Roof terrace design ideas, inspiration & pictures

Why should you convert your roof into a rooftop terrace?

There are several advantages of building terraces on the roof. It is one of the finest features of any home and boosts the value of your residential structure. Without stepping outside your premises, you get a space to sit down and relax. This is a considerable privilege for a homeowner in a city where space is sold at a premium. Many homeowners love to convert this part of the building into a well decorated outdoor dining area, entertainment zone or spa.

If gardening is your hobby and you don’t have a sprawling backyard, then you may utilise this space to indulge in your pastime. Your efforts will help making the environment cleaner and greener. Having a roof garden also helps to improve the insulation qualities of your home. Your home remains cooler even in the hot summer months. It improves the acoustical qualities of your building. You enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep even if you live in the noisiest part of the city.

How to build a roof terrace in Singapore?

Before you attempt to build a stylish patio, check the load bearing capacity of the roof. An experienced home builder will help you assess this and plan the perfect terrace for your flat roof. You may have this space designed by a professional architect or attempt to design it by yourself. Think of the purpose of redecoration and plan accordingly. To prepare the foundation, attach plywood with the existing base. Use nails and glue manufactured for this purpose to keep them in place. Cover the entire area with roofing felt. Coat this layer with waterproof acrylic based paint.

Design the flooring in the next step. You may use terracotta tiles, wood, stone, ceramic tiles or artificial grass carpet for this purpose. Hardwood is most expensive, but stylish and durable. Terracotta and ceramic tiles are not so costly and easy to maintain. But they can easily get damaged by heavy objects. Granite, marble or sandstone are heavy and may not be suitable for your roofing system. Artificial grass is cheap, but not so long lasting as the other materials on this list. The cost of building a roof terrace heavily depends on the aim of the project, materials in use and total area to be converted into a patio. You may be able to complete the entire project within SGD 250 per square metre if you have proper roofing system in place.      

Do I need planning permission to build a terrace in Singapore?

Any alteration, extension or renovation to an existing plan of a building must be reviewed and approved by the local building authorities. Singapore is yet to have extensive guidelines regarding the green roofing system. The process of getting the required approval to make the necessary changes of the roofing system is quick and easy in Singapore. However, apply for the necessary approvals at least a month in advance. Even in case of any possible complications, it will help you to remain on schedule.

What are the different decking materials for flat roofs?

You may use an array of different materials for decking. Wood is one of the most favoured decking materials. Pressure treated cedar, birch, ipe and walnut are some of the most valuable and favoured wood types for decking. Hardwood is extremely durable and sustainable. They increase the charm of the patio. They need oiling and varnishing every 4 to 5 years. Many homeowners consider this an added hassle. But you must remember, the unique texture and tone of each of the wood species add an extra layer of beauty to your outdoor entertainment space.

Premium aluminium is used as a decking material as well. It remains rut and rot free even after constant exposure to the elements of nature. It is lightweight and nearly maintenance free. Besides, it is also very affordable. But spiked furniture or other heavy objects may create a dent on your aluminium deck. PVC and polystyrene are two other alternatives you may consider. Both of them are easy to maintain and cost effective. They can mimic the appearance of natural wood, but none of them have the durability of solid wood.

Terraces – screening systems, sun protection and lighting

There are several ways of protecting the exposed part of your patio from harsh sunlight and rain. Screening systems made of wood, vinyl, aluminium or a combination of aluminium and wood can keep this space covered from the natural elements. This way, you can easily build an enclosed living room on your porch. They come in a range of styles suitable for traditional structures as well as the contemporary homes.

Using sun protection is another way of keeping this space stylish and comfortable. Fabric screens are easy to install and cheap. But they are not necessarily durable. Using awnings, canopies and blinds is very popular. They are not permanent solutions, but they help you design a comfortable seating area under the open sky. They are available in a variety of colours and designs. You may also consider setting up a wrought iron gazebo in one part of your porch.

Don’t forget to buy stylish roof lights for your outdoor living room, barbecue zone or spa. Choose LED lamps that are designed for this purpose. To give this space a cheery makeover, you may install electric lanterns, wall scones or post lamps. Choose designs that go well with the style of your house. Enjoy spending time with your friends and family members in this part of your residence.