14 Back Porch Roof Ideas
A back porch is a great place to relax in the shade, have a drink, or even barbeque with some friends. You don't have to worry about the weather...as long as you have a roof over your head. Unfortunately, if your roof is starting to get worn out, you need some back porch roof ideas to help you brighten your porch roof and make sure it keeps you cool and dry. This list of ideas should help.
1) Just For Shade
Your porch roof serves one of two functions, and often both. You need shade, and you need protection from the weather. The porch roof has to have underlayment, roofing material, drip edge, and more things that you'll likely need a contractor for if it's going to protect you from the weather instead of making things worse. If you're more worried about protection from the sun than you are about using the porch in the rain, try using this tutorial by Heathered Nest to build a beautiful pergola as a roof for your porch.
Your back porch is a practical space to spend time in the shade and out of the rain. While you don't want it to look ugly, it's not a decoration the way the front porch is. If you want a sturdy material that's easy to install and work with, polycarbonate roofing is ideal. It's strong enough to resist punctures, though it can be scratched or dented if you aren't careful. A polycarbonate roof like this one at nicedeck.com will last a long time, and the lightweight material makes it ideal for installing yourself.
3) DIY Retractable Roof
If you've ever debated between the clear skies above a patio and the rain protection of a porch, a retractable roof may be the solution. You can enjoy the view from your backyard, then close the roof for shade or rain protection when you need it. This probably sounds expensive, but colinfurz made this video to show you how to create your own retractable roof. While this isn't on a porch, you could create a similar design for your back porch. If you don't have the skills to build this, look for a contractor who can design one for you.
4) Glass Roof
If you have an amazing view from your backyard, you want to be able to see it. While you can look out on the lawn, forest, prairie, or whatever view your backyard holds, you'll always be missing the top view. Distant mountains may be cut off by the roof, or you might not be able to see the birds nest in the trees above. If you want a clearer view, Glass On Web's article will help you plan a sturdy, durable, and transparent glass roof.
5) Self-Stick Aluminum
If you have a metal roof that's leaking, you're probably here because you're dreading the idea of spending all that money to redo it. Metal is expensive, and if your main concern is keeping it waterproof, use this self-stick aluminum from Amazon to repair it. This way, you still have a functional back porch, but you don't have to spend a lot of money redoing your metal roof. It may not win prizes for appearance, but patching the roof is cheaper than the alternative.
6) Shingles or Not?
If you're having problems with an existing shingled porch roof, it may be because it was done wrong the first time. Check out this video from roofingintelligence.com to learn about some common problems with shingled roofs and determine whether you can fix them when you reshingle the roof. If your porch roof is too flat, you may need to rebuild the roof, or simply choose a different material for it. If you have shingles on the house, you'll want to match it, but in a less visible area, the most important thing is whether the roof functions.
7) Weathered Metal Accent
If you have a gable roof, you've probably noticed that the gable ends can look bare. They probably have the same type of siding as the rest of the house, but in such a small and prominent place, the siding looks bare. This weathered wall decoration should fit in the gable, depending on the size of the porch roof, and it'll add some much-needed decoration to the porch roof. The weathered look fits a worn-out porch or a farmhouse style of decorating.
8) Flat Roof
While the flat roof in this video isn't attached to the house, you can see how Tweakwood built a flat roof, and see the overall effect a flat back porch roof would have. The flat roof will still have a slight downward angle and gutters to catch rain runoff, but it'll look flat. The clear material and roof design will let you have a full view of your backyard since the roof won't angle down to block the view.
9) Metal Roof
If you're trying to decide on the roofing material, metal has probably already crossed your mind. It's durable, and snow and rain slide off it easily. It also doesn't need to be replaced as often as shingles or other types of roofing. The downside is that many people don't like the look, so it's probably not best for a highly visible roof. If you don't care about the roof or if your backyard is well-hidden, metal roofing like this material from The Home Depot is a great way to keep your porch dry for a long time.
10) Extend Roof Past Porch
A lot of contractors forget about this next idea. When you go to redo your roof or build a new one, think about the elements in your area. Rain and sun don't fall straight down, so you want a 1-foot to 2-foot overhang to keep the porch shady in the early morning and late afternoon, and keep the rain off your porch when it's falling at an angle. Make sure the roof has an overhang like this. You can even build pillars onto the ground, like the ones in the photo, as long as you use the right materials.
11) Clear Sealant
Whether you're looking to seal your roof to stop leaks, or planning to redo the whole roof, you want to use a sealant. This sealant from Amazon is transparent, and you can use it to repair cracks in old shingles or seal spaces along the drip edge. This will waterproof your roof so that you don't have to replace it if you don't want to. Unlike a lot of waterproofing and repair methods, this is clear and won't change the roof's look. Your old shingles may not look great, but they'll look good enough for a back porch.
12) Warning Sign
Warning: there's a party on the back porch. At least, there could be. You can customize this warning sign from Amazon to make a clever greeting for people who approach your back porch. If you have a gable roof, you can place it on the flat part of the gable end so everyone will see it as they approach. You can also use it as a warning if your porch floor gets slippery, but one of these roof ideas should help you keep water away so that won't be a problem.
13) Green Garland
Whether you live somewhere with a lot of greenery or not, you want your backyard to have bits and pieces of nature. You're taking the time to create a comfortable place to sit outside, so you want to take full advantage of it. If your roof is looking plain, but you don't want to cover it with ornaments, try wrapping or hanging a garland like this on it. The garland looks natural, so you can bring in nature as part of your decorations without worrying about live vines damaging your roof and siding.
14) Position It Below the Main Roof
When you add or rebuild a porch roof, you have to carefully consider the roof structure of the entire house. Your back porch roof doesn't need to look spectacular as much as it needs to be useful, so you don't need a prominent porch roofline. If your roof is tall enough, you can build the porch roof underneath the existing roof. Notice how each roof in this photo is lower than the next. This design prevents leaks by letting water drip from the higher roof and then run off down the lower one.
Did we miss any renovation and decoration needs? What do you have planned for your roof? Tell us about it in the comments below!