Deck vs. Patio: 5 Things to Consider

Think you may want to take your outdoor space up a notch by installing a deck or patio this summer? Both are classic choices for outdoor entertaining and relaxing. But it’s not always clear which structure is the right choice for your space, budget, or use. Before deciding whether a deck or patio is in your future, here are some important factors to weigh:

Uneven or Flat Yard?
Before deciding on building a deck or patio, first thing’s first: what kind of terrain are you dealing with? Decks are ideal if your home is on uneven terrain, if your yard is subjected to flooding or snow, or if your home has a high foundation. Patios work best when terrain is even, and access is at ground level. Since patios are built directly on the ground, they require flat land underneath, which offers more versatility in design and materials but can require extra prep time if you live in a hilly area.

The Look + Feel Factor
Consider how you want your outdoor space to blend in with both your home and your yard. Patios can be beautifully integrated with your landscaping, surrounded by ornamental grasses, shrubs, trees, and flowers. Or, you may look to build the perfect outdoor retreat distinct from your main home, separated by a walkway or pool, making patios perfect for this look and feel. Decks, on the other hand, can become a true extension of your home and also create space between your outdoor living area and your yard.

Money Matters
Installing a deck or a patio is an investment in your home–and a fairly substantial one at that. But adding either is also a smart way to increase the value of your home. Patios are often cheaper to install because of lower material costs, less time and labor, and no requirements for permits or inspections. But, the average ROI for a deck is roughly 75 percent more than that of a patio. No matter which option you decide upon, keep in mind the material, size, location, maintenance costs, and overall complexity when budgeting for your new project.  

Panoramas…or Peace & Quiet?
Patios are flush to the ground and typically built close to the home, making them a great choice if you’re looking for privacy from nearby neighbors–especially if you add walls or a roof. Elevated off the ground, decks get kudos for offering better views, especially appealing if you live near water or the mountains. If the elevation of your home can accommodate either a deck or a patio, determine if views or privacy are more important to you…or consider a deck-patio combo, which can allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds!

To Preserve + Protect
Exposure to the elements means your outdoor space will see lots of wear and tear, so you’ll need to commit to some level of maintenance to keep your deck or patio’s value. Natural wood decks are beautiful but need to be restained, repainted, sealed, and power-washed every few years to preserve the wood’s integrity. Decks made with composite decking are long-lasting, don’t splinter, and require minimal care and maintenance but are also pricier than natural wood. Patios are overall easy to maintain. Those made of stone don’t need to be sealed–you may simply need to replace bricks or stones that get cracked or touch up some mortar. If your patio is concrete, you’ll need to clean it more regularly to prevent mildew.

No matter which option you settle on–deck or patio–you’ll be investing in your home’s value and ready for a new world of outdoor living possibilities! Ready to explore deck or patio options for your property? Let our team help.