I think the perfect deck is one that has both a covered and uncovered area. Or has a retractable awning (not cheap BTW).
The problem with a covered deck is cost. No matter how you go about covering your deck, even with an awning, it’s going to cost you. In some cases it can be very, very expensive.
BUT, the benefits are considerable since you can enjoy the deck much more in hot and wet weather. In my view, it’s well worth the cost regardless of your climate.
FYI, we don’t have a covered deck. I sure wish we did. We have 2 large umbrellas, but that doesn’t really count.
Table of Content
7 types of covered decks
1. Roof extension
The roof extension is usually the case where the second floor extends over the deck area. That said, it’s not always the case. Either way, a roof extension is a great way to cover a deck, but often it’s darker than a pergola, awning or pavilion because there are usually 2 solid walls and sometimes 3.
Example: The featured deck above is an example of a roof extension.
The awning (see our post setting out the 5 different types of awnings) is a great option because you can extend and retract it. This way you get the best of both worlds. While you might think they’re not terribly expensive because it’s fabric, think again. I only say this because my wife and I looked into awnings for her parents. Since you’d probably want a motorized retractable awning, it’ll cost several thousand dollars.
Other than appearance or structure upon which to grow some greenery, I struggle to see the point of pergolas. They’re popular, but they don’t really provide much shade and don’t protect from rain. Yet, they cost money and need to be maintained. Okay, if you love the look of them, great, but from a functional perspective, I don’t get them.
The pavilion is a great option. You can have a permanent pavilion constructed on your deck or buy a portable pavilion that you set up. A pavilion that takes up part of a deck is pretty good because you can have both a covered and uncovered option. The downside, unless you have a massive one built, is they aren’t that big. You’ll be pretty tight inside.
Gazebos are awesome, especially for outdoor dining rooms. Growing up, we had a gazebo at our lake place, which was a terrific place to eat dinner. It wasn’t huge, but comfortably fit the five of us. It’s not that common to add a gazebo to a deck because it’s quite a structure. Gazebos are typically stand-alone structures on a property.
6. Screened in Deck
Screened-in decks are popular in places with lots of bugs. While they don’t provide shade and aren’t water proof, they do provide some form of protection. While not technically a covering, we include it here because it’s an option for protection from the elements. See more screen-in pool examples here.
7. Louvered Roof
A louvered roof is one that can open up or close up with interlocking sheets. Check it out.
Covered Deck Examples (Photo Gallery)
Below is our extensive and growing photo gallery of covered decks. There are many examples for you to get inspired for your ultimate covered deck.
What’s the best deck covering?
If you have the opportunity to build a roof extension option, I think that’s best as long as you extend the deck beyond the covered portion so you have uncovered deck space too. This provides the most comprehensive deck shelter, yet gives you uncovered space to enjoy the sun.
If you have a deck with no cover, I really like the motorized retractable awning option. While it’s not as pretty as a pergola or custom-built pavilion, it’s extremely practical. A wide awning that extends 10 to 12 feet provides plenty of shelter that retracts with a click of the button.
Covers ain’t just for decks
Covered patios and porches are a popular option for outdoor enjoyment as well. While the difference between a porch and deck is obvious, the differences between a deck and patio can be kind of blurred, especially decks that are built on the ground.