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Decks are where homeowners gather with family and friends to enjoy the outdoors while eating and relaxing in comfort and style. But the party doesn’t have to happen just on the deck. You can go below deck, too, and reimagine that space for more outdoor living and entertainment. 

At Neave, our carpentry team offers single and multi-level deck construction and works with homeowners to maximize their space for a vibrant hangout or a peaceful hideaway. 

Homeowners can follow these three steps to make what’s hidden below their deck into a showstopper of its own. 

Ways to Create and Protect Underdeck Features

Step 1: Preparing Your Space

Before making your underdeck space usable and safe, you must protect it from inclement weather. Here in the Hudson Valley, that’s essential. Waterproofing can be added to already constructed decks – whether made from wood or composite materials – or included as part of a deck construction project. The underdeck area can be kept dry and comfortable by capturing and diverting water that lands on the upper deck. 

The ground must also be prepared and leveled, if necessary, to accommodate the right flooring or covering. 

Step 2: Creating Your Space

Maybe your underdeck area is a blank canvas ready for inspiration. Perhaps it’s already in use but lacks inspiration. Regardless, if you know how you want or need to use the space, then it can happen. 

Finish off the underdeck space to create an outdoor living room area. Decorate the space with an outdoor rug, furnishings, lights, fireplace, and television. You can watch the game or have movie nights while also enjoying the great outdoors even when temperatures start to get a bit chilly. 

If you’re building a pool or already have one but don’t have a separate pool house, your underdeck space can be a great alternative. Outdoor furnishings can withstand the demands of wet bathing suits and towels. Storage benches or cabinets are perfect for storing pool necessities: toys, pool chemicals, towels, and sunscreen. Adding a mini fridge will keep poolside refreshments handy and wet footprints outside. If space allows, you could even consider an outdoor shower.

If you have a pool or most of your backyard action is happening on the ground level, why not use your underdeck as an outdoor kitchen space? Instead of climbing stairs to a grill on your second-story deck or going inside to prepare food, bring the kitchen outdoors with all you need to keep family and friends full and coming back for more! You’ll have all you need to feed your crew with a built-in grill, pizza oven, refrigerator, sink, counters, cabinets, and seating.

In the Hudson Valley, a hot tub is a great option to enjoy the outdoors year-round. Use your underdeck area for a standalone hot tub, or incorporate it into a gym or recreational space. By outfitting the area with weather-resistant gym materials – ropes, bars, weights, or exercise straps – you can get in a workout while enjoying the outside and hopping into the hot tub to relax your muscles. With installed cabinets or storage benches, you can hide equipment or tuck away yoga mats when they aren’t used. 

If you’d rather have a more flexible, undefined space, go with a finished-off patio or screened-in porch. A screened-in porch allows you to enjoy the outdoors without being fully exposed to it and its insects. A patio allows for a seamless transition between the house and the yard. With simple seating, coffee or side tables, lighting, and a ceiling fan, you have the perfect spot to lounge after a hard day or curl up with a book. You could install a swing or hammock to add a little more flair. 

Suppose you don’t have the head clearance to use the underdeck area as a living and entertaining space. In that case, you can still use it by creating storage or incorporating the area into your landscaped backyard aesthetic. 


With lattice or skirting around the deck, you can create a private and protected storage area for yard or bulky household items: lawn mower, snow blower, gardening tools, wheelbarrow, ladders, sporting gear, or outdoor furniture. Create access with a hinged door or a removable section of the skirting or lattice. If the underdeck is not waterproof, you can use tarps to cover the stored items, though they should be able to withstand the weather of all four seasons, and you can lay down a moisture barrier on the ground — tarps, water-resistant flooring, or pavers.


If your underdeck area gets enough sunlight, you can turn this space into an extension of your landscaped yard and plant grass, a container garden, shrubs, and flowers. You can turn a forgotten space into its own special nook by tying this area into your backyard’s overall look and feel. If sunlight concerns you, you can finish this space with mulch, pavers, or gravel. Create interest with low-light potted plants and décor such as windchimes, gnomes, fountains, or lawn ornaments. 

Step 3: Protecting Your Space

To get the most use out of your newly created space, you must ensure its protection for years. Enjoying your space and forgetting to keep it clean and secure is easy.

The main ways an underdeck area can be damaged or lose value are with too much moisture or a lack of maintenance. This is why waterproofing your underdeck is essential to planning and protecting any outdoor space. But it doesn’t stop at just that. We recommend you clean your underdeck area twice yearly (spring and fall), especially if it is unfinished and the boards from the above deck are exposed. 

Use a cleaning solution suitable for the deck board materials – wood or composite. You can purchase a ready-made product from a local home improvement store or use readily available household items. Before starting, remove or cover any items under your deck, and as you clean, look for loose boards or fasteners. Keeping the underdeck boards clean will extend their life and safety, improving their look. 

We love helping our customers imagine how they can create the best outdoor spaces. Some of the finest and most fun moments happen when people gather outside to eat, play, and relax, so let’s make the most out of all the space your home and yard offer. 

Contact Neave Group today, and let our amazing contractors assess your outdoor space for a Trex Deck!

landscape planning guide neave group cover

FREE Landscape Planning Guide

Download our FREE Landscape Planning Guide and start planning the landscape of your dreams!

Download Now