If you want to know the cost to cover a deck, this comprehensive guide is for you. Decks are the perfect addition to backyard spaces, big and small, turning them into idyllic spots to relax and unwind in.
However, you'll know all too well that if your deck is in a sunny position, it can often get too hot. Conversely, if you live in a cooler climate, it's likely that you just don't use your decked area at all when it's not the season for it.
Covering the space is a great workaround to help you make the most of your beautiful decking ideas in all seasons. Whether you want to build an enclosed porch or employ another type of covering, there are lots of positives to this project that make it worth your budget.
Whatever your motivation, it's a good idea to get a firm idea of how much money you'll need to set aside for this type of project. With expert help, we drill down into the different factors that will affect your deck cover costs.
How much does it cost to cover a deck?
According to professional carpenter and founder of Tools’n’Goods (opens in new tab) Sean Chapman, it's hard to pinpoint a specific average cost as a few different factors affect the final price. 'A deck covering or enclosure usually runs from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the materials you choose and the square footage of the deck.' Says Chapman.
This is a vast cost range, but the positive of this is that you will be able to adjust your type of deck cover to suit your financial needs also. So how should you go about working out the cost of your deck covering? There are several considerations at play here:
- The type of deck cover
- The material you choose
- Any extras
Let's examine these elements in more detail.
Cost to cover a deck by type
There is a range of deck cover types available to homeowners, from relatively inexpensive, non-permanent solutions to permanent – and expensive – screened porch or veranda designs.
The cheapest and easiest-to-install deck cover option is a shade sail. Shade sails can be bought from Amazon (opens in new tab) for as little as $30-40 on Amazon and installed on a DIY basis. Corner sails are especially effortless since they only require attaching the three sides using steel d-rings. Shade sails are an especially attractive and cost-effective option for small deck ideas.
Awnings are another great option for decks. They are a bit sturdier than sails and can be retractable. According to MG Decks (opens in new tab), 'you should expect to spend around $1,000 to $4,000 depending on size and other factors. You can hire a professional deck building contractor to handle the project or save around $1,000 by taking a DIY approach.'
Awnings and sails are typically made from synthetic canvas, typically polyester. The most durable, and more expensive version of this type of covering is labeled 'commercial grade' and is the same material used for cafe and shop awnings.
Permanent roofs, veranda-style are made from timber or metal, vinyl, or Alumawood, and will cost substantially more than non-permanent covers. A veranda roof will cost anywhere between $3,000-$12,000, plus a mandatory building permit, which will cost between $300 and $1,000 depending on where you live.
Solid timber veranda roofs will be the most expensive, as well as requiring regular maintenance, just as a real-wood deck requires regular maintenance. Vinyl covers are the cheapest and can be installed for around $3,000 for a basic 10x10 cover. Higher-end vinyl deck covers can look nice, but lower-end vinyl is known to discolor over time.
If you want the look of real painted wood but at a lower cost, you can opt for Alumawood instead – it is durable and won't require nearly as much maintenance as real wood – more on this material below.
Finally, you can consider building a pergola over your deck. A pergola is the most expensive option coming in at between $10,000 and $20,000 depending on the design and precise material. The additional expense is due to the columns or pillars that make up a pergola,
Cost to cover a deck: further considerations
Once you've worked out what type of patio or deck cover you want, you'll need to make further decisions in terms of the design and construction that will affect the cost.
If you are going for a permanent structure, whether it's made from wood, aluminum, or vinyl, the following three things will make a substantial difference to the cost:
- Lattice vs solid design: as a general rule, a solid roof will cost around $1,500 more than a lattice design. Solid wood patio roofs have the greatest price difference to their lattice counterparts, of around $3,000 on average
- Insulated vs. non-insulated: if you want your cover to be insulated, add another $1,000
- DIY or professional installation: most patio and deck covers can be installed on a DIY basis over a weekend if you are confident and have some DIY experience. DIY patio roof kits can be purchased for $2,000-$4,000.
How much does it cost to build a screened porch over an existing deck?
According to Chapman, 'the average cost of converting an existing deck into a screened porch runs from $19 to $38 per square foot of material and labor. You can lower the price down to around $4.8-$5.5 per square foot.'
Erik Wright, Owner & CEO of the Kansas City-based New Horizon Home Buyers (opens in new tab), adds that 'In order to attach the screening every 4-6 feet in a porch with an overhang, it's common to add a few posts to what's already there. Of course, you'll need a door. The total cost will differ depending on the size of the porch, the quality of the materials selected, and whether or not a contractor is employed to complete the project.'
In general, 'a typical 300-square-foot porch costs $1,200 to $2,700 to install supports, screen, and a screen door. Attaching screens directly to the posts is the most cost-effective option. Another technique of update is to construct frames for each screen piece that can be attached to the posts with brackets during milder seasons and then removed and stored so that they are not damaged by winter weather.'
Alumawood: is it a good material to cover a deck?
Chapman says that 'Alumawood combines the benefits of aluminum with the appealing look of natural wood. Unlike wood, this material consists of embossed aluminum, which makes it a much more durable option than natural wood as it’s not exposed to shrinking/expanding, rot, and insect attacks.'
An Alumawood patio or deck cover will cost you, on average, between $2,000 and $5,000 - half the price of a real timber patio cover.
How much does it cost to cover a deck in the UK?
If you are in the UK, the same general guidelines apply. Allan Jeffrey, Managing Director at Ultra Decking (opens in new tab), advises that 'the cost would depend on the type of material you are looking to use: polycarbonate, wood, metal, or aluminum. Each has its own benefits over the years in relation to performance, maintenance, life span, and appearance, from entry-level polycarbonate costing upwards of £650 for an almost extension type cover to the high-end aluminum starting upwards of £1800.'
The cost of extending a roof over your deck again 'would very much depend upon materials, design, and labor. We would highly advise hiring a professional to complete this work as this can be a labor-intensive job, if inexperienced. The average cost for a hired professional in the current market could be an estimated £70 to £120 per sqm with materials increasing this price depending upon preference.'