One of the newest options for people building custom decks is called In-Deck Storage. This is basically what the name states; it is storage that is built into the underside of the deck.
The suppliers of composite decking have invented a plastic storage bin that is installed in between the joist of the deck under the finished decking. They usually have a hinged door with a locking mechanism that is flush with the deck boards or nearly flush, this is to help prevent you from stubbing your toe when walking over it.
This storage area is a great place to store patio furniture cushions, sports equipment, children’s tools, pet tools, garden tools or anything else that can handle being left out side and out of sight. Some boxes are more waterproof then others so be careful what you leave in it.
To install the storage box in the deck you will need to know the dimensions of the box before you finish the framing. You need to leave enough room for the box to fit in between the deck joists, most storage boxes are larger than the 16” centre’s that are commonly used when framing decks. You will have to add support underneath the storage box to re-enforce it, that’s so if you load it right full of heavy items the middle of the plastic box doesn’t break and collapse. You will also have to add extra blocking around the edges of the storage box so that there is proper nailing for your decking above.
The in-deck storage box is a direct replacement for the above deck storage box that you buy from any big box store. Both are made from plastic, the one big difference is that the lid of the in-deck storage bin is re-enforced, it is re-enforced not only to take the weight of a person walking on it but also the weight of the decking material that you are using as the top finish. Installing decking on top of the lid helps hide the storage bin; one of the reasons for it being installed under the deck is not just to create more space above, it is also so that the storage bin is out of sight and out of mind. This is good not only for looks but also for security, people can’t steal your things when they can’t find them.
When you are planning your next deck project think about where you plan to store your items, think about underneath and think about the in-deck storage box.
Village Builders Inc.