Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
The summer heat is close to unbearable, and your backyard is incredibly small and cramped. You've dreamed of having your very own pool to ward off the sweltering temperatures, but there is no way one could be traditionally built without stretching into your neighbor's yard. Now you're asking yourself, "Can my roof support a pool?" Many factors must be considered when pondering whether or not to use all that extra space just hanging out up there. We've compiled some great data to assist you in your search for answers.
A rooftop pool is not at all out of the question, so long as your roof is structurally sound. To support a pool, consult a professional builder to ensure:
- The framing is sufficient to hold the weight of the pool when filled with water.
- Your roof is flat enough to accommodate the pool.
- The pool that you choose is made of the correct materials for a rooftop.
- The structure will adhere to local building codes when completed.
You know it is possible to have the rooftop pool of your dreams, but how can you make that dream a reality? Read on to delve further into the steps involved before constructing a new pool on your roof.
Know The Construction And Weight-Bearing Limit Of Your Roof
Water weighs a lot, a little over eight pounds per gallon. A 12x24 foot pool averaging four feet deep holds about 8,600 gallons of water. That's almost 70,000 pounds! Now the type of pool you would build on your roof can vary in size. When deciding how big of a pool to have on your roof, know how much weight your roof can hold. Consult a professional for this, but be aware of your home's framing.
If a pool is to be constructed on your roof, there must be enough framing, so the pool's weight is upon load-bearing walls. Consider the number of people you might have in your pool as well, as this can add a significant amount of weight. Your roof must also be flat and large enough to accommodate a pool.
How Much Weight Can Your Roof Hold?
Most building codes mandate a roof to be able to hold at least 20 pounds per square foot. Pounds per square foot is the measure of pressure an object puts on each area's square foot. Let's talk a little more mathematics to make this clear. To figure pounds per square foot, divide the number of pounds the area will be subjected to by the number of square feet. If your pool weighs 70,000 pounds and your roof is 2,400 square feet, that would mean your roof would have to hold just shy of 30 pounds per square foot (70,000/2,400 = 29.17) to support your pool, and would likely have to be cleared by building codes for a higher number to maintain safety.
Some roofs are built to withstand upwards of 100 pounds per square feet, so hopefully, if you're considering a rooftop pool, the roof you already have is one of them. Finding the amount per square foot your roof can hold depends largely upon the distance between support beams and how much load is transferred to supportive, load-bearing walls. Consult a building professional before putting anything heavy on the roof, even if it's just yourself.
Consider The Material Of Which Your Pool Will Be Made
Inground pools are traditionally made of heavy materials, like cement. A pool atop a roof needs to be made of a much lighter material. There are arguments to be made for a few different materials of which pools are constructed. The primary components championed by contractors are stainless steel or fiberglass.
Stainless steel pools are desirable because the metal is lightweight, durable, and will not rust. Since the pool will be above a home, keeping the water in the pool and not in your house is a solid argument for using steel.
Fiberglass pools are also lightweight. They require less maintenance, are less susceptible to algae, and quick to install. Pool maintenance is definitely a consideration when installing a pool high above the ground. Either way, you go, always keep the overall weight of your material in mind.
Consult Your Local Building Codes
Building codes are in place to protect the common welfare of the public within buildings. Different jurisdictions have different codes that must be followed when beginning new construction. To find out what the codes are for your jurisdiction, an excellent place to begin a search is with your local government and state website. If the information is difficult to come by online, either due to a poorly maintained website or if you live in a small community, it might become necessary to consult your local home or building inspector.
You can generally contact your local city hall or chamber of commerce to ask for direction to the correct person. Consulting your local building codes can be a huge timesaver. Don't make all your other plans until you know the codes in your jurisdiction would even allow a rooftop pool!
Can I Put An Inflatable Pool On My Roof?
Does all this information have you thinking of skipping the construction and putting an inflatable pool on your roof? Technically, a small inflatable pool on a standard roof could hold. However, this is not something we would recommend. The water fluctuating, the chances of overflow and leaks' potential are risks a homeowner should not take. If you happen to have an old, damaged roof, one step on a bad spot could be a painful mistake for the integrity of your home. If an inflatable pool is what you desire for your roof, consult a building professional before taking the leap.
Can I Put A Hot Tub On The Roof?
You can also have a hot tub installed on your roof! All the above information also applies to hot tubs. A primary difference to remember with hot tubs is that most don't fit standard outlets. You'll need to ensure the proper electric wiring is in place to keep your hot tub at the desired temperature. As with a swimming pool on the roof, there also needs to be a failsafe in place to ensure no sloshing water or leaks make their way into your home.
Is A Rooftop Pool More Expensive Than An Inground Pool?
Rooftop pools are more expensive than traditional inground pools. Not only does it take more equipment to get the pool on your roof, but you must also consult with plumbers and electricians. Most rooftop pools are a floating vessel inside a larger one to prevent terrible vibrations or leaks into your house. More materials equal to more money invested.
If your roof requires a structural upgrade to support the pool's weight, get ready to fork over even more. Don't forget to consult your homeowner's insurance, because this is likely to go up as well with a rooftop pool. But for those with no yard in which to enjoy an inground pool, a rooftop pool is quite likely the only option.
In conclusion, a rooftop pool can be your reality. It takes ingenuity, desire, and a willingness to overhaul your whole rooftop, but these tasks can all be completed with a hefty budget and willingness to research all available options. Remember always to practice caution and consult the professionals when the project is something this large!