So, you have a flat roof and you want to put a deck on it, is this really possible? Rooftop Decking is becoming more popular as cities grow, and builders utilize more of the home’s potential. Rooftop decking can be virtually anything you want it to be – from wood, composite, stone, porcelain pavers, and even artificial turf. The possibilities are endless to create that beautiful maintenance-free living space.
A rooftop deck is a very inviting gathering space, offering great views and potentially lowering your heating bills by providing another insulating layer. When deciding on your rooftop decking, there are a few points to consider.
Firstly, is a rooftop deck allowed in your area? Will local building codes or zoning by-laws allow it? Are you part of a condo-association, where the By-laws may prohibit the construction of a rooftop deck? You certainly want to ensure this is possible before investing time and money into your project.
Secondly, you must ensure your roof is strong enough to support the weight of your rooftop decking. Depending on the style and material selected for your rooftop decking, it can add considerable weight. Your local building office may be able to help to a certain extent by providing you with building code requirements. Also, you may consider hiring a professional engineer to calculate the load capacities of your roof, taking into consideration snow loads for your area. You should not install any rooftop decking unless you are certain the roof can handle the weight.
Now that you have determined your roof can handle rooftop decking, it’s time to determine your design and find the right contractor for you – if you are not doing the work yourself. There are lots of building architects, landscape architects, designers and even green roof specialists that can assist you. Find one that can make your visions come to life and can work within your budget. Consider incorporating shade elements, whether that is umbrellas, pergolas or sun sails – you will be happy you did. Planters with vegetation will also add a softening to the hardscape on the rooftop deck.
Working with a designer or architect you will now have to consider the best rooftop decking material based on the design and needs. As mentioned, the possibilities are endless and depending on what finishes you choose will determine the structure under them. Obviously maintaining the roofs waterproof integrity is crucial, and fortunately, there are fantastic products out there for supporting your rooftop decking without compromising the integrity.
If you are planning on using prefabricated wood tiles, stone or porcelain pavers you will find pedestal systems, such as Bison and Eterno Ivica will work best. These pedestal systems allow for the adjustment of slope and pitch of the roof, while easily adjusting for the required height. One pedestal will be needed in each corner of the wood or stone tile.
When wood or composite boards are selected as your preferred rooftop decking you will need to install a joist system, similar to building a deck. These joists will support the chosen wood or composite boards. In this case, the joists are best supported again by pedestals, and the Bison pedestal system has a product called the Joist Topper. This is an attachment that quickly and easily attached to the top of the bison pedestal and secures the joist in place.
When selecting smaller size stones, porcelain planks or even artificial turf, your best bet is to use a product called SilcaGrate. These are structural supporting grates that can be used with a pedestal system and offer a sturdy subfloor for this type of rooftop decking.
Now that you have considered these key points in choosing the best options for your new rooftop decking, the only thing left is to start building. Welcome to the deck revolution.