Roof Hatches on Houses? More Common Than You Think When most people think of roof hatches, they think of providing roof access to commercial buildings. Generally, it's easy to think that roof hatches are used to get people or equipment onto or off of a roof, and nothing more. So when architects are planning residential buildings, a roof hatch is usually not a part of the building plan unless it's a large, multi-unit building that requires roof access for maintenance purposes. But more and more, architects and homebuilders are finding a variety of reasons to make roofs accessible to residents. Click Here Now Roof access hatch Green buildings are using roof gardens in both commercial and residential applications. They lower energy costs, reduce heat absorption and re-radiation, provide acoustic insulation against external noise sources, and they can also be used by residents of the home or building for recreation and relaxation. But how are residents supposed to access their roof gardens; via rickety fire escapes or up ladders leaned against the side of the house? A roof hatch provides easy access to rooftop gardens and decks, and allows safer and easier transport of gardening equipment, lounge chairs, picnic supplies, or telescopes to and from the roof. Rather than go to the expense of building a covered stairwell and doorway up to and on top of the roof, a stairway hatch can provide safe and convenient roof access at a fraction of the cost. Another use of a roof hatch is as an escape port. In a fire, you want to get down and out of the house, not up to the roof. But during Katrina and other flood emergencies, people were trapped in their homes and had to be rescued from their roofs. A number of them had to use crude tools to break holes in their roofs and climb out. Many sustained injuries not from the flooding, but from the attempts to get onto their roofs
and be rescued. In a time when waterways and neighboring towns seem to be getting hit with once-in-a- century floods once every few years, well-planned and properly installed roof hatches can save lives and prevent injuries. A "front door" simply lets people and materials get into and out of a house, but you wouldn't build a house without one. In the 21st century, it's good to think of roof hatches as types of "top doors." They can provide valuable access to the roof, whether to maintain and enjoy a roof garden or as an safe emergency exit in flood-prone areas that can help residents and rescuers. So when you're designing a home, a residential building, or planning a remodel, consider a roof hatch in your design.