Rooftop decks are the new backyards as competition for space becomes increasingly intense in urban areas. Real-estate developers find they need to invest more in these high-end decks than they would in a typical backyard deck, but the upgrades also add more value to the property.

A bare-bones deck typically costs a builder $15,000 to $20,000 and adds $20,000 to $30,000 to the value of the home, says California-based consultant John Burns. A larger and more extensive deck costs an average of $32,000 but adds $44,000 in revenue. Roof decks add an average of 6% to 8% to the value of a home.

Returns vary depending on the view and the amenities the developer provides.

Very elaborate rooftop decks include outdoor kitchens, high-end furniture, and trellised areas offering partial shade. Roof decks also are becoming standard at luxury rental apartments as rising rents are prompting tenants to look for more features.

Read More