Whereas it may seam like a great idea, using the underneath of your home as storage is asking for trouble. On a structural point of view there is increased moisture from shading and wind blocking and it creates habitat for vermin.
Closing in around the outside is a great idea but the area needs to be clean and clear first. Slatted timber on the exterior are the best as this provides cross flow ventilation and stop the rain blowing in however there are many other factors to consider first. High on the list is insuring you don’t have any drainage stormwater or otherwise flowing into the area and also insuring there is a barrier so that water or dampness doesn’t flow through the soil to the underside of the building.
A metre between the house and gardens is good where you can but nothing hard up against the building. Not only is the issues of keeping it perfectly dry under your home like above structural there is also the issue of sharing your home with the wildlife. Spiders snakes rats and mice just a few of the secondary concerns, more pressing are the white ant or termites and unsterile conditions interfacing with the more sterile conditions of a modern home.
Home gardening inspired by the many gardening shows and home improvement productions is great and helps to create a nice home. However you need a nice home to start, in its blandest state it should look good defined and complete before you begin the makeover. As the saying goes you can’t make a silk purse from a sours ear. Gardens around the home can really make it but not by hiding the home more so enhancing it. That is planting a shrub tree or something in an area you perhaps don’t like so much won’t improve it.
The underside of your home should be cleared of everything but dirt, raked over and a definite boundary at it edge in many cases soil has built up around the house through gardening and the introduction of gardening material. The house should be sitting proud in its position that is at the highest point on its outside so water drains away from the house. And the boundary which could be in many forms, soil stabilisation walls (rat walls), a sealed drain or weed mat and stone aggregate. The end result is what’s important the moisture should not be able to permeate through the soil.
The place to start checking a few things on your home.
For the home renovators if you want the end result to be good it’s all in the preparation,
- Drainage- House pad drained and in such a way that moisture cannot enter the underside of the house either directly or through permeation.
- Clear of foreign matter- Cleaned and clear under and around the perimeter to stop inadvertent mulching of the house and vermin habitat creation
- Vermin transition paths- Clear gap between the vegetation gardens and remove build up around stumps and structural supports and clear anything under the house that can also provide this pathway.