Rooftop Deck Design Ideas For All Year 'Round

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Transform your living space with the addition of a rooftop deck—an innovative solution to expand your home's square footage, especially if you lack a traditional yard. Whether you're aiming to capture a breathtaking view or create a seamless outdoor living area, the rewards of constructing a rooftop deck are immeasurable. Regardless of your local climate, this versatile space can be enjoyed as an outdoor room throughout the year.

Why confine your time on your magnificent deck? Let's explore some ideas to elevate your rooftop experience, perfect for homeowners, architects, and deck designers alike. The following suggestions let you plan your deck for use in all seasons, even if you live somewhere with cold weather.

Why use hardwood for a rooftop deck?


ipe_rooftop_deckRooftop deck with a pool has an Ipe hardwood shower area with built in shelves and seating. Hardwoods can take the constant moisture of a pool area and the strong UV of a rooftop, unlike most other wood decking materials.  


  • Unfortunately, decking materials like composites and softwoods are not suggested for rooftops. Composites can quickly fade and warp in the strong UV exposure of a rooftop. The same goes for popular decking softwoods like redwood, which will not fare as well under the heavy moisture and strong UV, shortening their useful life on your deck. Hardwoods such as Ipe and others have strong bending strength and require very little maintenance, and are proven to last for many more years, even under these conditions. 

  • Another option is ThermaWood Hem-Fir FR, thermally modified, fire retardant treated hemlock.  Thermally modified hemlock wood is stronger and more durable than its non-modified counterpart, and more project budget-friendly. Just a few of the advantages of ThermaWood Hem-Fir Fr: high resistance to insect damage, very good resistance to decay and rot, IWUI certified for the new higher standard fire codes in wildfire prone areas, non-toxic with no chemical treatment, a permanent fire retardant bonded at the cellular level. 

  • Stone or cement pavers are another popular rooftop decking option, but are hard to replace if they are broken, cracked or chipped. They are also cold and hard both visually and underfoot. Three big advantages to a strong wood decking board:  If scratching from heavy storm debris or other damage does occur, hardwood decking can be sanded to remove the scratch.  Also, if the damage is more extensive, wood decking boards can be removed and replaced as needed, unlike stone pavers. Still like the look of pavers? They can be beautiful. Consider contrasting them with natural wood for a warmer, more welcoming aesthetic and to be softer underfoot.  


Designing Decks for Family Gatherings

Picture this: Family dinners reaching new heights, served on your rooftop deck. Set the scene with a large table, built in benches, planters full of greenery, and a privacy screen all created from the same Ipe wood decking. The durable hardwood surface (below) is perfect for both winter feasts and summer picnics, resisting scratches from chairs and shoes so entertaining is easy. 


Wood rooftop deck with planters and built in seating and privacy wall in NYC

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of a stunning Ipe wood rooftop deck with built-in seating and planters, offering an expansive view of the iconic New York City skyline. Photo courtesy of The Organic Gardener NYC



Enjoy couple rooftop pergola party diverse

A rooftop deck gives a place for family and friends to gather for outdoor dining, high above the street.


Need some more inspiration?

Download the Rooftop Deck Design Portfolio today!

Rooftop Gathering Area with Modern Pergola

Transform your rooftop into a gathering hub for family and friends with cozy conversational areas, plush seating, and warm fire tables. A pergola allows you to design a distinct area for dining or conversation away from the rest of your deck. 

Wood provides a comfortable setting high above the neighborhood. Enjoy bug-free summer evenings and soft breezes, or cuddle up with throw blankets and a fire during the fall, and enjoy your company. 


sky deck Massachusetts Ipe deck rooftop fire pit pergola

A cozy fire pit conversation area on a rooftop deck made for entertaining. 


RELATED: Rooftop Deck Design Project Gallery

Urban Outdoors

Discover the urban charm of rooftop decks, known for hot city nightlife spots. Bring the vibrant atmosphere home with a bar, pub tables, lush plants, and twinkling string lights. Patio heaters ensure the party continues into chilly evenings, while a sound system and dance floor complete the scene. The resilient Ipe hardwood decking can withstand dancing feet and clean up effortlessly.

One remarkable aspect of rooftop decks is their versatility—host a variety of events in one weekend. After entertaining, your rooftop deck seamlessly transitions into a space for relaxation and rejuvenation.

(You’ll still have to clean up the next day, but you won’t have to worry about damage to your decking.)


Organic Gardener Ipe rooftop deck

Surrounded by an industrial cityscape, this space is an entertaining delight all year 'round. Photo courtesy


RELATED: Building a Rooftop Deck: 6 Steps to Success

Rooftop Balcony

Step outside with your morning coffee, several stories up, for an invigorating and energizing experience. Whether it's a warm spring day or a chilly winter morning, the rooftop view offers a change of perspective. Focus on your intentions for the coming workday or forget all about it for an hour or two. 


FSC Machiche hardwood rooftop deck naturally weatheredLet your hardwood deck age in place elegantly, like this Garapa wood. 

Zen Living

Need a morning jumpstart? Roll out your yoga mat or set up a workout area on your wood deck. Whether you prefer meditation, yoga, or an energizing workout, the natural wood setting high above the world might be more motivating than a gym wall. Plus, natural wood is much more comfortable under bare feet than stone. 


Hardwood rooftop deck and walkway BuddahA rooftop walkway just outside the sliding door immerses you in a peaceful, outdoor area with Buddhist iconography and wooden planters as privacy screens. 

Child's Play

For homes without a yard or nestled among others in cluster homes, a resilient wood rooftop deck becomes an ideal space for a play area. Built-in seating provides a comfortable spot for homework or arts and crafts, while the natural warmth of Ipe hardwood makes outdoor living a seamless part of your routine every season. Even the playground equipment is made with hardwood decking material. 


Ipe hardwood rooftop deck arbor and pergola

This wood deck and pergola offers both a family space to relax and a playscape for kids to burn energy. A rooftop deck adds space to "play outside". 


Get your digital copy of the Rooftop Deck Design Ideas Project Portfolio for even more, including pro tips on a planning successful project.

Winter Happenings

Apres ski, anyone? The right wood decking material allows you to relax after a day of winter sports on your roof, with a view over the mountain. This home, below, chose ThermaWood Hem-Fir FR decking,  and they also chose ThermaWood for the siding, soffits, and even the entryway. It gives a red cedar look with a more affordable price point and clear vertical grain, on your rooftop deck. It is also fire retardant treated with 


thermally modified wood rooftop deck and rainscreen siding on ski cabin in snow blog image


“Up on the rooftop reindeers pause"...because you have such an amazing holiday space! Enhance your holiday season with a rooftop deck adorned with a wood pergola, potted evergreens and twinkle lights. 


Up on the rooftop deck reindeers pause

What better way to celebrate the winter holidays than on your rooftop under a the stars and a wood pergola strung with lights?



Cool Weather Comfortable

Sweeping off fallen leaves or snow, adding a patio heater or gas fire place, and settling into a comfy chair allow you to enjoy the clear, cold night sky with a beverage and good friends.


Fireplace socked feet and cocoa


wood deck planters people winter fall rooftop deck

Enjoy cocktails and fall gatherings on a hardwood deck that makes your rooftop an extension of your entertaining area. 


Or step outside to the hot tub when the snow is falling.  Hardwood decks can be built around, or under, a hot tub with the correct load bearing installation. 


hot tub deck winter

Pool Your Resources

Indulge in ultimate relaxation with a pool on your private rooftop, accessible year-round. Ipe's low-slippage, low splintering, and extremely high water ad mold resistance ensure worry-free enjoyment.



Remote Office

Your rooftop deck isn't just for entertaining, fitness, or relaxation—it can also be your "satellite office." Set up your laptop and mobile devices to work remotely with the sky as your ceiling. A wood deck provides a cozy spot to answer emails or write reports, making your rooftop office superior to the corner office.



A perfect set up from working at home, this hardwood deck with decking boards installed at different angle, giving this small space a big impact. Add lush plants for privacy and color and a fire table for atmosphere. 

With the myriad ways a rooftop deck can enrich your lifestyle, are you ready to start planning? We're here to help every step of the way—let us know how we can assist you in transforming your rooftop into a versatile haven.





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