Every building has a roof, but not every building has a roof deck. For those who live in cities, a view of the streets below is one of the ultimate amenities. A roof deck provides a sanctuary for residents and may increase your properties unit value. New York architect’s say that roof decks are a wonderful amenity for any building since it is useful for many functions. If you are thinking of installing a roof deck on your building, you need to consider some things. Here are five things you should know about roof decks in New York.
New York zoning has a say as to where to build a roof deck, the size, and whether the deck constitutes additional floor area. According to the New York City Building Code “…construction may only begin after the department approves construction plans and issues permit for a deck or porch. Only a New York State licensed professional engineer or registered architect may design them. If your roof is not included on a building’s Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) as usable space, then the CofO has to be amended for the new use. A structural engineer should check to ensure that the roof and structure are capable of supporting additional weight as-is, or it needs extra support.
The New York City Landmarks Commission is often interested in what the co-op or condo is doing if the building is individually landmarked or in a landmark district. The commission requires that new roof constructions should not be visible from street level, or even from a block or a couple of blocks away. This requirement maintains the visual integrity of the existing facades.
Technical issues may arise as you construct the new deck. Mechanical system components and plumbing vents extend up through the roof. Unpleasant smells from bathroom vents, kitchen, and exhausts are all significant issues for the new roof deck space and should be considered as part of the overall plan to develop the roof deck. Cell phone and satellite towers on the building or nearby are also potential health risks.
When designing a roof deck, the structural engineer must not compromise the integrity of the existing roof waterproof membrane when fastening the deck to the roof structure. The engineer must provide access to all shelter drains as part of any new construction. The deck must allow a fire escape where the fire department can access a low-rise building roof mainly from the front side of the building. The design must also add railings if the existing parapet wall is less than 42 inches high above the roof walking surface.
Most people install a roof deck to have comfortable outdoor dining. Before installing a roof deck, co-op and condo boards should be aware of the rules and regulations concerning barbecue grills in New York City. In New York, it is illegal to use or store a propane barbecue on a rooftop. It is also unlawful to have Charcoal or electric grill. If you are thinking of installing a grill, make sure that all materials are non-combustible for at least a 10-foot radius around the barbecue.
If you wish to install a deck, visit http://www.newyorkdecks.com/ to find professionals with years of experience who can help you get the job done right.