A deck is an excellent addition to your home, providing space to comfortably relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Because decks are built up off the ground, there is usually an open space beneath the deck. If you do not want your deck open underneath, you need to install skirting. We researched the best skirting options for your home to help find the best fit for your deck.
In this day in age, we have so many different skirting options readily available. It’s just a matter of deciding what style and material you want to go with. Each of the following materials works well for deck skirting:
- Stone or faux stone
While each of these materials can be used as deck skirting, there are variations within each category and pros and cons to each. We are going to break them down and talk a little bit about each one. Keep reading to learn more about each option, and decide which is best for you!
8 Deck Skirting Ideas
Composite is a great choice for deck skirting. It has many positive attributes, including being rust, mildew, and insect-resistant. Another benefit is that you can choose from various colors or styles, with no need to paint. However, composite can be painted if you decide you want to change it up later on! If you’re considering using composite skirting, you can choose from a couple of different types.
Composite comes in “boards” that can be found in various widths to help customize your look. These boards can be installed either vertically or horizontally, depending on preference. Vertical panels lend a more traditional style, while horizontal boards offer a more modern look. Composite boards can be smooth or have a wood look.
Another type of composite skirting available is composite lattice panels. Of course, composite lattice comes in the traditional squares or diamond pattern, but you’re not limited to that. Companies such as Trex Lattice Works have come up with many styles of ornate latticework that can be a fascinating addition to your deck. These unique lattices have intricate scrollwork and designs that are sure to compliment many styles.
While we’re on the topic of lattice skirting, let’s talk a little bit more about it. Latticework is the most popular skirting option and has been for years. The reason for this is three-fold: the ease of installation, natural ventilation, and a classic look. Lattice can be installed on its own or paired with other materials. Let’s look at a couple more lattice options that you have, in addition to the composite lattice.
Traditionally, lattices have been constructed of thin strips of wood. Wood has a natural look, and some types of wood can be left untreated if you’re going for a rustic feel. Additionally, wood lattices can be painted or stained to coordinate with your deck or trim. Of course, one downside of a wood lattice skirting is the regular maintenance required and its susceptibility to insects and rot.
Vinyl lattice has the obvious advantage of being made of vinyl, which is rot and insect resistant. It is also very low maintenance and will last a long time. Vinyl lattice typically comes in black and white, although it can sometimes be found in tan. Additionally, you can find vinyl lattice in regular lattice patterns and different specialty designs such as Celtic Saddle, Bungalow, and others.
Deck skirting can be made of wooden planks or boards installed either vertically, horizontally, or even at an angle. Small gaps should be left between each of the boards to accommodate the wood’s natural swelling. Wood skirting can be stained or painted to match your deck. Additionally, it can be left bare and allowed to weather into a mellow, natural color. To prevent rot, you will need to use pressure-treated wood and keep the boards up off the ground.
Using metal as deck skirting is a relatively new concept but has terrific appeal! Metal panels are heat and pest resistant, mildew resistant. Additionally, metal skirting can be attractive, stylish, and unique. Metal panels do not warp under high humidity and temperatures, and they can be painted if you desire. Let’s look at a few metal skirting options available for your deck.
Sheet metal, such as metal roofing panels, is a great, economical option for deck skirting. It comes in a variety of colors and is ribbed, which adds an appealing texture. However, any solid skirting that is used will need to have a vent installed to keep a healthy airflow underneath the deck.
Another metal option for your porch skirting is metal mesh. This is an effective way to keep animals out from under your deck while still allowing unrestricted airflow. Additionally, it is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. You could easily install mesh as a skirting in a single afternoon.
Galvanized Metal Skirting Panels
If you browse home improvement stores such as Lowes, you will find unique, galvanized metal skirting panels. These beautiful panels are molded into a unique brick or stone design. Galvanized skirting panels can be painted to match your deck or left with the original metal finish. Again, you will need to install a vent to ensure airflow if you use solid metal panels.
We’ve already discussed vinyl lattice skirting, but there are also vinyl panels that can be used underneath your deck. Vinyl panels are inexpensive and typically come already vented, eliminating the need to install a vent. Installation is simple, and vinyl is easy to maintain, making these panels a very popular choice.
Brick lasts forever, so that’s a huge plus if you choose to use it. It can also be painted if you’re not all about the red brick look. Brick can be used as deck skirting, laid one over the other, or with a sort of lattice design, as seen below. Brick skirting requires very little maintenance and wears well.
Stone And Faux Stone
Stone can make such a beautiful statement when used as a deck skirting. It adds a quaint, rustic charm, unlike any other material. However, true stone can be challenging to install and costly, requiring an experienced mason. For this reason, you may be more likely to choose faux stone. Remember that whether you use real stone or faux stone, you will need to install a vent.
Faux stone is the best of both worlds. It is easy to install, virtually maintenance-free, and brings natural beauty to your deck. Faux stone comes in panels that are ready to install. The stones are molded individually, giving them a very convincing stone look.
The final deck skirting idea that we’re going to look at combines multiple skirting materials, bringing a creative and cohesive look to your deck. Consider using stone, brick, or wood in front of the columns, along with lattice, wood, or composite in between.
Or, perhaps frame your lattice with wide wood or composite boards. This framing can dramatically change the look of lattice skirting.
Do I need deck skirting?
The short answer is, no, you do not necessarily need deck skirting. However, it is usually a good idea. There are certainly benefits to skirting that you may appreciate. For instance, skirting around the base of your deck can keep animals from making that area their home. Another plus is that deck skirting can transform the underside of your deck into a storage area! If you use skirting around your deck, you recommend that you include a door or other type of entrance.
Does deck skirting need ventilation?
Yes, ventilation is an essential element to consider when installing deck skirting. Deck boards will expand and contract as humidity and temperature fluctuate. As long as there is adequate airflow all around each board, this won’t be a problem. However, if one side of a board does not get proper airflow, it will expand and contract unevenly. This will result in boards that twist and buckle, significantly reducing the lifespan of your deck.
How much does deck skirting cost?
Deck skirting can range in price, depending on what material is used and the cost of installation. On average, materials alone will range from $1.00 per square foot to $50.00 per square foot, and labor costs are an additional expense. Natural stone is at the top of the spectrum for both materials and labor. On the other end, wire mesh and vinyl panels are some of the less expensive options.
How do I keep animals from under my deck?
As we mentioned earlier, installing skirting around your deck is one of the best ways to keep animals out. This barrier will prohibit most animals from using your deck area as a hangout. However, skirting alone may not be enough. A technique called deck trenching, or trench and screen, has proved successful in keeping out pests.
How To Install Deck Trenching
To install deck trenching around your deck, you will need a shovel, 1/4 or 1/2 inch wire mesh, and small staples. Begin by digging a trench approximately 12 inches deep along the edge of your deck. Bend the bottom of your mesh out about 6 inches, facing away from the deck, and bury it in the trench you have dug, tamping it down well. Install the top of the mesh against the backside of your deck skirting, using the small staples to secure it. When an animal begins to dig under your deck, he will hit the wire mesh, which will prevent him from going any further.
Using skirting around your deck is both practical and esthetically pleasing. From decorative latices to dress things up to composite boards to help hide storage. Whatever your style, there are many wonderful options to choose from.
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