On Fedora or Ubuntu apache's documentroot is possessed by root. Must I use there as root and edit within this there? I do not such as this, but I am most likely missing something.
No, I would not recommend it, unless of course you only have to change something really rapidly. Only use
chmod and provide your non-root user rights. Alternatively, you can create a symbolic connect to a directory that you simply own. That is what I personally use for development.
To be sure: you actually should not be editing files as "root", especially on the production system.
You will find (a minimum of) two good options:
1) Produce a new group (e.g. "webadmin") making your default document root possessed with that group
2) Depend on virtualhosts, and secure each virtual host as appropriate: