Do you have an elevated deck with usable space beneath it … going unused? If you don’t need the space, that’s fine, but many Austin-area homeowners find it quite valuable. Some use the space under a deck as a covered porch or patio – and, of course, that depends on the height of your under-deck area. Others, like these Archadeck of Austin clients in Georgetown, TX, use it for outdoor storage. Who doesn’t need more storage space?
Archadeck of Austin designed and built this beautiful deck and covered pergola some time back. You could call this more recent project Phase II – installing an under-deck system to keep everything dry down below. The homeowners had been storing a few items under the deck already. Because rainwater drips down between decking boards, however, they had to be sure their items were covered or sealed up in bins.
An Under-deck Space That Stays Dry and Looks Good, Too
The first order of business was to seal off the under-deck space so it would stay dry. Decks are designed for drainage, which is why there is always a bit of space between decking boards. Without a way for water to drain off, the deck would pool with water whenever it rained. No one wants to slosh around on a wet deck!
To keep the space dry, we installed a pan system secured to the underside of the deck frame. The pan channels water as it runs through the deck and funnels it away through gutters. It’s an efficient way to create dry space below without hindering drainage above.
With an effective drainage system in place, we added walls around the under-deck storage area. We purposely designed plain walls that won’t attract attention. The homeowners’ lawn mower and other backyard items are safely tucked out of sight and secured with a padlock on the storage room door. Now they have ample outdoor storage space. With this type of enclosure, you are actually adding dry space to your home.
Two Benefits of an Under-deck Dry Space
Converting the space to dry storage and closing it off with walls serves two purposes for these Georgetown TX homeowners. First, their stored items stay dry. Second, the walls keep everything out of sight so the yard looks tidy regardless of what’s tucked up under the deck.
Notice we didn’t enclose all of the under-deck area. At a certain point each day, the deck provides shade over the area that is not closed off for storage. You don’t need the full trappings of a porch or patio to make good use of it. Just pull up a chair!
If you have usable, dry space under your deck, how would you like to use it?
If under-deck drainage is preventing you from using the space under your deck, let Archadeck of Austin design a dry porch, patio, or storage space under your deck. Call Archadeck of Austin today at 512-259-8282 or email us to schedule your free design consultation.
When premium deck builder Archadeck of Austin removes a deck that’s sick and replaces it with a healthy one, we feel satisfaction approaching that of a transplant surgeon. Of course, we don’t have to source our healthy decks from deck donors. We custom design and build each one from the ground up, including this deck replacement project in the Sun City community of Georgetown, Texas.
What’s unusual here is that the ground was part of the problem. It’s what made the first deck sick, so it was our job to ensure the new deck wouldn’t meet the same fate: mold, deterioration, and rot.
This Georgetown TX Deck Tells a Story We Don’t Want to Repeat
The clients’ original deck included two pergolas attached to a canopy with built-in benches. We had to remove the deck, benches and pergolas because they were deteriorating. The deck had been built so low-to-grade it had started sinking.
— Before: the existing deck was sinking due to rot.
When we took out the old deck, we found was it was rotting underneath. While pressure-treated pine is rated for ground contact, moisture can intervene and cause severe problems. This deck was in contact with the moist ground, hence our discovery of mold and degradation on the underside. In a case like this, a deck rots from the bottom up because the underside is not stained or sealed.
Design, Prep, Build. And Don’t Forget to Prep …
Knowing the ground under this deck stays moist, we took extra precautions to prevent the same damage from recurring. This illustrates one reason Archadeck of Austin has become such a trusted deck builder. We go the extra mile to make sure our projects last and look great as long as possible.
First, we excavated the soil under the deck’s location since we were building the new deck on the same moist spot where the prior deck had stood. Then we applied a 3″ gravel base before erecting the new deck. This system will allow more air flow under the deck and prevent the humidity level from rising enough for rot to occur.
Designing, Building Custom Decks and Pergolas for Austin and Georgetown TX Clients
We custom design every project we build because each client is unique and each home is unique. You could say it goes without saying, but not every deck contractor does this. For this Sun City project, we redesigned the space by installing a proper beam system across the posts supporting the pergolas.
Another example of the custom work we did here is the spacing of the slats atop the pergola closest to the home. The homeowner had commented that the previous pergola blocked the light coming into the home through the windows. We were able to customize the new pergola to remedy that situation.
As you may know, adjusting the spacing between slats across the top of a pergola will affect how much shade the structure casts. For this Georgetown TX deck, pergola and bench project, we spaced the slats at the front of the pergola (farthest from the house) 3” apart for adequate shade. Toward the back of the pergola (nearest the windows), we spaced the slats every 6″ apart. The homeowners will enjoy shade on the deck where they want shade and light inside the home where they want more light – thanks to the new customized design.
The Details: Materials Used for This Deck and Pergola Project
For the deck’s surface and benches, the clients selected low-maintenance capped PVC decking from TimberTech AZEK’s Vintage collection in their weathered teak color. We rebuilt the twin pergolas – including posts, beams, slats and trusses – with cedar and applied a solid-color custom stain on all of the wood surfaces. We were able to retain the original deck railings, and we didn’t need to modify the roof structure for this project.
Not only was the new deck prepped thoroughly, it’s also solid, sound, more useful and beautiful! Can you make out the triangle dinner bell hanging from the pergola’s beam? These Sun City homeowners can enjoy dining on their deck safely once again.
Whether you want a new deck, replacement deck, custom pergola or more, Archadeck of Austin is ready to design and build the outdoor living space that will make your home complete. Contact us today at 512-259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future”
— Theodore Roosevelt
In much the same way our interior spaces are the heart of our home, the backyard deck is an outdoor living staple and remains the heart of the backyard. Today’s decks are not the one-dimensional “plain Jane” decks of the past. 21st century decks have become the centerpiece of the backyard the “glue” that holds the outdoor area together. The history of the deck itself is quite fascinating, and spans farther than you probably imagine. Its history and subsequent evolution have much to do with the industrialization and the post-war economy of America… and this is where our story begins…
Interestingly enough, it wasn’t until the 1950’s and 1960’s that the backyard became the focal point of recreation and relaxation as it known for today. Up until this time, the backyard served a more practical purpose of sustaining and supporting the family. For example, families kept livestock such as cows, chickens and pigs in their backyard. This utilitarian purposed often resulted in a backyard filled with malodorous odors, from the livestock to — YES the outhouse, which made it less than attractive for relaxing outdoors.
Gradually, outdoor environments evolved into what had once been a place to sustain families to becoming a place of leisure and relaxation instead. This is because Americana itself changed. The evolution of the backyard happened when households shifted from being self-contained to supporting the local economy by becoming consumers of shops and stores. Once indoor plumbing and sanitation became more commonplace, gone were the animals and smells of the outhouse as well as the labor of toiling for that night’s dinner. Leisure suddenly became a popular concept as there was now actually time for relaxation.
Charting the changes of how Americans embraced their outdoor spaces began during the Civil War era, when families would relax after a meal on porches. Looking ahead into the early part of the 20th century, with the invention of the radio in the 1920’s, families would then gather in the living room to listen to the evening’s entertainment. Automobiles were prone to blowing up, so garages were placed to the rear of the lot taking up part of the backyard. The garage eventually became attached to the house in the 1950’s, freeing up space in the backyard. The backyard evolved from a practical space to becoming our refuge and haven from life. The new vision became the idea of having your own little piece of greenspace behind the house in order to relax and to play.
While no one knows who actually invented or takes credit for the concept of the deck, evidence unearthed suggests that patios were used in ancient Israel, either in the courtyard or on the rooftop, as a place of leisure and entertainment. Necessity is the mother of invention, and entertaining in all kinds of weather, especially since the earth can become muddy and messy when it rained, became the impetus and thus, the American deck was born. Just as the porch did in the front of the house years earlier, decks became the answer to the problem and a key element to our homes, defining our backyards.
Decks really started to come into their own in the early 1980’s when homeowners began to think about decks as an extension of their interior living space. Earlier decks were usually a simple 8 x 10 ft. platform. But, as the idea of bringing interior elements outside gained popularity Americans began having a more active, outdoor lifestyle. The popular trend of outdoor cooking made the deck an extension of the kitchen. Instead of a simple grill, the deck can now include an outdoor kitchen equipped with cooktops, refrigerators and warming drawers, not to mention the kitchen sink.
Today, backyards are customized to fit an individual’s artistic expression and style, just like any other space in your home. Decks can be designed to blend naturally with your home and surrounding property including natural elements such as rocks, trees and running water. Decks are so versatile in their design and entertainment value, that they have become the outdoor great room where one can curl up with a good book, swing in a hammock or soak in the hot tub. Today’s multifunctional deck does it all, from being a stand alone structure, to a key element in an outdoor living environment.
Let us build the deck of your dreams and let your imagination run wild. With so many options and amenities available to the homeowner, you can create your own style and have a truly unique outdoor living space customized specifically for you.
Contact Archadeck of Austin today to learn more about getting the most out of your outdoor living environment with a deck upgrade, redecking or new deck addition today.