Nothing puts the swing in spring and summer like time spent enjoying some fresh air outside on your home’s deck. While homeowners often invest a lot in planning and decorating the top of the deck, the underside of the space often goes unnoticed. However, by neglecting the under-deck space, you may be passing up a golden opportunity to gain extra storage or entertaining space with just a few simple modifications.


The first step in any type of under-deck conversion should be installing a system under the deck to redirect any water or debris that falls through the gaps in the deck floor. Systems are usually professionally installed by a decking company and consist of panels, gutters, and downspouts made of vinyl, aluminum, or galvanized steel. When selecting an under-deck system, be sure to choose one that allows proper ventilation to prevent mold and that is rated to stand up to whatever weather challenges your climate offers, from extremely heavy rains to ice or snow buildup.

Ground Cover/Landscaping

The quickest way to improve the area under the deck is to simply landscape. Less expensive than building out the space, landscaping is attractive and easy to install and maintain. Consider one or a mix of the following elements:

  • Mulch
  • Ground-covering foliage
  • Sod grass
  • Shade-tolerant flowering plants and shrubs
  • Hardscape elements, such as stone planters and birdbaths


The under-deck area is a great place to erect a patio. The space receives at least partial shade for most of the day, and since it’s open on three sides, it will get a cooling cross breeze. Add some weather-resistant furniture and a few plants, and you have an inviting outdoor area where your family can relax on even the hottest summer days.

The ground under the deck must be flat to create the most stable platform for the patio, so there may be some leveling required. There are a number of excellent choices for patio flooring, including:

  • Wood decking
  • Brick
  • Natural stone
  • Concrete pavers

Storage Space

A home can contain all kinds of hidden spaces that are ideal for storage [link to earlier blog], and an under-deck area is a prime example. Rather than take up additional yard space with an entire outbuilding, have the under-deck enclosed using siding materials and an access door with weatherproof hinges and latches. With a small investment, you’ve created a built-in storage area for lawn care tools, pool supplies, children’s outdoor toys, grills, and other seasonal items.

Enclosed Porch

Creating an enclosed porch under a deck requires much more time and money, but the investment pays bigger dividends in terms of the versatility and usefulness of the space that is created. Essentially an additional room, an enclosed porch can be used year-round and serves as a great transition area between the outside and the indoors. The floor under the deck will require more finishing than any other type of under-deck conversion, and the walls, windows, and doors will need to be insulated and made more weathertight than with any other transformation, but the resulting room will be completely protected from the elements and can be safely wired for electrical outlets or a sound system.

Never underestimate the area under your deck as a possible storage or entertainment space. With just a little work and some inventive ideas, you can turn this overlooked area into a beautiful addition to your home.

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Sources: DIY Network; EBSCOhost: Basic Deck Building Techniques and Custom Deck Projects;; San Francisco Chronicle.

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