24 Covered Deck Design Ideas

Covered deck with white attached overhead with outdoor dining table

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

A well-designed deck includes built-ins and features that are added for practical purposes along with architectural elements that enhance the design and materials of the structure. The better the design, the less noticeable it is. Face the truth: it gets hot, and as gorgeously appointed as your fine hardwood deck might be, if you don't provide shade, everybody will run for cover. A pergola or overhead structure will prolong your enjoyment and use of the deck, all while adding an attractive design element.

Assess what already exists: a deck's railings, posts, and overhead structure should echo a home's similar architectural elements in front or other parts of the property. A well-designed cover complements your home's style and the exterior materials used, especially any wood used elsewhere. Among types and styles of overhead structures to consider:

  • Arbor: Smaller than a pergola or gazebo, an arbor includes 2 to 4 posts with a simple slatted roof that is open. Vines can grow over an arbor or a lattice can be placed on top for more of an enclosed effect.
  • Pergola: This type of overhead can be identified by having four or more posts or columns. It supports a roof that is traditionally flat, with beams left alone in one direction or topped with cross beams or slats. The pergola's roof can be left open, covered with outdoor fabric, or support fast-growing vines.
  • Attached overhead: This can be built at the same time as the deck or added to an existing deck. It attaches to a back wall of your house and has a roof supported by sturdy posts at the edge of the deck.
  • Gazebo: More room-like than a pergola, a gazebo can be rectangular, hexagonal, or whatever shape you desire. Gazebos have posts and are more enclosed than other garden structures.
  • Roof extension: Sometimes this has already been done, other times it's a solution when another type of overhead structure will interrupt the flow and lines of your home's roof. Work with an architect or other building professional for this type of project; it's definitely not a DIY endeavor.

Consult your planning commission before starting a project of this scope; you will likely need to pull permits and follow local codes.

For inspiration and ideas, enjoy this diverse, international selection of covered decks.

  • 01 of 24

    Modern Deck

    desk with wood cover
    Kube Architecture

    A Washington D.C. home has a modernist sensibility focused on the privacy of the rear yard: from the front, you'd never guess how open and modern it is in the back. It's a covered deck that's an extension of the interior and reflects the proportions of the primary bedroom as it looks across a grassy "courtyard." Designed by Kube Architecture, the deck is built with ipe wood and pressure-treated framing. Small, in-ground deck lights were purchased on Amazon for subtle illumination.

    About This Term: Primary Bedroom

    Many real estate associations, including the National Association of Home Builders, have classified the term "Master Bedroom" as discriminatory. "Primary Bedroom" is the name now widely used among the real estate community and better reflects the purpose of the room.

    Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge to make The Spruce a site where all feel welcome.

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  • 02 of 24

    Locomotive Ranch Trailer

    covered decks
    Andrew Hinman Architecture

    Following his client's request, Austin-based Andrew Hinman Architecture incorporated this cherished 1954 Spartan Imperial Mansion-house trailer onto a ranch in South Texas overlooking the Nueces River. FSC-certified ipe and Douglas fir decking frame a vintage California redwood hot tub. The roof, which overhangs the deck, is made of metal and reflects the sun. The ceiling is built of Douglas fir, which buffers sound during thunderstorms and insulates the home from that Texas heat.

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  • 03 of 24

    Sydney Beach Style

    deck with cover
    Villa and Villa

    A slightly rustic, greyed-out hardwood deck lends this space a beach vibe that reflects the homeowners' lifestyle in Sydney, Australia. Designed by Maria Villa of Villa and Villa, the wood-frame pergola features a thatch-style roof for a casual, tropical look. 

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  • 04 of 24

    Blackbutt Deck

    Covered deck design with pops of color
    Zugai Strudwick Architects

    A dark-stained Australian Blackbutt hardwood deck is raised above ground, to be level with the kitchen so that the homeowners can look down over the pool. Designed by Zugai Strudwick Architects of Sydney, the solar pergola allows for all-weather entertaining.

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  • 05 of 24

    Shade Sails

    covered deck ideas
    studio M Merge / Houzz

    Extending the living space of a home in Lafayette, California, a deck designed by studio M Merge is used for casual outdoor dining, covered by overlapping Cali Shade Sails.

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  • 06 of 24

    Rich and Warm Wood

    covered deck design
    Arch Daily / Planned Living Architects

    A deck with a patina blurs the transition from indoors to outdoors of this home in coastal Melbourne, Australia. This outdoor space, designed by Planned Living Architects, features an outdoor kitchen with an indoor pass-through window covered by a framed roof extension that continues ceiling materials used inside.

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  • 07 of 24

    West Loop Loft Roof

    covered deck
    Catherine Tighe / Scrafano Architects

    Envisioning this space in Chicago as an outdoor family room, Scrafano Architects collaborated with Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects to transform a West Loop loft roof space into something that is inviting and comfortable. The roof deck expands the living space, providing room for entertaining, playing, and relaxing. An ipe wood deck and lush plantings soften the property's urban, industrial setting, while a lawn lets the kids stretch out and run through the sprinkler.

    An asymmetrical wood trellis emphasizes the outdoor living room while framing views of the Chicago skyline. Stainless steel mesh panels separate the deck area from mechanical equipment and provide new ways of occupying a formally industrial neighborhood. 

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  • 08 of 24

    Shelter the Chef

    Covered grill area on backyard deck
    Stumpff HomeWorks

    The challenge for Stumpff HomeWorks and Escape Lawn & Landscaping: building a deck and outdoor kitchen with directives from the city that they could not extend into the backyard any farther. In other words, working within a limited space. Using TimberTech decking, Stumpff framed out the covered roof area with 6 x 6-inch smooth cedar posts and curved cedar brackets. The ceiling material is a pine car (a.k.a. box car) siding and the roof rafters are 2 x 6-inch cedar painted white. Escape did the stonework for the kitchen and installed the appliances. For grilling at night, low-voltage track lighting illuminates the area.

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  • 09 of 24

    Raise the Roof

    covered deck ideas
    Doug Woodside / Decks and Patios Covers / Houzz

    What do you do when you need to shade a narrow deck but can't extend from the home's roofline? For a home in the Seattle area, Decks and Patio Covers mounted a cover to the roof to ensure adequate height underneath. A glass rail with a low-profile top cap opens up the view. The covers are framed with powder-coated aluminum and topped with impact-resistant acrylic panels.

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  • 10 of 24

    Zen Space

    Covered deck with chipping stone pathway
    Katherine Roper

    Slate chipping stones in Delabole Blue lead from the main deck of a home near Bristol, England, to a more private space, all designed by Katherine Roper. The structure is made of pressure-treated pine with custom-built screens that use Perspex panels that were cut to size, then glued onto the panel framework.

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  • 11 of 24

    Private Deck in Napa

    Zero Ten Design

    French doors lead to a secluded deck off the primary bedroom of this wine country house, with a pergola providing additional privacy. Collaborating on this contemporary farmhouse in Napa, California, was Zero Ten DesignRandy Thueme DesignZFA Structural Engineers and Beaman Construction.

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  • 12 of 24

    Sydney Deck

    covered deck ideas
    Danny Broe Architect

    A high, dramatic awning roof built over an outdoor room gives the occupants of this home a sensation of being outside, yet sheltered from the elements. Designed by Danny Broe Architect, the kitchen was perceived as a sort of sculptural element. It's attractive yet practical and makes the most out of economical materials.

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  • 13 of 24

    Urban Oasis

    covered decks
    New Eco Landscapes

    For a high-rise deck in Manhattan, New Eco Landscapes of Brooklyn created an urban perch with warm wood decking and an angled sail that shades the outdoor dining area. Nature in the form of evergreen shrubs, ornamental grasses, and tall trees in planters adds privacy and touches of green and other colors. New Eco used a mixture of low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants and annuals, including Adagio maiden grass, river birch trees, and sweet potato vines in lime and purple.

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  • 14 of 24

    Bali in Tarrytown

    Bali-inspired covered deck
    Webber + Studio Inc.

    A trip to Bali inspired the outdoor space of this home in Austin's Tarrytown district. Webber + Studio Inc. recreates the romance of the homeowners' Balinese adventures with three pavilions unified by a large roof that creates an exotic regionalism yet keep an understated presence within the neighborhood. One of the pavilions shelters a covered porch and uses Texas limestone, river rock, oak millwork, and mahogany finishes. The deck is made of ipe with birch plywood soffits.

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  • 15 of 24

    Horse Ranch

    Covered deck attached to house with blue chairs
    Designs Northwest Architects

    While Ten Broeck Farm, a thoroughbred horse ranch in central Washington, is new, it was important to the owners that the house and guest house appear as though they were original and had grown over time. To achieve this, Designs Northwest Architects designed simple gabled forms and elements while enhancing the 360-degree pastoral views connecting the occupants back to the land around them. The farmhouse vernacular is expressed by the use of a wraparound veranda and low-pitched roofs. Large windows reinforce the home's connection to the surrounding landscape, where the pasture fences come close to the house so the horses are in view.

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  • 16 of 24

    Mid-Century Modern in Tampa

    Covered deck with terrazzo pavers
    Bill Speer / D/Parks Architect

    Just steps away from Tampa Bay, a Mid-century modern home is updated with a deck covered by an extension that provides a visual continuation from inside to outside, for a smooth blend. The deck flooring is constructed of concrete and Cumaru (an exotic hardwood), while the kitchen and deck's ceiling is cypress. Repurposed terrazzo pavers lead from the water to the deck, which is also made of Cumaru. The project was a collaboration among builder Corbin Moore, architect Dale Parks, and designer Magida Diouri. 

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  • 17 of 24

    Modern Fibro Beach Shack

    A series of covered decks in a backyard
    True North Architects

    Fibro beach shacks are homemade vacation homes built along Australia's Gold Coast beginning in the 1920s that are often demolished to build bigger and better versions. Fibro refers to the fibrous cement sheet, (made of asbestos) of which these small shacks were often constructed. 

    In a fabulously modern salute to the classic fibro shacks, True North Architects used a combination of weatherboard and hardwood timbers for an interconnected series of decks, terraces, and gardens on a sloping property in New South Wales. Other materials used include steel and corrugated iron, which complement the wood that is allowed to turn silver. A fire deck is constructed of oily tallowwood, a local hardwood.

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  • 18 of 24

    Colorful Cover

    Half covered deck with green dog figure
    Justin Alexander / Luigi Rosselli Architects

    A wood-framed cover cools things off when the deck warms up at this home in New South Wales. Designed by Luigi Rosselli, who specializes in residential architecture, adaptive reuse, and heritage designs, the deck makes smart use of limited space. That faceless, low-maintenance puppy is by Eero Aarnio for Magis.

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  • 19 of 24

    Relax in Back

    covered deck ideas
    Moore Architects

    Look behind this covered deck for this Virginia home's cantilevered roofs, which lift and extend in contrast to the deck's flat roof. Designed by Moore Architects, the decking is constructed of ipe, while the ceiling is exterior-grade drywall for a smooth, clean look. A double-sided fireplace allows the homeowners to enjoy it indoors and out.

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  • 20 of 24

    Tigerwood and Ipe

    covered decks
    Austin Outdoor Design

    The removal of a center column of a hip roof projection opens up the indoor/outdoor living space of a house in Texas. The project, designed Austin Outdoor Design, features a tigerwood ceiling over an ipe deck that measures about 20 x 25 feet. Lueders limestone and crushed grey basalt add simplicity and elegance to the space.

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  • 21 of 24

    Plantation Style

    covered decks
    Skale Building Design

    An outdoor fabric-covered gazebo offers shelter for a backyard and courtyard pool surround at a home in Noose, Queensland, Australia. Conceived by Skale Building Design, the project includes ironwood decking.

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  • 22 of 24

    Tropical Marbella

    Tropical covered deck outdoor area
    Cape Reed

    The challenge: to construct a deck in Los Montreros, Marbella, Spain in 23 days with just five people. Cape Reed used 200 pressure-treated poles and more than 1,000 nuts and bolts to build the structure. Thatching from the southern tip of Africa grown under strict, sustainable farming practices was used for the roof and outdoor building.

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  • 23 of 24

    Island House

    deck covers

    Take a couple of steps from the patio to the raised deck of this beach house on Uncatena Island in Massachusetts to enjoy the view and sea breeze. Designed by the Boston firm, Emeritus, the deck's shade structure features crisp, rectilinear lines for a clean, classic look.

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  • 24 of 24

    Modern Detroit Deck

    Covered deck area with bold blue and yellow accents
    Exactly Designs

    Sometimes you just have to let things rust. For her own home in Michigan, designer Elin Walters of Exactly Designs allowed the patina of a portable fire pit to work with her eclectic outdoor design. Hanging planters are also permitted to rust, as well. For a deck cover, she used metal conduit to emphasize the horizontal lines of the Mid-century home, then placed bulb lights on the end for an atomic touch.