5 Ways to Use Your Under Deck Patio

If you have a raised deck, chances are there’s an empty space under it waiting to be used. Using this space can maximize your backyard space, letting you get the most out of the land you have. Since the area is sheltered by the deck, there are plenty of potential uses. Whether you want to create storage space or use the area for social gatherings, under deck patios give you the opportunity to be creative in how you use your outdoor space.

1. Under Deck Storage


This is a great solution for homes that lack enough storage space. If you are a family of camping or outdoor enthusiasts, you likely have a lot of equipment cluttering up your home or garage. Moving those items to the under deck area can free up a lot of space in your home. To make it adequate storage space, you’ll need to make it more secure and protected against the elements. Installing a shed or adding walls to keep out rain and damaging sunlight will help keep your items safe.

2. Create a Screened-In Porch


Climates with mild weather can benefit from a screened porch, which gives you a place to relax with the breeze and the freshness of the outdoors while keeping pests out. With a screened porch, you can choose a mesh fineness and metal type for the screens. A finer mesh will keep out smaller bugs, so you can select one depending on the size of bugs you expect to find in your backyard. The best thing about a screened porch is letting the sunlight and fragrant air come in while remaining sheltered from the elements.

3. Add a Playground

The under deck area is ideal for a child’s play area. Even if there’s not enough space for adults to stand or sit comfortably, a children’s play area may fit perfectly into the space. Your children and their visitors will love crawling through tunnels or playing house within the area. For extra safety and more visibility, add lighting so you can keep an eye on them. It’ll also be helpful to see clearly into the under deck area at night, for home safety and security reasons.

4. Under Deck Oasis System

An under deck drainage system will collect rainwater in the space below your deck, and above the ceiling of the under deck area. It then directs the rainwater into a gutter, preventing it from soaking into the ceiling below. The system is designed with sloped metal panels that lead into the rain gutter. The Under Deck Oasis helps you make better use of the area below your deck, preserving it so you can use it to entertain without having unsightly water stains or drips from above.

5. Set Up a Grill and Seating

Grilling doesn’t just have to be for summer and parties. Channel your passion for cooking into an outdoor cooking space perfect for warm weather. The most common features found in outdoor kitchen areas are:

  • Counter space
  • Grill
  • Sink

These three appliances will give you the space you need to create delicious meals for your family, from kebabs to burgers. Add seating to take the meal outdoors completely.

These under deck patio ideas are only some of your options for designing a feature that will benefit your family and make the most of your backyard space. Under deck patio areas let you get creative, so design something that reflects your family’s lifestyle. All Exteriors LLC can help you make those ideas a reality, contact us today to get started.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/Kristi Blokhin

Underdecking Must-Haves: Outdoor Living

Do you wish you had a relaxing space to hang out and enjoy your yard? Does water drip from your second story deck make it impossible to use the space below when it is raining? If you want functional space that stays dry and doubles as a finished outdoor entertaining area, adding an under deck gutter system may be just what you need.

Underdecking ― the process of attaching material to the underside of a deck ― can help create a covered space that can be used year-round.

The area under a raised first-floor deck is typically damp, with mold or mildew forming on the slab and beams underneath. Use a deck roof to keep the area dry and usable for storage. Additional benefits of implementing a deck roof include:

  • Bird proof
  • Self-cleaning
  • Handles snow loads
  • Guaranteed not to leak or sag

How it Works

An aluminum under deck ceiling system acts like a dropped-ceiling and channels rainwater and snow away from the space between the decking planks. The overlapping panels attach to a framework that angles water, snow, and debris into seamless gutters and downspouts. By moving moisture away from the house and foundation, your patio, furniture, and other contents stay dry. Depositing the water in specific areas prevents the ground around your home from becoming oversaturated.

Clearance requirements for underdecking are minimal. On the high end, the deck roof hangs about two inches below the beams with the slope dropping an eighth of an inch for every foot.

Aluminum vs. Vinyl

The temperature fluctuates significantly throughout the year in Minnesota and Wisconsin, from scorching hot summers to frigid winters. Snow and ice may thaw and freeze multiple times in a single season. Unlike vinyl, aluminum alloy does not contract and expand with the temperature. This means that the deck ceiling will not develop gaps or cracks over time. Here are three more reasons why aluminum is a better choice:

  • Aluminum is rigid and stronger than vinyl, so it will not sag or buckle over time. As the under deck system can feature light fixtures, fans, speakers and other outdoor accessories to make space feel warm and inviting, it is important to ensure the material used is supportive.
  • Birds and squirrels often choose to build their nests in traditional gutters and under the deck against the beams. The deck ceiling uses overlapping panels that are enclosed with flashing, effectively critter-proofing the area.
  • Aluminum alloy requires very little maintenance, and you can power wash or stain your deck as you usually would. Dish soap or glass cleaner can be used with a soft cloth, sponge or shammy to clean the panels without scratching the surface.

Finish Your Yard in Style

Once your under deck system is in place, give your home a finishing touch that reflects your personality with concrete patios and hardscaping. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

  • Maximize your space by using natural stone and extending it beyond the covered patio area.
  • Create walkways to your outdoor space with stamped or broomed concrete services.
  • Extend your outdoor season with a fire pit or similar feature. It makes a gathering cozy, whether you are having a party or a quiet evening for two.
  • Add functionality to your yard with an outdoor living space.

Completing your yard with design details can enhance curb appeal and increase property value by up to 25 percent. At All Exteriors, we work with you to create your perfect outdoor space, from concrete patios to retaining walls and driveways. For more information on creating the yard of your dreams, contact us today!

Start Prepping Your Lawn For Winter

It may seem like winter is still far off, but if you want to set your lawn up to look its best next year, it’s best to think a few seasons ahead. The better you take care of it now, the faster and healthier it’ll come back. Here are a few things you can do for a beautiful lawn next spring.

Don’t Stop Mowing!

It may be tempting to stop mowing as the weather cools down, but believe it or not, your lawn needs your attention now more than ever. Letting the grass grow too long could cause it to smother itself or put it at risk of fungus damage. Grass needs to be kept a little longer during the worst heat of the summer to prevent it from becoming scorched, but as the weather cools down, a shorter height is ideal.

Clear Leaves

You’ll also want to make sure you clear fallen leaves as temperatures slowly decrease. Allowing leaves to pile up on your lawn can smother your grass, leaving large bare spots when spring arrives. To prevent bare spots, rake and remove leaves, or mulch them, breaking them up with the mower and redistribute them into the grass.

Aerate

If you are going to aerate, before winter sets in is a great time to do so. Aerating helps your lawn breathe throughout the winter and absorb nutrients. Plan on aerating if your yard feels hard-packed, if it sees a lot of foot traffic, or if the grass or mulch is thick enough that it could suffocate the roots of the plants.

Fertilize and Seed

One of the last things you should do when winterizing your lawn is to fertilize it so that you give it the best chance of coming in thick and healthy next spring. This is also a great time to look for any bare or even thin patches in the lawn, and reseed as needed.

Winterize Your Garden, Too

This is also a good time to start thinking about winterizing your garden. As the days get a little shorter and a little cooler, it’s time to start pruning perennials and mulching the garden to protect the plants through the winter. This is also a great time to give your yard a quick assessment to make sure it’s benefiting your curb appeal. Need professional landscaping to really make your yard shine? Contact All Exteriors today to find out more about landscaping in New Richmond.

Should You Get The Lawn Cut Professionally Or Do It Yourself?

There’s a reason why smaller yards, xeriscaping, and urban living are all becoming popular trends: Taking care of a lawn can be a lot of work, and with the speed at which the world turns, it may feel like your life is too busy to afford you the time to take care of it yourself. When it comes down to it, is it worth it to mow your lawn yourself? Here are some of the advantages to hiring a lawn service vs. doing it yourself.

Pros and Cons of Professional Lawn Care

The most obvious benefit of having someone take care of your lawn is not having to do it yourself. Especially if you’re busy, if you work a lot or have a family to spend time with, you may benefit from freeing up some additional time. Also, it’s one less thing for you to have to worry about learning and managing. You can let someone with more knowledge and experience take care of it.

Of course, the major drawback is the expense. However, consider that if you don’t already have the equipment and supplies to care for your lawn, this will entail a substantial upfront investment before you could save any money by doing it yourself.

The Case for the DIYer

If you already own a mower and other equipment, no upfront investment is needed, and maintenance and gasoline are pretty cheap. It’s generally pretty fast and easy work when compared with other professional landscaping services, so it might be worthwhile for you to spend an hour (give or take) every week to save a little money.

Mix and Match

Some people choose to have everything done for them, from mowing to landscaping and gardening. Others prefer to have some of it done for them so they can focus on the easy parts or the tasks they like the most. For instance, if you enjoy gardening but detest mowing, you might have the lawn services while you spend more time focusing on your garden. Another option is deciding to mow and garden yourself while maximizing your home’s curb appeal by hiring a professional landscaper.

Landscaping New Richmond

Whether you decide to mow your lawn yourself or not, professional landscaping is a perfect way to improve curb appeal and provide a finishing touch to your home’s exterior. From landscaping to patios and custom fences, All Exteriors provides all the services you need to turn your yard into your perfect, private oasis. Contact us today for more information about our services.

Top 5 Landscaping Trends for 2018

Warm weather is here, and with it, long evenings on the patio or deck, outdoor dinner parties, and all of the other things you love most about this time of year. Are you interested in updating your landscaping and outdoor living spaces this year? Perhaps a sunroom, patio, deck or outdoor kitchen to do more entertaining? Or just to give yourself a new favorite place to unwind? Here are the top 5 landscaping trends of 2018 to give you a few ideas.

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