Does your backyard need a little something? Are you wanting to spruce up your outdoor living space? Decks and patios are great options but you need to understand the main differences between them to help you determine which option best suits your lifestyle and budget. Both decks and patios are great choices for outdoor living. They are wonderful open-air spaces to provide the perfect backdrop for entertaining or relaxing as you enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
Is a Deck or Patio the Right Outdoor Space for You?
If you are wondering how these two outdoor living areas differ, then this is a great place to start. While decks and patios are typically used for similar purposes, the fundamental difference is that decks are raised and patios remain flush with the ground. There are also some differences in materials, construction, and costs of building. So which is the right one for you?
Decks Give You a View, Patios Give You Privacy
The views from your deck or patio depending on your home’s location and the surrounding area. In general, because of their raised construction, decks usually offer better views than patios. From a deck, you’ll be able to look out onto your backyard and see further into the horizon. With a patio, depending on what surrounds your property, you might be stuck staring at the back of your neighbor’s house. That being said, patios built close to the home and low to the ground can offer more privacy than a deck, especially if they are enclosed with walls or a roof. This can be beneficial if your house is in close proximity to the neighbors too.
Building Permit and Inspections
Most decks require building permits and inspections because they are attached to the home and will impact its exterior structure and appearance. It’s important to obtain the proper permits before starting the construction of your deck. You may also need to get inspections throughout the process to ensure your deck is built to code and meets all the requirements. This will help create a safe outdoor space. If you fail to follow these guidelines, you could end up paying a fine or being required to remove your deck completely.
Patios are much simpler to build and usually do not require permits or inspections because they sit directly on the ground and don’t affect the structure of the home. You should still check with local authorities to make sure you do not need any permits
Patios Cost Less
In general, building a patio is not as expensive as building a deck. When creating a budget for a new patio or deck, make sure to consider the material, size, and location of this outdoor living space, as these items can all impact the cost. Building a patio is often the more cost-effective option due to a variety of factors. Patios consist of more affordable materials like stamped concrete or stone whereas decks commonly use wood or bricks. Patios also require less labor and maintenance, which can help keep the costs down.
Yards With Uneven Terrain
Although building a deck is more labor-intensive and often involves hiring a professional, decks are better suited for uneven land. Since patios are built directly on the ground, they require flat land underneath. This can sometimes require extra prep work, especially if you live in a hilly area. Assess the space where you want to build and determine if it’s flat or not. A bumpy landscape needs a deck in which case the decision is made for you.
Decks Have Weight Restrictions
Weight is an important consideration factor for raised decks. A well-constructed deck will need a solid foundation to support the weight of furniture and guests. But you need to remember that there will still be some restrictions due to its elevated height. This is why it’s so important to get the right permits and inspections throughout the build process. Determine what you want to put on your deck and make sure everything fits within the weight requirements. If you plan on having heavier items like hot tubs, then a patio is a better fit since it is on flat ground.
Natural wood decks are beautiful but require a lot of maintenance. They often need to be stained or repainted, sealed, and power-washed every couple of years to maintain the integrity of the wood. If you are looking for an outdoor living space that is even easier to maintain that also withstands more wear and tear, patios are a better alternative. The upkeep for patios is less expensive and time-consuming too.
Patios Have Longer Lifespans
Typically, patios are longer lasting than natural wood decks which is great if you are looking for a long-term solution that is easier to maintain. The one drawback to patios is that they are susceptible to cracks and stains which require minor upkeep. You won’t get quite as many years out of natural wood decks because they are less durable than patios but they can last for a long time with proper care. Routine maintenance can extend the longevity of both decks and patios.
Nobody wants to walk onto a deck on a hot summer day and burn their feet. So, you need to choose a material that naturally absorbs and retains less heat like aluminum or concrete. These deck flooring options will help keep the ground cooler and more comfortable for bare feet. If you really want the natural wood look, real wood decks typically stay cooler than synthetic wood decks. You should also note that dark-colored composite deck floors can get extremely hot. Lighter colors will absorb less heat no matter which material you choose.
The Higher Resale Value
If the investment is important to you, then decks require a larger initial investment and will have higher resale value than patios. These raised structures can increase the value of your home and are a great selling point for potential buyers. While less expensive to build, patios have lower resale value. Before choosing a deck instead of a patio, consider when you plan to sell your home. This will help you balance the estimated cost with the potential return on your investment.
Decks and patios are both great ways to add a relaxing addition to your home. They are perfect for entertaining too. Depending on your location and your budget, one option may be better than the others. Figure out what your needs and wants are and then you will discover whether a deck or patio is best for you.