Looking for covered deck ideas? A fully or partially covered deck provides both shade for decks in full sun and protection from the elements. Whether you live in a hot, arid region, a colder climate, or an area with all four seasons, covering your deck ensures you get the most use out of your outdoor living space.
Benefits of Covered Deck Features
✓ Adds beauty and uniqueness to your outdoor living space.
✓ Provides your deck surface additional protection from the elements (although TimberTech® deck boards are highly durable, extra protection never hurts).
✓ Allows you to spend more time on your deck by offering overhead protection.
Types of Covered Deck Features
From simple awnings to full architectural structures like roof extensions, covered deck ideas range significantly to suit every preference and style. Just a few include:
- Awning – A sheet of material attached to your home above a window or door. Awnings are often retractable and will partially overhang a porch, patio, or deck.
- Pergola – A classical structure with a slatted roof built free-standing or attached to your home.
- Attached overhead structure – A roof-like structure attached to your home and supported by posts at the edge of your deck.
- Roof extension – An extension of your roof that requires a skilled builder or architect to ensure it is built soundly and the design flows with your current home’s style.
- Fully enclosed deck – Similar to a screened-in porch, a fully enclosed deck includes a roof and walls with windows or screens.
- Under-deck space – Ideal for second-story or balcony decks, an under-deck space can be outfitted as an outdoor living space, provided it is protected from rain water with a water management system.
Covered Deck Ideas for Every Space
Discover covered deck ideas featuring different types of fully and partially covered deck features to find the right choice for you and your space.
1.) Introduce an Awning
Awnings give you a partially covered deck by offering some shade and weather protection — but these are not as durable as more permanent structures.
Awning material comes in many different colors, patterns, and styles so you can find just the right one to suit your needs and preferences.
Why Choose an Awning
Awnings are ideal if you’re not ready to commit to a permanent overhead structure. Many types are easily removed or retracted so you can enjoy the sunshine on cooler days and take in the starry sky come nightfall.
Awnings are typically the most affordable covered deck option and boast relatively straightforward installation. Since they need to be attached to your home, they provide protection only to the area of your deck close to your home. To cover the center of your deck, consider installing a shade sail, which provides the same level of protection as an awning.
2.) Pick a Pergola
Pergolas provide some shade protection with their slatted roofs, while still giving you a totally open-air feel. A pergola’s slatted roof is also ideal for hanging string lights for a romantic atmosphere. Or, you can allow a climbing plant, like honeysuckle or wisteria, to form a green canopy overhead for a more natural feel.
Keep It Cool With a Shade Canopy
Looking for covered deck ideas with more sun coverage? Opt for a shade canopy.
Like an awning, a shade canopy is made of textiles that come in a variety of colors and patterns to match your unique style. Drape it over your pergola’s slatted roof for an elegant finishing touch.
Why Choose a Pergola
A pergola gives you an elegant, classical structure that adds a touch of romance to your backyard.
Pergolas can be installed over any flat surface to give you a partially covered deck, patio, or lawn, so you can have shade and light weather protection wherever you need it most. Choosing a pergola kit provides you with all the components you’ll need for the structure’s installation. However, if adding the pergola to your deck surface, your substructure will require proper framing to support the added weight of the structure.
3.) Opt for an Attached Overhead Structure
Covered & Cool
An attached overhead structure is typically supported by posts along the edge of the deck, which lend an additional sense of enclosure to your space for a cozier feeling.
For final touches, add an outdoor-rated ceiling fan to promote air flow on warm days. For a gentle glow, hang string lights along the perimeter.
Why Choose an Attached Overhead Structure
Attached overhead structures are ideal if a full roof extension won’t work in the area your deck is built. It gives you the full protection of a roof extension, without being as complicated of a project.
Because the roof of an overhead structure is supported by posts on the deck, it is essential that your deck is built to withstand the weight of the roof. Therefore, these additions often need to be included in your fully or partially covered deck build’s original plans. Be sure to work with a qualified contractor when designing a deck that will feature an attached overhead structure to ensure it is built soundly and up to code.
4.) Go for a Roof Extension
A roof extension gives you a fully or partially covered deck with total overhead protection and is a seamless part of your home’s exterior. It may or may not require support from posts along your deck.
If adding a new roof extension, be sure the structure blends in seamlessly with your home’s architectural style. A craftsman-style home, for instance, may have an open gable (inverted V-shape) roof extension, while a modern Spanish-colonial-style home will likely have a flat roof extension that suits its more linear shape.
Dine Al Fresco, Come Rain or Shine
Ensure inclement weather never cancels your outdoor dinner dates by placing your dining set under your roof extension.
Despite the overhead protection, it’s a good idea to stick with outdoor-rated furniture, as the elements can still blow in from the sides.
Why Choose a Roof Extension
Roof extensions give you a permanent, long-lasting covered deck feature that blends in seamlessly and looks like an original part of the home.
Be aware, depending on the type of structure, adding on a roof extension can be a costly project as it will require you work with professionals, and will likely result in extensive construction work on your home.
5.) Consider a Fully Enclosed Space
Take the Indoors, Out
Prefer totally enclosed covered deck ideas? These fully protected spaces are ideal for bringing indoor amenities outdoors — like TVs and plush outdoor furniture. Experience the entertainment and comfort of the indoors while still taking in all the beauty of the outdoors.
Why Choose a Fully Enclosed Deck
An enclosed section of your deck gives you a totally sheltered space, safe from the elements and bugs or critters.
Creating a fully enclosed space on your deck is similar to building a screened-in porch. If you already have a roof-like structure overhead, your project becomes a bit more straightforward. For a simple enclosure, install screen panels from deck floor to ceiling, which allow the breeze in while helping to keep bugs and critters out.
If you prefer walls and windows around your deck, work with a contractor to go over your options. Don’t install posts or walls directly on your deck board surface — ideally, your structure will be attached to the deck frame or the ground around the deck.
6.) Expand With an Under-Deck Area
Have a second-story or balcony deck? Covered deck ideas work just as well under a deck as over it. With an effective under-deck water management system, your under-deck area offers the same overhead protection as a roof extension or attached overhead structure, allowing you to use the space as you see fit.
Create a Multi-Functional Hang Out
If your under-deck space allows, create separate areas that serve different functions, such as a built-in kitchen, built-in bar, and an outdoor dining area. That means you can enjoy your entire culinary experience — from the savory smells of cooking to the fun of after-dinner drinks — in the great outdoors.
Why Choose to Furnish an Under-Deck Area
Furnishing an under-deck space makes use of an area that would otherwise go unused, doubling your outdoor living space.
Furnishing an under-deck area doesn’t require any construction work for installing an overhead structure — your overhead structure is your deck, after all. The only installation needed is for an under-deck water management system like DrySpace™, which helps channel rainwater away from your home and deck, keeping the area below drier.
Don’t Get In Over Your Head: The Benefit of Working With a Contractor
With the inspiration you need for full and partially covered deck ideas, you’re ready to start exploring what it takes to get your project off the ground. Get in touch with a TimberTech-registered contractor who can offer you the expertise you need to ensure your structure is built right.