Building a New Roof Extension Over Deck – Pros and Cons

roof extension over deck A roof can make any deck more functional, since it provides a bit of protection from the elements. However, adding a roof extension over deck isn’t the right option for every home. Here at Structurally Speaking, we help our clients design custom outdoor living spaces. We’d love to talk to you about a roof extension project and whether this is the best choice for your home.

Advantages to Building a Roof Extension Over Deck

The main reason we hear from people who want a roof extension over their deck is simple: decks are open to the air and a roof gives it more functionality. With a roof over your deck, you’ll enjoy:

  • Shade, especially during the hottest summer months
  • Protection from rain so you can enjoy your deck even during a shower
  • A bit of a wind break, depending on the direction of the wind
  • Protection from sleet/ice/snow so your deck isn’t as slippery in the winter
  • A shield for falling leaves and other debris

However, there are three other major benefits to building a roof extension that you may have not otherwise considered:

  1. Extend the life of your deck: Covering your deck can make it last longer. When you expose decking material to constant rain and snow, you’ll start to see wear and tear. Even if you are on top of maintenance, decks don’t last forever. A roof over your deck can help it last much longer, since it won’t be exposed to as much direct moisture, dirt, and beating sun.
  2. Love the look of your home: Adding a roof extension over your deck can do wonders for the look of your home. Our decks flow with the home, so they never look tacked on.
  3. Keep your entire home cool: A deck roof extension doesn’t just offer shade to the deck. It can also prevent the sun from beating into windows on that side of the house. You can also landscape for shade using these tips.

We’d love to talk to you more in-depth about the different reasons why homeowners love adding a roof extension over deck areas at the back or side of their home.

What if An Extension Isn’t Right for You?

While there are several benefits to adding a roof over your deck, this isn’t the right choice in every situation. Here are a few reasons why you might want to enjoy your deck without a roof:

  • Budget – building a roof over your deck adds to the final cost
  • Support – older decks might not be able to support the weight of a roof
  • Aesthetics – you might just love the open air feel of your deck
  • Fire Safety – when your deck is covered, it is not the right place for some common fire features, such as fire pits
  • Trees – your deck might be too close to trees to make a roof possible without first doing some major tree trimming or even removal
  • Material Availability – while we do offer a wide range of decking materials, there are still global supply chain issues and we might not to be able to get the roofing supplies that you want and that will look best with your home

If a roof over your deck isn’t the best choice for your situation, don’t worry. There are still ways you can enjoy some weather protection and the other benefits a roof would allow you to enjoy. For example, you might choose a pergola with some climbing plants to provide a roof-like canopy. Speaking of canopies, some homeowners also like to add a removable canopy or retractable awning. Or, you might build an enclosed porch instead.

In short, we’ll help you find the best solution for you. When you work with a custom deck builder like our team, you don’t have to choose one of the few cookie cutter options available.

FAQs About Building a Roof Over a Deck

During your initial consultation with our team, we can answer any questions you may have about your new deck roof. Here are a few questions we commonly hear about building a roof extension over deck spaces:

Can any deck support a roof?

In short, no; not every deck can support a roof. If we are building your deck from scratch, we can absolutely include a roof for all or part of the deck. However, with an existing deck we first have to see if it can take the weight of a roof. Even if your deck is in good condition, roofs are heavy. Not all decking materials can handle the weight.

How do you build the roof?

It depends on the design of your new roof. We’ll design a roof based on your goals for the deck and the existing look of your home. We won’t start construction until you’re happy with the design. Keep in mind that you don’t have to cover your entire deck. Many people love covering just part of their deck. It’s an especially popular option for wrap-around decks.

How tall will my deck roof be?

Your roof should be at least seven feet tall, but in most cases we recommend a height that is at least ten feet. This gives you plenty of clearance for doors and taller guests, and makes sure the space doesn’t feel claustrophobic. Of course, you can go taller! Some clients enjoy a very tall ceiling height of 12+ feet. Other clients want to go slightly shorter too, at eight or nine feet. We’ll help you figure out what will work best for your space. Click here to contact us and set up your free consultation.