Do it Yourself Deck Shade


Building a deck shade is important as it will protect your deck from elements--like sun, rain, ice and snow--as well as bird droppings or seeds from trees that will fall on the deck itself and stain it. While you can hire someone to build a deck shade or canopy out of a number of materials, this can cost you up to a couple thousand dollars. With basic carpentry skills or installation know-how, you can install a deck shade yourself and save the money.

Retractable Awnings

  • Retractable awnings provide quick shade and quickly roll up when you don't need them. However, they only extend to about 10 feet so they won't totally cover most decks. They also can be easily damaged by harsh winds, so they always must be rolled up when they are not in use. However, they are good in the sense that they are not a permanent structure on the deck and cost very little to buy--around $200 to $300. They are reasonably self-explanatory when it comes to installation but it might be a good idea to have someone help you to ensure you are doing it right.

Windsor Shade Shelter

  • With some intermediate carpentry skills, a windsor shade can be built above the deck, providing shade not only for the deck but for the adjacent windows and doors of the house itself. This is a freestanding structure which requires four posts and support beams but is rather simple to build, as long as you can install these posts deep enough in the ground to provide stability. This is a rather involved do-it-yourself construction that may take a few days and might require a building permit. Make sure you properly stain and treat whatever wood you are building with so that it survives the weather.


  • Without building onto your house or spending money to buy a shade, try spending money on planting large trees that will naturally create shade over your deck. Maple trees are a great option because they grow fast and provide natural shade so you won't have to wait 20 years for a natural deck shade. Other choices that serve the same purpose can be found at your local nursery. In many ways trees are the best option for a do-it-yourself shading system, as they provide shade over an incredibly large area, provide natural privacy and help to beautify the yard.

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