Retractable roofs are an excellent way to improve the property value of a home or commercial building. They also can increase quality of life, boost health by inviting more light and fresh air into spaces, provide impressive aesthetics, and make an area ready for all-weather use. However, retractable roofs are more than just an attractive design and functionality. It is also crucial that your client understands what’s involved in a retractable roof project, including what impacts cost, design considerations, and factors to keep in mind for longevity. This article explores what you should know before considering or recommending a retractable roof system.



When it comes to retractable roofs, the cost relates to whether or not you have adequate space in your building design. Lesser complexity and lower costs will be incurred if there is enough space for full retraction of a movable roof. It may take more creativity and effort, but you can still execute a retractable system without sufficient space for full retraction. We would advise meeting with an experienced company such as ours who could help evaluate the roof’s suitability and provide estimates accordingly.

Design Complexity

The design of the retractable roof will also impact the cost. For example, a single section in an easy rectangle shape will be less expensive than creating two sections that come apart in the middle (called bi-parting). Designing something with conical shapes where multiple glass panels extend over one another would introduce even more complexity and cost.


To prepare for installation, consider the following factors: 

  • Preparing and modifying the roof opening (if necessary). 
  • Adding durable curb and flashing per specifications to support the roof and its function.
  • Making electrical modifications to power a retractable roof.
  • Transporting and installing parts of a retractable roof assembly – some installations require using cranes while others do not.


Adhering to sound design principles, such as ensuring that its direction of retraction does not work against gravity, will contribute to a retractable roof’s longevity. Read more about robust design here.

Additionally, improper installation can lead to operational problems such as leaks or accelerated wear. 

If a retractable roof project will be exposed to a harsh environment, consider that salt air, rain, snow, and sun can affect its frame and mechanical components. Ensure your retractable roof system is designed with those factors in mind so it will be able to operate reliably without requiring frequent maintenance.

Of course, you’ll also need to make sure that the building has the structural integrity to handle the weight of the retractable roof system. 


Customers dating back to the early 1960s still enjoy trouble-free use of their Rollamatic Roofs! Our experience of over 60 years and installation of thousands of systems allows us to confidently offer a 5-year warranty on each unit, including our Dry Inside Guarantee. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you.