If you own a restaurant, a rooftop patio is a great way to extend your dining space and potentially bring new clients through your doors. In fact, rooftop patios are such a draw for some diners that many newspapers and review sites offer reviews that focus just on restaurants that offer this special amenity. Wondering if a rooftop patio is the right move for your roof? Here's what you've got to consider.
1. Do You Need a New Roof?
If you've recently put on a new roof, it may not be the right time to convert to a rooftop patio. However, if your existing roof is damaged or needs replacing, now may be the perfect time to think of upgrading to a patio instead of a conventional commercial roof. A specialist in commercial rooftops can help you decide if it's feasible in your situation.
2. Is Your Roof Strong Enough?
Depending on the type of roof you have, it may or may not be strong enough to support a patio. Many roofs are designed with just enough strength to support the roofing material, and in these cases, a rooftop patio won't work. You need a supporting structure that can hold tables chairs, lots of people, sunshades, perhaps a bar or server station, and whatever else you want to put on your rooftop patio.
That said, commercial roofs are often well poised to handle this type of weight. These roofs are often designed to hold heavy equipment such as air conditioning units, and as a result, they can often be converted to a patio relatively easily.
3. Would an Above-Roof Deck Work?
If your roof is not strong enough to handle all that weight, you may want to consider an above-roof deck. That is basically a wooden deck that has supports that are attached to the roof or even to the ground next to the building. Then, the deck sits slightly above the roof. If you put in a deck, make sure to handle any roofing repairs or upgrades first. Once the decking is in place, it will be hard to access your roof.
This setup can also be helpful from a drainage perspective. If it rains, the stormwater will go through the slats of your wooden decking onto the roof of your building. Then, the water can flow to drains in the roof or into the guttering and drainpipes along the sides of the roof.
4. Is the Patio Cost Effective?
Building a rooftop patio can be expensive. You have to work with a roofing engineer who understands all the load requirements of the patio. You may need to put a new membrane on your commercial roof to make the surface nice enough for diners, and in addition, you will have to set up access to the roof.
That generally involves stairs from the interior of the restaurant to the roof, but it could involve building stairs on the outside of the building. It also involves setting up a dumbwaiter that runs from the kitchen to the rooftop.
However, you need to think about these costs in comparison to your other costs. In particular, are these costs less than the price of adding an extension to the restaurant? Based on your projections, will the rooftop draw in enough new diners that the extra revenue will make the expense worth it? Make sure you consider points like that.
5. Do You Want to Consider Other Alternatives?
If you want to convert your commercial roof into useable space for your restaurant, a rooftop patio is not the only option. If you like, you could put a garden up there. That gives you the advantages of a green roof, but it also gives you access to fresh produce for your restaurant.
For more information, contact companies like Specialty Commercial Contractors LLC.