3 Clever Under-the-Deck Storage Ideas That Are Totally Hidden

Boost your outdoor organization with these simple ways to build hidden storage in your deck that can house tools, patio furniture, and more.

Storage is often overlooked when it comes to designing a deck. Especially if outdoor space is tight, you typically want to prioritize the deck's surface for activities like dining and entertaining, which can leave little square footage for storage. To make the best use of the space you have, consider looking under your deck for outdoor storage solutions. With a few simple upgrades, you can transform an unused area into a handy storage zone for gardening tools and supplies, leftover project materials, patio furniture, outdoor cushions, and more. Keep in mind that anything you store under your deck needs to be able to withstand some moisture. Otherwise, you'll need to add extra protection with tarp covers or other measures.

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Your options for under-the-deck storage will largely depend on the available space. An area that's at least two feet high, for example, offers plenty of room for storage. However, grade-level access (which usually involves entering through a door) isn't practical for a 2-foot-high space, because you'd have to crawl under the deck to reach your stored items. But don't let a lack of space stop you from utilizing potential storage. Consider adding storage to your existing deck design through hatches, hinged doors, or skirting.


1. Build a storage hatch.

If your deck is raised only slightly above the ground, build an access hatch so you can lower things into the storage space from the deck. For this idea, attach a storage box to the joists before you install decking, and make the hatch from decking cut to fit the recess. Cut a hole in decking boards or install flush lifting handles so you can lift the hatch out.

To make an access panel (or a hose bib or electrical outlet), cut the decking flush with the inside of the joists. The opening's size will depend on what you're accessing (storage space, hose bib, or electrical outlet). Cut two pieces of decking to fit in the opening and cleat them together with wood scraps. Drill 1-inch holes near one end of one board and the opposite end of the other. Nail 2x4 cleats to the joists to support the hatch.


2. Install hinged skirting to hide deck storage.

If your deck is raised four or more feet off the ground, entry through a door is a practical idea. Consider building removable skirting sections to disguise the storage area and give your deck a finished look. For this project, construct latticed skirting, but make one or more of the sections removable. Fasten the lattice to the back of a 1x4 frame cut to fit the section. Install 2x stops inside the opening for the lattice to rest against. Fasten sliding bolts to the panel at the corners and the shoes on the bottom frame. Slide the bolts to keep the panel in place.


3. Hang a storage door.

Hinged panels are another way to hide and protect an under-deck storage area. This option also requires at least four feet of clearance below the deck. Build a skirting frame using solid panels or siding that matches the house, and install the skirting around the deck. Build a frame for the door using 2x4s. Trim the siding or paneling to fit the door frame. Glue and nail the joints for durability. Install hinges and a latch and hang the door. For added security, use a padlock to keep the door closed and locked.

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