Raised decks are a great way to maximize the space in your backyard. By building a raised deck, you’re doubling your outdoor space. From storage to entertaining, the possibilities are endless. Even better yet, most raised decks have a considerable amount of useable square footage of room underneath of them. If this space happens to leave adequate head-room to walk under, your back yard is now set up perfectly for another outside living area!
Let us walk you through some ingenious ways to best utilize this under deck space so that is does not go to waste.
Under-Deck Drainage System
It is first important to quickly discuss how to prepare your under-deck area to be used. Without proper preparation, anything you put underneath of your risen deck will be soaked with rain water and any debris that is able to make its way through the slats in your deck. This will make for an extremely unpleasant under-deck area.
The good news is, there is a way to avoid all of this and create an underdeck area that is just as useful as your main deck itself!
Under-deck draining systems use a network of troughs and gutters to keep rain, spills and snowmelt from dripping through elevated deck boards creating a dry space below the deck. Once a system like this is installed, homeowners can design an outdoor living space that includes lights, ceiling fans, an entertainment center, an outdoor kitchen and so much more under their risen deck. This area will now be kept dry and will become highly useable.
Now let’s explore how you can use your under-deck area now that it is able to stay dry and clean!
The search for storage space is a never ending one, particularly if you have limited space. A backyard shed is a common solution. If you have limited yard space, you don’t have to sacrifice your green space for more storage. The open area under a raised deck is the perfect place for a storage shed. It’s also a great option for those who want a shed, but have Homeowner’s Association regulations limiting any extra structures on their property. This under deck area is unused space that has a pre-existing frame for a shed.
Under-Deck Screened in Porch
Screened in porches are a great option for those that want to have flexibility with their outdoor space. They are a porch that is closed off from the rest of the backyard with screens. By using screens and not full walls, you’re still allowing the breeze into your room, but have protection from rain and bugs. Depending on the screen, it can be an added privacy measure as well. Screened in porches are an extension of your indoor living space. These indoor/outdoor rooms can be enjoyed three seasons of the year in mild climates and left open all year around in warmer areas. By choosing to screen in the space underneath your completely open deck, you are able to keep the best of both worlds.
Under-Deck Dining Area
One popular under-deck patio idea is to create an outdoor dining area. An under-deck dining area gives you protection from the elements and protection from the sun on hot days. One way to make the most of the two spaces is to create an outdoor kitchen area on your deck with food prep areas and your grill. You can connect the two spaces with deck stairs. If you want to keep the footprint small, you can use a spiral staircase for a unique and compact way to access your patio under the deck. This keeps all of your entertaining outdoors and keeps too much foot traffic from going in and out of the house.
Under-Deck Hang-out area
Outdoor living spaces are becoming more and more popular. Take advantage of this trend by using the lower area of your deck as a comfortable area to hang-out with friends and family. This space can be as casual or as fancy as you would like to make it. The possibilities are endless! If you plan on this being an area where family and friends gather to unwind and relax with one another, try creating a circle of couches that face each other for easy communication between those sitting in this area.
Under-Deck Kid’s Area
You may have limited yard space behind your home but have a great deck. Take advantage of your under-deck space by creating a play area for your kids! Even if you have a large backyard, having a large space that the kids can escape the heat on hot summer days will keep everyone safe. If you have younger children, you could contain this space even more by adding railings and a gate to keep the under-deck play area closed off from the rest of the yard.
While these are all great and intuitive ways to finish off that under-deck area, you will have to decide for yourself how to best incorporate the space under your deck into your lifestyle. Ask yourself what you feel your risen deck might be lacking and there you might find your answer concerning what to fill your under-deck space with. With so many wonderful ideas an opportunities, the possibilities are endless!