By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Want to expand the space under a second level deck and protect the area from rain and snow at the same time? Consider installing an underdeck ceiling and drainage system, vinyl material that attaches to the underside of a second story deck. It creates a ground level outdoor room or useful found space for storing bicycles and gardening equipment. The ceiling and gutter system handle debris that slides down a panel and into the gutter so it drains itself, but if it gets stuck you can use a garden hose to flush out the system.
The material is designed to be installed by an experienced handy homeowner who has the tools and talent to do the job. One company manufacturer is www.underdeck.com, and their website features an estimator and installation video to see how it works.
To install the material, you'll need a tape measure, chalk line and hammer or screw gun. You'll also need a stepladder, work gloves, safety glasses, downspout diverters, vinyl flashing, and 1-inch or 1 1/2-inch galvanized or stainless nails, or screws and silicone caulk.
You could hire a contractor to install the underdeck ceiling below a 14-by-20 foot deck for $2,436. Or, because the installation is easy, you could purchase the materials for $1,750 and do the project yourself, pocketing a 22 percent savings. To get a free estimate from a local contractor, click Home Advisor, a referral service that connects local contractors with homeowners.
The average price to install an underdeck ceiling noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020