One of the home's most unused patches of space is the roof. Yep, that's right. The roof. Think of all that space up there, just waiting for someone to get creative with it. Well, it can be done, but there are a few things you have to take into consideration. The first is that you have to have a flat roof.
After all, it’s kind of hard raising bees at a 30-degree angle. That means that all you people with pitched or gable roofs can read another informative piece, here on Remodeleze
. But if you have a flat roof, well that's another thing altogether. Your roof just became an open canvas.
One of the things you'll have to consider is, as always, if it will fit into your city or county code/zoning? If it does, then you can check another box and move to the next equally important consideration.
Is your roof sturdy enough. If it isn't then maybe its time for a new roof, in which case you can find more info about that here
, along with contractors to help you. If it is sturdy enough, will you be able to walk on it without creating cracks, flat spots, etc?
If not, then what do you do? Well, this is not a job for everyman or woman, so you might want to call in a contractor
at this stage, especially if you have city or county code that you have to deal with. One of the reasons contractors are worth their salary and time is preexisting relationships with city officials, planning boards, city engineers, etc. Never underestimate their ability to move things along.
So what would a contractor suggest you do if you want to garden or raise bees on your roof? Reinforce and build on top of it.
Once you're assured that you have a strong roof, strong enough to support 55 lbs per square foot, you'll need to install a watertight EPMD rubber membrane over the top of the roof. Your contractor would likely install “sleepers” (flat 2x6’s laid on their profile every 16” on top of the roof surface). Gotta attach your deck to something, right?
Once you've done this, with permits in hand of course, then you can get a deck built on your roof and now you're ready to get into rooftop gardening or even bringing in an apiary. Urban bee keeping is all the rage. Combined with planter boxes filled with fruits, flowers and veggies, you could have a veritable Garden of Eden reaching up to the heavens.
Beehives can be built and they're not especially difficult, but if you're new to beekeeping, you might want to buy a pre-fab apiary. Many times, you can find local beekeepers who double as apiary makers and then employ their steady hand.
Planter boxes can be cut and nailed together. You don't need a contractor for that. But if you are going to plant, you'll need water up there. Again, it’s not rocket science, but a contractor/plumber could come in quite handy if you're tapping into the main, or splitting off an existing line. Sometimes, all you'll need is a long hose. You'll also likely need to access your roof, so you'll have to figure out if a simple ladder will work or you'll need something more involved like stairs. If you go the stairs route, you might need the services of a contractor as well.
The literal upside to having a roof deck/garden is for homeowners that don't have a large backyard space. It’s also the wave of the future as urban designers are going green on rooftops.
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