by | Jan 17, 2023

Outdoor Living Spaces: Roof Overhangs, Deck Overhangs, Patio Overhangs

Patio covers and overhangs can add incredible value to your home, not only as a beautifying protector of doors and windows, but an excellent way to create a protected outdoor space for dining or entertaining.

Patio and deck overhangs are built for a variety of reasons, ranging from aesthetic appeal to the functionality. Patio overhangs and covered outdoor living spaces provide many benefits, particularly for those who enjoy spending time outside year round.

Besides increasing your home’s value, patio overhangs can help keep things cool in the summer months, prevent sun damage to furniture and your patio, help prevent weather exposure, and make your patio more accessible year round. If outdoor living and entertaining are what you enjoy, then having a custom overhang might be the perfect thing to suit your needs.

If you’re considering adding a patio cover, deck overhang, or covered outdoor living space, there are many designs and styles to choose from to help influence the perfect custom overhang style for your very own outdoor retreat.

It is important to start with understanding the basics about overhangs before you decide which one is right for you.

The two most commonly installed overhang styles are Lean-To Overhangs and Gable Overhangs.

Lean-To Overhang: a lean-to is a single slope roof overhang than “leans” against the side of your home. This very common and affordable overhang provides a beautiful space for a sunroom or plant nursery.

Gable Overhang gable roof overhangs make your home finishings look amazing, while protecting your home from damage.

For help with designing your ideal patio cover or for a free consultation and estimate, call Cutting Edge Contracting at 360-433-2803 for help with your custom overhang construction!

If you would like to learn more about Overhangs, read the information below for some construction basics, architectural history for overhangs, and other types of common overhangs you see in modern building and construction.


Overhang Lean-To
Custom Gable Hip Overhang

What is an Overhang?

In architecture, an overhang is a commonly a protruding structure that is constructed to provide protection for lower levels. An overhanging eave is at the edge of a roof, protruding outwards from the side of the building, and is generally engineered to provide weather protection.

We often call them patio covers, covered decks or covered living spaces. They could also be known as porch overhangs or deck overhangs or deck coverings. No matter what you call them, they “hang” off the side of your home, covering an outdoor space.

Underneath the overhang around the perimeter is your soffit, with a main ceiling under the main structure. While most homes have an overhang, the length and style greatly depending on the architectural style of the roof. For example, contemporary homes typically have longer architectural overhangs.

A soffit is generally a horizontal exterior or interior architectural feature. Being the underside of eves, soffits will sometimes incorporate the projection of beams. The vertical band edging the roof is called a fascia.

Most overhangs are attached to the main home’s structure, but other outdoor living spaces can utilize freestanding structures such as pergolas, gazebos, and freestanding overhangs as a focal point and separate gathering area for outdoor living and entertaining.

History of Overhangs:

Overhangs are common to many kinds of medieval architecture, including Indian, Buddhist and Japanese architecture.

According to Wikipedia; “In late Medieval and Renaissance Europe, the upper stories of timber framed houses often overhung the story below, the overhang being called a “jetty”. This technique declined by the beginning of the 18th century as building with brick or stone became common.”

In American Colonial 17th Century, overhangs were extremely common. Known as “garrison houses” this style of overhang (or jettied second story) usually ran around the house, or across the front, protecting windows and door entryways.

By the late 20th century in American, a new “prairie school” style of architecture was adopted by architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, making its way into our modern American style of architecture. This style often included broad overhanging eves, and modern horizontal lines.


Custom Gable Hip Overhang
Back Porch Gabled Overhang and lean-to Pergola
Overhang Flat Roof with slight pitch
Front Porch Curved Overhang

Other Common Types Of Overhangs:

Pergola Overhang: Pergolas often have open tops and extend from the roof using beams and rafters in a grid-like pattern. Used in outdoor spaces, usually with some vining greenery growing up the sides.

Flat Roof Overhang: this type improves the look of two story homes, while protecting windows. Provisions for water flow is a must so there must be a slight slant at the roof for water to flow.

Porch Overhang and Verandas: this type of overhang is typically built around an entryway like the front or back door. They are often part of the home design and an extension of its architectural style. A veranda is usually a larger porch overhang that extends across the front and sides of a structure. Porches and verandas are typically elevated and are enclosed partially with railing.

Shed Overhang: implementing an overhang for your shed can help protect your foundation from water run off, keep the doorways dry, and prevent the sun from overheating the shed. Perfect for she-sheds or man-caves, an overhang can also be used to keep chopped firewood dry. It’s recommended that eve overhangs should be between 12” and 18”.

Screened-in Porch: popular in the southern and mountain regions, a screen in porch offers protection from the elements as well as insects while enjoying outside air.

Cantilever Roof Overhang: Modern Homes often use a cantilever overhang that juts straight out (flat) from the roof and appears to be suspended in air.

Hip Roof Overhang: A hip overhang is also known as a hipped roof is where the roof slopes downwards toward the walls on all four sides.

Juliet Awning Overhang: is a type of awning that provides aesthetic interest to your home, usually made from metal like Copper, Steel or Aluminum and come in many colors.

Canopy Overhang: used for small spaces around doors to protect one from the weather while unlocking or opening the door. The connect to the home’s exterior and have a high arch.

Bonnet Overhang: Almost appearing as a “visor” look this overhang has two slopes, and upper and lower slope. Proper construction is vital so water and debris do not accumulate where they meet.

Curved Overhang: this is a beautiful design usually constructed of wood then covered in a metal. Slope advised for this kind of overhang varies based on weather of the region. Higher pitch for snowy regions, lower for windy.

Gambrel Overhang: Commonly used for barns or farmhouses, a gambrel overhang has a slope that is highly resistant to weather conditions, protecting the building and animals or equipment in it.

Hexagonal Overhang: this kind of overhang creates a lovely outdoor gazebo or screened in porch.

Mansard Overhang: this kind of overhang involves many different types of roof structures. It may look like a gambrel rood, hip roof, and is similar to a bonnet roof overhang.

Outdoor Living Space Overhang
Outdoor Kitchen Gabled Roof Overhang
Custom Overhang Outdoor BBQ

Sean Kelly

About the author: Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly is the COO & President of Cutting Edge Contracting. His background in business, accounting, and the construction industry helped him become the award-winning manager of a nationally-known paint company before joining Cutting Edge.

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