Blame it on the spring season. The warmer temperatures have us dreaming up ideas of how we would like to be enjoying the outdoors while taking in Colorado’s gorgeous mountain views. So much so that we are writing another blog about adding a custom outdoor rooftop living space to your home. This time, we’re dreaming of how you can create a custom porch with a rooftop deck.
Porches Make the Perfect Starting Point
A structurally sound, well-built porch can make an excellent foundation for supporting a rooftop deck. Many homeowners are requesting more custom outdoor living areas, but horizontal expansion is not always possible, so vertical additions are the next best option. A covered porch in which the roof is also a deck can be the wisest use of space for a homeowner seeking more functional outdoor living spaces.
Research a Decking Company
Building a deck is serious business. With hundreds of pounds of pressure on the supports underneath it and pulling at the attached structure beside it, undertaking a project like this is no time for learning as you go. You will want an experienced Denver residential porch and decking installer familiar with safety codes and best practices.
Obtain Proper Permission and Permits
As with most outdoor projects, you and your installer will need to get the proper authorization and permits required before you can build a porch or add a deck to the roof of your existing structure.
If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, you will need their permission before construction begins. There’s usually paperwork and waiting involved with this step, but your patience and diligence will pay off. Rushing to get started before the mandatory approvals and permits are in place could result in wasted time, effort, and money. You don’t want to risk your project’s success due to improper permits or neglected safety guidelines, fire codes, or zoning regulations.
The Sky’s the Limit in Decking Options
Porches and accompanying rooftop decks can run the complete range from long and shallow to deep and roomy. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to designing or building a rooftop deck. Allow your interests, hobbies, or personal style to guide you as you and your builder create your perfect space.
Besides stone tiles (too heavy for rooftop structures), almost any other outdoor flooring could work for your deck. Speak with your Colorado decking installer or contractor to determine what material (hardwood, exotic hardwood, composite decking, artificial turf, etc.) is suitable for you.for you.
In the meantime, you can read up on popular exotic wood species in our blog, Exotic Woods: Are They Right For You?
Rules of Thumb for Column and Railing Placement and Design
The chances are good that you already have columns bracing a roof over your porch that can support the addition of a new deck above. If you don’t, here are some general rules for picking out columns and establishing their placement for an aesthetically pleasing look. Your installer should be familiar with these rules, too, but always err on the side of caution and talk with them anyway to be sure you’re both on the same page.
“Columns” and “pillars” are sometimes used interchangeably, but the difference is that columns are strictly functional, while pillars can be decorative without function. If your porch columns are not already installed or additional or newer ones are required, you’ll want to space them so that the view is open and airy. To achieve this look, space porch pillars/columns out to the sides of windows and doors as much as possible. There may be cases where, for safety reasons, spacing alignment has to be in front of a door or window, so keep this in mind when working with your installer.
If you have new columns installed, you’ll have a choice between a square column or a rounded one. Generally, square ones appear larger than rounded ones of the same size. Rounded ones look best when tapered at the top, but squared columns can remain straight or taper.
Posts spaced among thinner railings on the above-porch deck should align with the columns as much as possible and be around half the width of those columns. Square columns below require square posts above, but rounded columns match both square and rounded rail posts.
Set the Scene
Working closely with your deck installer or contractor about your vision and functionality of your future rooftop deck is the best way to ensure that the finished project is unique to you, fits your lifestyle, and brings you enjoyment for decades down the road.
If your custom porch with rooftop deck is everything you wanted and more, congratulations! You’re done and can enjoy the fruits of your installer’s labor.
Think about how you want to furnish and style your porch or rooftop deck. Maybe you’d like to bring your indoor style outside for a cozy feel? How about a private-getaway vibe? Would a rustic charm or modern vogue be more what you’re looking for? For inspiration, read Pretty-Up Your Porch and start setting the scene for your porch/rooftop deck combo.