Storage Solutions: 10 Ideas for Using the Space Under Your DeckBy Dave Kile
If you plan to build a deck on your home, you will probably have unused or under-utilized storage space. That under-deck space can give you — and your stuff — room to breathe, it can also add value to your home.
In a 2020 survey of homeowners, more storage was a must-have. For a fraction of the cost of adding a garage or building a walk-in pantry, you can use the space beneath your two-story deck for added outdoor storage or beautiful outdoor living space. The key is to take a few extra steps when planning your deck design to ensure you create dry, useable storage, or living space.
How to Create Dry Storage
For years, homeowners have used the space under their deck for storage — but it hasn’t been pretty or useful. They stuck kayaks, garden hoses, tarps, and children’s toys under their decks, maybe putting up a bit of skirting between the deck posts. Yet, water still leaked through the deck boards and eventually that moisture created mold and mildew.
How can you create a clean, more useful space? It all begins with an effective under-deck drainage system to pull away any moisture that comes down between the deck boards. When installing a top-quality system, such as Trex RainEscape, above the joists before the deck boards go down ensures that moisture never builds up under the deck or within the beams.
Add an under-deck ceiling to give your space a more finished look. Choose from vinyl or aluminum options — the two most popular and affordable choices on the market. This will also allow you to add lighting more easily. Create beautiful permanent lighting with Trex® RainEscape® Soffit Light.
Shelving greatly expands the utility of your space, something most people desire. With careful planning, you can significantly increase your storage space with floor-to-ceiling shelves, pegboards, and cabinets. You can buy a system or make your own if you’re handy.
A 2018 Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report noted that 64 percent of home buyers said that ample storage space was “extremely or very important” to their buying decision.
How to Use Deck Storage
There are endless uses for under-deck storage. To make the most of your space, here are 10 deck storage ideas:
- Store seasonal items. As you put away the pool paraphernalia and outdoor furniture from the summer, you’ll be glad you thoughtfully finished the space under the deck. During the winter, you can easily store and organize holiday items — from your favorite blow-up decorations to lights to wreaths to surprise gifts.
- Tuck away garden tools. Use this area to store lawnmowers, hoes, rakes, leftover seeds, fertilizer, and hoses. DIY a garden or storage bench and shelves, and you’ll be ready and organized for next spring’s planting season. A pegboard is an easy addition that allows you to hang up your most-used garden tools. If you want to keep this area relatively unfinished, you could also store logs for a fireplace.
- Keep sports items clean and ready for action. Under-deck storage is perfect for bicycles, sports gear, and all of those camping chairs! You can also stack up your kayaks or canoes.
- Add a garage. Whether or not you’ve included a garage in your building plans, you might have a boat, a trailer, or a third car that needs protection from the weather. Discreet storage under the deck is perfect for all vehicle needs.
- Transform the storage area into a temporary play space for the kids. On those days when the kids need to get out of the house, but it’s windy or cold or rainy, you will love the under-deck space you built. Even if you just make a corner of your deck storage kid-friendly, your child will feel like they have their own little playhouse.
- Store away outdoor toys. Don’t let children’s scooters, bikes, plastic cars, and Nerf guns clutter up your yard. Whether you have a simple water table or a deluxe bounce house, put it away in your under-deck storage, so it’s clean and ready to use again and again.
- Make it handy. Always wanted a repair shop? How about a she-shed? Need a place for your DIY projects? Look no further than your deck. Whether your passion is woodworking, floral arrangement, or small engine repair, you’ll find a clean, dry space ready to work when you are.
- Make it entertaining. If you’d love to see friends again, but don’t have a great outdoor space for entertaining, finish the space beneath your deck! Whether you add just a portable cart or a full kitchen to the patio beneath your deck, you’ll be able to eat outside without worrying about the forecast. Buy a television that is weatherproofed for outdoor use and host a watch party. Add some screening, and you won’t even have to worry about the bugs. Need some inspiration? Check out these HGTV design ideas.
- Work it! If you’ve wanted a more private work-from-home option, create an office or writer’s nook in the space beneath your deck. With the right lighting and ventilation, you can enjoy the space for much of the year.
As you can see, adding weatherproof space under your two-story deck is an excellent home improvement. What will you do with your deck storage space? Start planning now!
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