Often times, the space below the deck is empty, and more so when the deck is built high. It is a usual practice that the area under a deck is left as is and there is only open space around it. This scenario poses no problem at all when the property is big enough to accommodate a lot of household fixtures, including a storage area.
The area under a deck can be left empty, but there is a problem when there is limited household outdoor area for storage, and yet, there is a big space left untouched under the deck.
It would be a waste of storage space if the space beneath the deck were left unused. Rather than being stressed out by looking for non-existing additional spaces where you can store equipment, gardening tools, and other items that need storing, the more convenient and practical thing to do is to convert the empty space and use it for the much-needed storage. Here are some of the under-deck storage solutions that you can choose to apply.
Under deck storage solutions
What is the minimum deck height for the area to be converted to under deck storage? The answer would be at least 30”. If the deck reaches the minimum height, then it is perfect for an under deck storage conversion. After answering that question, the next question to ask is if you need a dry or a wet storage area. Under-deck storage solutions can be subdivided into 2 types:dry storage and wet storage.
Wet storage vs. dry storage
Having a wet storage space does not need too much work for the items to be stored are generally weatherproof; items such as garden hoses, kayaks, and PVC pipes do not get damaged when exposed to water or moisture.
And because the items to be stored in wet storage are waterproof or weatherproof, the space between the deck boards need not be covered to prevent rain, or water in general, from reaching the stored items.
Some items that are not waterproof can also be stored in wet storage space; items like lumber can be placed under the deck, elevated from the ground, and covered with a waterproof tarpaulin. Another way to go about it is to place items in trash bins or containers with tightly secured lids.
Dry storage would mean creating a waterproof barrier between the space below and the deck boards. This also means that a drainage system is provided in order to divert the water flow to the end of the deck or directly to the gutter.
Attach the joists either in fiberglass roofing panels or corrugated plastic panels and slope them slightly by installing spacers. The spacers are thin wood strips screwed or nailed underneath the joists at a right angle.
Using roofing screws, the panels can be connected to the spacers. Also, installing a gutter would take water runoff away from the deck. In addition, to keep the stored items away from mold or dampness, keep the items off the ground and cover the whole interior floor with plastic sheathing.
Other under-deck storage solutions
There are other storage solutions to choose from and many home improvement centers offer a variety of choices should the drainage system not work well with the items. Most garage and hardware sections also offer unique under-deck storage solutions.
There are overhead bins, hooks, pulleys and storage racks to choose from, among others. There are also many helpful creative suggestions to be found in online articles or videos. You just need to do some research in looking for other possible storage solutions.
Screening storage space
Whether for aesthetic or for security reason, screening off the under-deck storage space would be helpful. The usual screening material is deck lattice (plastic or wood) that comes in easy-to-cut sheets of 4’ x 8’. If you want a sturdier screening material, then it is better to go for siding boards. Either way, you can choose a design or paint the screen in order to compliment the deck’s appearance.