(BPT) – Many homeowners don’t realize that the space below a deck can offer tremendous potential. With a little creativity and the simple addition of an under-deck drainage system, the area beneath a deck can be used for almost anything, from additional living space to discreet and waterproof storage. Using a network of troughs and downspouts, an easy-to-install system like Trex® RainEscape® captures and diverts water away from a deck, protecting the area underneath from the outdoor elements and allowing for it to be outfitted with everything from furnishings and accessories to ceiling fans, lighting, appliances and entertainment components.
Here are 10 ways to make the most of this bonus outdoor space:
Bring the indoors out.
By protecting the area beneath a deck, you can virtually double your outdoor living space. This patio incorporates a seating area, dining table, and an outdoor kitchen, creating a setting well-suited for any outdoor occasion.
Dine al fresco.
An al fresco dining area takes any meal from ordinary to extraordinary. Think beyond the traditional grill and patio furnishings to create an elegant, open-air gathering spot. Incorporate soffit lights into the ceiling to enhance ambiance and extend the usability of the space.
Watch the seasons change.
Why create a space you can only enjoy for a few months? By enclosing the area beneath an elevated deck with windows and screens, you can enjoy the great outdoors in comfort no matter the season or the weather.
There’s no need to miss a moment of fun with a fully equipped outdoor kitchen. With the Trex RainEscape system, gas lines and electrical wiring can be run safely and discreetly between the deck surface and a soffit ceiling to accommodate whatever may be on the menu.
Soak in serenity.
If you love spending time outside, even during winter, a hot tub is a great addition that works with any size deck, so long as the overhead space is larger than the tub. This protection from the weather means you can enjoy a relaxing soak whether there’s sun, rain or snow.
Create an under-deck café.
Let’s say you enjoy the idea of dining outside, but you’re not up for a full-blown outdoor kitchen. Consider opting for an outdoor cafe-style area. This design turns a stone wall into a countertop for enjoying morning coffee, a cocktail or even a meal.
View with a view.
Shielded from the elements and outfitted with comfortable furnishings, a wet bar, and a mounted flat screen television, this space offers an oasis for watching movies, sports or binging your favorite shows with family and friends.
Factor in fun.
If you’re tight on space underneath the deck but still want a design element with unique flair, installing a swing is a fun addition. A swing doesn’t take up a huge amount of space and is the perfect spot to enjoy a breezy afternoon.
Keep it cozy.
Whether hosting a wine night for friends or having a night in with your family, incorporating a fireplace into your underdeck area creates a pleasant spot to enjoy a night of fresh air, while ultimately elevating the ambience.
Store in style.
When properly protected, the space beneath a deck is ideal for storage. Seasonal items such as pool equipment, gardening tools, patio furniture and yard games can be safely tucked away. Size permitting, this space can even be used to house grills, lawnmowers, bicycles, ATVs and snowmobiles.