Now that many homeowners now opt to convert their roofs into outdoor living spaces suitable for all kinds of weather, the City of Chicago has incorporated updated codes. The new 2019 Chicago Building Code applies to creating new occupiable rooftop decks, whether on an existing or new roof. It is critical to engage an Illinois licensed architect or structural engineer to commence the initial design of your new rooftop space. This professional will examine the integrity of existing structures and identify any building code compliance issues, as well as maintenance issues.

Compliance with Building Codes to Prevent Safety Hazards


Our architects conduct a review and assessment of the building to ensure compliance with Chicago’s building codes. For instance, they’ll detect splintered or warped wooden floors and railings, ice damming under the deck, and any other deficiencies that can make the space hazardous. Issues like puddling on the deck indicate inefficient drainage because of cracked or rusting pipes that need to be replaced. Your patios should also have railings placed at the recommended height of at least two and a half feet from the tread of each step.

Identifying the Requirements for Single-Family Home and Apartment Decks


Chicago has distinct codes for designing apartment decks several stories above the ground and patios or porches outside single-story homes. Apartment decks should avoid using glass and heavy planters, given the city’s windy conditions. Further, residents would have to follow regulations for the number of guests they can invite over and the maximum weight of the fixtures they can safely get. Additional rules include bolting down heavy metal bins and investing in commercial-grade furniture.

Rest assured that our designers create options that are permissible and follow all essential safety and building codes. Clients can talk about their requirements and how they intend to use their outdoor spaces and rely on our architects for functional and aesthetically appealing suggestions.