Thinking about adding a deck or patio onto your home? Curious about what the difference even is or what to consider before you decide? Maybe you’re wondering which would best suit the size of your backyard?
Let’s start this off by making a clear distinction between the two options. Quite simply, a deck is always built elevated above the ground, while a patio is placed at ground level. Why exactly does this matter? Let’s go into detail.
What to Think About Before Choosing a Deck or Patio
Plenty of factors come into play when making this decision. It’s important to match your home’s aesthetic, but functionality and cost are huge considerations too. The right choice might hinge entirely on your terrain or the weather conditions in your area.
Typically, a deck costs more, though it depends on the material you choose (no-brainer: higher quality materials will cost more). Usually, you’ll pay around $30 per sq ft.
On the other hand, a patio can be much cheaper. For the reasonable price of $5 per sq ft, you can build an expansive patio just in time for the warm summer months.
You have three main options to choose from for material for your deck:
- Wood: It’s the most common material for decks and has a natural appearance. This requires more upkeep than any of the other materials.
- Composite: It has a similar appearance to wood, but it’s more expensive.
- Plastic: This material has the same price range as composite but is far more durable, needing less maintenance.
Meanwhile, you have far more materials to choose from for your patio:
- Concrete: This is the standard material used for patios and has a simple appearance.
- Stamped concrete: While it may be a stylish look, it requires more care than plain concrete.
- Gravel: Its effortless installation and cheap material makes it the most budget-friendly of all the choices.
- Stone and flagstone: These will give your patio an elegant look, but they come at a premium price.
- Paved brick: A great option for a limited budget, this offers the same classy feel as a stone patio without the extra cost.
- Wood: For a natural aesthetic, this is your best choice—but keep in mind that this will require frequent replacing and diligent upkeep.
Flexibility on Terrain
One advantage to a deck is its versatility with any terrain; a few dips or awkward sloping in the land won’t be a problem.
However, a patio can’t be built on rough terrain, requiring a smooth surface to sit properly. If your ground is a little jagged, you’ll have to shell out more money to even it out before you can place your patio.
Installation, Construction, and Customizability
Before installing your deck, you have to check if your city or town has special requirements for it. You might have to apply for a permit and wait for it to get processed, which could take days or even weeks to finish. You would also have to think about any weight you’re going to put on the deck, like if you plan on building an outdoor kitchen or buying a jacuzzi.
In contrast, you may not need a permit to install your patio, but its construction is more time-consuming and laborious. Because paving a patio is difficult on uneven land, the installation process can get complicated.
Maintenance and Cleaning
Having a deck means you have to be willing to put in the effort for grueling routine maintenance. You have to remember to wash it thoroughly, as well as have it repainted and sealed every few years.
Maintenance is much easier for a patio; you can feel free to sit back and relax without worrying about it. Patios are sturdy, especially the ones made out of stones and pavers. Be careful, though—cruel weather can expose patios to dirt like leaves, mud, and mildew, and if you live in a cold location, ice formation on the surface can cause an accident.
Decks usually don’t last very long, especially when built from wood. When it gets exposed to harsh weather, it wears down and gradually decays. If you don’t maintain it properly, you might even see its color dulling.
In contrast, a patio can endure the lashes of severe weather. It can survive for longer than 25 years, even without the constant maintenance required of a deck.
ROI (Return on Investment)
A deck may be expensive, but it has more return on investment, which is about 60-80%. To compare, a patio might be more affordable, but its ROI is typically under 50%.
The Best Option for You
Ultimately, your choice boils down to personal preference. What you value and what best matches your home and terrain will be the key factors in your decision.
If you’re looking for a high resale value, a deck is your best option. It would also help you reduce your carbon footprint by cutting down on waste and using less energy, and it makes your life easier if you have uneven ground to build on. Additionally, a deck provides more privacy and accessibility for family members with mobile disabilities.
On the flip side, a patio is a better option for a smaller budget and perfect for people who just don’t have the time for intensive upkeep. You can decide on the size of your patio without having to think about if it can handle the weight of any furniture placed on it. On top of that, it is versatile for any climate, able to withstand severe weather far better than a deck can.
Still can’t decide, or are you already looking to get started? Call Nortex Fence & Patio for a free estimate today.