Building a Chicago Rooftop Deck

39358 Views 77 Replies 42 Participants Last post by  Chevelles
I just closed on a small condo in Bucktown on Tuesday. It's on the third story and I have interior access to the roof which is 65' x 18'. In the process of looking for a place, I saw some really sweet decks and got a few good ideas.

I basically want a wooden deck, pergola, and an outdoor kitchen with a garden variety of plants and trees. I can do most of the work but I want the deck itself to be done professionally. So, if anyone knows a good, reputable builder who specializes in decks please let me know.

Here are a few pics of the staircase and the roof.

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Let me know when you need an electrician....

I dont work till tuesday, but i will ask around.
Will do and thanks. I'm back in Tampa now but will be back up there in a couple weeks. I'd like to get started before winter sets in.
Yes he does!!! I was just checking that thread out. He definitely did it right.
Thanks you all. It will be a slow process but I'll post pics of any progress throughout.
You guys all make very valid points. There are definitely weight restrictions but they are pretty generous. The roof is rated for 40lbs per square foot which is fairly common nowadays. Obviously, I don't want to push my luck and install a swimming pool or anything but I think what I do have in mind should be well within the limits.

Slik560, you are correct. I do have the roof rights but I still needed to get approval from the condo association. Which all of that stuff is new to me. I've always lived on acreage and never had to deal with any sort of associations or nazi neighbors. Luckily, it's a 3 unit building and both of my neighbors are super cool.

I'm still in Florida but I am headed back up there on Tuesday. So, I should be getting started very shortly.
Unfortunately, I am still in Florida. The spouse of a business partner of mine passed away this weekend. I have to attend a funeral on Friday in Tampa then attend a wedding in Chicago on Saturday. If I was flying, it might not be so bad but I'm not. I have to drive!!

When I get back up there, I will definitely post some pics of the place. I can't wait to see it myself. My girl is 8 1/2+ months pregnant and is due Oct.1st. You can see her in one of the roof pics. She been furnishing it while I've been down here tcb'in!!! God knows what she's done, maybe I won't post any!!!. . . . . . lol
The last month has been a wild one. We had our baby girl so, progress on the condo has been slow and the rooftop even slower. The good news is I found a really good carpenter with lots of experience and some really great references. They will begin on the 27th, I'll post pics as it progresses.

Inside, we have basically everything except our couch. Cool thing is the place were I bought it gave me a loaner until it arrives. It looks hideous but it works for now. We still need lamps and the little petty stuff but overall, we are very happy with it.

Here are a few pics of the condo and one of my little princess. . .:D

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They are from Chiasso. It's located near Clybourn and Webster. Lots of cool stuff for very reasonable prices.

vino wall wine holder - a modern, contemporary wine holder from chiasso

I'm definitely going with LED's up there. I'll let you know when I figure out which ones.
She's is an absolute doll, thank you all very much!!!

Those wine racks are definitely unique. We got two of them to put side-by-side but I was leery about hanging 8 bottles of wine from drywall anchors. In order for me to screw both of them into studs I had to keep them within 16'' inches of one anther. So, I just off-set them to utilize the most space.
lol. . . I didn't notice that until you mentioned it. If the bottles were all the same you might be able to do it like that but the neck sizes are all different. In order to keep them level, I had to play with them a bit but they are definitely secure. Believe me, I've already thought about what a mess it would be if they did fall. . . . . . . in the middle of the night!!! No Bueno

Deck pics to follow in the next couple of weeks!!!
The deck itself is finished. We are super stoked with the way it came out!! We went with cedar because we really like the natural look and durability. Here are a few pics of the progress.

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Here are a few more pics of the finished product. The last one is of a 10' x 18' section that I'm going to put down artificial grass on. Unfortunately, I was unable to get any before I head back south for the winter. I still have plans to build a pergola, an outdoor kitchen, along with a few other things this spring.

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Thanks so much guys, I appreciate it!!! Slik560 is exactly right. They are cut up insulation panels. It makes for a perfect go-between barrier. It not only protects the roof but it's a great sound deadener as well.
Thanks a lot for all of the kind comments!!! It's basically a blank canvas now. So, I'm sure I'll come up with a bunch of crazy ideas this winter. It'll be fun to see which ones are realistic.
Thanks for all the nice comments everyone!!!

Awesome!!! How the heck did you get all that lumber up?
No $h!t, that was my first thought too. . . lol. . . They used a crane truck to hoist it all up there.
First of all, welcome to the 4 ! I do find it funny that you joined just so, you could add your expertise and criticism to a deck that was build almost 2 years ago. At the same time, I can appreciate you knowledge of the subject. I have replied in bold to a few of the statements you made in your post.

Placing a $10,000 deck on a cheap or old roof is a very very bad thing. I'll try to share some of what I've discovered so you or others don't make the same mistakes I've seen.

My roof is neither old nor cheap. When the deck was installed, my building was less than two years old.

By the way your roof is a 12 year rated roof, a smooth silver coated modified bitumen, and I do see some installation error in the photograph.

Originally, my roof was not coated in the bitumen sliver paint. I had that done before they built the deck. So, now can you tell me what year rated roof I have ?

Where the roof meets the deck, the roof should never meet the deck! Always have pads, typical walk way pads are sufficient to ensure that the deck never touches the roof.

At no point does the deck itself touch the roof. You may want to go back and read the thread and not just focus on the pictures.
Nice clean slate to work with. Thats the best. No ones elses problems to deal with. Keep us updated.
It's come a long way. I'll post some updated pics later on.
Here are a few pics I took last year after the pergola was finished and everything was stained. Since then, we've added a full on organic garden and of course, a WEBER ;-)

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Hi, I didn't come here to argue, just to offer some insider insight.
No worries man, It's all good. I appreciate the advice !!
Thank you all very much for the nice comments !!
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