Do it Yourself Deck Canopy


A deck gives your home additional living space. Unfortunately, many times a deck can be too hot to enjoy on a summer day unless it has some shade. One way to provide that shade is with the addition of a deck canopy. Not only can a deck canopy provide your deck shade, but it can also enhance the appearance of the deck as well.

Decide the Best Deck Canopy Options

  • Consider whether you want the overhead deck shade to be permanent or retractable so you can allow the sun on your deck part time. Your choice here can open a variety of options.

    Select permanent shade such as an overhead pergola. This type of deck canopy allows some sun to filter through. An awning is another type of permanent option. Awnings are typically either aluminum or canvas material, although other materials are available. Fabric awnings typically cost less than metal ones (see Reference 1).

    Find a retractable deck shade if that's what you prefer. Many options are available and some are suitable for a DIY project.

    Research whether you need a local building permit. Some municipalities require them for anything permanently attached to your home. If a building permit is necessary, begin the paperwork as soon as possible so that it doesn't delay the installation.

Select the Deck Canopy

  • Measure the size you need to make a deck canopy. Figure the height you want as well as the length and width of your deck you want to put under shade. You also need to figure the slope, if any, on the canopy.

    Order the deck canopy system you chose. When it arrives, carefully unwrap it and make sure all the pieces are in the package. Set the pieces out in the order that you plan to use them to help you install your canopy in an efficient manner. Read the directions carefully. Gather the tools you need to install your canopy.

Install the Deck Canopy

  • Use a plumb line to mark a level spot on the side of the house where you plan to install your deck canopy (see Reference 2). If you are mounting the deck canopy under the soffit or on the roof, you still need to mark a level line. Mark where you need to install the support brackets according to your deck canopy instructions.

    Install any support poles that came with your deck canopy. These may or may not need to be set into concrete for stability depending on your canopy system. If your system is a retractable deck canopy, it may not use the support poles until the canopy is unrolled.

    Set the deck canopy material in place. Secure it to the support brackets as well as the support poles.

    Connect the electrical system if the retractable deck canopy has one. You can either hard-wire it to your house's electrical system or plug it in to an existing outdoor electrical outlet. This step is not necessary for permanent deck shade setup.

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