A Creative Way To Turn Under-Deck Space Into A Functional Storage Solution

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A deck attached to the back of your house is one of the most popular ways to make the most of your outdoor living space. If you have a backyard deck that's raised off the ground, it creates a lot of visual interest and entertainment areas, but you could be missing out on some valuable storage space by not taking advantage of what's underneath. With a few modifications, you can install some slide-out drawers or cubbies in your under-deck space, creating an innovative and efficient storage solution for your lawn gear, seasonal outdoor decor, or recreational items.

Oftentimes the underside of a deck is an empty space, not tall enough to feature additional outdoor leisure time and not accessible to much more than a few enterprising spiders, and so people cover the unsightly area with lattice panels. However, by cutting out decorative archways into the lattices, you can create cubby holes that look intentional and stylistic. These cubbies can revolutionize your outdoor storage game, giving you more space to hold the items that interest you and more space to enjoy them.

Under deck storage cubbies

If you don't want to upgrade your outdoor space by installing peek-a-boo holes into your deck lattice work, that's perfectly understandable. You can still make that space accessible with a couple of hinges and a door handle, or even a sliding barn-door track mechanism to allow the lattice panels to open and close to the space behind them. However, If your lattice is firmly in place, a cubby is easy to make, especially if you know what you're going to put inside. Rubbermaid makes some great lockable waterproof boxes of various sizes, available at Amazon. There's even a 35 gallon wheeled option for $128.

Saw cutouts in your latticeĀ or other deck apron boards at least 6 inches wider and taller than the bin you want to use. Squared corners work, but diagonally cut corners create a more elevated look. Then add some trim to keep the edges covered and looking clean. If your deck was constructed with a concrete slab foundation, you can slide your bin in and out onto that. Or you can use a tarp, add a small slab of board, or use a pallet. For cleanliness sake, it's best not to keep your bins directly on the ground, even if they are waterproof.

Deck drawer storage kits

A more advanced solution to the question of deck underside storage than mere cubby holes are slide-out drawers that can be installed directly into your under-deck structure. Sold as a kit (like this one at Home Depot for under $300), these drawers will keep out rain and other precipitation. They can also be secured with a lock. The kit provides all the required hardware for you to build an 8-foot deep drawer under your deck space with detailed instructions. With three pieces of plywood, the drawer kit, and some basic carpentry tools, you can construct the whole thing in a day.

If you're slightly more proficient with woodworking, you can build drawers of your own desired size out of 2x4 boards and some corrugated sloping to help facilitate drainage. This can be built into a deck as part of its original construction or retrofitted to an existing deck with some vertical studs added to the structure and either metal rails or waxed boards precisely measured to slide together. Either way, the closed drawers will disappear into the deck, while storing lawn tools, patio cushions, pool toys, or outdoor sports equipment.