What Should You Put Under Decking
Modified: January 9, 2024
Discover the best outdoor furniture options to add under your decking and enhance your outdoor living space. Choose from a wide range of styles and materials for your ideal setup.
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When it comes to creating the perfect outdoor living space, decking is a popular and versatile choice. Not only does it provide a solid and stylish surface for gatherings and relaxation, but it also adds value to your home. However, what often goes overlooked is the area underneath the deck.
In this article, we will explore the purpose of under decking and the various options available to make the most of this space. Whether you want to protect your outdoor furniture from the elements or create additional usable space, the area underneath your deck holds great potential.
Your under deck space can serve a dual purpose. Firstly, it can serve as a protective barrier, shielding your outdoor furniture and belongings from rain, snow, and sun exposure. Secondly, it can be transformed into a functional and attractive extension of your outdoor living area.
Let’s dive into various options to transform the underside of your deck into a beautiful and functional space that complements your outdoor lifestyle.
Purpose of Under Decking
When considering under decking, it is important to understand its primary purposes: protection from the elements and creating additional usable space.
The first and most obvious purpose of under decking is to provide protection from the elements. Weather conditions can be harsh, and direct exposure to rain, snow, and sunlight can cause damage to your outdoor furniture, equipment, and belongings. By installing under decking, you create a barrier that shields your possessions from these elements, ensuring their longevity and minimizing maintenance.
Not only does under decking protect your belongings, but it also allows you to utilize the space underneath your deck effectively. Instead of leaving it unused and overlooked, you can transform it into a functional and attractive area. This additional usable space expands your outdoor living area and provides opportunities for various activities.
With under decking, you can create a shaded outdoor seating area where you can relax and entertain guests, even on rainy or sunny days. It becomes a perfect space for hosting barbecues, family gatherings, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee while being sheltered from the weather.
In addition to providing protection and creating an outdoor living area, under decking can also act as a storage solution. You can use the space to store garden tools, equipment, or outdoor toys, keeping your main living area clutter-free and organized.
By maximizing the potential of the space underneath your deck, you not only enhance the functionality of your outdoor living area but also increase the overall value and appeal of your home.
Now that we understand the purpose of under decking, let’s explore the various options available to achieve these goals.
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Waterproof Membrane Options
When it comes to under decking, choosing the right waterproof membrane is crucial. A waterproof membrane acts as a protective layer that prevents water from seeping through the deck boards and damaging the area underneath. Here are three popular options for waterproof membranes:
- Rubber membrane: Rubber membranes are durable and flexible, making them an excellent choice for under decking. They are typically made from ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber, which is resistant to UV rays and harsh weather conditions. Rubber membranes provide a highly effective waterproof barrier, ensuring that no water seeps through to the area below. They can be easily installed and are available in various thicknesses to suit your specific decking needs.
- Vinyl membrane: Vinyl membranes offer a reliable and low-maintenance solution for under decking. They are usually made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) material and have a smooth and sleek surface. Vinyl membranes create a seamless and waterproof barrier, effectively preventing water from penetrating through the deck boards. They are available in a range of colors, allowing you to customize the look of your under deck space. Vinyl membranes are known for their durability and resistance to mold, mildew, and UV rays, making them a popular choice among homeowners.
- PVC membrane: PVC membranes share many similarities with vinyl membranes as they are also made from PVC material. However, PVC membranes are typically thicker and more robust, making them even more resistant to extreme weather conditions and wear. PVC membranes are known for their exceptional waterproofing capabilities, ensuring that your under deck space remains dry and protected. They are available in various colors and textures, allowing you to choose a design that complements your deck and outdoor aesthetic.
When selecting a waterproof membrane for your under decking, it is essential to consider factors such as durability, ease of installation, maintenance requirements, and the overall look and feel you want for your outdoor space. Consulting with a professional or doing thorough research will help you make an informed decision.
Now that we have explored the waterproof membrane options, let’s move on to the next aspect of under decking – drainage systems.
When it comes to under decking, proper drainage is essential to ensure the area remains dry and free from water accumulation. Without an effective drainage system, water can collect underneath the deck and cause damage to the structure. Here are three common options for drainage systems:
- Downspouts and gutters: One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to manage water under the deck is by installing downspouts and gutters. These systems collect rainwater that falls on the deck surface and channel it away from the area below. Downspouts are attached to the gutters and direct the water into predetermined drainage areas, such as rain gardens or nearby drains. This solution is relatively easy to install, and it helps prevent water from pooling under the deck.
- Ceiling panels with integrated drainage system: Ceiling panels with an integrated drainage system offer a sleek and seamless solution for under decking. These panels are installed on the underside of the deck and feature built-in channels that capture and redirect water away from the area below. The panels typically have a decorative finish, enhancing the overall look of the space. This option provides effective water management while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
- Under deck drainage systems: For a more comprehensive drainage solution, under deck drainage systems are a popular choice. These systems consist of a network of gutters, downspouts, and channels installed beneath the deck surface. The system collects water that seeps through the deck boards and directs it away from the area below. Under deck drainage systems are typically designed to integrate seamlessly with the deck structure and are highly effective in keeping the space underneath dry and usable.
Choosing the right drainage system for your under decking depends on factors such as budget, design preferences, and the extent of water management required. It is essential to assess your specific needs and consult with professionals to determine the best option for your situation.
Next, let’s explore the various materials you can use for under decking to create a durable and aesthetically pleasing space.
Under Decking Materials
When it comes to under decking, choosing the right materials is crucial for both durability and aesthetics. The materials you select will determine the overall look and feel of your under deck space. Here are four popular options for under decking materials:
- Composite boards: Composite boards are a popular choice for under decking due to their durability and low maintenance requirements. Made from a combination of wood fibers and recycled plastics, composite boards are resistant to rot, insects, and warping. They come in a variety of colors and textures and can mimic the appearance of natural wood. Composite boards are also environmentally friendly, as they reduce the need for harvesting new wood.
- Vinyl or PVC decking: Vinyl or PVC decking is another excellent option for under decking. These materials are known for their durability, resistance to moisture and fading, and low maintenance. Vinyl or PVC decking is available in a wide range of colors and styles, allowing you to customize the look of your under deck space. They are also lightweight and easy to install, making them a popular choice among homeowners.
- Aluminum decking: Aluminum decking offers a unique and contemporary look for under decking. It is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and requires minimal maintenance. Aluminum decking is known for its strength, making it a durable option for outdoor spaces. It is also fire-resistant and can withstand extreme weather conditions. Aluminum decking is available in different colors and finishes, allowing you to create a modern and sleek under deck space.
- Pressure-treated lumber: Pressure-treated lumber is a classic and economical choice for under decking. It is treated with chemicals to increase its resistance to rot, insects, and decay. Pressure-treated lumber is widely available and can be stained or painted to match your desired aesthetic. While it is a durable option, it does require regular maintenance to maintain its appearance and longevity.
When selecting the materials for your under decking, consider factors such as durability, maintenance requirements, aesthetic appeal, and budget. Each material has its own unique characteristics and benefits, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.
Now that we have explored the various material options, let’s move on to another important aspect of under decking – lighting and electrical options.
Lighting and Electrical Options
When it comes to under decking, incorporating lighting and electrical options can enhance the functionality and ambiance of the space. Here are three popular options for lighting and electrical features:
- Recessed lighting: Recessed lighting provides a sleek and understated way to illuminate your under deck space. These lights are installed into the ceiling of the deck, creating a clean and seamless look. Recessed lighting fixtures are available in various designs and finishes, allowing you to choose the style that complements your outdoor aesthetics. This option provides a soft and diffused light, perfect for creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
- LED strip lights: LED strip lights are a versatile and energy-efficient option for under decking. These thin and flexible strips of LED lights can be installed along the perimeter or underside of the deck, providing both functional and decorative lighting. LED strip lights come in various colors and can be adjusted to create different moods and ambiances. They are durable, require minimal maintenance, and are cost-effective in the long run due to their energy-saving capabilities.
- Outdoor electrical outlets: Installing outdoor electrical outlets can significantly expand the functionality of your under deck space. These outlets allow you to plug in various electrical devices and appliances, such as speakers, fans, or even a mini fridge. Having access to electrical outlets ensures convenience and flexibility in using the space. Make sure to consult with a professional electrician to ensure proper installation and adherence to safety guidelines.
Choosing the right lighting and electrical options for your under deck space depends on your specific needs and preferences. Consider factors such as desired lighting intensity, energy efficiency, maintenance requirements, and the overall ambiance you want to create.
Now that we have explored lighting and electrical options, let’s move on to the finishing touches that can elevate the appearance of your under deck space.
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When it comes to under decking, the finishing touches can make all the difference in creating a beautiful and inviting space. Here are three important finishing touches you can add to enhance the appearance and functionality of your under deck area:
- Under deck skirting: Under deck skirting refers to the vertical barrier that covers the space between the ground and the underside of the deck. Skirting not only adds a polished and cohesive look to the area but also provides additional protection against pests and debris. Skirting materials can range from wood lattice panels to PVC or composite boards, depending on your preference. Consider incorporating decorative elements or colors that complement your outdoor aesthetic.
- Under deck landscaping: Under deck landscaping is a great way to add natural beauty and create a seamless transition between your deck and the surrounding environment. Planting shrubs, flowers, or greenery around the perimeter of the deck can soften its appearance and create a visually pleasing backdrop. Choose plants that thrive in your climate and that require minimal maintenance to keep the under deck area looking vibrant and fresh.
- Furniture and décor: The right furniture and décor can transform your under deck space into a cozy and inviting outdoor retreat. Consider adding comfortable seating options, such as outdoor sofas, lounge chairs, or hammocks to create a relaxing atmosphere. Add in tables or an outdoor dining set for gatherings or meals. Incorporate lighting fixtures, outdoor rugs, and cushions to create a cozy and welcoming ambiance. Choose durable and weather-resistant materials that can withstand outdoor conditions.
These finishing touches help tie together the under deck space with the rest of your outdoor living area, creating a cohesive and visually appealing environment. Be creative and personalize the space with your own unique style and preferences.
Remember to regularly maintain and clean your under deck area to keep it looking its best. Sweep away debris, clean skirting or any furniture regularly, and inspect for any signs of damage or needed repairs.
With the right finishing touches, your under deck space can become a functional and aesthetically pleasing extension of your outdoor living area.
With the information provided in this article, you are now equipped to make informed decisions for your under deck space. Whether you prioritize protection from the elements, maximizing usable space, or creating a visually appealing area, the possibilities are endless.
Don’t underestimate the potential of the area underneath your deck. By investing time and effort into under decking, you can significantly enhance your outdoor living experience and create a space that you and your loved ones will enjoy for years to come.
Under decking offers a multitude of opportunities to enhance your outdoor living space. By considering the purpose of under decking and exploring various options, you can transform the area beneath your deck into a functional and beautiful extension of your home.
The primary purpose of under decking is to provide protection from the elements and create additional usable space. With the right waterproof membrane, such as rubber, vinyl, or PVC, you can effectively shield your outdoor furniture and belongings from rain, snow, and sun exposure. Additionally, under decking allows you to utilize the space underneath your deck creatively, expanding your outdoor living area and providing opportunities for various activities.
Proper drainage systems are crucial for under decking to ensure that water doesn’t pool underneath the deck. Options such as downspouts and gutters, ceiling panels with integrated drainage systems, and under deck drainage systems help effectively manage water and prevent damage to the structure and area below.
The choice of under decking materials plays a significant role in both durability and aesthetics. Composite boards, vinyl or PVC decking, aluminum decking, and pressure-treated lumber are popular options that offer different benefits and visual appeal. Consider factors such as durability, maintenance requirements, and overall aesthetic when choosing the right material for your under deck space.
Adding lighting and electrical options can enhance the functionality and atmosphere of your under deck area. Recessed lighting, LED strip lights, and outdoor electrical outlets offer different solutions for lighting and using electrical devices and appliances.
Don’t forget about the finishing touches that elevate the appearance of your under deck space. Under deck skirting, under deck landscaping, and carefully chosen furniture and décor can transform the area into a cozy and welcoming outdoor retreat.
With the right combination of elements, your under deck space can become a seamless extension of your outdoor living area, adding value and enjoyment to your home.
Remember to regularly maintain and clean your under deck area to ensure its longevity and keep it looking its best. With proper care and attention, your under decking will continue to provide beauty and functionality for years to come.
Take the opportunity to make the most of the space underneath your deck. By implementing these ideas and options, you can create a unique and inviting under deck area that complements your outdoor lifestyle and enhances your overall outdoor living experience.
Unlock the hidden potential of your outdoor space with under decking, and enjoy the benefits of a beautiful and functional extension to your home.
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