Adding a Patio Under Your Deck: Tips and Ideas for Homeowners in Lancaster and Reading, PA

beautiful patio built under deck in Reading, PAA patio under a deck can be a great way to get even more use out of your backyard. When designed and built well, you’ll have the deck for upper level entertaining and that space can flow seamlessly into your lower level entertainment zone.

Of course, you might not be sure how to transform the area and make it look its best. Plus you might have a lot of questions such as:

  • Can it be used when it’s raining?

  • What ideas are there for creating a patio under my deck?

  • Who should I hire for the work?

We’ll answer all of these and more so that you can ensure that your new space gets maximum use.

Patio Under a Deck Design Ideas that Must be Addressed

Before you can even begin construction on a patio beneath a deck, there are some very important considerations to take into account in the design. The truth is, an undertaking like this is a lot more complex than most people might realize. If these factors are not taken into account, you run the risk of investing money into a space that isn’t functional and won’t get maximum usability.

Here are some important considerations that cannot be overlooked.

Headroom

If you’re adding a patio beneath an existing deck, then you’re going to have to consider the amount of headroom that’s already there. If it’s not enough to stand and move around, then one solution would be to excavate deeper and provide more space by building the patio lower.

patio under deck design with headroom

This isn’t just a simple task. When excavating, careful consideration must be paid to how the change could impact your home’s foundation. Of course, the optimal situation is to build the deck and the patio at the same time so that a factor like this can be accounted for from the very beginning.

Drainage

The addition of a patio under a deck can have serious drainage implications that absolutely need to be planned for. When you install a ceiling underneath your deck, you must account for the water coming through so that the patio and everything below (such as people and furniture) are not getting wet. After all, one of the benefits to building under a deck is the ability to create a covered space which can be used when it’s raining.

This can be achieved with ceiling materials for rainproofing along with the installation of piping to allow the water to flow into downspouts and away from the finished space (and away from the home). This can be a complex undertaking and it’s important that it’s designed in a way that is still aesthetically pleasing. The last thing that you want is piping that sticks out as an eyesore.

A patio can also cause potential drainage concerns around the foundation of your home. If you’re adding hardscaping, it’s important that you have a solution in place to ensure it’s not moving patio surface water toward your basement. The last thing that you want is for your new patio to be the reason for water in your basement.

Grading and Low Clearances

The grade of your backyard is also a consideration that needs to be taken into account during the design phase. If your yard has slopes, then retaining walls might be needed to prevent washouts from sending mud all over your new patio.

house with patio under deck and sloped yard

In addition, if you have an issue where there is a low clearance on one side, where the patio is going to go, then excavation will be required—and likely a retaining wall, too.

More Patio Under the Deck Ideas

If you’re looking to add a patio under your deck, then you might be thinking about added features and design ideas to make your space look and perform optimally.

Incorporating Deck Steps

Being able to get from your deck to your patio (and vice versa) easily is key to a successful space. Steps will help you to achieve this goal. If you already have an existing deck, then the steps may already be there. This isn’t as ideal as building the steps at the same time as the patio as it’s now a structure that has to be worked around. Ultimately, you want both spaces to flow well. You don’t want the steps to feel as though they’re in the way.

deck steps to patio built under deck

When given the opportunity to design these two spaces at the same time, a design can be implemented in which the steps don’t take up usable space on the patio but instead ensure that the two spaces flow together seamlessly. This may even mean incorporating a spiral staircase, or one with a landing that changes directions, in order to “fit” the steps in with minimal impact on the patio space.

smucker-patio-spiral-staircase-planting-1

An additional opportunity may also present itself when designing a patio and deck project to consider the interior access to the patio by means of a walk-out door. Your home may already have this type of access in place, or you may want to consider adding a basement exterior opening. This option may be something to consider when perhaps additional deck steps to a lower patio may not be the best option on a given site.

Adding Lighting, Fans, & Heaters

The area beneath your deck can be quite dark which is why adding lighting can help make the space even more usable. Recessed lighting can be incorporated into the deck ceiling while lights can also be built into deck steps, surrounding retaining walls, or landscape beds.

flagstone-patio-lighting-under-deck-stairs-1

If there’s enough headroom, a ceiling fan can even be made to help discourage mosquitoes and keep your space cooler in the summer. If you intend on using this area in the fall through early spring, you could even have radiant overhead heaters installed to stay toasty.

Choosing Patio Materials

Adding a patio under a deck with pavers or natural stone is an optimal solution to just pouring a concrete pad. It’s going to make your space that much more usable while also being much more aesthetically appealing. Patio pavers with a drainage solution are also ideal for keeping water away from your home.

Looking for Patio Companies Near Me

If you’re looking for a patio company in the Hershey, York, Lancaster or Reading, PA area, then you probably already know you have a lot of choices. While a lot of companies build patios, and that alone is complex, it should be noted that building a patio under a deck adds a whole new layer of challenges. Making a mistake or failing to account for some of the landscape design considerations we’ve discussed can be completely detrimental to the space as a whole.

patio under deck with spiral staircase and pool in Reading, PAThe last thing that you want is to hire a patio company that’s just going to slap a patio under your deck without any real thought given to the many contributing factors that can come into play.

And if you do have a space that requires excavation in order to fit a patio with enough headroom, then you are getting into some very serious construction that has the ability to impact your entire property’s drainage abilities—as well as the possibility of water getting into your home. You want to be sure that you’ve chosen a company that can handle such a complex and serious task.

By making that wise choice, you can have the peace of mind that your finished space will not only be aesthetically beautiful but highly-functional. Instead of having to worry that you’ll be dealing with unforeseen issues, you’ll know that the company you’re working with has already thought ahead about those potential issues and implemented solutions.

If you’d like to have a conversation about adding a patio under a deck at your Reading, Lancaster, York, or Hershey, PA home, contact us for a free consultation or give us a call at 717-276-9447.

New Call-to-action

Share this:

Paul Squierdo - Landscape Designer

Written by Paul Squierdo - Landscape Designer

Paul brings nearly 20 years of landscape industry experience to the ETW team both from the landscape architecture and design/build arenas. Paul obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Pennsylvania State University which entailed studying for a semester abroad in Rome, Italy. Between his professional design background and hands on experience in landscape construction/management, Paul brings a balanced approach of maintaining function, while incorporating custom tailored aesthetics to each unique outdoor project and design.