Apartment rooftop amenities aren’t just trending, they’re also space-efficient. This is especially useful in high-demand metro areas throughout California, where most vacancy rates are under 5% and space for amenities is limited.
In these areas, many apartment managers and owners may find that they want to add amenities, but just don’t have any extra land to expand.
Rooftops, meanwhile, offer an abundance of space to add sophisticated amenities that appeal to modern renters.
While pools may be the first thought that comes to mind when considering rooftop amenities, there is room for so much more. Depending on the roof size, managers and owners can consider everything from simple seating areas to upscale lounges. Really, outside of space and budget limitations, rooftop amenities are open to imagination.
Types of Apartment Rooftop Amenities to Consider
Pretty much any amenity an apartment manager or owner might imagine can be added to a roof, provided it’s structurally stable. Here are just a few of the common amenities to consider, as well as their estimated costs.
Simple Add On Amenities
|Amenity type||Description||Potential cost|
|Simple seating area||Adding tables, chairs, and other features like minibars and refrigerators creates a low-cost outside seating area that renters can enjoy with minimal upkeep for the landlord.||The overall costs will depend on the size of the rooftop and the quantity needed, but a simple outside table and chair set can easily be found for under $200. A refrigerator will cost between $800–1,200. Countertops cost about $600, and design costs vary.|
|Dedicated Wi-Fi||Adding Wi-Fi to a rooftop doesn’t have to be a complex process. Essentially, it can be done with a modified TV antenna or an outdoor extender, and a little bit of signal knowledge. It’s also a good idea to include some USB charging stations, so individuals can stay powered up and connected.||It costs around $300 to buy a high-quality outdoor Wi-Fi signal extender. Today’s power strips often include USB ports, so it’s possible to add outdoor charging stations for as little as $30 per unit. You should also factor in Wi-Fi service fees from a local provider.|
|Community games and storage||Outdoor games like Cornhole, Giant Jenga, Connect Four, and others are fun activities for guests. Storage lockers will protect these games from the elements while keeping them accessible for guests.||The cost of outdoor games can vary widely but typically won’t exceed $50. An outdoor storage shed will cost anywhere from $800 to $2,000.|
Outside of space and budget limitations, rooftop amenities are open to imagination.
|Pet runs/parks||Pet runs and dog parks can be a great option to offer residents who want a place to walk their dogs but don’t have a nearby park to enjoy. The same goes for rooftop parks and playgrounds.||Costs of this will be based on the area to be covered with synthetic turf, as well as if additional structural support is needed. While a nice, ground-level dog park can be built for around $6,000, establishing one on a roof will likely be in the $10,000 range or higher.|
|Lounges||A standard rooftop deck gets an upgrade when facilities like outdoor kitchens and bars are added. This brings a fun nightlife experience right to the resident’s home and creates a luxurious feel.||Adding a simple rooftop deck costs around $25,000. When including features like bars and outside kitchens, the price may increase to $50,000 or higher.|
|Pools / Hot Tubs||Pools and hot tubs are the most complicated rooftop elements to add as they’re extremely heavy and present the risk of leaks, which can significantly damage structures. However, they are also the pinnacle of rooftop luxury. They provide a guaranteed place in the sun for residents with fabulous poolside views.||Rooftop pools and hot tubs can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000. Structural upgrades are generally necessary to ensure the roof can hold a pool and will range from $5,000 to $20,000. There will likely be a permanent increase in insurance premiums, as well as utilities to maintain the pool.|
This is by no means a comprehensive list of amenities, and it’s likely that landlords can think of even more based on their building’s specific residents and attributes. However, regardless of what is added, it’s crucial to work with an expert contractor when making changes to a roof.
Safety Concerns Regarding Rooftop Construction
Any type of rooftop construction—even simple things like adding tables and chairs—is not a DIY endeavor. Roofs must be able to support the outside upgrades placed on them, as well as the individuals who spend time there.
A layman will often overestimate what their roof can hold and forget about the risks of dynamic weight that changes as people move around. In California, there are extensive requirements for making any changes or adding any types of structures to roofs which are covered in Chapter 15 in the California Building Code.
Only an expert in apartment rooftop amenities is going to be prepared to meet those stringent codes and create a safe space for residents to enjoy. There are a lot of factors to consider, like support, wind resistance, and weatherization.
By working with an expert in California rooftop amenity construction, apartment managers and owners can add sophisticated features that provide their residents with a safe, high-end experience.