If you’re looking to add a new dimension to your home and want to benefit from your own private balcony, your house might have existing features that you could use.
Maybe you have a garage with a flat roof attached to the side of your house, or a kitchen extension at the back. Any structure with a flat roof that can be accessed from the main house could be transformed into a roof balcony – or, if it’s large enough, a roof terrace.
Of course, this depends on the materials and design of the structure, as you might have to carry out more work to reinforce it before you can use the roof as a balcony. You may also have to make structural changes to turn a window into a door to access the roof from inside the house, or add stairs to the side to access it from the ground level.
Though it may take a bit of work, the results could be incredible – giving you a brand new outdoor space to enjoy. If you’re on the fence about turning your flat roof into a balcony, here’s what you should know to help you decide.
Advantages of using a flat roof for a balcony
A flat roof is wasted space for many property owners, but a flat roof balcony conversion offers the chance to customise your home or even a commercial space. Expanding the usable living space makes the property feel bigger and look more impressive, and can also increase its value.
There are various uses for a balcony or terrace that also apply for a flat roof conversion, which can help you make the most of panoramic views and get some fresh air. These include:
- Relaxing reading nook
- Sunbathing lounge
- Alfresco dining area
- Rooftop garden
- Light workouts or yoga
- Outdoor office
- Safe play area for kids
- Home bar
While you’ll need to make sure you don’t exceed the load-bearing capacity of the roof, tailoring your new balcony to suit the ways you want to use it will be the most fun part.
You can use your flat roof balcony as both a place to hang out at any time of day and a new space to find inspiration and be productive. Whether you enjoy sunrises with a coffee, afternoons with a book, or relaxing into late evenings as the sun goes down, your balcony can improve your lifestyle.
Do you need planning permission to convert a flat roof into a balcony?
In most cases, yes, you will need planning permission to convert a flat roof into a balcony. Approval will depend on the condition of the existing roof and whether your plans comply with building regulations to ensure safety and functionality.
You should have your roof evaluated by a professional first to find out how you’ll need to modify it for use as a balcony or terrace. You’ll need to consider whether the roof and walls below need to be reinforced, insulation and waterproofing, non-slip flooring options, and guard railings around the edges of the balcony area.
Your local authority will consider your planning permission application and may restrict the works you’re allowed to carry out based on the surrounding area. For example, the proximity of your neighbours and disruption or privacy concerns may affect where you can install the balcony and which materials you can use.
The work must be done to a high standard for the local authority to sign off on it, so you shouldn’t risk your safety or wasting money on uninformed DIY attempts. Your flat roof balcony will be reliable and last much longer if it’s converted professionally.
Choosing balustrades for your roof balcony
Balustrades are the most important part of any balcony, ensuring the elevated area is safe by preventing people, animals, or objects from falling over the edge. According to building regulations, balcony balustrades must be at least 1.1m high from floor level to the top of the handrail.
The material used must also be strong enough to meet minimum load-bearing requirements. Many balconies and decks use wooden posts or metal rails for this purpose, but if you want your rooftop balcony to feel more open and spacious, you could opt for a modern glass balustrade.
Glass balustrades with steel handrails keep your balcony safe without obstructing the view, using panels of toughened glass at least 10mm thick in line with building safety standards. You’ll get quality, style, and safety all in one when you choose glass balustrades for your balcony – so why not start planning your flat roof balcony conversion today?