14 Creative and Functional Deck Skirting Ideas
An elevated deck just isn’t complete without deck skirting, which covers the empty, unsightly space between the trim and the ground. There are many creative ways to wrap your deck, from wood paneling to faux stone.
Deck skirts aren’t just lovely to look at – we’ll also dive into some of their more practical uses, such as creating new storage opportunities and keeping pests out from underneath your deck.
Deck Skirting Materials & Styles
The key to choosing the perfect deck skirting is to match or complement the style of your deck. Generally, that means going with the same material to create a sense of continuity from the top of the railing all the way down to the ground.
However, many modern deck owners deviate from this norm and opt for bold or contrasting skirting materials instead. At the end of the day, it’s your deck and your decision.
1. Wood Lattice
When you imagine a deck skirt, a wooden lattice is probably the first thing that comes to mind. The timeless, crisscrossed pattern is easily the most popular choice for wooden decks, but you can still make yours unique by playing with different patterns, colors, and textures.
2. Solid Wood
Solid wood boards are another popular deck skirting option that’s easy to customize. If you have a short deck, you can make it appear taller by installing the boards vertically. Install the boards horizontally to give the deck a more rustic feel, or incorporate lattice work between boards for a more classic look – you can get as creative as you want!
If you’re looking for a more durable alternative to wood, you can use composite or vinyl boards for your deck skirting instead – the white deck skirting pictured above is made from composite Trex decking.
4. Faux Stone
If you’re looking for complete coverage, faux stone is a versatile material available in a variety of colors. And because it’s not made from natural rock, it’s less expensive and easier to install than brick. To give your deck an even more natural and earthy look, incorporate real stones into the landscaping around the deck skirt.
If your home has brick siding, a brick deck skirt of the same color and texture will create a seamless look. Warm and earthy, brick also goes well with greenery. The only downside? Installing brick is more complex than wood or faux stone – you may need the help of a mason to bring your vision to life.
You can combine brick elements with a wooden lattice for a more subtle (and less expensive) look.
6. Shrubs and Plants
Planting shrubs, flowers, and other plants around your deck is a simple yet effective way to cover empty spaces – no skirting required. Just keep in mind that foliage is not going to stop raccoons, opossums, and other critters from getting underneath your deck and making themselves comfortable.
Metal is a less common but practical deck skirting material that can create a very cool industrial aesthetic. Sheet metal is easy to cut into sections and install – just don’t forget to include ventilation holes. Metal mesh offers a more traditional look, with a diamond pattern resembling lattice, and provides better airflow.
If you decide to go with metal, choose one that’s rust-resistant, like stainless steel or galvanized metal.
8. Decorative Panels
One of the most straightforward and inexpensive deck skirting ideas is decorative panels. They are effortless to cut and customize to fit any deck design. For instance, those with a covered deck or pergola can match their coverings to the panels for a seamless look. This is because, like wooden deck skirting, you can coordinate your deck’s color scheme with decorative skirting boards.
Decorative panels are available in polypropylene and other composite materials to ensure their durability in various climates. Durability is essential for a product that experiences year-round weather elements. Polymer and composite deck skirting panels don’t rot, split, twist, or warp.
You will be able to enjoy your decorative panels for years with minimal maintenance.
9. Stair Deck Skirting
For those with a low deck, floating deck, or small deck, instead of using a traditional skirting design, you can consider a horizontal deck skirting idea, such as stairs! The whole perimeter of the deck will be one wide set of stairs.
This is one of the best deck skirting ideas to create a natural flow from your deck to the rest of your yard because you gradually decrease the height around your deck. This improves the functionality of your deck, and it looks incredible. It’s ideal for those who want a rustic feel. Include foliage and good landscaping to get the maximum effect!
Also, use the same wood or material as your deck boards for the stairs to capture a flawless look.
10. Under Deck Shed
If you have an elevated deck, why not make the most of all your space by installing a shed underneath? This will give you much-needed storage space and provide more room in your yard for other activities. It’s the perfect deck remodel project for second-story decks.
A deck contractor can frame the space under the deck using plywood for the structure. Then, use the same siding as the rest of your home for outside the shed. Guests won’t even notice the extra space is a fully functional shed!
Next, have your craftsman build an access door out of lumber, like redwood, or pressure-treated lumber, which is low maintenance and lasts significantly longer than natural wood. Using a wood door adds a splash of detail and gives an upscale look.
11. Use Greenery for Deck Skirting
For those looking for easy deck landscaping ideas, greenery is the way to go. You don’t even need deck experts to help. Instead, you can complete this DIY deck design yourself as a home improvement project.
Plant bushes and shrubs around the deck’s perimeter with minimal space between the deck and plants. It’s best to choose native plants that thrive in your climate. They may even invite some animals into your backyard!
For a more upscale look, you can use flower beds with stone or wood borders. This design is excellent for those that love stone deck skirting ideas but don’t have the budget to use natural stone for their entire deck skirting.
While greenery looks impressive for any backyard deck, it can significantly increase your home’s curb appeal when you use it on your front porch, too. Greenery is quickly becoming one of the top porch skirting ideas for homeowners because it’s eco-friendly but also creates privacy.
12. Black Vinyl Lattice Deck Skirting
This simple design idea is one of the best ways to make your deck pop on a budget. Black vinyl lattice panels will catch the eye of anyone passing by, especially if your deck railings are a white or light cream color. Some lattice panels even come in intricate designs to create an accent.
However, if your deck uses darker tones, like grays or browns, black vinyl lattice can blend the space below the deck with the deck itself and the rest of the house. So black lattice is the way to go if you want to forgo the pop for a more seamless look.
Because of its versatility and expensive look, this design is one of the top modern deck skirting ideas for homeowners today. Plus, vinyl lattice panels are easy to install and require little maintenance, making them even more popular.
13. Deck Skirting Ideas for Uneven Outdoor Spaces
If your deck is on an angle, hill, or slope, you may think no deck skirting ideas exist for you. But luckily, you have several choices!
First, you can use lattice panels of any color. It’s easy to cut the lattice to customize their size to your deck, even when you need to cut them on a diagonal. Also, you can install a door in the lattice at the point of the deck that is highest off the ground to create additional storage space.
Some homeowners may use stone bricks instead of lattice for their skirting. Stones are visually appealing and stylish. However, they are also expensive. For a modern look that won’t break the bank, you may also use customized wood planks to fit an uneven surface.
The option you choose comes down to two primary factors: your deck’s design and budget. If you aren’t worried about the cost, select the material that will look best with the rest of your deck. On the other hand, choose lattice panels if you’re on a budget.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that outdoor decks on a slope in wildfire zones are especially prone to burning, causing mass ruin. Therefore, homeowners in these high-threat areas should use heavy wood deck skirting or other noncombustible materials.
Further, use heavy fire-retardant-treated wood, concrete blocks, or steel framing for the floor joists and beams to make your deck fire-resistant.
14. PVC Deck Skirting
Composite decking skirting, or PVC, is becoming favored compared to natural wood for new decks because it has a longer lifespan and is low maintenance. Composite materials are weatherproof, meaning they are resistant to the following:
The best part is PVC skirting panels look just like natural wood. In addition, there are many finish options and color blends to choose from, so you can easily coordinate the design to the rest of your home.
PVC deck skirting is especially popular for those living in a mobile home or who have a screened porch because of its versatility and durability.
How Do You Want Your Deck Skirting to Function?
Before deciding on a deck skirting style, you consider its purpose. Will it simply be used to cover an empty space, or do you want to store things underneath your deck? How important is critter control to you?
Extra Storage Space
If you want to turn the space underneath your deck into a storage shed, proper ventilation is key to keep your belongings from becoming damp and moldy. Lattice and metal mesh both offer excellent airflow while still providing adequate pest protection. Lining the ground under your deck with a plastic sheet will help cut down on moisture, too.
Lastly, don’t forget to install a padlocked door so that you can access and secure your new space.
Keep Out Unwanted Animals
Skunks, chipmunks, raccoons, and other animals aren’t just a nuisance – they can cause severe damage to your deck.
Unfortunately, even solid skirting is not safe from these burrowing pests. That’s why the best way to keep unwanted animals out is to install a wire mesh screen along and underneath your deck skirting.
For the best results, the mesh should be installed between eight to twelve inches below the skirting in an “L” shape, with the bottom edge facing outward away from the deck. This technique, known as “deck trenching,” is a humane, long-term solution that works best when implemented by a professional.
How to Maintain Your Deck Skirting
You can extend the life of your deck by properly maintaining your deck skirting – here’s how.
If you have a wood deck, ventilation is absolutely necessary. Without enough airflow, the wood on top of the deck will dry and shrink while the underside stays moist, causing the deck to sag. Water damage is not only unsightly but expensive to fix.
Different types of skirting require different ventilation methods. A good rule of thumb for wooden or composite boards is to leave at least one inch of space between each slat. Lattice and mesh materials are naturally well-ventilated, but materials like faux stone and brick that completely cover the underside of the deck require a vent system to keep air flowing in and out.
Keep in mind that some deck skirting options require more maintenance than others. Wooden lattice skirting breaks easily and is difficult to fix when it does, but it’s also relatively inexpensive to replace entire sections. On the other hand, materials like brick, metal, and faux stone are easy to maintain, typically only requiring warm, soapy water and a little bit of elbow grease to keep them looking good. However, they tend to be more expensive upfront.
Find Expert Advice for Your Project
Excited to start your deck skirting project? Let the friendly decking professionals at Decks & Docks help you find the materials and hardware you need. Click here to view our selection of composite boards from top brands like Trex, Azek, and WearDeck, or call us at 866-528-9663 to get started!
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Brian has worked for Decks and Docks for over ten years. He worked his way up the ladder, started as our Wilmington Branch Manager, opening that store for us in 2013. Brian was then promoted to our first Regional Manager and oversaw six stores before being promoted to our Corporate Office as COO. His vast experience in our industry makes him a valuable asset to the team and to our customers.