Depending on your location and the structure of your house, a roof terrace can be a wonderful addition to your home. As modern design has taken the architecture world by storm, flat roofs have increasingly gained popularity over the past few years. It’s no wonder why; they have a minimalistic, posh design that serves as aesthetic eye candy for any connoisseur. Even more so, a flat roof can be transformed into a terrace or a garden that can host memorable dinners or parties with your loved ones. Flat roofs truly have a unique feel to them that will keep guests and relatives coming back to enjoy the peaceful setting and vibe.

However, building a flat roof or roof terrace isn’t exactly as simple as we’d like it to be. Indeed, the results will leave the homeowner with immense personal satisfaction, but the journey can get a little complicated. There are numerous factors that need to be taken into consideration even before beginning the entire project. Of course, there are also aspects that should be kept in mind throughout the building process. A roof terrace can be embraced as a do-it-yourself project, but if the going gets tough, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help. Sometimes a group of professionals can help you get the job done flawlessly, from planning to execution. Even though there will be additional costs for labour, you will most likely save a considerable amount on improper materials or incorrect quantities of supplies.

We admire any ambitious homeowner who wants to get out of their comfort zone and embrace modern architecture. For this, we have decided to create your ultimate guide to building a roof terrace with flat roof tiles. We will cover the basics of understanding, designing, and gathering supplies for a beautiful roof terrace. Moreover, we’ll get into the part that homeowners are interested in the most: cost estimations, price quotes, and working with a roofing company. At the end, we’ll leave you with some practical design ideas so you can get inspired for your own project.

Enjoy and good luck with your roof terrace!​


What Is A Roof Terrace and How Do You Build It?
How Much Does It Cost?
Flat Roofs and Terrace Styles To Get Inspired From

What Is A Roof Terrace and How Do You Build It?

First of all, you might not be familiar with the precise notion of a roof terrace. Generally speaking, a roof terrace serves as a leisure area on top of your house or flat building. A terrace of this kind requires a flat roof in order to further design and decorate the lounge area.

Even though a roof terrace can’t really be built without a flat roof, a flat roof can certainly exist without a roof terrace. There are plenty of examples in modern architecture for flat roofs without any terraces. They are usually incorporated into the design of the home to offer a sleek, refined and stylish image. Homes with flat roofs are becoming more and more popular especially thanks to the look.

As opposed to traditional roofs, a flat one shines through a reflection of wealth and fine tastes. It’s not that an ‘old-school’ roof won’t make your house look nice, it’s just that a flat one has a specific visual impact that is pleasant to witness. Also, like we previously mentioned, a roof terrace can’t exactly be built on any other kind of roof than a flat one. By opting for a flat roof instead of a pitched one, you will not only be enjoying lovely aesthetics, but also its practical counterpart.

Building a flat roof or a roof terrace, however, is a whole other story. We’ll explore all the aspects below.

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The Concept of Introducing a Terrace on the Roof

Let’s say that your building already has a flat roof or one that can easily be adapted this way. You now have two main options:

  • Cleaning up your flat roof and leaving it the way it is - a simple roof
  • Designing a terrace on your flat roof

If you choose the former, you won’t run into as many expenses as the latter. You might want to invest in modern roofing materials to make sure that it lasts, but you won’t have a project as complicated as a roof terrace. The second option, however, offers an upgrade to your entire home. Here’s why.

Chic Design

One of the most obvious reasons for building a roof terrace is its stylish design. It can be an all-around excellent visual addition to your home, which impresses through sophistication and minimalism. Furthermore, a rooftop terrace considerably increases a house’s value.

Outdoor Relaxation

What makes roof terraces an ever more attractive option for the modern homeowner is the opportunity to relax outside. Regardless if you have a spacious house or you live in a building in the middle of the city, you can chill on your roof terrace as much as you’d like.

Rooftop Farming

Environmental enthusiasts can use their roof terrace to explore the benefits of rooftop farming, also known as urban agriculture. Various fruits and vegetables can be grown even in the busiest of metropolitan areas, thanks to a concept like a roof terrace.

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Designing a Flat Roof Terrace

If you have decided that a flat roof or a roof terrace is the next investment for your home, you’ll need to start planning as soon as possible. As we described in our introduction, the process isn’t easy and will require a lot of thought prior to starting. If you break down the project, there are five main stages that need to be considered: design ideas, permit research, architecture plan, supply shopping, and the actual building part.

Design – Decide on the main theme and gather inspiration from numerous sources. The last section of our guide includes a few designs we have fallen head over heels in love with.

Permits – Depending on your city or neighbourhood, you might require some form of authorization like a building permit. Make sure to check with your local council to see if this applies.

Plans - Outline your main design plan and (optionally) get in touch with a team of professionals for measurements and other complex details.

Supplies – If building your roof terrace independently, shop around for the supplies you’ll need. If working with a roofing company, explore the options you have for materials.

Execution – With or without a team, start building your roof terrace according to a professional plan.

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Finding the Best Materials - Promenade Tiles

One of the most delicate parts of the roof-building process is getting the right supplies and materials. When visiting a large home improvement store or browsing through an online shop, it can be difficult to choose the best types. You don’t need to get overwhelmed by the large variety; there are a couple of aspects that will point you in the right direction.

As an example, promenade tiles are highly recommended for flat roofs. They are the basic materials that will help get your project started without leaving you with an empty wallet. The good news is that promenade tiles come in all sorts of colours, textures, and styles.

Some of the most attractive and best-selling ones are:

  • Grass-like
  • Rubber
  • Porcelain Stoneware
  • Checker plate
  • Striated
  • Riven
  • Diamond Cut
  • Woodgrain
  • Pebble

In the end, it all depends on your personal preferences. Any one of the above-mentioned options can work fine for your rooftop terrace, from all points of view. They are durable, secure, and fashionable, all at the same time. If you’re looking for a more rustic environment, you can easily go for woodgrain promenade tiles. If a classy modern look is your aim, you can go with a diamond cut or striated promenade tiles. The options are abundant; you just have to see which one represents your personality the best.

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Essentials for a Succesful Flat Roof

In addition to promenade tiles, you will also need several other base materials for your flat roof or roof terrace. The materials listed below are in no particular order, but they’re all essential for the flat roof of your dreams:

  • Insulation Boards
  • Rails
  • Roofing Felt
  • Galvanised Nails
  • Waterproof Coating
  • Ventilation
  • Rubber Cover/Flashing (for lining gutters)
  • Domes (optional)

Your shopping list can be increased or reduced as necessary, just make sure that you have all of the materials to make your roof terrace safe. If you decide on going with a terrace, you need to be aware that people will be frequently using it. This means that you need to make it sturdy and resistant, especially for unexpected weather conditions.

The prices of these main supplies vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. We’ll get more into estimates and expenses in the following section.

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How Much Does It Cost?

Possibly the most significant aspect that an aspiring flat roof owner thinks about is the cost. Like we explained, the prices differ according to the supplier. Furthermore, the costs of building a flat roof are far different than the ones for a full roof terrace. You don’t have to worry, though; there are so many options at hand that you’re bound to find one suitable for your budget.

We’ll go over the general costs for building a flat roof, as well as tips for creating your personal budget for such a project. After that, you’ll see how you can get a free quote in a matter of minutes and what qualities you should look for when working with professionals.

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General Project Costs

There are quite a few factors that influence the general project costs for a flat roof or roof terrace. Honestly, the budget for a project of this kind can range anywhere from £5,000 for a simple flat roof, all the way to £50,000 any beyond for a spacious, intricate roof terrace. Nevertheless, always keep in mind that adding a roof terrace or converting your pitched roof into a flat one will noticeably increase the value of your house on the real estate market. Subsequently, if you ever plan on reselling your house, you will get a much better deal than you would have initially planned.

All the same, your budget could be higher or lower than the price range mentioned above. Learn how you can create yours.

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General Project Costs

Multiple aspects need to be considered for putting together a flat roof or roof terrace budget. Just a handful of those that genuinely need to be considered are:

  • Flat or pitched roof (for terraces) - building a roof terrace is not impossible on a pitched roof, but the costs will be different.
  • Size
  • Permit cost
  • Materials
  • Furniture
  • Decoration
  • Extras

As you can see, you need to start from a general picture and then get into specifics. According to the amount you want to use for your roof project, you can add or cut down on furniture, decorations, or extras. However, if you truly want your roof terrace to be splendid, you should really consider saving up for the final touches.

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How to Get a Fast Quote

Almost all projects that fall under this category require a price quote or estimate when working with a team of specialists. Not only will the materials and quantities need to be considered, but also labour and logistics. Please be aware that any quote is just an estimate – the costs of your roof terrace or flat roof can be higher or lower, depending on details. It is recommended that you ask for quotes from several companies before you make your final decision. If you’re not sure which company to work with, take a look at the features you should pay attention to in the next part of our guide.

Most of the time, rooftop projects are taken on by homeowners who have busy schedules. The project itself is usually on the side, during their free time. Because of this, it is essential for homeowners to get fast quotes from reliable companies. If you want to get your free quote in a matter of minutes, click here. Simply enter a few details about your project and you will be shortly contacted by a professional who can lead the way for your future roof.

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What to Look for in a Roofing Company

Choosing a roofing company can be just as challenging as the roof project itself. There are plenty of businesses on the market to pick from, but how do you know which is the most trustworthy? These guidelines can vary, but most roofing companies that you can count on usually have the following features:

  • Free quotes - It might seem a bit ridiculous to pay for a price estimate, but unfortunately, some companies make potential customers do so. Offering a free quote lets you know that the company is confident in their products and services and that they want you to feel comfortable before getting scared.
  • Numerous suppliers - If a roofing company works with just one brand of suppliers, variety is automatically limited. By providing a long list of brands for customers to choose from, roofing companies prove that they are equipped with all necessary resources for any homemaker.
  • Visible Contacts - If you have to spend a lot of time finding a phone number, email address, or headquarters address on a roofing company's website, you can imagine how the rest of the process would unfold. An experienced roofing company should have contacts noticeably listed in key areas of their website, so they can easily connect with customers.
  • Speed & Quality - These two features easily go hand in hand. Look out for companies who offer prompt and safe delivery in your area, on your schedule. Moreover, do some reserahc on the products they sell and see if their quality is up to par with your standards. They really can make a huge difference for the final results.

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Flat Roofs and Terrace Styles To Get Inspired From

If you’re convinced that a flat roof or terrace should be your next investment, you need to start researching design ideas. One of the best sources for inspiration is Pinterest, but you can also filter Google image results for roof terraces. You will find some breath-taking examples of how your roof can turn out at the end of your project.

We wanted to mention that this research for ideas should be strictly for inspirational purposes. The best part of building a roof terrace is giving your personal touch to the project, making it definitive for your style. Combine ideas and add your own twist for an incredible final impact.

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Poolside Paradise

What can be more luxurious than a tasteful flat roof and a fabulous long swimming pool under it? A modern approach to a heavenly home includes an all-white design, with wood accents. An idea like this one is perfect for those who reside in residential neighbourhoods and who have a relatively large home. This design idea can be amazing for both flat roofs and roof terraces, depending on your preferences. If you do decide to go with this kind of design, make sure that the decorations you use on your roof terrace reflect the rest of the architecture and the main colour palette.

We recommend combining the main colour with wood, like in the example below. You can choose white furniture and leave wood for structural details, or use them the other way around. What makes a design like this so inspirational is actually its simplicity. In this regard, we suggest that you don’t clutter your roof terrace with decorations in abundance. Instead, go for a few pieces of furniture and several plants to enhance the environment.

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Contemporary Mountain Cottage

If the area you live in has a mountainous feel to it, you can always go for a modern adaptation of a cottage. In this case, a roof terrace won’t be necessary, but a flat roof will be like the icing on the cake. The main materials that you should be working with for this kind of projects are wood-based. Nevertheless, make sure that you provide the proper coating or protection methods so the materials will last in time. If you have a property in a remote area, you can give your vacation house a dreamy appearance with a flat roof.

As a project of this kind works around a small house with low-cost materials, the final costs of the flat roof won’t be overwhelming at all. In fact, it might be one of the least expensive home improvement projects you have ventured into. Aside from the small space that translates into fewer materials, woodgrain promenade plates are actually quite accessible. Browse through other tiling options for a different approach.

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Modern Urban Design

Nowadays, some of the most en vogue homes are designed with a flat roof and sharp angles. One of the trends related to modern urban design is that multiple terraces are incorporated into the architecture. Besides having a roof terrace, the homeowner can add a small one for every room on the stories, for a generally open vibe. Just like with a flat roof home with a pool, you can also choose from a simple flat roof or a roof terrace.

If you feel that this design idea is for your home, consider plenty of lighting. Not only should the walls of your roof terrace be filled with lights, but also your floors. You can consider spotlighting for the corners or borders of your terrace for a fantastic glow that you’ll be proud of. As far as decorations are concerned, we recommend either very few or full with plants. A rooftop terrace in an area like this can be blooming with green life to create a special atmosphere.

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Sunbathing Terrace

Why not take full advantage of those few sunbathing days with an awesome roof terrace? You can convert the top of your house into the perfect spot for sunbathing, complete with loungers and sofas. You can even put together a rooftop bar, but make sure that you can protect it from rainfall. For the best visual and practical impact, try not to permanently cover the terrace in any way so you can make the most of sunny days. You can feel free to furnish the area as you please but, like always, try to avoid clutter.

As for materials, woodgrain is one of the most suitable varieties for this kind of roof terrace. You can also experiment with other kinds of promenade tiles. If you truly want to create a nature-like environment, you can also look into tiles that resemble grass. The theme of your sunbathing terrace is all up to you. However, we recommend giving this kind of project a lot of thought so you don’t have to spend a lot on adjustments or maintenance afterwards.

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Mediterranean Villa

Mediterranean architecture is known for its beautiful, romantic design and seaside flavour. Most Mediterranean-inspired homes have a flat roof or a roof terrace that is perfectly incorporated into the general architecture plan. If you choose a simple flat roof, go with a classy base material that will work in harmony with the rest of the architecture. If you decide to venture into a roof terrace, use some flat roof tiles that will look just as nice as the rest of the house. To make the result even more spectacular, consider a flat roof from the very beginning of building your home. You can choose all the materials before starting to ensure that the design will be consistent.

When it comes to choosing furniture for your Mediterranean-inspired roof terrace, warm colours are a must. Plenty of wood or wicker is appropriate, combined with soft shades of brown, red or orange. For extra inspiration, do some research on Mediterranean interior design and architecture styles to get a better grasp of what the main characteristics are.

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Edgy Roof & Terrace Lounge

You can get the best of both worlds by having a flat roof and a terrace in your home’s design. If you don’t want to sacrifice the roof area for noise and distractions above bedrooms, you can build a terrace up high, as an extension of the first storey of your home. The terrace can be designed as an open balcony with lounge furniture, facing a gorgeous landscape. For the best visual impact, we recommend leaving the terrace area uncovered.

As for your roof, don’t be afraid to play around with angles and edges. Even though the general aspect will be flat, you can have raised corners or other funky structures that will make your roof incredible to observe from outside. Aside from enjoying an amazing view from the moment you pull up in your driveway, viewing the intriguing roof from the inside out will also be quite the experience. You can incorporate domes or other similar features to gather as much sunlight as possible indoors throughout the day. As an extra recommendation, we suggest that you consider large, wall-sized windows to complement the open space feeling.

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Urban Garden

As you have probably already noticed, we love the idea of minimalistic design. Nonetheless, we have to admit that a roof terrace overflowing with plants goes straight to our hearts. The idea of an urban garden is more than attractive for almost any city dweller, with parks and nature ever more scarce. If you love the colour green and you’re longing for a fresh restart, consider transforming your roof terrace into a lovely urban garden. Don’t hesitate to choose as many plants as your heart desires, as well as several pieces of comfortable garden furniture. To top it all off, you can even get a fountain to complete the atmosphere.

Still, you need to keep in mind that an urban requires frequent attention and care. Naturally, the more plants you have, the more you will need to maintain. Before getting started with this type of project, think if you have the necessary time and resources to take care of your green paradise. You should also be careful with the plants you choose so they can thrive almost all year long in the weather conditions of your area.

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Japanese Roof Garden

Finally, one of our favourite roof terrace ideas comes from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. It is one of the most praised Japanese roof gardens in the city and has gained the admiration of all who have visited it. The SOAS Japanese roof terrace has quite an interesting backstory, as it was built in 2001, during the Japan celebrations. The garden is meant to be a place of peace for urban dwellers, where they can get away from traffic and noise. Designed by Peter Swift and sponsored by Haruhisa Handa, the Japanese Roof Garden at SOAS is a wonderful source of inspiration for roof terraces.

For a similar project adapted to your home, pay attention to the details. As you can see in the photo above, a lot of stone was used as a base material for this project. Porcelain stoneware promenade tiles can help you get a similar effect for your roof terrace. Also, a few plants like lemon thyme and wisteria are included, which don’t require heavy maintenance and add a bit of colour to the garden. Water features – like the granite fountain – can serve as the perfect final touch for a roof terrace that will be unforgettable.

Which flat roof or roof terrace design did you like the best? Have fun building!

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Header Image Source

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11