Most of us don’t really use our roofs. We value their protection, of course, even if we don’t always remember it till something goes wrong, but we tend just to waste that expanse on top of the house. Here are a few ways you might make use of it.
1. Roof Terrace
If you have a flat roof (or extremely good balance) you can do a number of things with it. One is to make a terrace to use as an elevated patio, where you can sit out, entertain or even have meals on fine days.
2. Roof Garden
Whether you have plants in pots and urns, or even unroll some turf, you can turn your roof into a haven of colours and fragrance. And the great thing is the slugs and snails can’t reach it.
3. Bird Oasis
If you set up bird feeders, tables and baths, the birds will flock to your roof. The best thing is they’ll be safe from neighbourhood cats — though perhaps not from your own.
Perhaps one of the more outlandish ideas, but you could build a pergola on a flat roof, though it’s important to make sure the roof will take the weight.
5. Swimming Pool
Perhaps even more extravagant than a pergola, given the British climate, but a rooftop swimming pool could be great for fine summer days. Just make sure your roof isn’t overlooked.
6. Solar Panels
Fitting solar panels to your roof will mean you’re not taking as much electricity from the national grid. This has the dual benefits of saving money and reducing your carbon footprint.
7. Loft Insulation
And, speaking of reducing your energy consumption, effective loft insulation makes a huge difference. It isn’t expensive to install, and you can make the cost back within two years.
8. Loft Conversion
While we’re on the subject of lofts, that space under your roof is valuable too. If you need an extra bedroom, playroom or even a space for your model railway, a loft conversion is a cost-effective alternative to moving.
If you do decide to use your loft for more than storing things you’ll never need, installing skylights in the roof can make it a far more pleasant place to spend time.
10. Dormer Windows
For a rather more traditional way of bringing light into an attic or converted loft, a dormer window or two will give your home an elegant feel. They also have the advantage that you can look out of them.