Center City, Philadelphia

Privacy with a view

We recently finished a stunning and elaborate roof deck in Fitler Square. This one has a rare feature - a private driveway next to the house provides passersby with a clear view of the deck. 

The deck is atop a small two-story row home. The homeowner (a successful businesswoman) wanted an "extension of the living space" so the deck would feel as comfortable and homey as a third-floor addition. 

The roof deck overlooks the Schuylkill river (aka Taney) Park's tennis courts, and we elevated it a bit for a clearer view of the Center City skyline.

We began by building a first-story landing in the rear of the house and replacing a guest bedroom window with an exterior door. From there we installed a custom galvanized steel spiral staircase to yet another landing above the 2nd floor bathroom. In anticipation of future remodeling, the homeowner requested that we not rest any framing on the bathroom to allow maximum flexibility for a bathroom reconfiguration. 

The top landing is attached to the main roof deck, accessible by a few steps. At 15x20 feet, the main deck is large enough to accommodate family and friends, yet not so large as to feel overly expansive. 

All decking is MoistureShield composite decking, as are the composite railings of the two landings. On the main deck, we did a combination of cedar-clad planters and a cedar privacy fence. The homeowner has a green thumb, so we wanted to provide as much potential for greenery as possible.

We also built a pressure-treated pergola to provide some much needed shade and capability for hanging plants. Additional "bells and whistles" are two exterior power outlets and an exterior hose bib to easily water the plants.