If you love the outdoors, Snap Lock/ Dry Deck systems create 2 spaces without the costs on a high deck!

For those that are trying to both maximize their outdoor living space and maximize their dollar, creating a dry deck or under deck system is the way to go! There are several ways to achieve an extra functional space under your deck if it is high up in the air.

We are all looking for ways to stretch our dollar further. At the same time, our appetite has grown for living outdoors and having more space to entertain. The space requirements often are comprised of an area of shade, an area that is open to get some sun and to allow for free air flow for your grill or outdoor kitchen, and areas that allow access from our main living area and down at grade.

These requirements often lead to costly decisions or cause us to compromise and leave out some of the features we want. We say that we will come back to it in phases and that we will start with just a deck and then come back and create a shaded area. The challenge is, most of the time we never get around to it.

A solution is a Snap Lock dry deck system or under deck system that creates a roof over a lower patio area. The effect is that you are creating 2 spaces while building one. If you love the outdoors, this is a wonderful cost effective option.

We often get called to repair failed systems that people have invested in that have leaked. The most common problem we find was they either bought a flawed system or the system was not installed per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The 2 most effective systems we have found that not only look aesthetically pleasing, but have an extremely low failure rate are either an EPDM rubber membrane system that you apply over pressure-treated plywood that goes on over the floor joists or a powder-coated aluminum under deck system that attaches below the floor joists. These have been proven over time to keep water from leaking down to the lower patio. To see great photos of these outdoor living spaces, go to the photo gallery at http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

A beautiful and functional space below a deck from Archadeck of Charlotte

A beautiful and functional space below a deck from Archadeck of Charlotte

ARchadeck of Charlotte, designed and build this wood deck with stain by Renew Crew

Archadeck of Charlotte, designed and build this wood deck with stain by Renew Crew

Archadceck of Charlotte designed and built this double-deck open porch in Matthews, NC

Archadceck of Charlotte designed and built this double-deck open porch in Matthews, NC

What are my options for a covered patio/ dry deck?

outdoor fireplace charlotte, outdoor kitchen charlotte, open porch, stone patio

Stone Outdoor Fireplace in Charlotte on patio in porch

What options are there to create a covered patio or create a dry space under your deck? There are several that are on the market now but few that are effective. Archadeck of Charlotte has been designing and building decks, porches, and covered patios for over 25 years and has a lot of experience with the various manufactured and man made systems.

A traditional “man-made” system still seems to be the most effective and give you the most finished look. This consists of taking plywood and using a rubber membrane to make it water tight and flashing. You must then take “”sleepers”” and adhere them to the membrane. Then you screw your decking into the sleepers. The primary disadvantage of this system is you cannot do it as a retrofit unless you are planning on replacing the existing deck boards. You can then finish the ceiling below with a beautiful beadboard and stain or paint it.

There are a few manufactured systems such as Rain Escapes from Trex that is an an under-deck system that they heavily market to collect rail and then direct it to an aluminum gutter and downspout.

Undercover Systems is a powder-coated aluminum system that does keep things dry but can be on the high end of the price spectrum.

There is also a vinyl system on the market called Dry Deck but we have found it tends to leak at the house wall if you don’t do a lot of work to keep that from happening.

In all, for the price and appearance, we still find the rubber membrane to be the best solution. To see many photos and design ideas, go to www.charlotte.archadeck.com