If you want to get more use out of your deck, consider some covered deck designs before you build. Covered decks can help save you maintenance time, keep you more comfortable in a wider range of weather and can add visual appeal to the space.
Why Cover Your Deck
For some homeowners, the deck is a place to sit and enjoy the sunshine. For others, it's an extension of the living area of the home. Covering your deck, rather than leaving it open may seem like its robbing you of the option of direct sunlight, but it can also have many benefits as well.
Less Maintenance to the Deck Itself
UV rays, heavy rain, snow and ice can weaken the boards of your deck. Covering your deck in some way can help reduce the amount of maintenance you perform. Just be sure to use a roofing material on the covering that is treated to withstand these elements to avoid finding yourself in the same boat again.
Option to Screen and Cover
Having a covered deck gives you the option of turning the area into a three-season room with the addition of screens. Keep the sun and feeling of the outdoors but lose the bugs by utilizing a cover and insect netting that attaches to the cover and floor of the deck. You can also attach heavy canvas and waterproofing materials to the sides of the deck during inclement weather to help protect it when it's not in use.
Get Some Shade
Having a covered deck can mean protection for not only your decking, but also your skin. Grill, garden and enjoy the fresh air on a covered deck without the hot sun or rain. And remember, not all covered deck designs call for permanent roofs over the deck. Retractable awnings and sun shades can also be a part of your plan if you want to get some sun from time-to-time as well.
Some covered decks can add some visual appeal to your home. Consider rustic designs with rough hewn granite supports and cedar tops or look at sleek, contemporary metal covers. If your home or garden's style would be complemented by a covered deck, designing one can help maximize your home's curb appeal.
Choosing Covered Deck Designs
There are many ways to get a covered deck that suits your needs and your home's aesthetic requirements. Luckily, most deck designs can easily accommodate the addition of a cover or roof with little alteration. Give some thought to the type of cover you'd like for your deck to help in the design process.
Depending on the height and placement of your deck, it may be possible to extend your roof over the deck area as well. This can be one of the simplest ways to get a covered deck design. The same roofing material you use for the rest of the home will simply continue down over the deck, giving one, cohesive look. This will also help give the most protection to the deck itself.
Low Deck Covers
If your deck is low to the ground, it may not be possible to add a large roof or cover to the deck without interfering with the sight lines of windows or without breaking the lines of the house. In these cases, sun shades and awnings make the most sense. Choose from stationary or retractable designs to gain the benefit of a cover without the design issues.
If your deck overlooks a garden, consider adding a deck cover that is part of the garden design. Similar to some patio covers, deck covers made of wood and other natural materials can give some shade, while making the deck feel as those it's part of the garden. If your garden has a theme, such as Zen or rustic, take elements from this theme to construct the roof. Consider a Japanese style metal roof, or a thatched bamboo roof as choices to complement the garden design.
Get a Visual
Use deck planning software whenever possible to get a visual mockup of what your covered deck design will look like attached to your home. Use this software to raise or lower the height of the deck and its cover to get a feel for what will be the best fit. The deck cover should enhance your deck and its use, not detract from it in any way. Plan for your new deck carefully and get the most use out of it for years to come.