Top 10 Under-Deck Storage Ideas
Whether you have an existing deck or plan to build a deck on your home, chances are underneath is unused or underutilized. However, the space under the deck undoubtedly deserves time and attention. It offers a wealth of possibilities for enhancing your outdoor living space and gives you and your stuff room to breathe—all while adding value to your home.
A 2021 NAHB Report, “What Home Buyers Really Want,” ranks decks as one of the top 5 desirable outdoor features—with 75% of participants citing it as something they want. Looking at this, along with a 2020 survey citing that more storage was a must-have, it is easy to see how deck storage is a fantastic solution.
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 or raised 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 Build Storage Under Your Deck
There are multiple ways to build storage under an outdoor deck. The right build for you will depend on your available space, storage needs, design preferences, and budget. Here are the key factors that you should keep in mind to build the best deck storage.
Functionality: While existing decks have set space underneath, new decks offer the luxury of more flexibility. Therefore, knowing what you want to put underneath your deck is essential before jumping into the building process. Want to create an under-deck shed? Or craving some extra living space? You may want to try building a second-story deck. It offers ample space and has a pergola effect when you place patio furniture and other outdoor living décor underneath. Plus, adding permanent lighting like Trex® RainEscape® Soffit Light gives it a luxe look and blankets the new setup in a stunning ambient glow.
Aesthetic: There is no need for under the deck storage to be an eye-sore. Skirting the deck with panels creates a hidden storage area that ensures no visual clutter. Available types of skirting boards include lattice, wood, and vinyl. Some homeowners also opt for siding that matches the house. We suggest you browse sites like Houzz, Pinterest, and home design publications to see what aesthetic speaks to you.
Access: Easy access is a must—especially for frequently used items. Easy access may mean placing some panels on a hinge, installing doors, or leaving the bottom of the deck open.
Storage: With careful planning, you can significantly increase your storage space with floor-to-ceiling shelves, pegboards, and cabinets. Try buying a system or making your own if you’re handy. Another option is to build under the deck drawers with a wood frame. Next, opt for heavy-duty drawer sliders that fully extend so you can access the back of the drawer with ease. Want a fast solution? Use a deck box on wheels to stash away items.
Lastly, it would be best if you considered waterproofing. Ensuring your deck storage area is waterproof protects your belongings and gives you more options regarding what items you can place underneath.
How To Waterproof Under a Deck for Storage
For years, homeowners have used the space under their deck for storage — but it hasn’t always 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 functional space? It all begins with an effective under-deck drainage system to pull away any moisture that comes down between the deck boards. 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.
Another step to consider is adding an under-deck ceiling. It not only helps waterproof it, but it also gives the deck a more finished look. Vinyl or aluminum are the two most popular and affordable choices on the market.
Finally, look at your downspouts. If they are feeding out near your deck, you will want to extend or redirect them.
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 as garden storage for lawnmowers, hoes, rakes, leftover seeds, fertilizer, hoses, and other landscaping supplies. 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 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 weatherproof television 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.
- Create a backyard cabana. Higher decks that are poolside create the perfect space for some R&R. The deck structure creates a shady hideaway that can feel like your own private oasis when fitted with a few lounge chairs and tropical décor.
- 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.
Under Deck Storage FAQs
Can you put a shed under a deck?
Yes, you can put a shed under a deck. However, the most common approach is to build one to fit the space. This maximizes the space under the deck, ensures proper airflow, and gives the setup a tailored look.
Why should I waterproof my storage?
Absolutely. Waterproofing is perhaps the single most important thing you can do for your storage. It not only helps ensure the longevity of the items you are stashing away, but it can also help you avoid moisture issues. In the long run, moisture isn’t just hazardous to your belongings but also the structural integrity of your deck.
What should you use to enclose under the deck?
There are many options to close off the bottom of your deck, including some creative DIY approaches. However, deck skirting is one of the best choices as it is designed to enclose the area. It comes in many forms, including vinyl deck skirting, board skirting, and lattice skirting.
How to kill weeds in your under deck storage?
Chemical weed killers are abundant and a common solution, but heed caution if you have animals or kids running around. An alternative non-toxic solution is vinegar. Placing landscape fabric over the area can also prevent weeds from cropping up.
As you can see, adding weatherproof space under your deck is an excellent home improvement. You won’t only get to enjoy the benefits while owning the home, but if you ever decide to sell, that storage can help make your home extra desirable to potential buyers!