A porch cover over a deck can expand a home's living space in several ways. A deck roof can provide cooking and dining space outside the kitchen. It can also create space for family games or watching TV. The deck cover can be used during inclement weather as a space to leave muddy shoes or wet umbrellas. You may also build a simple pergola with a translucent cover that will provide shading only from bright sunlight.


Designing a Solid Roof

Measure the entire deck space. Figure out how much of the area you desire to cover with a roof. Define the exact dimensions and decide the basic roof shape. Decide on a pitch (the roof slope) that complements the house roof lines in every respect. Build the deck roof to blend well instead of standing out too much, especially if it's close to the house.

Sketch the house, deck space and the new roof to be built. Draw everything to scale to ensure that the deck roof harmonizes with all surroundings. Design the overhangs and support posts to fit the architecture of the house, if they are in close proximity. Don't use a cheaply built deck roof, or it will devalue the house itself.

Use roof materials that match the house colors. Install a deck roof with brown asphalt shingles to match brown shingles on the house roof, for example. Never select a different color roofing unless the deck roof will be constructed of different materials altogether, such as cedar shakes or metal. Use colored pencils to draw the yard area, to be sure that everything blends well overall.

Create special features for the deck roof. Install lighting overhead by running conduit for electrical wiring from the house, for example. Use tiny LED lights around the inner perimeter of the roof to add special appeal for gatherings after dark. Plan for a few hanging baskets of flowers under the roof space.

Enclose the underside for a finished look. Add a plywood ceiling in the deck roof to make it resemble a finished porch. Paint or stain it to look appropriate with the exterior finish of overhangs and trim work. Install wood trim molding to give the inside and outside of the roof area a well-crafted look. Plan to turn part of the deck into a screened room at some future time, if you desire.

Designing a Pergola Roof

Plan a pergola roof that fits well with all surrounding deck space and landscaping. Use wood framing with open rafters spaced artistically to shade the deck. The open rafters will allow some sunlight to filter through.

Use high-quality wood, such as cedar, and stain the roof rafter area and support posts to match the deck flooring. Finish the pergola to complement the deck design in every respect.

Use a lightweight covering to add more shading, if you desire. Install a roof covering on the pergola framework directly over the rafters. Secure canvas material by tying it to the framing or install a premade fabric awning ordered to fit the structure. As another option, consider frosted corrugated vinyl sheeting attached directly to the rafters to allow some sunlight to come through. A thatch-type covering of bamboo might be apprpriate if your home is near a beach or lake.