Our DIY Deck Cover: Before / After

Our DIY Deck Cover: Before / After

With some good weather in the forecast and a whole lot of time to kill during the Covid-19 quarantine, we decided to build a DIY deck cover for our backyard deck patio. It totally transformed the space and now we spend approximately 100% of our time lounging and working out here.

Keep reading to see how we built it

diy patio deck shelter


It had been raining in Washington for weeks, as it tends to do in early spring in the PNW. But then all of a sudden there it was – a glorious week long stretch of warm, sunny weather in the forecast of our weather app. Being April, 2020, we were in the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic quarantine and definitely starting to feel a bit of cabin fever. This stretch of good weather was the kick in the butt we needed to finally tackle a project we had long been talking about doing. 

Off our dining room/kitchen we have french doors that open up to a nice sized deck, probably about 11’x11′. Over the two years we’ve lived in this house, we’ve enjoyed hanging out here in nice weather. But it was never as cozy as we knew it could be. And when it rained (which it does A LOT), we could forget about going out there. The carpet would get soaked (along with everything we store under the deck). It was high time we finally built a shelter over this bad boy. 

The same day we noticed good weather was on its way, we sat down at our kitchen table to figure out our build plan. It was all pretty spontaneous, which can be a good thing with DIY projects sometimes. Getting too hung up on finding the perfect way to do something can be crippling, and it’s something we’ve been guilty of before (cough Airstream renovation cough). But with this project it was the complete opposite. We found a design we liked online and ordered all the materials in the same night. Here’s the exact order from Home Depot:


All together, the materials for our DIY deck cover came in at a little under $1,000. And that’s including the $50 post hole digger we had to buy. We didn’t have one because we generally avoid digging holes this deep at all costs. After buying a few extra bags of concrete we ended up needing, and some more screws for the roof, the total cost was probably right around $1000 flat for all the materials. The next day, we picked everything up at HD and got to work!

diy deck patio shelter before after


The first order of business in the build was digging the post holes for the four main support beams. Using a basic post hole digger, we got to work digging 48″ deep holes for our 16′ beams. Technically, the proper guidelines state you should bury the post 1/3 to 1/2 as deep as its height for sufficient support. But we were able to add brackets to secure the posts to our existing deck higher up in addition to cementing them in the holes, so we didn’t have to dig to China, just halfway. 

After the holes were dug, we set the posts in place and got to pouring the cement. We wanted a subtle pitch to the roof so rain would run off easily, so we cut the two front posts a foot shorter than the ones closest to the house. If you’re planning to build a similar shelter yourself, just make sure all your posts are aligned properly at this point. There are probably better techniques than we used for this – I’m sure a quick Google search would help you on this front more than we could. But our method worked out alright in the end and soon enough we had four posts in place and ready for the next step. That was Day 1 of the build.

post hole diy deck shelter
The 4 foot post hole. Digging holes is not fun, but it was surprisingly easier and faster than expected.
diy deck shelter build
The posts are in place! We cut the two posts farthest from the house 1 foot shorter so we would have a subtle pitch for rain water runoff.
diy deck patio shelter build

After the posts were up, the rest of it came together pretty quickly. We bolted in two cross beams on either side of the front and rear posts using 3.5″ lag screws. Then we cut notches in the beams that run lengthwise so they would set securely in place. We attached those with some more lag screws that we screwed in from the top. Lastly, we had to screw in the horizontal beams that would hold the mounting pieces for the roofing material. And voila, we had our basic structure! End Day 2. 

diy deck shelter back yard build
Screwing in the mounting strips for the polycarbonate roofing panels.
diy deck shelter clear roof

For the roof, we used a clear polycarbonate material by the brand SunTuf. This stuff is seriously awesome. It’s super lightweight and easy to work with, mounts like a breeze, keeps the rain out, and lets the sun in. 1000% recommend it for an easy and aesthetically pleasing shelter cover. This is so much better than having a solid roof. When the sun is out, we can sunbathe on our deck. And when it’s cloudy, it’s not too dark underneath. Literally perfect. 

back deck diy patio shelter clear roof

DIY DECK cover complete! SO. COZY.

Day 3 was just a few hours of work mounting the roofing panels and then we were finished. All said and done, this deck shelter went up in about 2.5 days of work. It was a super easy build and we are SO PSYCHED on the finished product. For $1000 this build is a no brainer. It completely transformed this outdoor space into something we can use year round. We also have very limited storage for yard equipment and other stuff you’d normally put in a garage, so we’ve been storing it under the deck. And in the winter, it gets soaked. Not good. But now it stays nice and dry. 

We decorated  the deck with some hanging plants, which upped the cozy factor by at least 10. And we ordered the incredible Sora Beach Sectional Sofa from Article plus a couple Poufs to finish off the new lounge area. We are obsessed with Article and this sofa is incredible – super comfy, great materials, and it looks amazing. To make the space extra chillable, we also mounted an outdoor heater above the sofa. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. We’ve hung out here comfortably when it was in the low 50s with this heater on.

This DIY deck cover has been a real sanity saver during the quarantine. We’ve been able to throw open the french doors and sit out here in rain or shine, breath some fresh air, and relax outside like never before. We strung up some lights too and foresee many a long night cozying up under the stars. And we can attest that sitting out here while it’s raining is about the coziest thing ever. Can you tell we love it? We’ll sign off here with a few more pics of the finished product. Happy deck hangs! 

diy deck patio shelter before after
deck patio diy shelter clear roof lounge furniture
All set up with our cozy Article furniture and hanging plants
diy deck shelter string lights night clear roof

How cozy is that?!

The Foxes are Brandon and Gabi Fox, an adventurous husband and wife elopement photography team living and traveling in their DIY renovated 1972 Airstream. They are loosely based in the Pacific Northwest, but travel for work and play throughout the western states and beyond. Their elopement photography is award winning and is described as candid photography that captures couples as they are, where they are, blending images of love and natural beauty in the great outdoors. 



These Terms and Conditions are a legally binding agreement is between you (“Client”) The Foxes Photography, LLC (“Photographer”) (collectively the “Parties”, or in the singular “Party”), for the purpose of Client purchasing a custom photography album from Photographer. This Agreement shall become effective upon the date you complete the checkout process.


  1. Fees & Retainer

Client shall commit to a custom album package by signing and returning this Agreement along with the initial payment for album service. Photographer will not begin its custom album services until the Agreement is signed and the album design fee is received. No final album will be printed until the full payment is made. In the event Client fails to remit payment as specified, Photographer shall have the right to immediately terminate this Agreement with no further obligation and retain any monies already paid as liquidated damages. Full payment must be completed by Client within 60 days of this Agreement’s date.

The fees in this Agreement are based on Photographer’s current album pricing at the time of booking. The price list is adjusted periodically, and any changes to custom albums will be charged at the prices in effect at the time.

  1. Album Design Procedure

The following outline indicates the general procedure of a custom album design. Client understands and agrees to this procedure.

  1. Photographer will use photos and album specifications to create their first custom album design.
  2. Photographer will send Client first draft of album design.
  3. Client will approve or send in revisions to album design.
  4. Photographer will make edits to album design. Only two rounds of edits are allowed.
  5. Client will approve final album design.
  6. Photographer will send in album for printing.
  7. Album is printed and shipped.
  8. Client receives final printed album.
  1. Album Spreads

Albums will include 35 spreads and no less. The definition of a “page” is one side of a spread in an album (for example, a 70-page album contains 35 spreads). If Client requests more than 35 spreads, additional spreads are $50.00 each. 

  1. Revision Rounds

The first draft will include photos selected by the photographer and will be sent to Client for approval. Client may request modifications to be made. Photographer shall complete modifications and send the second draft of album design to Client. Client may then accept the design or request one more round of modifications. Photographer will complete this second modification request and send the final draft of album to Client. After these two rounds of revisions to the album design, no further revisions are allowed. Any additional revisions are invoiced at a rate of $75.00 per round. All additional revision rounds must be paid before the revision is made by the Photographer. Photographer requires up to 10 days to complete a revision request. Client has 50 days to send Photographer any and all revision requests. Any revisions requested by Client more than 50 days after this Agreement’s date will not be accepted by Photographer.

  1. Final Approval

Photographer will not place an album order with the album Manufacturer until Client approves the design draft, and the balance is paid on any upgrades or additional spreads. Client agrees to check the final album design very carefully before giving final approval. Once final approval is given, Photographer is not responsible for typos, image defects, duplicate images, or other errors that may have been missed. 

  1. Parent/Duplicate Albums

Parent/duplicate albums cannot be altered from the original designs. All parent/duplicate albums shall be ordered at the time of final approval of the original album design and will be invoiced and must be paid prior to Photographer sending in album for printing. No parent/duplicate albums are available after the original album ordering phase is complete.

  1. Album Delivery

Client understands and agrees that Photographer’s album manufacturer (“Manufacturer”) generally takes 6-8 weeks to print and manufacture the album. While every possible precaution is taken and Manufacturer has been selected by Photographer for its superb quality, Photographer assumes no liability for the loss or damage of album while in possession of Manufacturer. 

  1. Ordering Date

Client shall agree to final album design within 60 days of this Agreement’s date. Any delay by Client in approving final album design will result in termination of this Agreement and no further obligation by Photographer.

  1. Retouching and Edits

Photographer will use the final edited images delivered to Client to make the album design. Photographer will not re-edit or retouch any images.

  1. Returns

Client understands and agrees that once final approval of album design has been given to Photographer, no returns or refunds are allowed whatsoever. In the event Client receives the printed album and sees any manufacturer defects or dislikes the album quality, Photographer will work with Manufacturer to the best of their ability to remedy the situation. Client is responsible for any additional fees associated with returning or reprinting the album.

  1. Album Archiving

Photographer shall keep a copy of final approved album design for 90 days but does not permanently archive the final album design. Client understands that after 90 days the album design will not be available to order additional copies and a new agreement must be signed to start the process over.

  1. Photographer Copyright

The final album design by The Foxes Photography, LLC is their property, will remain their property, and are protected by United States Copyright Laws (USC Title 17). Client hereby waives any claims for ownership, income, editorial control, and use of the images and album design. Violations of this federal law will be subject to its civil and criminal penalties.

  1. Reproduction

Client and Client’s agents agree to acquire the album design and product directly from Photographer through their professional album company. Client and Client’s agents agree not to scan, copy or reproduce the album design in any manner without written permission, including using the custom album design to create other albums. Photographer may seek damages for any illegal reproduction. Client and Client’s agents further agree not to supply the album to any third-parties.

  1. Communication

Photographer’s office hours are 9:00am – 5:00pm PST Monday through Friday. Photographer’s primary source of communication is through their email [email protected]. Photographer will respond to Client’s emails within those office hours.

  1. Indemnification

Client shall indemnify, release, discharge and hold harmless Photographer, its heirs, legal representatives, assigns, employees, contractors, or any persons or corporations acting under permission or authority of the Photographer from and against any and all losses, damages, liabilities, and expenses and costs, including reasonable legal expenses and attorneys’ fees, to which Photographer may become subject as a result of any claim, demand, action or other legal proceeding by any third-party to the extent such losses arise directly or indirectly out of activities performed by Photographer pursuant to this Agreement, except to the extent such losses result from the gross negligence, willful misconduct, or intentional acts of Photographer.

  1. Maximum Damages

The sole remedy for any actions or claims by Client shall be limited to a refund, the maximum amount not to exceed the total monies paid by Client under this Agreement.

  1. Limitation of Liability

If, during the production and/or before the album(s) are delivered to Client, the media has been lost, stolen, or is unusable because of defect, damage, equipment/platform malfunction, processing, or other technical error caused by Photographer or by forces outside the control of Photographer, Client agrees to relieve and hold Photographer harmless and will not impose any additional liability.

In no event shall Photographer be liable under this Agreement to Client or any other third-party for consequential, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, punitive, or enhanced damages, arising out of, relating to, or in connection with any breach of this Agreement, regardless of (a) whether such damages were foreseeable, (b) whether or not Client was advised of such damages, and (c) the legal or equitable theory (contract, tort, or otherwise) upon which the claim is based.

  1. Force Majeure 

No Party shall be liable or responsible to the other Party, nor be deemed to have defaulted under or breached this Agreement, for any failure or delay in fulfilling or performing any term of this Agreement (except for any obligations to make payments to the other Party hereunder), when and to the extent such failure or delay is caused by or results from acts beyond the impacted party’s (“Impacted Party”) control that are unforeseen and unpredictable at the time of contracting, including, but not limited to, the following force majeure 

events (“Force Majeure Events”): (a) acts of God; (b) a natural disaster (fires, explosions, earthquakes, hurricane, flooding, storms, explosions, infestations), epidemic, or pandemic; (c) war, invasion, hostilities (whether war is declared or not), terrorist threats or acts, riot or other civil unrest; (d) government order or law; (e) actions, embargoes or blockades in effect on or after the date of this Agreement; (f) action by any governmental authority; (g) national or regional emergency; (h) strikes, labor stoppages or slowdowns or other industrial disturbances; and (i) shortage of adequate power or transportation facilities. The Impacted Party shall give Notice (as defined in Section 27) within 10 days of the Force Majeure Event to the other Party, stating the period of time the occurrence is expected to continue. The Impacted Party shall use diligent efforts to end the failure or delay and ensure the effects of such Force Majeure Event are minimized. The Impacted Party shall resume the performance of its obligations as soon as reasonably practicable after the removal of the cause. In the event that the Impacted Party’s failure or delay remains uncured for a period of 15 days following Notice given by it, the other Party may thereafter terminate this Agreement upon Notice. The Retainer and all other payments made by Client up to the date of Notice of a Force Majeure Event are non-refundable.

  1. Cancellation of Album Services by Photographer

In the event Photographer determines, in its sole discretion, that it cannot or will not perform its obligations under this Agreement due to circumstances including, but not limited to, injury, illness, death of family member, pregnancy, military orders, religious obligations, other personal emergencies, or total breakdown of communication with Client, it will:

  1. Immediately give notice to Client;
  2. Issue a refund or credit based on a reasonably accurate percentage of custom album services rendered; and
  3. Excuse Client of any further performance and/or payment obligations under this Agreement.
  1. Sales Tax

Should any sale and/or use tax be imposed on any part of this Agreement, such tax shall be collected from Client and remitted by Photographer. All sales tax will be included on invoices.

  1. Entire Agreement

This is a binding Agreement that incorporates the entire understanding of the Parties, supersedes any other written or oral agreements between the Parties, and any modifications must be in writing, signed by all Parties, and physically attached to the original agreement.

22. Venue and Jurisdiction

This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington including all matters of construction, validity, performance, and enforcement and without giving effect to the principles of conflict of laws. The Parties agree that any dispute or lawsuit arising out of, or concerning, this Agreement that is not first resolved by arbitration shall be resolved exclusively in a court of competent jurisdiction located in Whatcom County, Washington. The Parties assume responsibility for their own collection costs and legal fees incurred should enforcement of this Agreement become necessary.

  1. Arbitration

Any and all disputes or disagreements rising between the Parties out of this Agreement upon which an amicable understanding cannot be reached, shall be decided by arbitration in accordance with the procedural rules of the American Arbitration Association. The Parties agree to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator(s). The arbitration proceeding shall take place in Whatcom County, Washington, unless another location is mutually agreed to by the Parties. The cost and expenses of the arbitrators shall be shared equally by the Parties. Each Party shall be responsible for its own costs and expenses in presenting the dispute for arbitration.

  1. Severability & No Waiver

In the event that any part of this Agreement is found to be invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of this Agreement shall remain valid and enforceable. Any failure by one or both Parties to enforce a provision of this Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of any other portion or provision of this Agreement.

  1. Transfer

This Agreement cannot be transferred or assigned to any third-party by either the Photographer or Client without written consent of all Parties. 

  1. Headings

Headings and titles are provided in this Agreement for convenience only and will not be construed as part of this Agreement.

  1. Notice

Parties shall provide effective notice (“Notice”) to each other via email at the date and time which the Notice is sent: Photographer’s Email: [email protected]

  1. Counterparts; Facsimile Signatures 

The Parties agree that a facsimile copy (electronic copy) of this Agreement, which contains the Parties’ signatures, may be used as the original.


By checking the box on this order form and upon completion of purchase, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agree to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.