A deck cover can shelter your deck from the sun, and provide a sense of privacy and enclosure. When designing one, we make sure it won't block any desirable views from the deck or from inside the house.
You may not want to cover your entire deck with an overhead; instead you can use it to define a use area, such as a shady area for children to play. We always keep in mind that a good overhead design should take its cue from your home's architectural style. Before you begin this building project, be sure to check with the local building department for any restrictions that may apply to your design.
Structure of deck cover
The structure of deck cover is essentially the same as that of a deck. The overhead can be attached to the house with a ledger or it can be freestanding. In either case, the deck cover is supported by a series of posts. It is critical that these posts be solidly attached. The most secure way of achieving this is to design the overhead posts as a continuation of the deck posts. If we're adding an overhead to an existing deck, bolt the overhead posts to the deck's substructure, placing them directly above or adjacent to the deck posts. The deck cover posts support rafters, the equivalent of joists on a deck. If the overhead is attached to the house, the ledger takes the place of a beam, supporting the rafters directly. Overhead rafters can be left open or can be covered with one of a number of materials. Two very common materials used are narrow wood boards and outdoor lath. Another common choice is manufactured lattice panels of either wood or vinyl. Several other more unusual materials may be also available, including rustic stakes and poles, peeler cores, and woven woods such as reed or bamboo.
The amount of shade provided by an overhead is affected by the size of the materials used as a cover, as well as their spacing. If you want your overhead to shed rain and snow, you'll need to install solid roofing materials such as asphalt roll roofing, or shingles. Because of the weight of these materials and the snow they will collect, a solid roof for an overhead should be designed properly.