Want Some Extra Garden Space at Home? Just Look Up

6 December 2019
 Categories: , Blog


If you want some extra garden space, sometimes all you need to do is look up. Converting your home's roof to a green roof or a rooftop garden can result in a striking look for your home, and if you are able to add a rooftop garden, you're also creating a beautiful new space for you and your family to enjoy. But what kind of legislation applies to these types of modifications? 

Green Roof

There's a difference between a green roof and a rooftop garden, and if your home has a sloping roof, a green roof is really your only option. It's more of an aesthetic choice than a useable garden, but it also has some practical applications, such as effectively insulating your roof and contributing to cleaner air. It's even a potential DIY project for capable enthusiasts, since the set-up can be rather basic. 

  • A plastic membrane is needed to protect your roof. 
  • A low-level barrier will be installed to contain the soil.
  • The soil can then be planted with grass (ornamental grass which grows to a predetermined length, so rooftop mowing isn't required).
  • A light sprinkling of gravel to prevent the soil from growing away is generally wise.
  • A dedicated irrigation system is also necessary to keep your green roof alive, since relying on rain or your garden hose is hardly practical. 

Building permits might be required, so it's essential that you check with your local council before beginning work. A structural survey can sometimes be a necessity, although this is only a confirmation that your home can support the extra weight.

Rooftop Garden

Building permits will definitely be required for a rooftop garden, as this is essentially creating an additional useable space for your home. Depending on local zoning legislation, a rooftop garden can be considered an additional storey for your home, and there is some logic to this, especially if you erect a shade sail and a safety balustrade (which might be mandatory). Again, you will need to query the matter with your local council, but if there are multistorey buildings in the immediate vicinity of your home, it's a reasonable assumption that planning permission can be granted. A rooftop garden is more complex than a green roof, so this is a job best left to the professionals, and an inspection by a structural engineer will definitely be required. 

Whether you only want something ornamental or you want a useable green space, perhaps all you need to do is look up. Reach out to a professional today for more information on getting building permits.