We get calls all the time asking us how to, "keep under our deck dry. " And, since we love to help our customers get the most out of their new decks, we let them know we have an easy, cost efficient solution. So if you have a patio under the deck that you want to use on rainy days, you want more storage space, or you would like a cool, shaded, and bug-free spot to sit on your deck, we have some underdeck ideas for you.
Under Deck Ceilings
This is the best way we have found to keep the area under your deck dry. We simply install rubber roofing on top of the deck framing, underneath the floorboards. The water that comes through the deck is gathered by the rubber roofing. Then it is carried to the end of the deck, where it flows into a gutter that we will tie into your existing house gutter system.
Many of our customers have a patio under their deck, and for an extra $10-$15 a square foot they can have a dry area there to use on rainy days or for storage. We almost always finish off the bottom of the deck with soffit when we use deck drain, (Soffit is like vinyl siding, but made to use for ceilings on porches etc). The soffit will help to brighten the area, and give it a more finished look. This also allows us to install lighting, and ceiling fans under the deck, while hiding all the wires and fixtures above the soffit.
This option can provide valuable space without taking up any more room in your backyard. We can do anything from simply a few pieces of soffit attached to the bottom of the deck framing to redirect the water, for semi-dry storage. To rubber roofing over a poured concrete pad with walls framed up, secure lockable doors, and finished off with siding or deck boards to match your deck.This is a great way to utilize the space underneath your deck that will otherwise be wasted. Some customers just want a small area to store their outdoor furniture during the winter. Other customers want the entire area under the deck finished with lights, and electric outlets to store all their lawn and garden tools, riding mowers, etc. And to have a work area for their projects.
Lattice and Skirting
If you will have any open space between the ground and your deck, you may want to add Skirting or Lattice. It puts a nice finished look on a deck, especially one that’s 2’-3’ off the ground. Lattice is available in diagonal or square, with 1” or 2-½” openings. We do 2 types of skirting as well. The most popular and cost effective is done with deck floorboards, installed vertically, with ½ “ gaps for ventilation. The other style we use most often for storage areas, but can be done on a regular deck as well. For this we use 12” wide trim boards, installed vertically for a board & batten look.
We’re able to provide Skirting or Lattice up to about 8’ feet high. I’d say the cost of lattice for... say a 400 square foot deck is probably about $850-$1000. and the vertical Skirting is about 65% more than Lattice. Of course this will go up or down depending on the size of the deck and how off the ground it is.
We always puts an access door in the Lattice or Skirting so that if you ever need to get in underneath deck it's no problem. A lot of people also use the space underneath to store like your latter, garden hoses wheelbarrows… it puts them out of the way where you can't see them. Raccoons, Skunks and all the other critters will have a hard time making homes underneath the deck if you have Lattice or Skirting around the bottom. This will also keep balls and other toys from rolling under the deck.
Putting stone and fabric under decks is something we do a lot of, I think it’s great for both high decks and low decks. It is a really good way to dress up the underneath of a high deck, and it keeps it from getting all muddy. On a low deck, it will keep the weeds from growing up through the deck, and will absorb the moisture away from the deck. This will extend the life of your deck floor and can help slow the growth of algae and mildew on the deck boards.
The cost of putting down a good grade of fabric and stones, is around $1.50-$2.50 per square foot. Depending on what type of stone you choose. For a deck that is low to the ground, especially if you are getting lattice or skirting installed, we would normally use regular gray stone. They will be at the low end, price wise. For a deck that is higher above ground, we usually go with some type of colored, landscaping stone, like river rock for example. That will increase the cost up to around $2.00-$2.50 per square foot.