The roof on the covered porch (above left) is angled at about 30 degrees so the fireplace can be seen from inside the home.
courtesy Paul Zachman, Boardwalk Design The roof on the covered porch (above left) is angled at about 30 degrees so the fireplace can be seen from inside the home.
To take advantage of the few months of good weather at this house on Lake Ontario, Paul Zachman of Boardwalk Design, in Pittsford, N.Y., designed a covered patio with privacy panels. The stone fireplace, lighting, and fans make the space feel like a living room.
courtesy Paul Zachman, Boardwalk Design To take advantage of the few months of good weather at this house on Lake Ontario, Paul Zachman of Boardwalk Design, in Pittsford, N.Y., designed a covered patio with privacy panels. The stone fireplace, lighting, and fans make the space feel like a living room.

Whatever part of the country you live in, warm weather entices people out of their homes. There are more ways for your clients to take advantage of the outdoors than a deck off the back of the house.

The challenge with this Greek revival home was creating a covered patio that fits with the homeís historic style, the heavy architrave under the eaves, and an addition under the dormers. Zachman designed a flat membrane roof, finishing its perimeter in a wide architrave trim that matches the Greek revival style. It looks like a pergola but has the functionality of a flat roof. Rainwater drains down one of the columns to a storm drain.
The challenge with this Greek revival home was creating a covered patio that fits with the homeís historic style, the heavy architrave under the eaves, and an addition under the dormers. Zachman designed a flat membrane roof, finishing its perimeter in a wide architrave trim that matches the Greek revival style. It looks like a pergola but has the functionality of a flat roof. Rainwater drains down one of the columns to a storm drain.

Although deck and patio design can be flexible and free-form — almost independent from the house — an open design is at the mercy of the weather. Put a roof over it and the design becomes more complicated, but the living space can be enhanced with lighting, fireplaces, and flooring choices. “You can set up something like a room without walls outdoors,” says Paul Zachman, owner of Boardwalk Design, in Pittsford, N.Y., whose business focuses on decks and patios and what he calls “non-traditional patios.” “An outdoor living space with partial or no walls and/or landscape privacy that’s not screened in makes you feel you’re part of the landscape,” he says. There are several considerations when adding these kinds of spaces. “In some respects an open deck is a 2-D concept,” Zachman says. When you put a roof on, it has an impact on design flexibility. Does the roofline fit with the home’s existing rooflines and with the style of the house? What about the windows on the home? What will be the new view from the inside of the house? Zachman often angles a long porch area off a home to accommodate an interesting footprint while matching the rooflines. “You have to have a compatible solution that adds to the house and doesn’t detract,” he says.