Whether you can build a roof over a deck is a question a lot of people ask, alongside “can a deck support a roof?”
The short answer is – yes, you can build a roof over your deck. Whether your deck can support a roof, however, is a different question. Although most decks can support a roof, some can’t. Building a roof over a weak deck is dangerous and may contravene local building codes.
Let’s dive right in to determine what’s allowed and what’s not and, more importantly, how to build a roof on a deck where it’s allowed.
Benefits of Deck Roofing
Perhaps we should begin with the benefits of building a roof over your deck. A roof over the deck is valuable in the following ways;
Protection from the sun
The most common reason people build roofs over their decks is sun protection. If you enjoy spending time on the deck, the scorching sun can dilute the experience. Rain is another weather element that may cause issues on the deck. A roof over your deck protects you from adverse weather elements.
Putting a roof over your deck also allows you to barbeque throughout the year. You don’t have to stop barbequing merely because it’s the rainy season. You can even have your buggers and ribs in the thick of winter because the roof protects you from the falling snow.
Dry clothes outside
People who like hanging clothes outside to dry rather than throwing them in the drier can also benefit immensely from a roofed deck. A cover over the deck allows you to hang the clothes outside, even on rainy days. It’s a great way to save on energy.
Deck Roofing Permits
If you’re impressed with the advantages, the next step is to determine whether you need a permit to build a roof over your deck.
Unfortunately, most states require a permit. Meanwhile, some states only require a permit for decks larger than 10 square meters. You may also only need a permit for decks higher than 24 inches from the ground in some states. It’s always advisable to confirm with your local authorities.
If the deck doesn’t attach to the roof, you may still need a permit, depending on the size and height. However, it’s usually a special permit because such decks are considered outbuildings.
It’s even more complex if the deck is an addition created after the house was built. You may even pay higher fees for the permit. Visit your local authorities beforehand to determine whether you need a permit and the type of permit needed.
A Step-by-Step Guide
Once you have the necessary permit(s), you can begin building a roof over your deck. We’d advise that you hire a professional for the job. However, there’s no harm in knowing the procedure. It’s a reasonably straightforward process.
Before you begin;
- Make a plan
The deck roofing should be both beautiful and functional. So, begin by considering how you want it to look like. Do you want to use it for micro gardening? Or are you hoping o convert it into an exotic pergola? You must plan for drainage too.
- Decide the roof deck framing
The majority of homeowners choose wood framing for deck roofing. However, you can also opt for sleepers or aluminum joists. The latter two are especially great choices if you live in a perennially wet environment with lots of rain. Wood tends to rot fast and is also heavy, which may put extra pressure on the deck.
The Actual Process
- Ensure to match the house roof pitch angle to the roof’s overhang.
- Install the base connectors. Base connectors attach support posts to the deck’s frame.
- Install the support posts to the base connectors
- Install temporary bracing to keep the support posts in place. Make sure the tops of the support posts are notched to hold the header beam.
- Install the header beams to the support posts. Use thru-bolts for a secure connection.
- Install the ledger board. The ledger board supports the rafter. Flash and bolt them in place.
- Lay out the rafters. You need to first cut them properly. Once done, lay them properly and nail them to the ledger board.
- Using framing nails, attach the rafters to the header.
- Install the roof sheathing over the rafters to create a subroof.
How Much Does It Cost?
The entire process costs $1,000 to $10,000, depending on whether you’re adding a deck enclosure or a covered roof. Costs also vary significantly depending on the size of the deck, labor charges, materials used, and labor charges.