How to Design an Enclosed Deck With a Roof & Screens

Most families will use a deck area more often if it provides protection from the elements.

Deck space enclosed makes the area usable on more days of the year.Deck space enclosed makes the area usable on more days of the year.
An enclosed deck with screening materials creates a space for dining and entertaining that expands indoor living space. Design the deck roof covering to blend with the home's existing roof, and create it sturdy enough to keep the enclosure in place during windstorms. Invest time in planning all details of the project, since a nice deck can add significant market value to a home.

Look through outdoor living design books to get ideas. Review magazines devoted to backyard spaces and deck remodeling to envision ways to enclose a deck. Use catalogs of screen room kits or gazebos to see all of the design options available for various shapes. Consider using a pre-made screen room kit in metal or plan to construct the room from lumber. Picture ways to design a roof that will fit well with the backyard area but also blend with the house roof lines.

Measure the space allowed for the enclosed area of the deck. Use a sketch pad to begin the process of creating an enclosure by experimenting with various shapes. Design the enclosed space with screening materials to look seamless with the architecture of the house, so it will not look like an afterthought. Draw a rectangular-shaped screened area or octagon-shape, for example. Experiment with various roof areas, but slope the roof to shed rain and snow by using sloped areas pitched at least 30 degrees.

Plan to use pressure-treated 2x4 lumber to construct wood framework. Design a wooden structure to hold screening with roof rafters 16 inches apart. Divide wall areas to allow for stapling on screening materials in sections. Sketch a dividing boarder around the perimeter of the enclosed space roughly waist-high, so the room can be screened on the top half and bottom half separately for a tighter fit. Use free plans off the Internet or ask a carpenter to help you sketch the detailed plans, so that cutting and assembling components of the screen room will flow much easier.

Design the roof to hold 1/2-inch plywood sheathing and roofing to match the house. Sketch overhangs and guttering areas that match the house. Plan to staple all screening materials on the interior of the enclosed space and cover the stapled rough edges with wooden strips. Consider ways to keep the construction very neat looking to give the screened area and roof a professionally-built look.

Plan to use stainless steel screws and nails in the new space to avoid rust marks on the lumber. Design the door with very sturdy hinges to keep the door in good alignment for many years. Consider using angle-iron inside the screened areas to bolt the new wood framing to the floor of the deck.

Tips

  • Paint or stain the exposed wood to match the wood trim of the home. Avoid staining or painting unless wood is totally dry. Consider putting on the desired finish in 3 separate coats, allowing the finish to dry thoroughly between coats, to provide a smoother finish overall.
  • Design any built-in seating or storage shelves within the screen area, so these features can be constructed when the area is framed. Using leftover plywood and boards may not add any cost. Consider using some recycled materials as well for benches or storage areas inside the screened area.

Warning

  • It's best to bolt the framework of the enclosed area to the deck or house framing, since it may shift or slide during a storm. Build the wooden roof framing of heavier lumber in 2x8 boards to help hold the enclosure in place.

About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.