Types of Deck Covers

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Deck Covers:


An overhead cover makes a deck more of an outdoor room. The roof structure defines the space but still allows a feeling of openness. This 3-part article describes how to build wood deck coverings for a variety of purposes. Although the design and structural ideas shown are basic, they can be elaborated to create coverings to fill your own needs.

The basic overhead framework shown in this article can be used simply to define the deck area. With the addition of fill-in, such as louvers, latticework, or canvas, varying degrees of shade can be created for the deck area. By building a trellis across the framework, support can be provided for vines or other growth that will beautify the deck area.

The framework can serve as a support structure for insect proof screens to enclose the entire deck. In regions where wind and rain are troublesome, the addition of a permanent, rainproof roof will make it possible to use the deck for more months out of the year.

When combined with a wall or fence, a roof structure increases privacy. Separate elements, such as carport and house or garden and deck can be linked with an overhead cover.

There are three basic types of deck covers:

  • Platform structure
  • Balloon structure
  • Freestanding structure

Both balloon and platform structures refer to the construction of an overhead cover during the initial construction of the deck. A balloon cover is one that is supported by the same posts and beams that support the deck and handrails.

A platform structure is the technique of building subsequent structures on top of each other. A post and beam deck where the posts stop at the bottom of the supporting beam is a platform type of structure. This is the most common form of deck construction.

The most popular type of freestanding deck cover is a gazebo. It is usually added sometime after the deck has been built. This structure can be either built around or on top of the existing deck.


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