different materials?

The key is in the word flat. When a roof is flat water is going to spend a lot more time in one place giving it more time to find a way underneath the roof surface and into the buildings structure. So rather than a roofing material that simply lets water run down it, you need a roofing material that offers a completely waterproof barrier. Hence, why waterproof vinyl decking is popular. As a multi-ply roof PVC membrane, the waterproof flat roof deck will hold up to the rigors of continued exposure to water, heat, wind, foot traffic, etc.

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Can I Put A Fire Pit On A Top Roof Deck

Modern gutters &  downspouts

Never set up a fire pit directly on a wood deck, as it is not designed to withstand the intense heat created by a fire.

A fire pit on the roof deck could be dangerous, whether on top or ground level. The intensity of the heat coming off a fire pit can cause the wood to burn rapidly, which can lead to a collapse.

Also Check: How To Install Ondura Roof Panels

Diy Doctors Flat Roofing Advice And Recommendation

In the case of a felt or fibreglass covered roof, we very strongly advise the installation of this by a professional. You will get a guarantee, usually 10 years and that is worth its weight in gold.

If you are felting a flat roof and you do get a leak having done the job yourself, 99% of the time a patch will not work because the water will have seeped under the felt already, causing soft spots to your sheet covering and ultimately rot.

In this case and depending on the severity of the damp the damaged area will need repairing and in severe cases the entire roof may need replacing. Even the repair to a small area can be costly!

What Is A Roof Over A Deck Called

Gable roof is a common name for a deck roof. Its the most popular type it has slopes on the sides for water and snow to come off to the ground and not your deck. As a result, you get a triangular shape of such a roof. There are lots of types that have numbers like 6/12 in their names. This means that the construction elevates 6 feet over 12 feet of the size.

Such roofs are suitable for all kinds of houses by design and size.

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How To Build A Roof Deck On A Pitched Roof

Having a roof deck on your roof is the most beautiful thing. And if you are going to build one on your pitched roof, you may want to know how to build a roof deck on a pitched roof.

Constructing a rooftop deck on your own, particularly on a pitched roof, might be difficult. But, you can do it perfectly by following the step-by-step guideline.

If you want to take the challenge of building a roof deck on your pitched roof, read the article to the end.

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Rooftop Deck Design Ideas

DIY Patio Roof Build

Next comes the fun part! Your dream rooftop deck design will be closely aligned with how you plan to use the space. Will you entertain and need space for tables and chairs or will it be more of a private sanctuary where youll soak in a hot tub or lounge in a hammock? Will you want to add full-sun plants or more shady options? Talk through all of your needs with an experienced builder who can help you consider all the details.

Keep in mind that your deck design will need to incorporate any utility needs and amenities. A few options to consider: an outdoor kitchen, outdoor entertainment system, fireplace or fire table, hot tub and outdoor lighting. Get inspired with these designs.

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A Balcony With Wooden Floor Or Other

This option is generally quite popular given that it is an affordable one, not only due to the choice of materials, but also because costs related to construction are also quite low. Other than the structural changes that may be required, generally, all you will need to do is add a floor with proper drains in order to assist in water evacuation. Moreover, you will have the choice between different styles for your flooring: sequoia, cedar, yellow pine, etc. You can also opt for vinyl or composite.

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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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A Flat Roof Is A Great Place To Start When Creating A Deck

A flat roof is a great place to start when creating a deck. To make a flat roof into a deck, start by removing any existing vegetation and debris from the roof. Next, lay down a layer of waterproofing material to protect the roof from moisture. Then, add a layer of insulation to keep the area warm. Finally, install decking material to complete the deck.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Roof Over A Deck

Waterproofed Flat Roofs Insulation

The cost to cover a deck will depend on a number of factors. These factors include the type of material, the size of the roof, and how complicated it will be to build. Currently, the cost to add a roof over your patio will start at $2,000 and increase from there. Contact a local roofing company to get started and schedule an estimate for your project.

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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.

Roof Decks Are Ideal For Enjoying Cool Evenings But Adding One Wont Be A Breeze

Private roof decks, the envy of the neighborhood when the weather is nice, are a trendy accessory in newly built townhouses in town-center-style communities in the suburbs. Adding a roof deck to an existing home is a bit trickier. It might be tempting to just slide open a tall window and shimmy out onto a flat roof, but to be safe and to have a truly functional roof deck, youll need to spend time and money.

Most roofs werent designed to have people walk on them, much less put furniture on them and entertain up there, said Ethan Landis, co-owner of Landis Architects/Builders in the District. Adding a roof deck is like creating a great outdoor room, which is especially nice if theres no good backyard. But you have to evaluate the condition of the existing roof first.

Hiring a designer with experience adding roof decks to other homes in your neighborhood can make the project easier and result in a deck thats not only attractive but also structurally sound and compliant with zoning and fire codes.

Each roof deck project is one of a kind, Landis said. They all have logistical challenges, and many of the ones weve built are on homes in a historical neighborhood, which means they need to be invisible from the street.

Other issues include skylights, chimneys and air conditioners that might need to be moved or built around.

The trick to adding a roof deck to your home

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