What Can You Do with A Flat Roof?

A red umbrella on a wooden deck with a flat roof.

There are many different types of roofs that you will see across a variety of house and building styles from traditional thatched roofs and iconic peaked roofs to flat roofs found on utility buildings and occasionally building extensions. If you’ve moved into a new property or have been wondering how to add additional space to your property and have a flat roof, this guide is for you!

Below we’ve detailed the options you have for making efficient use of flat roofs and the sort of work that will be needed to make it durable and ensure it lasts without incurring any further repair or construction costs;

Adding A Balcony

If you have a flat roof attached to your property that is level to the second floor, a balcony can be the perfect addition and add plenty more value and aesthetic appeal to your home. To ensure your flat roof will offer enough support for your balcony, make sure to have a contractor come out and assess your property for strength. A reputable roofing company will be able to identify if your flat roof can hold a balcony addition or if you will require further structure work. Make sure to contact a contractor that specialises in flat roofing, like this roofing company in London, offering flat roofing services.

Once your flat roof has had strength and durability assessed you can start making decisions on how you want your balcony to look. Choose from natural wood decking boards, decorated with terracotta plant pots and plenty of colourful flowers for a traditional appearance, go for something longer lasting like patio slabs or something unique like outdoor carpet! You’ll need to consider a surface that will allow for ample drainage so there is no water build-up on your new balcony. A further few alternative options for flooring include plastic or rubber paving slabs that also offer the benefit of being lightweight.

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A sky with white clouds.

Creating a Roof Garden

When space is tight and the kids are making full use of any garden space you have, having an area to call your own and create a peaceful retreat is key. While a roof garden isn’t going to be used in the same way a balcony might, you’ll still want to ensure your flat roof is structurally sound before you start laying soil, turf and planting flowers.

Like a balcony, but even more so with a roof garden that gets regularly watered, you’ll want to ensure your new structure allows for excellent drainage. Not only does sitting water add a lot more weight to your flat roof construction but it can encourage unsafe algae growth and attract insects and pests.

With strength assessed and drainage planned, you can start creating your roof garden! Will you choose complimentary or contrasting colours, are you going to include an area to sit and enjoy your garden or will you admire it from the windows/ground? For surfaces, consider artificial grass to truly tie together your new garden space, designed with excellent drainage and easy to clean and maintain.

Building an Extension on a Flat Roof

This is a query that plenty of people explore when they start considering using the space above their flat roof. However, building an extension to the property on a flat roof requires a lot more structural work than simply adding a balcony or a roof garden. Before you start to even plan your extension, it’s advised to talk to both a roofing contractor and an expert builder who will come out and assess the strength of the lower-storey structure and potentially dig up the garden to inspect the building foundations.

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This can be further complicated when you are only the property occupier and do not hold the freehold to the land or there are strict regulations for construction, such as in the UK. If you are considering adding an extension to your home, you may find it is less complex to explore opportunities for a conservatory or ground-floor room.

Adding to your home is an exciting, although slightly stressful time, but when budget isn’t a restricting factor, there are plenty of options that can be explored that will add further value and appeal to your home. Plus, it has the added benefit of providing a new space to show off to your friends!

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