Building a roof deck? Here’s what you need to know

If you're thinking of building a roof deck to enhance your home's outdoor living spaces, consider the value it will add to your home as well as the opportunity you'll have to entertain friends and spend time with family. As an added perk, roof decks offer homeowners a great view into nearby outdoor spaces, which is especially nice if you're near mountains, water or the forest.

Adding a roof deck

Arguably, the most important factor to consider before building a roof deck is the load that the existing roof can handle. This will determine whether you can proceed with the job. In many cases, the construction of the roof is not designed to bear the extra load that the building materials — as well as the weight of any furniture, accessories or people who spend time there — will impose on the roof.

If your roof can bear the load, the next step is figuring out how to access the space. You'll need to create an entryway to get onto the deck by retrofitting a window or cutting into a wall. When you are figuring out where inside the home you can create an entryway, you'll need to decide where you can give up precious living space in order to create the access point.

Getting the go-ahead

Hire a professional contractor or roofing specialist before building a roof deck. The expert can assess the roof and determine if it's a suitable space for building. These are some of the factors the specialist will look at:

  • The roof's condition. If the roof is damaged or deteriorating, the roofer may suggest repairs or replacement before building a deck.
  • The load. Using industry calculations, the contractor will estimate how much load the current roof can hold and determine what can be done to retrofit the roof to accommodate the deck's weight load.
  • Water resistance. When adding a deck to your roof, make sure your contractor takes into account the steps required to keep the roof waterproofed so that the home's attic and interior aren't subjected to moisture and the resulting problems.
  • Square footage. The shape of the roof may also be a deciding factor when considering a roof deck because there must be suitable space upon which to build a good-sized deck. If your home has multiple gables, an arch, or a hipped roof with a single peak, for example, these components will limit the overall square footage of flat space. It may not be worthwhile to build.

At Findlay Roofing, we're happy to help our neighbors in Roswell and the surrounding areas assess the condition of their current roofs. We can recommend repairs or a replacement prior to building on a deck. Just give us a call today!

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