For many homeowners, the area beneath a raised deck is so much wasted space, filled with unsightly framework, weeds, dirt, spiders and who knows what else. When building a cedar deck, Portland homeowners often like to conceal this area with deck skirting.
Deck skirting not only hides the seedy underbelly of a deck, but it converts the space into an outdoor storage area, prevents your deck from looking like it’s floating, and adds a finished look to your cedar decking material. Portland decks with skirting are also less likely to become home to raccoons, squirrels or other critters.
Deck Skirting Options
There are a variety of ways to skirt a deck, depending on your budget, your tastes and the style of your home.
Lattice is a common choice, as it’s inexpensive and easy to install. It also provides plenty of ventilation for the area beneath a cedar deck. Portland decks, in particular, require plenty of ventilation to allow rainwater to evaporate. On the downside, lattice can be easily damaged by a lawnmower or stray ball, and a truly determined critter, such as a raccoon, may still be able to find a way in.
For more upscale homes, solid wood panels are a popular solution, as they can be painted to match the home’s trim or stained to match the cedar decking material. Portland’s heavy rainfall, however, can cause the space to retain moisture since solid panels don’t offer as much ventilation as lattice.
Another possibility for deck skirting is to use brick or stone materials that match your home’s façade. The goal is to choose a look that blends into the overall appearance of your home.
When skirting a cedar deck, Portland homeowners should first ensure the ground has adequate drainage. Rain can seep through the cedar decking material and form puddles of standing water, which become ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and the area beneath a deck is often vulnerable to rampant weed growth. Prevent both problems by laying down landscaping fabric and covering it with a layer of gravel.
It’s also smart to include an access point so you can get beneath your deck without removing the skirting. Create a door by hinging a small panel or section of the skirting. This allows you to use the space as storage or to easily access the space in case there’s a problem you need to address.