What to put around a deck instead of lattice?


Old 07-16-06, 03:27 PM
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What to put around a deck instead of lattice?

We are building a 12' x 24' deck that is on a slight hill. The end near the house (this is a detached, free-standing deck) will be about a foot off the ground. The other end of the deck will be about 3 feet off the ground.

I was thinking about putting river rock under the entire deck (which could cost a bit). My wife was thinking of lattice all the way around the bottom of the deck... I dislike the look of lattice to enclose the space beneath a low-to-the-ground deck.

I have heard that unless a deck is made of maintenence free materials (plastic) that enclosing the deck underneath can cause the deck to rot from below due to moisture. Is that true?

Have you seen any ideas that will look really nice?

Of course, this is very subjective, but we are looking for ideas.

Last edited by buildingit; 07-16-06 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 07-16-06, 04:52 PM
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Son, there's nothing subjective about a wife's "suggestion". You will probably wind up with lattice!
I'll try to help. Lattice will give adequate ventilation, so you lose there. Placing a layer of Typar under the deck and covering it with pea gravel will make it look clean and you won't have vegetation growing under it. I would border it with either steel border, or even pressure treated lumber to keep the gravel from washing. With only the deck and lattice, the underside will get very little sunlight, and any rain will cause it to wash out and become muddy in time. How am I doing?
You could, of course run a 2x4 rail at the top and bottom on the inside of your vertical support pieces, and fill in between them with 1x4 pt or 5/4 x6 applied vertically with a 1" space between them.
Either way, good luck with the project!
Old 07-16-06, 06:34 PM
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i have also heard that vinyl siding adds a nice touch if your house had siding try to find matching stuff for the deck with the pieces in a vertical position
Old 07-16-06, 09:21 PM
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Lattice works and is inexpensive. Ventilation isn't a problem.

Using the same siding that the house has works, but it will cost more. Just make sure that you provide PLENTY of ventilation.

River rock is going to be expensive and you will have no ventilation. That will REALLY make it expensive when you have to replace the deck in 5 years!
Old 07-17-06, 09:00 AM
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Consider a dark color for the lattice - there are some maint-free vinyl lattices that come in dark brown and dark green. Pea gravel on the area inside the lattice will keep that area from being a mess, and the lattice should help keep it in place.

If you still want the look of river gravel, recess the lattice back from the outside edges of the deck and border with the river gravel. It will take less river gravel that way, and that will also make the lattice less noticeable. (I assume you are talking about a 1-2" layer of river gravel, as ground cover.)
Old 07-17-06, 09:12 AM
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What to put around a deck instead of lattice?

I assume you will end up with lattice.

Cover the ground under the deck with heavy poly to reduce the souces of moisture.

The wind does not always blow and the house, deck and the latice will really reduce any circulation under a low deck. Not so bad with a higher deck.

You might need some something to keep it in place (a little rock, scrap shingles, etc.), but won't be seen.


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