Deck space that provides shelter from the elements will probably receive more use by the family. Constructing a roof to protect the area is an investment that should add to property value. If you ever consider selling the house, most potential buyers will consider a roof enclosure on the deck as a positive asset. Deck space with a roof can be used for hobbies, watching TV or dining outdoors. A roof space will help to protect patio furniture, too. Another possibility is to convert the covered space into a screened-in room at a future time.
Look through deck design books to get ideas. Sketch the whole deck space. Define the exact place for roof construction. Draw a deck roof attached directly to the house roof, for example. Sketch a free-standing deck roof near outside railing on a large deck, as another option.
Create a roof shape. Should it be a peaked roof that butts against the existing roof of the house? Should it be a flat roof? Go over materials needed and labor costs involved, if you're on a budget. Define how many pieces of lumber will frame the 14-by-16-foot space without too much waste. Use ready-made trusses for the roof or use 10-foot boards for each rafter, for example.
Select roof materials. Use plywood over wooden rafters, followed by tar paper and asphalt shingles, for example. Buy 1/2-inch plywood sheets to cover the roof, but draw exact sizes to install and how to fit them over the roof rafters, so that few pieces are left over. Choose cedar shakes or steel metal roofing as other options to match the house roofing. Draw in overhangs, gutters and downspouts.
Plan support posts and structural framing. Will you use columns of masonry 8 inches square, or will you use 4-inch-square wood posts? Will you enclose one end of the area for shelving or storage? Install at least four support posts on each side of the 14-by-16-foot structure. Draw rafters, ceiling joists and all components of the deck covering. Select materials such as metal support posts or metal rafters as alternatives to wood.
Designate various stages of construction. Make a list of all construction materials and a tentative schedule for delivery. Create a time line for building the roof. Plan to install basic roof framing one weekend and cover the roof the next weekend, for example. Figure out if you will need to re-route foot traffic because a kitchen door or sliding door will be blocked while the roof is under construction.