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Cost of Building a Rooftop Terrace in Canada

Last modified: 2021-12-22 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Léa Plourde-Archer

Rooftop terraces are becoming ubiquitous as a beautiful addition to the home! Whether living downtown or in the middle of the countryside, more and more people are turning their roof into a liveable, vibrant outdoor space. 

For many, and this might include you, the idea of a rooftop terrace is a dream. Of course, if you’re hoping to move forward with this renovation project, plenty of planning will need to be done. This includes a careful calculation of a budget.

In order for you to get an idea of how much this type of project will cost, we’re offering you a breakdown of things to consider!

Costs involved when building a rooftop terrace!

Things to do before you start building the rooftop terrace

Many things need to be considered before you can take any concrete steps toward building the rooftop terrace of your dreams. First of all, be sure to contact your local city council or do ample research into the building rules that govern your municipality. Every city has its specific laws and regulations for rooftop terraces.

For example, in Montreal, your plans will need to be approved by the city before a transformation permit will be offered. Furthermore, if you live in a row house or a semi-detached home, you’ll have to get your neighbours to agree to the project. If you'd like more information on the exact steps of this project, check out our article How to convert your roof into a rooftop terrace

Rooftop terrace in the city

Factors that affect the price of a rooftop terrace

First things first: building a rooftop terrace is a major investment and exceedingly expensive. Converting your space into a terrace will run you anywhere between $15,000 and $30,000.

When it comes to breaking down these total costs, many factors go into the budget including the size of the terrace, materials, labour, overhead and so forth. Although initially a large investment, this project adds significant value to your home. Not only does it greatly affect the resale price, but it also adds to the quality of life of yourself and loved ones.

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Materials for the rooftop terrace

As mentioned, several things will affect the total price of the renovation project, but the main one is the cost of materials. When it comes to choosing the correct material for your terrace,  you’ll encounter different pricing options with some materials being extremely expensive but a necessary investment due to either the size, shape or climate you’re working within. 

In other cases, cheaper materials can suffice for these same reasons. In each situation, you’ll have to determine which materials best suit your needs, your property and your current budget.

When choosing materials, start by asking yourself these questions: Would you prefer to pay less for something that isn’t as durable? Would you be ready to pay more for a type of material that weighs less? How do you feel about working with high-end materials? Determine these factors before beginning any construction can help you garner a better idea of how to structure the rest of your budget.

Lumber will offer you the cheapest option, and this includes the different types such as redwood, cedar and yellow pine. On the other hand, you may choose to use composite or vinyl. These materials last much longer than wood and generally do better in outdoor spaces. However,  they are often double the cost.

When choosing materials, it’s wise to get costs upfront and make sure overhead has been considered. In almost any construction project, the possibility of needing more material due to an oversight or misstep is more than possible, so don’t factor it out. Looking to learn more about the different materials that can be used to build a rooftop terrace? Check out our article “Which building materials should be used for a deck?”. 

rooftop terrace

Photo; Homberg

Labour costs and factors

Labour costs are another huge factor when it comes to this renovation project. Elevated prices should be considered for rooftop terrace projects, as you’ll have to hire workers from many different trades: rooftop specialists, masons, plumbers, tile setters and more. 

Again, who you hire will be specific to your roof, the materials you choose and the features you’re hoping to include. Also worth mentioning is that we’re talking about working on a roof, everything must be done following the highest quality standard.

If part of the project isn't well done, the flaws may end up affecting the structure and the inside of the house. Since this project should be taken seriously, we recommend hiring a general contractor who will be there to oversee and coordinate from start to finish. Of course, hiring a contractor will be an extra price factor but it can assure that a quality job is complete.

Further considerations

If you’re not counting your pretty pennies and have a bit more leeway in terms of budget, you can also add a few extravagant features. This could include a pool, a spa or a garden. Of course, depending on the structure you’re working on, some of these features may not be sustainable. For this reason, it’s important to work with qualified professionals who will give you good advice.

All in all, rooftop terraces can turn out to be quite expensive. Before you make a final decision, understand that it’s an investment that will end up paying off in ways that are both tangible and intangible. Once installed, you’ll be happy and able to take advantage of the beautiful weather without having to venture outside of your property.

Get 3 renovation quotes for your rooftop terrace project can help you get quotes for your rooftop terrace project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with 3 qualified professionals. Fill in the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from top rated renovation companies.

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