How Much Does An Under Deck Ceiling Cost?
You’ve seen the beautiful pictures of what’s possible beneath a second-story deck. Just look at an inspiration gallery, and you’ll soon be searching for more information on under deck drainage systems!
Whether you want a fully finished sunroom or screened porch beneath your elevated deck, or an organized place for storage year-round, a pool house, an office, more entertaining space, more dining space, a hot tub spa room, or a playroom for the children, it all begins with waterproofing beneath the deck. With a high-quality drainage system such as Trex RainEscape, you can accomplish any and all of these goals.
If you’re using this under deck space for storage, you may be done, but if you want to create a finished living space, you’ll want to add an under deck ceiling to complement your style. There are several options, but you probably first want to know the cost. So let’s get to it.
What is the Cost to Install an Underdeck Ceiling?
The cost to install a ceiling under your deck will depend on the material you use in the ceiling, lighting and electrical options, whether you choose a contractor or want to DIY the project, and, of course, the square foot area of the room. Where you live will also contribute to the cost as local labor prices can vary widely.
You can save about 22 percent by providing your own labor, according to the Chicago Tribune. The article suggests hiring a professional installer to build an underdeck ceiling below a 14-by-20 foot deck will cost $2,436. Because the installation is relatively easy, you could also purchase the materials for $1,750 and do the project yourself.
For most underdeck ceilings, you’ll need a few tools. If you don’t have these, you’ll need to factor them into the cost of a do-it-yourself ceiling.
- Circular saw
- Cordless drill
- Drill bit set
- Safety glasses
You might opt for a pre-made under deck ceiling system— which you’ll still need to cut to size — or start with large ceiling panels. Of course, always use materials for an outdoor ceiling unless you are entirely enclosing the space. Explore your options: a zip-up ceiling system or vinyl or aluminum panels are just a few of your options.
Underdeck ceiling: Available options
There are a few different material options to choose from when designing an underdeck ceiling. Most homeowners choose an aluminum or vinyl / PVC ceiling because these are less costly and easy to install. Here’s a quick comparison.
|Aluminum benefits||Vinyl benefits|
|Superior durability that will not rot, chip, crack, or rust||Very low maintenance|
|No repainting required||Resistant to insects|
|Highest ventilation efficiency of any product||Less expensive than most other options|
|Easy to clean and maintain||Very versatile – lots of choices in colors and textures|
|Highly flexible and less rigid than vinyl||Highly durable – will not rot or corrode over time|
|Water and fire-resistant||Water repellant|
|Can withstand most weather conditions|
Your preferences for color and texture will also inform the ceiling finish you choose. Some homeowners prefer a beadboard look, while others desire a more smooth ceiling.
As noted earlier, before considering a ceiling, the first step is installing a quality under deck drainage system. You don’t want any water touching the wood on your substructure (the joists, beams, and posts supporting your deck boards). That’s why you need to install an over the joists drainage system.
While some DIY websites recommend adding a deck roof to an existing deck, this allows water to drip through the deck boards, over the wooden joists and beams, getting the wood wet over and over again. This roof under the deck will create wood rot, especially in more humid climates.
In just 8-10 years, moisture can significantly damage your wooden substructure. Check out this video.
Further, suppose there’s moisture trapped between your deck boards and the roofing or ceiling. In that case, adding electrical wiring for ceiling fans, light fixtures, or utilities becomes quite dangerous.
Create a downspout and gutter system that will waterproof your substructure during the construction of your deck. There are several systems on the market, including Trex RainEscape, Under Deck, DrySpace, Dek Drain, Zip Up, and TimberTech. Check out this comparison before you buy. Along with pricing, be sure to consider ease of installation, material, and warranty.
What are the Benefits of an Underdeck Ceiling?
Whatever your fun — or functional — plans for your new outdoor living space, you’ll enjoy these benefits with an underdeck ceiling:
- It makes your backyard and home more attractive
- Increases your home value, with more useable dry space
- It eliminates the rafter space where wasps and spiders love to breed
- It fights mold growth and makes it easier to clean
Building out your deck area with an under deck oasis or savvy storage is a smart investment. Along with a beautiful design and decking and second level deck amenities such as pergolas and deck roofs, be sure to add an underdeck drainage system and ceiling to your deck construction plans. Cook, play, work or entertain to your heart’s desire!