How to Build a Deck Cover

What You'll Need
Several 4 by 4 inch by 10 foot treated posts (depending on existing posts)
Hardware (lag bolts, washers and nuts)
Wood drill bit, approximately 6 inches long (9/16 inches)
Ratchet set
Powerful electric drill
One box of 2 inch weather-treated deck screws
One box of 3 to 4 inch weather treated screws
Several 2 by 6 inch treated boards (length depending on existing deck frame)
Rafter hangers for 2 by 6 inch boards
Table, circular or skill saw
Tape measure
Marking tools
Canvas fabric, bamboo poles or exotic wood stripsStaple gun and staples

Knowing how to build a deck covering will extend the joy and entertainment of a deck by keeping it cool during hot summer days and clean and dry during the rainy seasons. A deck covering will protect outdoor furniture, the deck itself and the children’s skin. Depending on the choice of materials for building a deck covering, the structure can be further enhanced with colorful canvas, bamboo poles or exotic woods.

Step 1 - Extend 4 by 4s for Deck Covering

Begin by systematically replacing existing 4 by 4 decking posts one at a time with a new 10 foot 4 by 4 post. Secure the new 10’ 4x4 to the existing deck at the same height and place of the replaced 4x4 with lag bolts, washers and nuts. Check new posts and ensure that they are level. Tighten each nut and bolt with the ratchet set.

Step 2 - Trim and Install 2 by 6s for Deck Covering

Before mounting the 2 by 6 inch cross-member boards horizontally against the home’s exterior, trim the ends as desired. These can be left squared, mitered or cut with slight arches on the ends. Overhang the width of the deck by approximately 6 to 8 inches or as desired. These boards should be approximately 8 feet above the deck. Level each cross-member, attach to the home’s frame with the rafter hangers and secure with the 3 to 4 inch weather treated deck screws.

Step 3 - Mount 2 by 6 Support Boards

Carefully measure and cut the 2 by 6 horizontal supporting boards that will be attached to the upright supporting 4 by 4s with the 3 to 4 inch weather treated screws, just below the cross-member boards. Install bamboo poles between cross-members running parallel with supporting boards.

Step 4 - Finish All Woodwork

Before applying canvas fabric, bamboo or exotic wood strips for the deck’s covering, it will be necessary to treat the deck covering wood. If treated wood has been used, it can be left as is or painted with exterior paint to match the exterior of the home. If cedar or pine boards are used it will be necessary to sand, stain and varnish them. A good rule of thumb for varnish is to use a diluted initial coat, and work up to several coats, each time increasing the ration of varnish to mineral spirits until the final coat of 100% varnish is used.

Step 5 - Measure and Cut Canvas Fabric Deck Covering

Carefully measure and cut canvas fabric to cover space between each cross-member, allowing for the fabric to form a dip between the bamboo posts and to loop around the post for securing it. Attach the fabric to the bamboo posts with a staple gun and staples.