When you are adding a deck to your home, you are essentially expanding your living space into the great outdoors. Decks allow you to have barbeques, parties, and other events without disrupting the interior of your home, and they also provide a great space for simply relaxing at the end of a long, hard day. If you live in a very hot or very rainy area, however, your deck days may be hampered by less than favorable weather conditions. One way to deal with this is to add a roof to your deck. A well-built, stable roof will help you beat the heat by providing shade and even let you continue to enjoy the space during a downpour. If you are interested in adding a roof to your deck, here are three different approaches to doing so that will get your creative juices flowing.
Idea #1: Extend
Perhaps the simplest way to cover your deck is to build onto and extend the roof of your home so that it covers the deck area. Doing so takes advantage of the strength of the existing structure, giving you a stable starting point for your deck’s roof. Of course, this method requires a deck that is relatively close to the house itself, so you may be out of luck if your deck is completely freestanding. If your deck is in close proximity to your home, then you can start the extension by securing two tall posts at the far corners of your deck and then building a joist system to support the roof itself which is secured to both your home’s roof and the new posts you’ve just installed. This type of roof can be covered with plywood, metal panels, thatching, or even shingles depending on your budget and design preferences.
Idea #2: Awnings
For a different look that doesn’t require actual roofing material, you can go with a fabric awning to cover your deck. Awnings do require a mounting understructure if they are installed on a freestanding deck, but they can also be purchased to easily attach to your home’s roof for decks that are attached. Another creative awning idea is to use sailcloth panels secured to posts at the corners of your deck. Awnings give decks a sort of nautical, beachy feel, and they also look very nice in suburban areas. While awning fabric panels may be pricey, they are quite easy to install, making them a good choice for those who want to avoid putting in a lot of extra building work.
Idea #3: Pergolas
If you are less concerned about rain and more concerned about shade and aesthetics, then pergolas are another nice option. A pergola, also known as an arbor, is essentially a structure in which tall posts support a series of wooden slats installed on edge, providing the deck with a certain degree of shade. Many pergola owners allow vines or roses to grow over their pergolas, which increases the amount of shade below. Pergolas are nice because they are extremely easy to install, thanks to the fact that all of the slats run parallel to both each other and the deck. Pergolas are very attractive, as well, giving your deck an air of sophistication. Of course, this type of roof will provide no protection from the elements, so if you need rain cover, pergolas are not the answer.
Before building any type of roof or even any type of deck, be sure that you are well aware of any building codes that exist for your property. There is nothing worse than building something only to be told that you are in violation for having done so. Additionally, remember that safety must be of the utmost importance here, particularly when adding a heavy roof structure. Make sure that you are using high quality materials and enlist the help of several other people when putting your roof in place.
A roof is a great way to extend the life of both your deck and the seasons in which you can enjoy it. Not only will it keep the sun and rain off of you, it will also keep these potentially damaging forces off your deck, protecting it for years to come. As long as you use the right materials and build according to code, your deck’s roof will last a long time, making it a valuable investment for your family’s outdoor enjoyment.