Turn your roof into a livable outdoor space | Way of life

Do you need extra living space at home for your family and friends and can’t find it? Does your backyard allow you to truly enjoy the outdoors in a relaxed, informal setting?

Yes, there are challenges to overcome, especially during this ongoing pandemic where we need to breathe as much natural fresh air as possible as we try to limit the potential spread of the virus in our own homes.

Here’s a credible solution that increases living space per person, blends in with the natural environment, and provides peace of mind and better health.

Sometimes the only way to grow is to go up! Let’s use and transform our existing flat concrete roofs into habitable spaces, with the ideal terrace (rooftop terrace). Be above it all while lounging in open-top or wood-lattice dining and living areas. Add to that a gazebo, a mini outdoor kitchen, a bar or a hot tub. A small rooftop garden can also be incorporated as we stretch our imaginations.

Capture the sights, the prevailing breezes and the laughter of your visiting friends in the perfect entertaining environment under the stars.

You will need to consider adding a staircase and protective railings to this newly found upper level. You can add wood, tiles, etc., to give a floor finish suitable for walking.

This great outdoor room should be well designed and designed to be as attractive, safe and functional as possible – your goal is to spend some quality time up there. It will be worth the money you spend on it and will actually increase the value and size of the real estate.

Seek and get approval from the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) or any parish council on the island in this endeavor, so you don’t run into any unforeseen problems down the road.

Interestingly, many houses from the early 1960s, for example in the Havendale and Meadowbrook housing estates in Kingston, were built with stairs leading to partially flat concrete roofs. People have long withdrawn from this outward disposition. Hopefully our mindset will change and crime will stop being a deterrent to the way we live our lives as we clean it up.

So enjoy your new extension (sky deck). You may find that you want to spend more time outdoors than indoors.

Barry Rattray is a designer and builder of dream homes. Email your comments to [email protected] and [email protected]