How to Choose the Best Deck Covering for Your St. Louis Home

Written by Megan Gerdes

mcdermott remodeling deck shade and cover designEven the best-dressed deck can feel a little bare without the appropriate coverings. Wouldn’t you? 

Without a covering, in the heat of the summer with no escape from the glaring sun, your deck won’t be the top choice of places to hang out, regardless of how tricked-out it might be. 

So how can you give your beautifully-designed deck the finishing touch it deserves? With the perfect covering, of course! Whether it’s wood, fabric, or flora, every good deck needs a little something overhead. 

Consider what you already have in your space and think about integrating that design with an additional covering. You want something that’s in keeping with your deck’s aesthetic, while still serving its purpose as a sunshade or privacy protection.

Our Favorite Deck Coverings

Here are some of our favorite ways to deck out your deck and stay out of the sun.

Arbor Deck Coverings

mcdermott remodeling deck shade and cover design

The arbor is a small and simple feature, but it really does wonders for your outdoor space. An arbor is typically made of wood but can be made of metal as well. It incorporates latticework into its structure, making it an ideal host for vines and other climbing flora. It has an arched top, allowing the lattice to run uninterrupted from one side of the structure to the other. This unique arched shape forms a visually appealing tunnel and is perfect for covering walkways and decks. 

Pergola Deck Coverings

mcdermott remodeling deck shade and cover design

The pergola is a cousin of the arbor, although the terms are often used interchangeably. Like its smaller counterpart, pergolas are most often made of wood and are excellent for training climbing plants. Unlike the arbor, it is supported at the corners, and sometimes, depending on its size, by upright posts. Pergolas have flat, open roofs, and its support beams are topped with wooden slats, resulting in a soothing combination of shade and sunlight.

Pavilion Deck Coverings

mcdermott remodeling deck shade and cover design

A pavilion is similar to a pergola, but its main differentiating feature is its peaked roof, whereas a pergola is flat. Instead of interspersed wooden slats, its top is closed. Structurally, it’s more like the roof of a house, as it provides full coverage from the weather. It is supported by upright posts and has open, unobstructed sides, providing the perfect refuge from sun and rain.

Roof Extension Deck Coverings

mcdermott remodeling deck shade and cover design

As its name implies, roof extension is a protruding structure integrated right into your home’s roof. It extends out over the deck, providing seamless coverage from the back door and beyond. The great thing about the roof extension is that it is designed to match your existing roof, and the structures flow perfectly into one another. When done well, the roof extension looks like it was always a part of your home.

Shade Sail Deck Coverings

mcdermott remodeling deck shade and cover design

Shade sails are a nifty innovation that works for any outdoor area. They use a flexible swath of tensioned fabric to create shade and are held in place by several anchor points. These anchors can be attached almost anywhere, from the side of your house to freestanding poles and beams. Plus, they’re pretty cool-looking, and you can get them custom-made in any color, size, print, or pattern that suits you.

Awning Deck Coverings

mcdermott remodeling deck shade and cover design

Another fabric covering, the awning is a favorite of homeowners everywhere because of its simple, non-invasive installation. An extendable awning retracts in winter for protection, and when tucked away, it is almost invisible. Then, you can roll it out in the summer for easy-breezy sun coverage. An awning can be attached to virtually any horizontal or vertical surface and is very effective at blocking the sun.

Top Tips for Deck Coverings

  • For wooden structures like arbors or pergolas, the shade underneath is directly proportional to how many plants live on it. If you want it to be cooler and shadier, weave more flora into the beams and latticework overhead. It’s nice to have the flexibility of getting more sun or shade depending on your preference!
  • Are you tired of pests? Invest in mosquito curtains to keep the bugs at bay. While these work best for full-coverage structures like pavilions, roof extensions, or even awnings, it’s possible to get them custom made for open-air systems like pergolas, too! These curtains can be a real life-saver in the hot summer evenings, and let you entertain in peace.

If any of these shady solutions pique your interest, J.T. McDermott Remodeling has you covered. Let us take care of the work so you can spend the summer enjoying the sun and shade on your deck. Reach out today, and let’s talk about it!

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