Does Your Deck Need Shade? Read This!

A patio or deck is enormously beneficial to your home. In fact, 87% of home shoppers say they want a deck or patio at their new home. 

However, many people that do own a deck find themselves hardly ever using it. 


Because decks are outdoor living spaces, and as a result, you have to deal with the weather when you are on your deck - especially the sun.  

Custom Backyard Deck Installation & Design: Chester & Lancaster County

No one is comfortable with the sun roasting them. It’s much easier to stay inside, watch TV, and relax in your climate-controlled house.

But you shouldn’t have to settle for that. 

At Keystone Custom Decks, we want to help you enjoy your deck and the great outdoors anytime you want to. We think the best way to do that is by adding shade to your deck. 

Ready to learn how? Let’s get started! 

Table of Contents

  • icons-02
    Do Decks Need Shade?
  • icons-01
    Composite Decking: An Alternative That Resists Sun Damage
  • icons-07
    5 Deck Shade Ideas

Do Decks Need Shade? 

The very best way to protect your deck from the elements is to find a way to shade your deck. 

Whether you build a deck shade structure (like a roof) or utilize a shade canopy you can protect yourself from the elements. 

But is the investment worth it, if the only benefit is the comfort you gain from a bit of shade? 

Let’s find out!

shade is the best way to protect your desk from the elements

Reasons To Shade Your Deck

Thankfully, there are plenty of reasons to create shade for your deck beyond protecting yourself from the elements. Let’s take a look at a few of them! 

1 - Boost the Appearance Of Your Outdoor Space

Shade structures don’t just protect you - they make your property look great too. 

Take a pergola for example: 

With a pergola you get protection from the sun’s hot rays. In addition, you’re given a support for trailing vines and flowers where you can create a peaceful and pleasant relaxing spot. 

You can invite the neighbors over to grill a few steaks on the hottest of summer evenings, and feel proud about the aesthetics of your space at the same time! 

(See these stunning covered porch designs for inspiration!) 

shade structures protect your deck and make your property look great

2 - Create An Interesting Outdoor Space

Many decks are just flat spaces with railing, a grill, and a few deck chairs. That’s ok, but any space that is tastefully designed should have character. 

In other words: 

Outdoor spaces should be interesting. And deck coverings allow you to create interesting and unique features for your space. 

For example, you might draw interest and get a few gushy comments or questions about the reclaimed barnwood on the ceiling of your covered porch.   

Want to learn about more ways to take your deck or porch to the next level? Read our blog: Top 6 Deck And Porch Trends In 2021 (with pictures)

3 - Protect Yourself From Harmful UV Rays

We’d be in deep trouble without the sun - and beyond our survival it brings a lot of happiness to our days. 

But as many have experienced, too much sunshine can turn deadly - and we aren’t just talking about mild sunburn.  

A shaded deck protects you from harmful UV rays

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and is most often caused by repeated and unprotected skin exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. 

So, having a place where you can enjoy the fresh air of the outdoors while being protected from the sun is essential. Thankfully, a shaded deck gives you the perfect opportunity to do that!  

4 - Keep Your Decking Material Cool

Have you ever done the hot foot hustle dance? It happens when you unsuspectingly walk barefoot onto a deck only to find out it's hot enough to fry an egg on. 

On an 86 degree day treated pine decking climbs to somewhere between 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit, and composite decking ranges between 130-150 degrees. 

NOTE: This study was done several years ago when early composite decks were more sensitive to temperature. Modern composite boards don't become hotter than traditional wooden deck boards. 

Still - that’s hot! 

Such temperatures are tough on your feet, and on your decking material which affects its lifespan.  

Of course, a bit of shade makes a dramatic difference in keeping the temperature of your decking material at a manageable level! 

reasons to shade your deck

Composite Decking: A Cooler Alternative That Resists Sun Damage

Clearly, some shade on a deck is a good idea. But what if you don’t have any deck shade? 

Your biggest problem is not personal comfort. Rather you need to concern yourself with the longevity of your deck. 

Thankfully, there is a solution: composite decking

Composite decking gets hot, just like traditional wooden board decking. The difference though is in the details. 

(For a deep dive into the difference between composite decking and wood decking read our blog: Composite Decking VS Wood Decking - 9 Common Questions Answered.)

The main reason composite decking helps with an area that doesn’t get much shade is it’s durability. Yes, composite decking gets hot, but the heat doesn’t affect it like it does wooden boards.  


composite decking is very durable and needs less shade

In fact, the average composite deck lifespan is at least 25 to 30 years, and often even longer.  

Beyond that, composite decking is virtually maintenance-free.

Composite decking is completely immune to the rot and mold that destroy most wooden decks. As a result, composite decks don’t need to be re-sealed or re-stained every year to keep the damage at bay. 

While composite doesn’t require any super-involved or time-consuming maintenance, you’ll still want to keep it clean, so the occasional sweep or wash down may be necessary to keep your deck looking great. (Learn more about cleaning composite decking.) 

In short, if your deck doesn’t have adequate shade, and if you can't invest in adequate shade solutions you might consider composite decking. 

At least you can know that heat and moisture aren’t destroying your deck!  

5 Deck Shade Ideas

Composite decking is a good option if you are trapped with a deck that doesn’t have shade. But what if you can afford to invest in deck shade? 

Here are 5 creative ideas that you can utilize to create the perfect shaded spot on your deck! 

1 - Pergola

Pergolas boast an unmatched elegance and are an increasingly popular inclusion for countless decks.

While the lattice roof of a standard pergola only provides partial shade from the sun, custom pergolas can offer full coverage. Whether that’s a custom 100% shade pergola or one with retractable shade, these outdoor structures are more than up to the task of shading your deck.

Plus, pergolas are a fantastic shade option for homeowners who want to protect a fairly large area from the sun without building a big full protection structure.

See decks with pergolas for inspiration. 

pergolas are an excellent shade structure

2 - Umbrellas 

Sometimes simple is all you need — and the right umbrella can really go a long way. 

The umbrellas our customers often choose to accessorize with are made of sturdy, weather-resistant cloth and they come free-standing or attached to an outdoor table. 

However, it is worth noting that an umbrella or canopy that gives deck shade can’t compete with a deck shade structure when it comes to quality. 

High winds and extreme weather can wreak havoc to any kind of canopy, while a roof should be just fine. Plus, roofs are far more customizable with lights, decorative wood, heaters for cold weather, and more!

Still, umbrellas are a solid deck shade option since they offer good coverage,  and provide a crucial pop of bold color to your outdoor style.

Looking for more great deck accessories? Read our blog: 20 Deck Accessories & Decorations For Your Dream Outdoor Space.

umbrellas are a shade option for decks

3 - Gazebos

With a gazebo, coverage meets comfort. 

Gazebos are a fantastic deck shade idea for homeowners who want to add a focal point to their decks. The secluded feel of a gazebo makes them one of the most popular places to sit and talk with a friend or just quietly read a book to unwind. 

And while you may associate gazebos with an antique style, we’ve built gazebos that range from classic to modern in style. 

4 - Under The Deck

Elevated and two-story decks are something of a specialty at Keystone Custom Decks. And one of the hidden advantages of an elevated deck is all of the space underneath the top floor. 

And the best part? 

We build these underside deck alcoves to be just as luxurious as the space above!

Not only do they provide you ample extra space for your outdoor gatherings, they are also some of the best deck shade options our clients have ever seen. 

Think about it like this — you get one whole story to take in the sun, and a whole other level to bask in the shade!

elevated decks allow to be in the shade or sun

And that’s just one benefit of elevated decks. Here are a few more: 

  • Elevated perspective on your backyard: An elevated deck can bring you a new perspective on your outdoor property, so you can enjoy every inch of it to the max!
  • Outdoor storage space: If you don’t want to use the underside of your deck as a seating area it can be a perfect storage space for lawn furniture, tools, and outdoor games. 
  • Ground floor porch: Some homeowners complete their two-story decks with an enclosed ground floor porch. This allows full sun exposure on the main deck and a weather-protected sitting area down below.

Check out our wildly popular elevated deck designs

5 - Covered Porches

Covered porches stand out as some of the most complete deck shade ideas we create

covered porches are the most complete deck shade solution

One of our most popular outdoor design schemes involves splitting the deck down the middle: one half works as an exposed sundeck while the other half is shaded by a covered porch. 

The result? 

You get the best of both worlds! You can bask in the sun on the exposed deck and cool off in the shaded covered porch. 

Not only do the porches we build block the sun, but they are also meant to have the feel of any other living room — just outdoors!

We work with our clients to create covered back porch designs that include every amenity they could imagine — from outdoor televisions to fireplaces, and so much more.


deck shade ideas

If you design your deck the right way, it could end up being the most used space in your entire home! Your friends and family will eagerly wait for the next time their phone buzzes and notifies them of a party on your deck. 

On the other hand, a deck without shade and protection from the weather may be used sporadically at best. 

If you want to make sure your deck is the perfect outdoor living, get in touch with us at Keystone Custom Decks  

We’ve been building phenomenal, state-of-the-art outdoor living spaces for over 30 years. Beyond decks, we also build porches, patios, and unique features like outdoor kitchens and fireplaces

We’d love to put our superior customer service, and flawless workmanship to the test, and create your dream outdoor living area. Contact us today and get started with a free estimate. We look forward to hearing from you!  

Keystone custom decks can build a shaded deck for you