When you’re living in a city like Boston, outdoor space comes at a premium. All those rowhouses don’t offer much in the way of backyard spaces—and yet, there’s still a need to get outside and enjoy fresh air along with a beautiful view. So how does one get that outdoor space when you’ve not got a big backyard? The key is to build up! Create your own roof deck where you can spend evenings enjoying the skyline view and sparkling lights.

Getting Started: Codes and Regulations

The first thing you’ll need to do is ensure that your roof deck plans follow Boston’s building codes. Restrictions may vary by the specific municipality, so check in the area in which you live for things like permitting requirements and inspection requirements. You’ll also need to learn about building specifics. For instance, in an area classified as a “restricted roof structure district,” you’ll need to follow certain rules to make sure that your new structure doesn’t alter the building’s profile—or you’ll need to obtain permission to make a change that would alter the building’s profile.

Roof Deck Trends

Once you’ve got building codes and permits out of the way, the next step is to design the deck of your dreams. Think about what you want from the space, because there are many directions in which you can go.

  • Rooftop Gardening: Growing your own fruits and vegetables is huge right now—and it’s a great way to beautify your new outdoor space with a bit of greenery, too. If you’re considering a rooftop garden, then you’ll want to think about the fixtures you’ll need to make gardening easier. As an example, make sure you include a spigot somewhere within your plans to make watering plants easier.
  • Outdoor Entertaining: For this, you’ll need plenty of open space so you can arrange tables and seating. You can also consider installing things like an outdoor kitchen or wet bar.
  • Lounge Space: This is among the more common ways to put a roof deck to work, as a private hideaway where you can get outside, curl up in a comfy chair, and relax. If you go this route, you’ll want to put some thought into design choices—design styles, colors, greenery, furniture and whatever else you’ll need to create an inviting, restful space.

Whatever direction you decide for your deck, design with one thought in mind: To make the most of this space so that you’ll continue to enjoy it for years to come.

What You’ll Need to Put it All Together

Once you’ve made some design decisions, you’ll likely need to call on the services of a few professionals to bring your dream deck to life. Start the process with an architect or structural engineer. They can help you get started on the plans that you’ll later give to your contractor. More importantly, they can help you with things like permits and building codes by ensuring that those plans are up to your municipality’s regulations.

Next up, you’ll need a contractor. Since roof decks are such a popular way to create outdoor spaces in Boston, you’ll find no shortage of professionals who specialize in this exact type of construction project. At New England Building Supply, we can help you out with a few recommendations if you’re not sure where to look.

When you have a list of contractors, start by checking out their portfolios. Choose from among professionals who feature the types of projects and the styles that you’re going for. Get bids from several contractors so that you can choose based not only on the pricing and options that they offer, but also so that you can get a feel for how well you’ll work together during the construction process.

And there you have it! Roof decks are a fabulous way to give yourself some much-needed outdoor space, and they can also double as garden space or a place to entertain your guests. That’s what makes them so popular in places like Boston. When you’re ready to get started, use some of the thoughts above to help guide you through the process!