Santa's Not the Only One Hanging Out on the Roof

Santa’s Not the Only One Hanging Out on the Roof

Stylish new roof deck designs are wowing buyers and adding tens of thousands of dollars in revenues per house for new home builders.

Across the nation in such diverse markets as the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, the Southwest, Texas, and even parts of the East Coast, builders are finding great success in attracting buyers and beating the competition by offering thoughtfully designed and integrated rooftop decks in new home projects.

Well-designed rooftop decks add value by:

  • Providing more useable space
  • Enhancing the lifestyle experience of the home
  • Creating more connections with the outdoors
  • Opening up more view possibilities
  • Adding a private, useable outdoor area in places with dense housing and little or no private outdoor space

More bare-bones decks typically cost builders $15,000–$20,000 to add to a home and generate $20,000–$30,000 in revenues. Larger and more extensive decks are more typical in most markets and cost $20,000–$40,000 (average $32,000), but add $30,000–$50,000 in revenues (average $44,000). Roof decks add an average of 6%–8% to the value of a home. Revenues attributable to roof decks can be even higher in areas where the roof deck also opens up desirable views and creates view premiums (ocean, lake, natural open space, city skyline).

Despite higher home prices, new home projects with roof decks often sell at a faster pace than projects without decks. Ellwood (MDC / Richmond American), located in the Beacon Park masterplan in Irvine, CA, sold at over twice the pace of other nearby projects, and Sol (Family Development Group), located in Palm Springs, CA, has been selling over 50% faster than the local market average.

While roof decks can be a big plus, consideration needs to be given to who your target market is (will they want it?), what your price points are (can they afford it?), and whether a roof deck can be integrated into a home without compromising the integrity of the floor plan. A builder in Houston told us a cautionary tale about an infill project that included roof decks as a standard feature. The builder ran into the problem where, even with roof decks, the homes did not have any views. Buyers balked at the price of the homes, and the builder had trouble recouping the roof deck cost.

Roof decks are worth considering, particularly in high-density areas where useable outdoor space is at a premium and/or in areas with desirable views. Our team of experienced consultants can help you determine if adding roof decks will “raise the roof” on your sales or revenues.


Ellwood, MDC / Richmond American
Beacon Park, Irvine, CA
(Images brought to you by DesignLens.)




Seagrove, Taylor Morrison
Carlsbad, CA



Sol, Family Development
Palm Springs, CA



The Reserve at Washington, David Weekley Homes
Houston, TX

Reserve at Washington


East on the Bayou, Perry Homes
Houston, TX

East on the Bayou

Rose Saludo If you have any questions about our services or if you would like to speak to one of our team experts about how John Burns Real Estate Consulting can help your business, please contact Sara Newton-Mahony, Director of Client Relations at (949) 870-1252 or at