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In this article, we dish out four covered deck ideas to keep your outdoor living space open for business year-round.
Oh, the weather outside is…well, it depends on where you live. For those of you who live in warmer climates like the southwest, the weather is probably 75 degrees and sunny or something only slightly less perfect. You’re among the lucky ones who have the luxury of enjoying your outdoor spaces all year.
For those of you who reside in more inclement regions, outdoor living spaces become substantially less livable in the winter. When the temperature plummets, the cold winds ramp up, and the snow starts to fall, it becomes a lot less enjoyable to spend time outdoors. But don’t fret, our cold-climate comrades; we have four covered deck ideas to help you weather the weather year-round, whether you live in a warm climate or not.
In terms of covered deck ideas, this one may be a bit of a misnomer, as we often think of a screened-in outdoor space as a porch. But, to paraphrase an obscure 16th-century playwright named William Shakespeare: "What’s in a name, really?” So, whether you call it a deck, porch, or by any other name, protecting your outdoor space with screened-in walls is a great way to make sure you can enjoy the space year-round.
The screened-in space is the most encompassing option, and probably the hardest to add on to an existing structure. So, if you’re thinking of building a new or replacement outdoor space, talk to your builder at the beginning of the project to scope out the screened-windows, walls, and ceiling so you don’t have to worry about adding on later.
Pro tip: Plan it right and you can make this space even more livable, with features like couches and other durable furniture, a big-screen TV for watching the game, or a fireplace.
Screened-in spaces are great for year-round enjoyment, especially in colder climates, but they don’t have the same open-air feel as a true outdoor deck. Pergolas, shade canopies, and other similar structures are a terrific way to protect your deck against harsh weather while also preserving a natural, open feel.
In terms of aesthetics, a uniquely designed pergola can be the signature final touch on your deck, porch, or other outdoor living space. And the best part? You can get pre-manufactured pergolas that arrive factory-finished, making on-site installation a breeze.
If you’re building a second-story deck, adding a covered area on the ground level is a great way to maximize your outdoor living space. TimberTech DrySpace™ is designed for homeowners who want a sunny, gorgeous second-story deck along with a secluded, weather-resistant space below.
DrySpace keeps your lower-level outdoor living space protected from damage by collecting and channeling moisture from between your deck’s boards with a hidden under-deck drainage system. If you love watching intense rainstorms but don’t want to experience the full effects, DrySpace is the perfect covered deck idea for you.
We admit, this last of the covered deck ideas isn’t really a cover in a literal sense, but firepits are pretty effective at protecting you against freezing temperatures. And, while it won’t stop rain or snow, a warming fire helps you enjoy your outdoor space to the fullest ― even in the colder months.
If a firepit isn’t for you, strategically placing a few heat lamps to keep your outdoor space warm this winter may be a great option to extend your outdoor time. Or, keep your electricity bill down and consider another popular option: the chimenea. This portable fire feature is made from either metal or clay that you load with small pieces of firewood. It’s also just downright charmingly rustic while being effective.
There are some inherent dangers when it comes to any type of fire or heating element. When installing a firepit near your deck (or any other structure), make sure to follow all relevant fire codes.
For those of you who are considering building a new outdoor living space, make sure to talk to your builder about any covered deck ideas that sound appealing to you. Let your contractor know that enjoying your deck all year is important so that you can work together to build the right design.