If you are the proud owner of a home that has a full, or part flat roof you may be missing a trick. Space is at a premium these days and your building has a lot of it isn’t being used to its full potential. Perhaps there is an extension to your building that you are able to view from an upstairs window. I envy you if this is the case, as you have an opportunity to carry out a project that will give you pleasure for years to come. Yes, I am talking about creating your own wonderful roof garden. Creating your own garden aloft will also improve the insulation properties of the room below so you could well be saving energy in the process. I love a two-for-one deal.
Here’s my idea of how you could go about creating an awesome roof garden for relatively little cost.
It is always good policy to pay for the opinion of a structural engineer who will advise you as to the strength of the roof. As it is a habitable building, the roof joists should be easily strong enough for your needs.
Before children are allowed into the roof garden, ensure that adequate railing is installed to prevent falls.
You will need an easy way to get onto the roof. If, as I mentioned earlier, you have a window overlooking the roof, it can be converted into a doorway. If it is a large window, patio doors are the answer. However, let’s assume that there is no window. Climbing ladders can be a little uncomfortable for people who are not confident, so either a staircase or a modified ladder with wide treads will be a better idea. Either solution could be built by a carpenter using decking materials.
Your flat roof will probably have a layer of gravel on it. Gravel is used to stop the UV rays from the sun melting, and causing damage to, the felt roofing material. The first job is to sweep the gravel up and remove it.
Next, a layer of waterproof matting will need to be laid over the whole roof. There is no need to lay a waterproof membrane for this project; the roofing felt will still function perfectly.
Artificial turf now becomes the gardeners best friend. Roll an instant lawn onto your roof and the garden is almost complete. It will, however, require a patio.
The patio is constructed out of decking by fixing boards to a subframe that simply rests on the roof. Decking is more suitable for the roof garden as it is much lighter than paving materials.
Now it is time to add some ornamental plants in contemporary planters. The number of planters is your decision. More can be added over time as funds become available. Acer trees look fantastic in modern planters as do topiary examples.
At last your garden is ready to be enjoyed. If your garden is south facing, you are very lucky indeed as it is probably a perfect little sun trap.
Roof gardens are rarely a consideration for people but, thankfully, they are becoming more popular. Make the most of yours and if you have any leftover space on your roof, consider swapping your shingles over to modern solar roof tiles instead.