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4 suggestions for setting up a rooftop terrace


Creating a rooftop terrace offers additionnal space. Discover our tips for a great rooftop terrace layout.

Request permission before setting up a rooftop terrace

In the city, having a little patch of greenery is a real joy. For those without a balcony, setting up on a rooftop will create an extra living space, as long as it is within the law.

Before setting up a rooftop terrace, always ask the building’s co-owners, even where the roof is private. For a privately owned house, if you are planning a rooftop terrace, check with the town hall if the local urban planning department (PLU) allows this type of development. Work on a flat roof does not lead to changes on the ground easement : You do not therefore need to request a construction permit. (French regulations) The neighbourhood should be taken into account as each owner has the right to freely enjoy all private property, neighbours could suffer from additional noise, a loss of sunlight or the neighbouring building being closer, etc.

Secure the rooftop terrace before setting it up

When the project has been approved, take care to follow safety regulations. It is vital to install barriers or a low safety wall, in your choice of material : bricks, concrete, metal or even transparent glass. Handrails must be placed at a height of between 1 metre and 1.10 metres. These protective barriers must meet standard NF P01-012. Any fittings needing to be stepped over must not be located next to a handrail.

All fittings of any type may not be fixed to the slab in order to avoid problems with the structure’s waterproofing. Lastly, whatever the type of surface, pay attention to weight limits. All rooftop terraces are not designed with the same materials : They may be supported by construction in reinforced concrete, with paving slabs or poured on site on a base of beams, made from either steel or wood panels mounted on a framework. On average, as an estimate, plan for 100 to 200 kg per square metre depending on the materials used. For cases with heavy installations, such as a swimming pool, for example, always consult with an architect. Do not forget to take into account your decorative installations, such as containers and flower pots, and anticipate the final weight with soil, plants and especially, water ! The same goes for floor coverings : a wooden decking terrace will be lighter than a rooftop covered with concrete slabs, for example.

Finally, installing a system to drain rainwater is an essential condition for a lasting rooftop terrace. Take care that the rooftop does not flood. Rainwater could infiltrate the surface, then through capillary action, enter supporting walls and affect the whole building. It is possible to place a rainwater butt, but it is a requirement to install gutters or a siphon which will direct the water to the gutter.

Insulating the rooftop from the neighbouring building

Before thinking about decor projects, you need to consider thermal and sound insulation for the rooftop. A poorly insulated rooftop terrace can account for up to 30% of heat loss. While good insulation on the rooftop helps to create an energy-efficient building. If you live, for example, in an apartment located just under the roof, you will see your heating and cooling costs lower, and will hear less outside noise.

Next, all you have to do is create a real relaxation corner, and to protect it from being overlooked, from the wind and sun. A screen is one of the best ideas to protect it as you can ensure you are completely sheltered. Obscuring panels, trellis and barriers made from wood are thick enough. A lighter option, reeds or trellis panels let you have climbing plants grow on them. This very on-trend planted wall idea does however require a certain amount of maintenance : Take care to trim back your honeysuckle or clematis regularly. For more simplicity, plant up a sufficiently wide container with bamboo, which has the advantage of keeping dense foliage year-round. These plants will bring an exotic touch to this extension to your living space.

Take care choosing furniture to decorate your rooftop terrace

For better durability, opt for high quality furniture and seating. At LAFUMA MOBILIER, all the chairs combine comfort, style and robustness. Their patio and poolside furniture is specially designed for outdoor use. Steel frames guarantee strength and fabric covers are designed to resist both bad weather and UV rays. The padding (AirComfort®, BeComfort®) used is permeable, allows air to circulate, does not retain water and dries ultra quickly.

To enjoy a siesta, or sunbathe while relaxing, choose the sun lounger or the Transat. The   deckchair is specifically designed to promote relaxation of the whole body, and lets the muscles untighten; it is the perfect ally for those relaxing moments. The portable furniture rend makes each element easy to move around and store after use. The design chair with its timeless clean lines, on-trend colours and clever folding system is perfectly suited to the elements of a rooftop terrace.