Roof and ceiling take deck to another level
By Bob Karlovits
Published: Saturday, April 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Roofs are topping more and more decks, and sometimes even find a home below the boards.
David Dickson from Quaker State Construction in Carnegie says adding roofs to the decks he builds has increased 150 percent in the past year.
Don Tomlins, namesake of Decked Out By Don in Washington County, says he adds a roof “more often than not” even though the work can virtually double the price.
Dickson says the reason for the interest is that it “brings the family room outside” and can add “as much as 30 percent” to the number of days the deck can be used.
Roofs of another fashion also are creating different — and more — use for the space below the deck.
Under-deck ceilings are being added frequently to provide cover when the deck is a full story over the ground below, creating a patio or even a screened-in porch, say Dusty Hendrickson from Hendrickson Construction in Sewickley Hills and Randy Shoup from Alternative Innovations, which has a shop in Carnegie and a showroom in Kennedy.
Those ceilings are designed to be installed under the deck to route away water and melting snow.
Dickson and Aaron Karas from Extreme Decks in Bridgeville say they install such coverings as well as roofs. Most customers will not use both, they say, being satisfied with the shelter a roof gives both levels.
But there are times both are needed, Karas says.
“Sometimes wind will blow rain 30, 40 percent onto a deck,” he says. “If you want to stay dry in that patio, you might need a ceiling.”
Hunting for cover
Dave Dickson says a roof allows a deck to be used longer during the year.
“I'm out there cooking in the winter,” he says. “It's cold and I'm running in and out, but there's no snow on the grill.”
Such protection is not without cost. He says adding a roof to a deck costs between $12,000 and $20,000, doubling the price of a deck.
Adding a roof to an existing deck is not always possible because the vertical posts holding the roof need to come down to the posts holding up the deck. That alignment may not be available.
Tomlins agrees a roof adds a big price to the deck job. He says he is bidding on a deck-and-roof job that will total $30,000, which is not an uncommon amount.
He says the price keeps the work out of the range of many homeowners.
“The people who build them are the people who have money,” he says. “Banks don't want to give out loans for those kind of jobs.”
Karas says the money issue will force some homeowners to “do one job one year and then come back for the other job the next year.”
But he sees the worth in the job.
“If you have new construction, most times they have torn down the trees, so this gives you some cover,” he says.
Dickson says maintenance on deck roofs is minimal and they reduce upkeep on the decks themselves because the decks no longer are covered by rain or snow.
More than a ceiling
While roofs do the job above decks, ceilings accomplish similar ends below.
Under-deck ceilings create a look like those indoors, but Hendrickson says the most important function is different. Their most important job is to catch water and keep the space under the deck dry.
“It creates use for the home patio,” he says. “Now you can sit there when it's raining. You can stay out of the sun. You can use it as a little room next to the pool, if that's the case, or you can use it as a place to keep an eye on the kids as they play.”
These ceilings are designed to catch and route water into gutters, then take it elsewhere, sometimes linking into the home's gutter system.
Even though they are creating a ceiling, Hendrickson says the main function is to divert water. Some customers want to add a ceiling there to cover wiring for fans or lamps. In that case, some form of soffit would work just as well, he says.
Karas says many people do not understand that use; most see them as ceilings and not rain catchers.
Shoup, however, says business is picking up “even in a weak economy” because homeowners are looking for more and varied use for their homes.
He says projects run about $12 to $15 a square foot, although costs vary because of work that might need to be done to a particular deck.
He also admits his price might be a little higher than some because he uses a material called Gavalume, which is a mix of galvanized steel and aluminum.
Hendrickson, however, is pleased with the result of a heavy-gauge aluminum he uses for about $11 a square foot.
Dickson says he finds his ceiling projects run between $3,000 and $8,000 and interest in them has increased mostly as a way “to make the patio into a sunroom.”
Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7852.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ Bylsma wants Cup version of Letang
- Hempfield native, 22, publishes with local independent press
- Road work to cause lane closures in Mt. Lebanon starting Monday
- Orpik: Penguins must keep their cool
- Pirates trade for Mets first baseman Davis
- ‘We Are FR’ fund going strong
- York teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom
- Retired postal worker picks $1M winner
- Latrobe woman texts searchers in Linn Run State Park to tell them she’s OK
- Knife incident on bus gives Connellsville Area School District pause
- Rossi: Pens sticking to power-play plan