Move Up, Not Out: 3 Ways To Add Private Space With A Rooftop Terrace

Posted on: 29 October 2015

If you need more square footage, but there's no way to expand your home's footprint, set your sights skyward. In high-density areas in Europe and the U.K., rooftop terraces increase living space and enhance the quality of life. Take a lesson from their designs and head upstairs for more leg room, privacy, and fresh air.

Possibilities for your own rooftop terrace are discovered by:

Taking advantage of your home's top qualities.

If you have a Georgian, Victorian, or modern home, there may already be a rooftop porch or walkway complete with a balustrade. Homes along the beach and in other scenic areas are likely to have these features as well. If you're lucky enough to own property with such a roof space, have a contractor take a look at the condition of this area and make repairs to the roof in order to make the terrace safe and accessible.

You may want to do this when you have your main roof replaced or repaired, but this work can be undertaken on its own. Decide which elements you'd like to add to the rooftop terrace, such as planters, seating, or new balustrades made of glass. Your roofing contractor may have to install a new membrane barrier, or reinforce the base of the terrace by adding additional bracing and wood framing to support any extra weight or heavier railing material.

Rebooting the roof you have.

Look for places where a rooftop terrace makes sense. Does the location offer a nice view or exceptional privacy? Could this area be easily reached if you added a bridge or walkway from another area or from outside stairs? Is there a garage or other outbuilding that might support a rooftop terrace?

If you have a detached garage, the roof of a covered walkway on ground level could support a walkway leading to a terrace situated on the garage roof. Stairs along the sides of buildings will also provide access.

Rethinking your entire floor plan.

One family wanted to create a way to observe their children as the little ones romped on their rooftop terrace. These intrepid parents redid their home's entire structure, raising the roof and lowering the ceiling to bring the terrace view indoors.

There are other creative ways you can take advantage of a rooftop terrace view by having a roofing professional re-configure your roof. If you want a bedroom to overlook a terrace for example, raise part of an upper bedroom's roof, add windows, and situate the bed up higher to have that direct view. On summer mornings, you can take coffee on your roof. On winter nights, you can stay cozy while watching the snowflakes fall outside.

Consult with a professional roofing contractor to discover all of the cool things you can do on a roof. They will help you come up with unique ideas for your home's top level.