DETAILS FOR ROOFTOP DECKS Start with a perfect surface, make no penetrations, and work ever so carefully by Anthony Galeota The best advice I can give to clients who want to convert flat roofs to outdoor living spaces is, "Avoid it if you can." In my experience as a builder and home inspector, these spaces create more problems for both the builder and homeowner than they are generally worth. As an inspector, I often find ponded water, water penetration into the structure, and unstable deck platforms and railings. On the other hand, I have seen and built a number of these installations that have worked out well. To get satisfactory performance, I follow the guidelines explained below, many of which are largely common sense. Rules of