If you are looking for a way to upgrade your home and add extra functional living space, then a roof terrace might be the kind of investment that will pay long term dividends for both you and your family. But how much does a roof terrace cost? What surfacing materials should you use? What’s the best type of roof terrace? Which roof terrace installers should you pick?
Every roof terrace job is different but our team here at SPS Roofing Ltd are always happy to provide free quotes and consultation to ensure you make the best decision possible.
What is a roof terrace?
A roof terrace is a patio that sits atop the roof of a building. Generally, roof terraces are designed as private spaces for one or more people. However, some roof terraces offer public terraces in places such as bars, pubs, restaurants, event halls, etc. In most cases, they are also used as social spaces that add luxury and elegance to any building. They are generally flat areas that either protrude from, or are found on, the rooftops of buildings.
As such, a terrace of this kind requires a flat roof in order to further design and decorate the lounge area. They are parallel to the ground and must also be open to the sky.
What’s the difference between a terrace and roof?
Now that we’ve considered the importance of a flat roofing structure to add a terrace, these terms can sometimes cause confusion.
At this point it is important to understand that a roof can come in different forms and shapes. They usually go in line with the rest of the building structure and therefore the choice of the type of roof will very much depend accordingly. The primary objective of a roof is to provide external covering at the top of a building.
On the other hand, a roof terrace is a platform that extends outwards from a building is most commonly found in buildings or multiple storied houses to provide extra functional living space.
What’s the difference between a terrace and balcony?
Yet another term that you might confuse yourself with is a balcony. So what really is the difference between a roof terrace and a balcony?
One of the most obvious differences between balconies and terraces is their size. While terraces are flat areas that can be on the side or roof of a building, balconies are elevated platforms that are often mostly attached to a vertical wall.
Balconies tend to be small whereas terraces can cover a wider area. A balcony is typically located on your upper level, outside of a room in your home. On the other hand, a terrace is situated on the roof of your home, providing a spectacular view and extra living space.
Although smaller than terraces, balconies create an extra space in your home that can be used for a range of purposes including small plantation areas, seating, small dining or social areas.
Benefits of a roof terrace
One of the most common use cases for building a roof terrace is to provide a space to entertain friends and family for an outdoor event or activity. Other use cases include placing a hot-tub, a jacuzzi or even setting up a roof garden with tables and chairs.
A roof terrace can be filled with plants or other greenery, such as a green roof. This provides additional benefits to your property in terms of converting CO2 emissions, reducing the overall heat of buildings and thereby saving on energy costs.
Because a terrace is usually situated on the roof, it is built to maximize the amount of available sun, with the roof providing excellent solar heating.
Can you put a terrace on your flat roof right now?
There are few factors you need to consider if you want to install a roof terrace. For instance, if you have a flat roof already on your property, it will be cheaper and easier to work with.
Whether you already have a terrace or balcony that needs a facelift, or you are starting from scratch by converting the rooftop, both options are very much feasible. However, the roof terrace cost will be significantly less as opposed to the latter option.
It is also important to note that a terrace is potentially viable if you have an existing outside space which can be used as a load-bearing tool, and a space that can be changed for a door to create access.
Does a roof terrace add value?
If you are planning on adding a roof terrace to your home this could add 12% to the value of the property (reference: Property Reporter)
Perhaps the most important thing to consider is that a roof terrace adds value to your property in addition to providing a breathtaking view. Generally speaking, people will pay more for a roof terrace than they would for a ‘normal’ terrace. Therefore, to maximise the potential benefits of a roof terrace, it’s best to think about how much value you can bring to the property.
What’s the best roof terrace flooring?
- Composite Decking Boards: composite decking is a great material to use for most types of roof terraces. There are quite a lot of products to choose between which enables finding the perfect match a lot easier than some other materials.
- Paving Slabs: Paving slab terrace flooring is very attractive and is virtually maintenance free. It’s lightweight and extremely slip resistant which is great for an outdoor space where regular foot traffic will take place (e.g. a bbq area with seating). It can also come with various patterns giving you more choice to make the terrace floor match your design preferences.
- Gravel Finishes: This is an earthy option for flooring for your roof terrace. This is ideal if you prefer something rustic and are interested in setting up a mini garden on your terrace. You need to ensure proper drainage options below the gravel so that it stays well even on rainy days. It’s a much superior option compared to wooden flooring especially when it rains a lot.
- Porcelain Outdoor Tiles: Porcelain is best suited for outdoor usage because it’s very strong and significantly hard-wearing. It’s durable, modern and a great alternative to traditional paving slabs.
- Liquid Quartz Coatings
More about the various finishes can be found on our roof patios, balconies and roof terraces page.
Estimating the Roof Terrace Cost
As you estimate the roof terrace cost, it is best that you consider installing a roofing terrace as an investment. As noted above, properties with a roof terrace tend to increase in value. A basic roof terrace may cost upwards of £7,500 but it’s possible to spend up to £45,000. Although this is heavily dependant on the contractor used, location, materials, current structure, etc. It is also important that you save some of the budget for furniture and accessories.
It must be noted that it is also making good use of unused space which is an extra selling point should you ever decide to sell your property.
Do you need planning permission for a roof terrace?
As with all roof terraces on older buildings, there are limitations to the weight and loadings one can put on the roofing timbers. As such, you would need prior permission from the local authorities to ensure you meet all the regulations. This guide has more information on roofing extensions. Planning permission is typically only granted when a building is below the building height limits and meets minimum standards in your local area.
Roof terraces are a great addition to your property and can significantly increase its value and functional living space. However, there can be a few hoops to jump through regarding planning permission and investigating your existing roofing structure.
Find out from your roofing contractor whether you will need planning permission. If you need help assessing the benefits vs the roofing terrace cost, please get in touch with our roofing contractors here at SPS Roofing Ltd who will provide you with a free quote and consultation.