HomeOutdoor Living Blog20 Under Deck Ideas + Inspiration for Unused Space

20 Under Deck Ideas + Inspiration for Unused Space

December 2, 2022
An elevated deck with glass railings and stone pillars wraps around the back of a home with landscaping filling the under deck space

Decks are a great way to maximize your space and extend the comfort of your home into your yard. Decks come in all shapes and sizes, from detached platform decks to multi-level elevated decks, but can leave you with unused space underneath. 

Whether you’re looking for more space to entertain or opportunities to clean out the shed, these under deck ideas have the perfect fit you’re looking for. And if you’re still planning your backyard project, check out our deck designer for inspiration and advice

In This Article:

Under Deck Patio Ideas

Decks are perfect for relaxing in the fresh air after a long day or enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning sun. They add useful space to any property, but also take a good chunk of land. Those with raised decks may have a bonus patio underneath that they can use to extend their yard use with some of these clever patio ideas.

A patio table site under an elevated deck with a rattan lighting fixture above and grill with countertops nearby.

Cook Off With an Outdoor Kitchen and Grill

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and backyard barbecues have been a staple of neighborhood relationship-building for decades. That’s why an outdoor kitchen is the dream feature for many hosts. It’s also hugely versatile and can be DIYed with a propane grill and picnic table, or elevated with a stone oven and preparation island. 

If cooking under the stars with your family and friends sounds like an ideal summer evening, consider extending your under deck patio to accommodate a grill or cooktop. If you own a composite deck, it’s important to make sure your heat source is on a concrete patio and not on the deck to avoid any damage.

Sit Back by the Fireplace

Few things beat a fire in the fall, but a built-in fireplace may be one of them. With enough space and height, you can install a stone fireplace or even a gas stove to add warmth and ambiance to your backyard. 

Surround the space with comfortable seating with plenty of blankets and pillows, and ensure you’re stocked up on marshmallows and chocolate to enjoy a night by the fire in any season.

Stay Cool With a Screened Patio

A sunny afternoon can become less than fun when bugs invite themselves to the party. Since you already have a beautiful deck above, consider screening in your lower patio to bring the best parts of indoor living outside. 

This is a relatively easy project that can be done with a screen kit or DIYed with a heavy-duty stapler, lumber frame, and screening material.

Relax With a Hot Tub Oasis

Wondering how a hot tub would fit in your yard? Tuck it under your raised deck or consider deck plans that accommodate hot tubs to enjoy both features at once. 

If you’re installing a hot tub on your deck, be sure it’s supported by the deck’s joists and not the decking itself. Composite decks aren’t designed to be load-bearing structures.

Entertain With a Patio Bar

Fun in the sun is always better with a cool drink, and a built-in bar is a great place to kick off any party. A simple bar can hold glasses and can coolers with a few seats to entertain. Step it up with a mini refrigerator to house juice boxes and mixers to keep every guest refreshed.

Make a Wonderland Playscape

An elevated deck is just a few toys and curtains away from being the ultimate secret hangout for your kiddos. Depending on their personalities, you can use scrap wood to create a castle background with tall towers and flying dragons, or hang palms and coconuts from the beams to decorate a backyard beach sandbox.

Build a Catio

Your furry friends will enjoy time outside as much as the rest of your family, so why not include them with an under deck cat patio (catio)? Many manufacturers have started selling prefabricated catios, but they’re also easy to build with some lumber, screening materials, and time. 

Creative crafters may also be able to repurpose old shelves, play pens, or even dog kennels to create a cozy space for their cat to chase sunbeams all day. 

Lounge in a Backyard Living Room

Many homeowners decorate their decks with patio furniture, including couches, armchairs, and maybe even a dining table. If you didn’t create a living room lounge on your upper deck, your lower patio is just waiting for some new furniture to welcome guests. 

Your backyard living room doesn’t have to be boring. Choose bold patterns for a splash of color and contrast, or get creative with the furniture you include. Outdoor lounge chairs, tiered hammocks, and swinging daybeds are cozy and creative ways to dress up your space.

Catch a Flick and Create a Theater

A projector and a large, light-colored surface are really all you need to create a theater in your backyard. It’s perfect for Friday movie and pizza nights as a family or hosting a dance party with projected visuals and music videos. Some cozy furniture and plenty of snacks with a blockbuster is a guaranteed good time. 

Storage Ideas for Your Under Deck Space

Running out of space to organize your yard tools, pool care, and outdoor toys? An elevated deck provides plenty of room to store extra items so you can stay organized without sacrificing your garden. Once you take the steps to ensure your under deck stays dry, make the most of every inch of your property with these storage tips.

Under an elevated deck includes a couch and dining table with a pool and cabana in the distance.

Create a Pool Cabana

Pool maintenance is so much more than scooping leaves, and experienced pool owners know how quickly buckets of shock and floating tools can overwhelm your shed. 

Many outdoor storage chests can comfortably fit under a raised deck and help you separate your pool toys from the yard tools. You can even organize them by purpose, including maintenance, fun, and pool accessories like towels and sunscreen.

Maximize Space With a Shed

A tall enough deck may even fit an entire shed underneath, which can save your grass and provide some extra security. Some nice deck skirting or creative landscaping can hide the storage under your deck so your yard looks as beautiful as ever and you still know exactly where your work gloves are. 

Hide Your Garden Equipment

Garden accessories like hoses, stakes, and fertilizer can be hard to store and organize. Even low-lying decks can fit weather-safe totes underneath, which can be perfect for odd tools and supplies that might otherwise spill or make a mess of your garden shed. 

Organize Your Yard Toys

Hunting for stray Legos, sand shovels, and yard games hiding in grass before mowing is a chore in itself. Save yourself the hassle and get an outdoor toy box for your kids to help toys last longer and keep them off the lawn. Try tying cleanup to a fun game like having your kids compete to save the most toys from an “alien ant invasion” to build a habit that lasts. 

Under Deck Ideas for Low-Lying Decks

Ground-level decks can be affordable and accessible options for homeowners to extend their home’s space outside, but the space under the deck can be hard to utilize. Here’s some project inspiration for smaller deck spaces.

A low-lying deck with patio furniture has several levels and is surrounded by landscaping with a gravel perimeter

Pest-Proof Your Deck

There’s plenty you can do with the space under your deck, and neighborhood animals and pests may think the same thing. Whether you use the space or not, keep critters out with a mesh boundary and decorative skirting over top. Strong scents and light exposure can also make the space less welcoming to stowaways. 

Add Polish With Wraparound Stairs 

Wraparound stairs give a similar polished look to deck skirting, but it’s a better choice for low decks. Wraparound stairs on low decks don’t require a railing and give your deck a more open feeling, which is ideal for smaller builds.

Line It With Landscaping

Looking for softer, more natural underneath deck ideas for your skirting? Landscaping around your deck blocks the view of your under deck area while providing a leafy border that blends in with the natural surroundings. Choose tall, lush edging plants like hedges or bushes, then add more color and texture with other flowers and foliage.

Boost Your Entertainment

Homeowners who enjoy hosting parties can take advantage of their slim space to store their favorite yard games and party accessories. Line the underside of the deck with weather-proof lights and speakers so you’re ready for a dance party or karaoke jam any time. 

Cover Ideas for Under Your Deck

Covering the ground under your deck is a great aesthetic choice and can reduce maintenance needs by preventing vegetation growth and dissuading animals looking for a nest. There are plenty of options depending on your deck design and personal preference, too.

A craftsman-style home’s front patio is lined with flowerbeds and fresh mulch extends under the deck

Keep It Simple With Stone

River rock, pea gravel, lava rock, and so many more stones are available at your local hardware store, and they’re a simple, polished addition to your landscape design. Stone spread over landscaping cloth can prevent unwanted growth, protect planted vegetation, and improve water drainage under your deck. 

Dress It up With Tile

If your elevated deck is high enough to provide a clear view and access to the underside, you can elevate your ground cover with tile. Tile is great for creating a stable surface if you want to redesign your under deck for entertaining. The wide variety of styles also allows you to get creative with color and patterns to contrast with and complement your deck design. 

Go Natural With Moss

Moss is a wonderful low-maintenance and shade-loving ground cover. It’s become a popular alternative to grass lawns in recent years, and it can thrive in low-light and low-traffic conditions, like the space under your deck. This can be a good compromise if you still want to maintain a yard space under your deck but don’t have the sunlight or time to maintain grass. However, moss can also grow on and damage your deck, so you’ll want to stay on top of your deck cleaning schedule.

New and old decks alike can benefit from these creative under deck ideas, and you’ll love enjoying the extra backyard space. 

If you’re planning a new deck build and wondering if composite is right for you, order free decking samples to see and feel the beauty of TimberTech’s realistic wood grain patterns for yourself. 

Bring the Beauty of TimberTech to Your Backyard

Work with one of our registered contractors for a build that transforms your outdoor living space.

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