What options are there to create a covered patio or create a dry space under your deck? There are several that are on the market now but few that are effective. Archadeck of Charlotte has been designing and building decks, porches, and covered patios for over 25 years and has a lot of experience with the various manufactured and man made systems.
A traditional “man-made” system still seems to be the most effective and give you the most finished look. This consists of taking plywood and using a rubber membrane to make it water tight and flashing. You must then take “”sleepers”” and adhere them to the membrane. Then you screw your decking into the sleepers. The primary disadvantage of this system is you cannot do it as a retrofit unless you are planning on replacing the existing deck boards. You can then finish the ceiling below with a beautiful beadboard and stain or paint it.
There are a few manufactured systems such as Rain Escapes from Trex that is an an under-deck system that they heavily market to collect rail and then direct it to an aluminum gutter and downspout.
Undercover Systems is a powder-coated aluminum system that does keep things dry but can be on the high end of the price spectrum.
There is also a vinyl system on the market called Dry Deck but we have found it tends to leak at the house wall if you don’t do a lot of work to keep that from happening.
In all, for the price and appearance, we still find the rubber membrane to be the best solution. To see many photos and design ideas, go to www.charlotte.archadeck.com