Creating a retractable deck roof, commonly called a deck awning, is an easy project that can add more enjoyment to your outdoor living space. A retractable deck roof can keep the heat of the sun off of you and cool your deck by several degrees.
Many people will buy a pre-made retractable awning, but you can easily build your own with some simple, inexpensive materials.
Step 1 - Measure for Awning
The first step is to take measurements for your new deck roof. A common roof deck is 8 feet wide by 10 feet long. Determine the place where you want to install it. It can be centrally located, or for a large deck, you can position the deck roof over the seating area.
Step 2 - Locate Mounting Hardware
Place the mounting brackets on the side of the outer wall of the home at the bottom and top positions. These brackets are a basic backplate with arms for fastening the metal beams and top corner of the awning.
Step 3 - Cut and Assemble Frame Arms
A retractable deck roof needs arms that can be slid either in or out. Metal, slotted tubing is great and lightweight material to build your frame and arms. Cut them down to the correct 8-foot size and use T-Bar fasteners to keep them together and make them easier to slide.
The front of the frame should be a self-retracting mechanism that will slowly roll in the awning. This isn't absolutely necessary, since you can easily install a rolling front with a handle of the side. You can manually roll this type of retracting device to keep the awning from dropping down and pooling water while being retracted.
Step 4 - Assemble Awning Material
Using your awning grommets, fasten the corners to the top mounting brackets. Position a track to which the rest of the end of the awning can be securely fastened.
Step 5 - Attach Frame to Wall and Awning Material
Drill holes in the bottom of the frame arms and use bolts to fasten to the lower mounting brackets so that they can freely move up and down. Attach the awning material to the front of the frame with either vinyl ties or plastic-coated wire.
Step 6 - Try and Adjust
Once your retractable roof is assembled, make sure everything is adjusted correctly. Try out the awning and make sure the sides can retract while the awning is neatly rolled into the self-rolling front. You will need at least two people to set up and retract the awning, so make sure you always have someone there to help.
Finally, fire up your grill and enjoy the shade of your new deck roof.