From Roof to Retreat: The Feasibility of using a Flat Roof as a Functional Balcony

From Roof To Retreat: The Feasibility Of Using A Flat Roof As A Functional Balcony

A flat roof balcony offers an unsurpassed opportunity for a homeowner to enjoy the outdoors from the convenience of their home. Relaxing, sunbathing, socializing, and just getting away from the stresses of everyday life are all ways a balcony can be utilized. A flat roof balcony sounds appealing. A flat roof balcony also significantly increases your property’s value.

If you own a home with a flat roof and have been considering installing a balcony or terrace, you must do your homework. While it might sound practical to overlay a flat roof with an additional living space, significant structural and safety factors must be considered before moving ahead with this sort of project.

Defining Residential Flat Roofing

Unlike a steeply sloped roof, a low slope or flat roof or a roof with minimal or no pitch, provides a unique opportunity for the creative homeowner to utilize this space by installing a rooftop patio, balcony, garden, storage space, or solar panels. 

Although a flat roof can provide an attractive additional living space and a cost-effective solution for budget-conscious homeowners, the #1 concern is water damage. Without an effective water runoff system, flat roofs are highly susceptible to leaking and pooling.

Residential Flat Roof in Indianapolis

9 Considerations Before Using A Flat Roof As A Balcony

As you evaluate the feasibility of a balcony, you should get advice from a knowledgeable roofing contractor about the appropriate construction materials needed for the project – such as heat and fire-retardant products. For example, you must identify a sturdy, moisture-resistant surface to avoid slip-and-fall incidents.

Most municipalities have building codes and ordinances describing the legalities, and including required permits, to construct a rooftop balcony. In addition, if your home is part of a homeowner’s association, you will likely need approval from the association by its governing documents.

Indianapolis weather can be sketchy during various seasons. Winter brings wind, sleet, and snow. Spring introduces cool, rainy weather. Summers can be hot and humid. A balcony is an outdoor living space. Consider how much actual, not optimal, usage you will receive from a balcony before installing one.

Your home might have a structurally sound flat roof to accommodate constructing a balcony over the top. However, how will you access it? Many homes don’t have a meaningful way to connect the home’s interior to the balcony. This concern may prevent you from moving forward with adding a new balcony.

Before constructing a balcony, the homeowner must thoroughly analyze the way water runoff flows. By adding a balcony, you may need to create a new system to pool water and channel it away from your home safely and efficiently. You will want to consider this and plan carefully before moving ahead with a flat roof balcony.

Architectural considerations may determine the feasibility of a balcony over your flat roof. If a balcony would negatively impact the structure of your home, constructing one will not be practical. Naturally, this determination should involve a knowledgeable structural engineer or expert roofing contractor upfront.

If your flat roof is worn or dilapidated, you might be unable to add a balcony without first performing significant restoration work. In some cases, it may not be repairable. On the other hand, your flat roof could have structures (a/c unit, chimney, venting, lighting) that cannot be moved easily or at all.

It might sound like a simple project, but the costs can add up quickly. You may need to address electrical and plumbing matters. You may need to relocate structures on the flat roof. You may need to create an indoor access point. The cost to install a balcony on a flat roof can be more than you might expect.

A rooftop balcony might sound like a wonderful idea. You imagine it as a space where you can entertain friends and family, or as a way to enjoy some privacy. Will you realistically use it as you imagine?

A chair, surrounded by potted plants, on a residential flat roof in Indianapolis.

Professional Guidance For Homes With Flat Roofing

For homeowners in Indianapolis and surrounding areas, Moss Roofing delivers unmatched residential roofing services. We work with homeowners who have flat roofs. We retrofit flat roofs to accommodate a balcony. If your flat roof cannot support a balcony, we provide straightforward advice for your situation. Trust us to give you an honest answer and solution. To schedule a complimentary consultation, contact Moss Roofing today.

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