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The Cost Of Building A Roof Terrace  - Mind the Performance Gap

21 December 2022

Specifying a roof terrace for your commercial building brings with it countless benefits to both your client and the end-users. Roof terrace design has the ability to improve the value of a property, by capitalising on a space that is rarely used to its fullest.

The products that go into a complete roof terrace or garden are extremely varied from project to project, however, one thing that remains true for most commercial terraces is the need for pedestals.

Pedestals raise the finished level of the terrace to whatever FFL is required, and can be finished with your choice of surface material, whether it be decking or pavers.

When specifying these pedestals, you’d be amiss to think they all work the same or provide the same end result.  Unfortunately, the cost of using poor-quality pedestals can be vast, including monetary costs, project delays or compatibility issues during installation - or even costly remediation once the terrace is in use.

So let’s dive into the costs of building a roof terrace further.


Quality Pedestals Unmatched Strength & Compression

We can’t be clearer here: not all pedestals are the same. This is true for different pedestal manufacturers and also with different pedestal ranges from the same company – they’re all designed with different features and characteristics.

Strength is a key feature to look out for when specifying pedestal systems for commercial projects.  These projects will require a terrace build-up that is able to withstand heavy footfall as well as the added weight of heavy planters, furniture and even lighting rigs.

Whilst most pedestals are manufactured with polypropylene recycled plastics, the design and manufacturing process will determine how viable each range is when it comes to load-bearing.

When specifying pedestals look for data sheets from the manufacturer which include compression test data. These tests identify how much weight a pedestal system can take before failing; a manufacturer should be able to warranty for particular loads.

The thicker the material used, the stronger the pedestal usually is, however, the pedestal itself should be engineered for strength.  A budget pedestal system is ideal for back garden projects, but probably won’t be able to handle the dead loads or live loads present on a commercial building, potentially causing issues over time if this isn’t addressed early on.


Slope Correction & Added Features Of Quality Pedestals

Inclines and different levels have always been a consideration when designing terraces. For that reason, slope correction functionality is one of the key reasons for using pedestal systems on terraces or decking.

Budget pedestals may not have slope correction features, which would make them unsuitable for many commercial projects.

You should also be wary of self-levelling features in pedestals, as this approach to slope correction lacks the precision required to create perfectly level and stable terraces.

This type of slope correction relies solely on the weight of the surface material setting the slope and has no way to mechanically set the degree of slope correction or lock it into place, and could result in ‘rocking’ on the decking’s surface.

Quality pedestals will include millimetre-precise built-in slope correction features or accessories that can be added to the base or head of the pedestal. The DPH range from Buzon comes with integrated slope correction built into the head of up to 5%, with a further 10% available through the addition of accessories to the base of the pedestal.

Here is a video of the DPH range, demonstrating installation and the built-in slope correction:


Accessory Ranges For Premium Pedestals

Specifying pedestals involves understanding more than just the system you choose.  It’s rare to find a commercial roof terrace that does not require the use of pedestal accessories to install the perfect decking or paving.

These accessories have been designed to account for the bespoke needs of individual projects, offering answers to some of the most commonly faced issues during roof terrace installation.

Accessories such as spacer tabs allow for a perfect finish when using paving, as each tile will be uniformly separated.  Not only does this provide a more aesthetic finish, but it also provides some practical benefits.

The resulting gap between paving facilitates the drainage of surface water, preventing pooling on the surface and allowing it to run onto the waterproof layer below.

Other accessories that help with site-specific requirements are edging products such as the U-EDGE, and the U-WALL.

A common problem when using budget pedestals, or ones of lesser quality, is the lack of accessories and features needed to deliver project requirements. This can increase the time of installation, may reduce the quality of the end result and in some circumstances, you may need to change your choice of pedestal in the middle of an install.


Saving Time & Costs On Your Roof Terrace Design With Premium Pedestals

Choosing the right pedestal manufacturer not only ensures that you receive the right product for your project but can also give you access to their expertise.

The right pedestal manufacturer will be on-hand to answer any queries during specification, offering more than just the pedestal itself, in the form of ongoing support.

Some pedestal suppliers also offer installation services, delivered through their in-house team of expert installers, ensuring that the installation process is quick, efficient and done to the highest standard.

As you can see, many costs are mitigated by choosing the right pedestal product and manufacturer for your commercial project. These go beyond simply monetary costs, by helping to avoid project delays, speeding up specification and installation, and gaining access to specialist support.

If you’re looking to create commercial roof terraces in your next development, take a look at the Buzon range of adjustable pedestals.  With 5 ranges of pedestals, including two fire-rated options, and a whole host of technical features that will support any design choices and technical requirements.     

Did you know we also offer site-specific advice, surveys and training (subject to location)?

If you’d like to discuss your requirements further, don’t hesitate to speak to an expert by calling us on +44 (0)20 8614 0874 or emailing


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