Roof Top

Want to add a deck to your roof? Here's where you should start.

Follow these four steps and you’ll have the rooftop of your dreams to close out summer!

Adding a deck to your roof can be a wonderful way to add a new outdoor living space to your home. The space can be used for cookouts, hangouts and relaxation, in addition to adding value to the home. ESTATENVY spoke with Frank Night, the owner of Mr. Porch and Mr. Deck in Chicago and he broke down the steps you should take when you start the journey of adding a roof deck to your home.

Understand Zoning Restrictions

Each city has different laws that go into adding a roof deck to your home. Night recommends researching the laws your city has in place before hiring anyone. This kind of reach can help you better understand the type of deck your city will allow you to build.

”There are a lot of different zoning restrictions that go into building a roof deck. Some only allow a certain height of the building, if you’re in a three or four story building, you may need cranes and permits in order to get the deck boards on your roof, “ Night continued. “One of the things the city of Chicago requires is there must be two means of exit on the roof deck and the roof must be able to carry 100 lbs per square foot live load. These are just some things to keep in mind when you’re starting to build a roof deck. Your architect, roofer and builder can often help identify any specific restrictions to look for.”

Hire an Architect

Once you have a basic understanding of the zoning laws in your neighborhood, you can get started designing your deck. You may have done some research to understand styles and features you’d like to include, so now is a good time to bring in an architect. Architects can help you create a rendering of the type of deck your home can support and, most importantly, weigh in on the materials you should use when building the deck.

Night shared, “The city of Chicago requires non combustible materials when building a deck on your roof. Boards that fall in this category can double the price of materials. This is why the architect is so important because they can help with telling you the type of materials that should be used before you get too far in the process. The architectural drawing also gets all the contractors on the same page. ”

Find a Roofer

Before you start any building, you have to make sure your roof is in tip-top shape so it can bare the addition. As Night shared, “There may be a tremendous amounting of roofing that needs to be done before you add a roof deck. Have a roofer come and check out the state of the roof to make sure everything is in place to begin building.”

Hire a Builder

The third person involved in bringing your dream deck to life will be your builder. A company like Mr. Porch or Mr. Deck can take the rendering designed by the architect and provide a quote per square foot to help bring your vision to life.

Check References

There a lot of experts that needed to help bring your roof deck dreams to fruition. Overall, Night recommends doing your research to ensure you’re choosing the right team to work together and provide fair and honest pricing and quality work.

“I would recommend doing your research and not stopping short of anything less than four proposals to keep everybody honest. Be sure to check references and make sure they’ve done previous work similar to your vision. You can’t trust every photo and every review online.”