The Goof-Proof Roof (and Balcony) Prepare for Spring Despite the Frost

Outdoor spaces like balconies, terraces, and roof decks can add a lot of charm and value to your building, as well as providing pleasant spots for residents and their families and guests to take the air and relax. It's just about now - as residents are bringing in plants and re-caulking windows - that co-op owners and boards should consider fixing up balconies and rooftop living areas. While most work should wait until warmer months because of materials' reaction to cold, planning early could save money.

Scheduling work for spring now can help co-op boards secure good prices, while guaranteeing work for construction and repair crews at the beginning of the busy season. Also, preliminary site work can be done during the winter months, often at off-season prices. Planning early also allows for comparison-shopping and eliminates last-minute decisions. Industry specialists say too many property owners don't do their homework before spending.

Safety Before Swanky

Outdoor living space considerations range from the practical (is the balcony about to collapse?) to the aesthetic (should a greenhouse be added to the roof?) But basic safety should be the first concern.

"The repairs of these are typically expensive, noisy, dusty and inconvenient for the shareholders. And - like with dental work - most people don't take the steps they need to take, until they must," says Wayne Bellet of Bellet Construction in Manhattan. "Most people do not do preventative work"¦which is why I'm so busy."

Look Out for Local Law Eleven

Every five years, a general, exterior safety inspection must be completed by an architect or engineer and filed with the city Department of Buildings (DOB). It's called Local Law 11, and most high-rise building in New York City fall under its jurisdiction.

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3 Comments

  • What is the best and safest fencing for penthouse roof tops
  • DOES PUTTING DOWN CARPET ON A BALCONY COMPROMISE THE SEALING WORK DONE. WILL IT CAUSE MOISTURE PROBLEMS
  • We have a small balcony on the 4th floor of a 7 story condominium and we would like to have some secured on sides sitting directly on top of the railing flower pots. I found a code that says if these pots are "secured" they would comply with code. The pot design extends down 7" and could not fall off, but the building would pay a stiff fine if I did not get city compliance in writing is this possible and how?