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What Is the Easiest Way to Build a Rooftop Deck on a Pitched Roof?

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Ever dreamt of having an outdoor haven on TOP of your home? Building a rooftop deck on a pitched roof unlocks a world of possibilities, turning unused space into an enjoyable retreat. The slope or pitch of the roof presents a challenge to traditional construction methods. However, with careful planning and the right materials, you can create a level surface.

Assessing the Potential for a Rooftop Deck on a Sloped Roof

Before diving into construction, assess your roof's slope and structural integrity. A steeper pitch will require a more complex deck design to achieve a level surface. Consulting a structural engineer ensures your roof can handle the additional weight of the deck (and that your deck can handle hazards like wind uplift). Evaluating the slope also allows for proper drainage planning, crucial for preventing water buildup and potential roof damage. After all, the roof was built at an angle for a reason!

The Power of Pedestal Deck Systems for Sloped Roofs

Pedestal deck systems are your secret weapon for conquering a sloped roof. These ingenious solutions consist of adjustable pedestals that support the deck tiles or other surface materials from underneath. By adjusting the pedestals' height across the roof surface, you can create a level surface – regardless of the roof's pitch.

Bison's pedestals are ideal for residential rooftop deck projects. These user-friendly pedestals allow for precise adjustments, ensuring a smooth and stable base for your deck. Our Screwjack and Versadjust pedestal systems are usually selected for commercial applications. Explore our range of pedestal systems to find the perfect solution for your rooftop deck project.

Here are some helpful videos showcasing how these pedestals are used to achieve a level deck on a sloped roof:

Preparing Your Roof for Transformation

Before welcoming your rooftop retreat, ensure your roof is in top shape. Conduct a thorough inspection, looking for any signs of damage that need repair. Addressing leaks or weak spots is crucial for maintaining a healthy roof and protecting your new deck.

Even with a sloped roof, proper drainage is crucial. To ensure water flows away from your house, consider incorporating a very slight slope (around ¼ inch per foot) on the finished deck surface. Just be sure the deck is still level enough that it is easy to walk on. This slope will complement the existing roof pitch and channel water effectively. Waterproofing membranes remain another essential step, preventing moisture from seeping through the roof structure beneath the deck.

Design Your Dream Rooftop Deck on a Sloped Roof

Now comes the fun part – designing your rooftop getaway! Consider factors like the size and layout of your deck, keeping in mind safety regulations and access points. Think about the aesthetic you want to create – a sleek modern space, a cozy garden retreat, or a vibrant entertainment zone.

Here are some design ideas to spark your creativity:

  • Seating areas: Incorporate built-in benches, lounge chairs, or modular seating arrangements to create comfortable gathering spots.
  • Planters: Bison's stylish planter cubes add a touch of greenery and vibrancy to your rooftop retreat.

ipe-wood-cube Rooftop deck on a pitched roof

  • Lighting: String lights, lanterns, or strategically placed spotlights create a magical ambiance for evening gatherings.

Selecting Materials and Finishes

The materials you choose for your rooftop deck will determine its aesthetics, functionality, and longevity. Consider factors like weather exposure, foot traffic, and maintenance requirements when selecting decking materials. Popular options include wood tiles for a natural look and ceramic pavers for elegance and durability. Explore different materials and consult with the team here at Bison to find the best fit for your needs. It is OK to mix and match surface materials. Our pedestal systems support all our deck options.

Safety Measures and Regulations

Building a rooftop deck requires strict adherence to building codes and safety standards. Here are some key considerations:

  • Wind Uplift Resistance: Ensure your deck design incorporates features that mitigate wind uplift. This might involve using wind clips to secure deck boards or installing sturdier railings.
  • Weight Distribution: The weight of the deck, furniture, and people using it needs to be evenly distributed across the roof structure. Consulting a structural engineer during the planning phase is crucial to ensure your roof can handle the additional load.
  • Access Points: Provide safe and secure access to your rooftop deck. This could involve a permanent staircase or a retractable ladder system, depending on local regulations and your preferences.

Maintaining a Rooftop Deck on a Pitched Roof 

Proper maintenance extends the lifespan of your rooftop deck and keeps it looking its best. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Routine Cleaning: Sweep away debris and dirt regularly. For deeper cleaning, use a hose with a gentle spray setting and mild cleaning solutions suitable for your chosen deck material.

  • Seasonal Upkeep: Inspect your deck before and after winter for any signs of damage caused by harsh weather conditions. Address any issues promptly to prevent further problems.

  • Specific Material Care: Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for cleaning and maintaining your chosen decking material, railings, and furniture.

Enjoying Your Rooftop Retreat

Now comes the best part and your hard work pays off – unwinding and creating lasting memories in your very own rooftop oasis! Host unforgettable gatherings with barbecues under the stars or intimate evenings with breathtaking city views. Escape the daily grind with a quiet cup of coffee bathed in morning sunlight or unwind with a glass of wine as you admire the sunset. Cultivate your own urban oasis with planter boxes overflowing with herbs or create a vibrant haven with colorful flowers cascading down vertical gardens.

The possibilities are endless – so unleash your creativity and transform your rooftop into a haven that reflects your unique style.


Transforming your sloped roof into a rooftop deck unlocks a world of possibilities, expanding your living space and creating a unique outdoor retreat. By following the steps outlined in this guide, prioritizing safety, and choosing the right materials, you can turn your vision into a reality. So, explore Bison’s range of rooftop deck products and get ready to enjoy the unparalleled experience of your very own rooftop paradise. 

About the AuthorBison IP Team