10 Under Deck Landscaping IdeasBy Dave Kile
There are many beautiful deck ideas for styling your outdoor oasis. But what about under your deck? How are you using that often forgotten space?
For many, the space beneath the deck is an afterthought, and honestly, it can look that way: random garden tools, children’s backyard playthings, and old building materials piled up. Don’t just hide the chaos with a bit of lattice. It’s time to reclaim this space for outdoor living with these 10 landscaping ideas for under your deck.
- Add an under deck paver patio to your raised deck. Learn how to plan for a paver patio under your level deck and look at possible materials and designs. You’ll need to be sure you have a flat area for your patio, which may require a retaining wall. Be sure to use thicker pavers if you plan to add heavy objects such as a hot tub or large grill. Before you buy materials or begin work on a paver patio design, check local building codes and your homeowners’ association regulations to see if there are any restrictions you need to follow. If you build on top of the patio, be careful about anchoring pergolas or gazebos to paving stones, which are not cemented in.
- Create dry, usable space. If you have a raised deck, install an under-deck drainage system that will provide dry useable space for entertaining, relaxing, and storage. No matter your deck design, the Trex RainEscape system can be added at the time of construction, before installing the decking. With a network of troughs, downspouts, and gutters, an underdeck system ensures water drains away from the deck so that you can add an under deck ceiling, lighting, fans, and other amenities. You could keep the space open or enclose it as a screened-in porch.
- Landscape around the base of the deck. Whether you’ve enclosed the space under your deck or left it open, create a landscaping design to beautify the perimeter. Check out this photo gallery for ideas to spruce up around the deck. Use edging or brick to help outline garden beds and fill with natural stone, river rock, or mulch. If you choose mulch, consider how close it is placed next to the wood around your house’s foundation. You don’t want to attract pests.
- DIY a fire pit. With the addition of a paver patio, you can extend your under deck space as part of your backyard landscaping with beautiful hardscaping. A firepit adds a focal point for your backyard and makes for a nice add-on when you’re building out your paver patio. Be sure to place the firepit and logs at least 10 feet away from your deck for safety purposes. Creating a firepit is one of the easiest DIY projects, but if you’d rather purchase something already made, check out the 7 Best Firepits of 2020, including best for cooking, best for budget, and best for a splurge.
- Create more curb appeal. If you have an existing deck that is ground level, especially on the front or side of your house, you’ll want to add landscaping to complement your home. Better Homes & Gardens provides a step-by-step guide to adding plants to your lawn, beginning with measuring off the area, removing grass, adding edging, landscaping fabric, and mulch. Check out these deck pictures for more inspiration.
- Build your own pergola. Not only does a pergola add to your backyard’s aesthetic, but it is also a functional frame for climbing vines. A pergola can be built for less than $500, depending on size and materials. A pergola is comprised of four parts: four posts, four header boards, purlins (the main crossing boards), and the top stringer boards. Some of the best plants for pergolas include clematis, passionflower, and wisteria. This Bower Power blog shows how to build a pergola on a floating deck.
- Expand your entertaining space. Add in an outdoor kitchen or entertainment system. For warmer days, make sure there are beautiful but utilitarian ceiling fans. For colder days, install an outdoor fireplace. For fun, add a protected place to practice your putt. Turn your under-deck area into a mini golf putting green — a great use of space, adding entertainment, relaxation, and a place to work on those skills all in one space. While getting good grass growth under the deck may prove challenging, artificial turf can be a great alternative option. The possibilities are limitless. You will love the flexibility and additional living space.
- Craft a kid’s play space. While a treehouse may be fun, the space under your deck can serve the purpose of secret hideaways without the risk of a fall. Remodel the space you have to provide kids a safe and fun environment for outdoor play, custom-made to their particular play styles.
- Add green under the deck. If you want to actually plant under your deck, go for shade-loving varieties such as hostas and ferns. Make sure the area has good ventilation to reduce moisture buildup and mildew.
- Create comfortable seating areas. Whether you enjoy reading outdoors, taking a nap, or just visiting with friends, be sure you include furniture and hammocks in your outdoor design that will maximize comfort. You may be surprised by how often you use this outdoor living area.
Adding to your outdoor living space brings personal and financial benefits. Here are just a few reasons to consider an outdoor makeover for the space under your deck:
- Increased home value
- Extended living space
- More room for entertaining
- Outdoor enjoyment without heat exposure
A beautiful patio or under-deck room can increase the value of your home — an especially important factor to consider if you’re planning to sell in the near future. Plus, with a curated place to soak up the sun, you’ll have virtually endless space to entertain and enjoy the great outdoors without compromising comfort. For more deck design ideas, explore these photo galleries.