How to turn your roof from tar beach to D.I.Y. luxury paradise for just $70

Okay so not this nice, but something beyond totally empty. via Flickr user danfinkelstein
Okay so not this nice, but something beyond totally empty. via Flickr user danfinkelstein

Once upon a nightmare named February, we sat in our heatless apartments dreaming of summer. Now that summer is upon us we have our summer selves popping ice cubes and strapping them to our foreheads. Our winter selves would shame us for staying inside next to the A/C complaining that it’s too hot out to do anything but stay inside and watch all the Seinfeld episodes on Hulu. Listen to your winter self shaming you because summer gives you a great shot at a quick D.I.Y. project: the D.I.Y. luxury rooftop! While the luxury buildings have the amenities like fake grass and chairs and grills and pools, we know how to use our creativity and resourcefulness to make something out of the classic black tar rooftop. Make your rooftop over into a D.I.Y. paradise for just $70.


tk. via Home Depot
Do stay on the grass. via Home Depot

One of the simplest and most essential pieces to any rooftop is some AstroTurf. You might think, “Bah! I don’t have a million dollars to buy and install a state of the art athletic field to fit on my roof.” Neither do I, but let a man dream! Thankfully for us you can get a 6′ x 8′ faux-grass rug for $18.87 at Home Depot to give your roof that fake grass patch you’ve always dreamed of. Think about all the activities that can take place: Duck, Duck, Goose! A romantic rooftop picnic! Croquet! Frisbee! Hitting golf balls at your neighbors (okay maybe not this one)! Get as weird as humanly possible on your turf.

Grillin' in chillin'. via Target
Grillin’ in chillin’. via Target

What is a rooftop without a grill? Ask Paul Wall if you need verification. With a small charcoal grill ($30 at Target for an 18-inch one) you shouldn’t have any issue fitting one on or up your fire escape to your roof. This way, you can grill some black bean burgers, organic corn, and S’mores to cap off any night. After all, people have a primal instinct to gather around fire and throw some food on the grill. And the best part? Unlike cooking for friends over at your apartment, there’s no clean up! (Except for that charcoal, that charcoal has got to go. You can dispose of charcoal by letting the ash cool for approximately 48 hours or if you don’t have 48 hours to spare pour water over the hot charcoal and stir it carefully. Once the ash has cooled off completely, wrap it in the aluminum foil and dispose of it in a non-combustible outdoor trash bin.)

They'll really light up your life. via Flickr user Paolo Mottola
They’ll really light up your life. via Flickr user Paolo Mottola

Unless your grill is going to turn into a bonfire (which I wouldn’t recommend) you are going to need some lights. Thanks to the under-appreciated Nikola Tesla, the  man who we can thank for the widespread use of electricity, you can find stringed lights available online for $16. Nikola Tesla would want us to use the light for all its goodness. Goodness that allows you stay up all night on our rooftops under artificial light and bark at the moon. Don’t disobey Tesla’s last testament, and enjoy the night by artificial light.

All great NYC rooftops have a pool, and while you won’t (and shouldn’t) put some monstrous in-ground thing up there, you can add a classic, plastic, kiddie pool for just $21.24. the list of great rooftops just got longer! The kiddie pool so multifaceted, you can look at it as the the Swiss army knife of your rooftop. Beyond just a place to splash around, your new pool can serve as an au natural bath for your furry friends, a post-workout ice bath or a place to cool yourself off when your A/C decides to take its own life, or can be transformed into your own personal private island if you throw some sand down and pretend not to hear all the traffic noises floating up. Or you can just throw in some adult beverages and add ice.

Now stop reading go build the broke rooftop of your dreams, before we’re all stuck inside again!

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