What Can I Put Under My Deck Instead of Lattice?
Lattice grew to popularity beneath decks during the exodus of folks from cities to suburbs in the mid-20th century. And it makes sense, right? It looks decent, it’s not overly difficult to implement, and it keeps out most rodents and pests.
But let’s be real: it’s not everyone’s style. It doesn’t keep out the peskiest of pests, it’s a hassle to maintain, and, for many homes, it looks down-right bad.
Here are a few alternatives to common lattice fences that can go beneath your deck.
Basic Beginnings: Straight Wooden Planks
Installing wooden planks can bring a lot of character to the home. There are so many different types of stains, varnishes, and little touches you can do to make your home sparkle.
Horizontal wood planks look a lot like shiplap. Planks can be as tight or far apart as you want, meaning you can practically eliminate any chance of pests making their way under your deck.
Vertical planks offer similar security and customization. If you need access underneath your deck, you can install a small door or gate into the siding providing covered storage, not unlike a crawlspace.
Fancify Those Planks
Wooden planks can be anything you want them to be. Check out different wood types like mahogany, walnut, or oak for different grain and color aesthetics.
Add texture to your under-deck siding by layering the wooden planks, almost like you would see on a pallet. Alternatively, a combination of small and larger planks can help add depth and create a beautiful look for your deck.
Unlike lattice panels, composite siding looks natural, like wood, but comes with a myriad of additional benefits.
Composite siding is durable, comes in a wide range of colors, and is really clean looking. Some composite siding tries to mirror the appearance of actual wood, while others have smooth textures without the wood grain appearance.
Unlike regular wood, composite siding doesn’t flex, warp, sag, mold, or change color over time. The inability to rot or be easily damaged makes them a terrific addition to modern homes and decks.
The less time doing maintenance on your deck, the more time you can enjoy it, right?
Let’s talk about the few drawbacks. The first is your up-front cost. Composite siding is going to take a little more out of your renovation budget than if you went for traditional wood planks.
While composite siding is difficult to damage or break, it can scuff or scratch easily. Stains and marks are more difficult to buff out too, as you’re unable to sand these like you wood normal wooden planks.
Modern Mode: Metals and More
When I say more, I mean there are a lot of metal options available.
You could add thin metal wires to mirror the railing on the deck. Naturally, you give up some security for those pesky pests, but the look is modern and sleek.
Flat sheet metal provides excellent protective coverage while also being cheap and easy to install. Meanwhile, corrugated metal plates take the benefits of sheet metal and offer added style, texture, and depth to your deck.
All-in-all, adding metal siding beneath your home or deck can make your spark with an industrial flare.
As mentioned, most of these options are easy to install and cost-effective as well. One notable issue with metal sheets is that if one is damaged or rusting, it’s likely the entire sheet will need to be replaced.
If you use multiple smaller sheets, this likely won’t be a problem, but something to note regardless. They will require washing every so often, but otherwise are maintenance-free.
Stepping Up: Stonework
Wooden decks can be gorgeous, but there’s something absolutely luxurious about enclosing under house or deck with stone. You can use real stone or faux, the look will be marvelous either way.
Real stone has the benefit of heft. It will hold a lot of weight, won’t break easily, and it’ll look sharp. Unfortunately, real stone can cost a bit more, particularly with labor charges. The Egyptians may have made it look easy, but loading up stone takes a lot of work.
Faux stone, or manufactured panels, give off the same gorgeous looks but without the cost. You could easily DIY a faux aesthetic if you were up for the challenge.
Another benefit of faux stone is that it won’t chip or crack like regular stone. Other than cleaning it once in a while, it’ll always do what it’s intended to do.
Like all deck types, you’ll need to ensure there are vents in your deck especially if you go with traditional stone. Having not enough ventilation can result in moisture and mold problems.
Mix and Match
At the end of the day, if none of these options sound perfect, try to mix-and-match!
You can add textured wood planks with brick or stone at the base of your siding. Or consider using metal sheet or wires beneath spread out wooden planks.
Composite siding comes in several different styles and textures, so if you’re against using wood, you can supplement it with any of the combos above.
Don’t want to remove lattice if you’ve already got it? Add some plants like morning glories, or ivy to give your home a purely Victorian vibe. There are so many opportunities available to you, whatever you decide.
Remove the Lattice and Begin Anew
Hopefully, you’re feeling inspired. If you can’t fully see your project coming together, removing your lattice, especially if it’s damaged or rotting, is the best place to start.
Use some of the tips above as guidance for what would look best under your deck. Depending on your budget and DIY-abilities, you’re sure to find something spectacular.
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