Best-Kept Secret for Creating More Space at Home: An Under-Deck Drainage System

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Mitchell

Mike Mitchell is an award-winning deck builder and designer who specializes in urban decking, transforming cityscapes with his creative constructions. He is a second-generation deck builder.

Table of Contents

When I say, “under-deck drainage system,” what do you think of? Unless you’re a deck builder or savvy homeowner, you probably just did a web search.

That’s why I want to share this secret to getting the most out of your two-story deck. If you’re building an elevated deck, you can easily extend your outdoor living space or dry, comfortable storage space with just a few extra dollars spent during the construction of your deck.

Tell me more about under-deck drainage systems

If you’re like most Americans, you’d love to have a bigger home (according to Trulia, only 32% of us would choose a home the same size as the one we’re in). Adding a dry area under your deck is a quick and easy way to get more space.

The key is to make sure the area is waterproof, which requires a high-quality over-joist drainage system. Once the drainage system is installed, whatever you put underneath won’t suffer from rain and snow leaking through your deck boards. Add an under-deck ceiling, and you have a finished space that’s as personalized as you want it to be. Check out this video that explains how an under-deck drainage system works.

What can I do with the space under my deck?

While the possibilities are as endless as your imagination, here are six great ideas:

  1. Entertain Outdoors. Install a waterproof television, sound system, comfortable seating, and a wet bar, and instantly expand your party space. Add amenities such as a fireplace, fire table, dimmable lights, and ceiling fans, and you can use this room in all four seasons, day or night. String up some party lights and make it fun!
  2. Dine al Fresco. Today’s options for outdoor cooking and dining have never been greater. You might add a full outdoor kitchen, a pizza oven, or a built-in grill. Dining under the deck means you don’t have to worry about the weather. If you add some screening, you won’t even have to worry about insects.
  3. Play In The Shade. Your under-deck living space can serve as a bonus playroom for your children. Be creative with décor and make it pop with color. Because the area is dry, you can include a cozy outdoor rug and seating, a swing or small playset, and storage for all the toys. When your kids outgrow the need for a playhouse, use it as extra storage.
  4. Store It. Your under-deck area is perfect for enclosing and creating storage. Add shelves or bike racks and clear out your cluttered garage or attic!
  5. Deal Me In. Use your outdoor living space for game night — whether you want to invite friends over for cards or host a family board game night. Set up a video gaming system for hours of Minecraft or Fortnight.
  6. Take It Easy. Turn your under-deck room into an oasis of relaxation. Turn on some soothing music. Soak in a hot tub. Read a book in your hammock or bed swing.

If this has whetted your appetite for more outdoor living ideas, check out this gallery.

Under-Deck Drainage System Project Example

This deck was designed to be accessed from the upstairs area of the home. It also needed to provide access to the back yard and not compromise the view from inside. The home featured a large patio on the ground level. Adding the Trex Rain Escape system to the deck will keep the patio area dry. Including a ceiling and a few fixtures transformed the area under the deck into a comfortable outdoor living space.