Transforming Your Rooftop into a Stunning Terrace.
The tale of how a simple job can become a long and drawn out process.
Maison Bretagne Renovations embarked on a project to revamp a weathered roof terrace that had seen its glory days. From the get-go, the client’s requirements seemed simple and unambiguous. However, we soon discovered that this project would be anything but a walk in the park. Thorough groundwork was imperative before diving headfirst into the construction process.
Typically, any external modification to a pre-existing building warrants a ‘permis prealable’ or ‘permis construire’ application. In this instance, the apartment under consideration belonged to a complex with around 15 other units. Each co-owner was represented by a ‘syndic’ or ‘trustee committee’, which meant that any proposed changes had to go through them during a general assembly before we could even think about removing a single decaying wood plank.
After an extensive meeting with the syndic’s representatives at the site, they shared their concerns about rebuilding the terrace, and even mentioned that the original owners didn’t have permission to construct it in the first place! Yikes! Eventually, they agreed to let our design team craft a visual presentation showcasing our vision for the revamped terrace. However, our client faced another hurdle when it was revealed during the meeting that the current terrace’s flat roof, which also served as a communal utilities building, was leaking. This made the syndic even more reluctant to approve a new terrace on an already troublesome rooftop.
A snapshot of the poorly constructed initial wood deck
The architects design
Plans – South east elevations
The architect’s input
We embarked on brainstorming and sketching various concepts, but soon realised that the complexities of bureaucratic procedures and the structural stability required for the outdoor terrace demanded expert assistance. That’s when we turned to Ken Grix from Ken Grix Studio for his expertise in crafting a detailed, to-scale technical drawing that would impress the committee.
In the midst of addressing the troublesome leaky flat roof issue, we also encountered resistance from the other property co-owners. Standing firm, we reached a resolution where our client would contribute to the repair costs. This meant that the project could proceed on the condition that the committee approved the plans. This may seem unjust, but eight months of ongoing committee deliberations demonstrated their aversion to the proposed plan. It was evident that the preferred action was to demolish the eyesore and leave it vacant. This would have been a disastrous outcome for our client. Essentially it would have meant him losing the outdoor space he thought he had originally bought with property and just be left with a unusable flat roof. This would, of course, have negatively impacting its market value.
As another month passed without progress, and bureaucratic complexities increased, the client conceded that offering to cover the renovation expenses might be the leverage needed to win the committee’s approval. Ultimately this was agreed.
After celebrating the triumph of our provisional approval, we eagerly reconnected with Ken. We discussed the now-perfected terrace design, and arranged a subsequent meeting with the trustee representatives for seamless progress.
Getting the Green Light
Once the syndicate green-lit the plans our team swiftly commenced the demolition of the unstable existing structure. Next, we diligently waterproofed the plant room rooftop and reconstructed the terrace based on Ken Grix’s outstanding design specifications. As the age-old saying goes, “all’s well that ends well,” and upon completion, the project received unanimous approval. The client could finally bask in the breathtaking views of the Cote Armor countryside from their stunning new rooftop terrace.
Useful links to sub-contractors and suppliers used on this project.
Ken Grix Studio https://www.instagram.com/kengrix_studio/
See more photos of our other projects in our gallery here: https://www.renovation-maison-bretagne.com/projects/