Top 10 Under Deck Ideas for 2022

From affordable DIY projects to luxurious transformations, here are the top 10 under-deck ideas for 2022.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Do something better with all that wasted space beneath your deck. These top 10 under-deck ideas are full of exciting, doable, and budget-friendly projects that will turn your under-deck area into a destination. 
Some of these projects require a bit more money and a bit more skill. You can always DIY it, of course, but don’t be afraid to hire a professional. Once you’ve poured the concrete slab, screened it in, and sipped your first cocktail outside, you’ll be glad you spent the money.
Before you hit the hardware store, be sure you have
home insurance
to protect your home—and all the sweat equity you’re about to put into these under-deck design ideas.
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Ready to break out the tools? Here are the top 10 ideas for the area under your deck.
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1. Breezy summer getaway

View of a rustic porch with seating, and a hanging porch swing surrounded by plants.
If you live in an area that experiences extremely hot summers, then you know what it’s like to crave a bit of shade. Why not transform your under-deck area into a breezy summer getaway?
The two more important elements of this transformation are shade and ventilation
Start by figuring out where the sun hits your underdeck area. Here, build a lattice or hang an outdoor curtain to protect the area from the sun. Plant some climbing vines for extra ambiance. Now, install ceiling fans to help circulate the air gently. 
Finish it off with a porch swing and you’ll be ready to beat the heat in your new under deck summer getaway.

2. “Catio” or enclosed pet area

A black cat sitting in a screened-in "catio" space.
Since we can’t always escort our pets outside, this project empowers your fur baby to enjoy a bit of fresh air without your supervision. All you need is a cat flap or dog flap so your pet can access their new underdeck area independently.
Start by fencing in an area for your dog or cat. Make sure the fencing material is sturdy enough and deep enough. It must be able to withstand your pet’s digging, any curious wildlife, and inclement weather conditions. 
Add a climbing area for your feline friend or a small patch of grass with a house for your canine companion. Voila! Your pets can now enjoy the benefits of fresh air and physical activity. Don’t leave food and water outside, as it can attract unwanted pests.

3. Dinner party entertainment area

Dinner party in under-deck patio.
This is one of our favorite under-deck design ideas—party central! 
When the weather is nice, there’s nothing more enjoyable than entertaining your friends and family outdoors. But picnic tables and patio furniture can be inhospitable. Unstable umbrellas can offer more distraction than protection from the sun and rain. 
A few simple tricks can transform your under deck area into a magical dinner party entertainment area. How does brunch with your friends in a cozy under deck den sound?
Start with a deep clean. You may need to install some decking or pour a concrete slab to start with a level surface. Put up cozy lighting—feel free to use battery-powered lights, old Christmas lights, or lanterns with real candles. Add some comfortable outdoor furniture and a BBQ, and this transformation is complete. 
Pro Tip: Add a little skirting along the edge of your underdeck area to create the illusion of visual separation.

4. Outdoor gym

Use your deck to create a workout area
What’s better than sweating inside a gym? Sweating in an outdoor gym. If you do it right, you won’t even need to put on sunscreen! 
To install an outdoor gym in your under deck area, start by laying down durable flooring. Set up a rack of weights and other equipment like an ergometer or exercise bike. Who’s stopping you from installing some mirrors to check your form? Add a weatherproof speaker and you can sweat freely in your new outdoor gym.

5. Shed for storage

Underneath your deck can be a great space to store your tools, like this tool organizer.
The most practical suggestion on this list is to build a storage area for off-season equipment. Sure, a small shed is not as sexy as a brunch den but it is infinitely more useful. 
If you’re in a rush, purchase a prefabricated shed from a hardware store. Add your snowblower, river rafts, and yard maintenance tools. Lock it, make sure it’s weatherproof, and you’ve just made homeownership a lot more pleasant.

6. Kids’ play area

A young boy sticking his head out of a hole in a pale wood play space.
Go simple and buy a sandbox and kiddie pool for your kids to enjoy. If you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, build a full playhouse or small swing set. It will provide hours of device-free entertainment. Fence it in with a demi-wall if you’re worried about them wandering off.

7. Artist’s studio

Create an artist oasis using the space underneath your deck—get as messy as you want!
Painting en plein air, anyone? Set up an easel or a worktable and welcome creative inspiration into your new artist’s studio. Many famous artists swear by fresh air as a creative force. 
If you need more creativity in your life, try adding a durable table, some art supplies, and some sun shades to your under deck area. Breathe in the fresh air and see what the muses have in store for you.

8. Mini herb garden

If you get plenty of light, the space under your deck is perfect for honing your green thumb.
It’s easy to grow a basic herb garden, especially if you buy the seedlings from the store.
This under-deck design idea works best for homes that get plenty of light. However, lots of plants can grow with minimal sunlight. Do some research on the direction your home faces and which herbs you like best. 
Remember to install some kind of protection from natural predators—even deer are known to fancy a few French herbs on occasion!

9. Wildlife watching station

Watch the birds from the comfort of your cozy under-deck space.
If you don’t want to take on a complicated project, you’ll love this idea. Transform your under deck area into a wildlife watching station. 
Set up a variety of bird feeders and a hummingbird feeder within sight of the downstairs window. Keep a container of sunflower seeds or peanuts by the door. Sprinkle some on the ground and then retreat indoors to watch the animals feast! 

10. Hot tub

Relax in a hot tub underneath your deck.
This may be the easiest way to transform your boring under-deck space into a rejuvenating and attractive destination. Simply install a hot tub and some twinkle lights, and boom! You’ve got yourself the ultimate under-deck retreat. 

Finding the right insurance

What is the point of investing in all these home design projects if they could all go up in smoke? 
Most people don’t like to think about the possibility of a fire or a flood. It’s unpleasant, to be sure. But the only thing more unpleasant than an imaginary disaster is being unprepared for a real one.
Homeowners insurance
can protect you and your finances if the worst happens. If your home is destroyed, if an accident happens, if you need to rebuild your life…your insurance policy can help you make a start.
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