Deck vs. Patio - Which One Should You Get?
Your home is just as important on the outside as it is on the inside, particularly when it comes down to good looks. Your outdoor living area is enhanced by the presence of something like a pool, a space for barbecues, an enclosed yard, some excellent fences – and of course, a good deck or patio.
But with home decorators, professional designers, and builders all having their fair share of (conflicting) wisdom to offer in times of aesthetic needs, it can be ever so slightly intimidating to start thinking about installing an outdoor area when you don’t even know the pros and cons of either option.
In this article, we shall help you decide – and subsequently remove any uncertainties from your mind – by explaining the differences between decks and patios, and giving you an overview of their unique benefits.
A Matter of Materials
The main difference that should be pointed out first is the presence of specific materials – in the case of decks, it is wood, or sometimes PVC, or composites. Meanwhile, with patios, the material of choice is concrete. Similarly, other options for patios exist, such as the use of clay, pavement stones, or recycled materials – even gravel or cobblestone!
Regardless of whether they use actual wood or not, decks are typically made to resemble or copy that wood grain texture look. Patios are on the opposite end, opting for stony patterns and tiles. This first difference will only affect your subjective taste – will the wood or stone texture fit your house better?
Points of Purpose
Decks are raised platforms protruding from the ground. They connect to the house and may or may not be accompanied by a roof, depending on the style of the deck. Often, the purpose of a deck is to have a nicer view of the yard or other surrounding areas (forest, water, etc.)
Obviously, this surface-level explanation can be redundant to Americans or Canadians who are used to seeing decks everywhere. Nonetheless, there are parts where patios are more common, and many privacy-conscious folks prefer them.
You see, patios aren’t raised but flush with the ground – and thus provide more privacy when combined with a walled enclosure. They’re also optimal for houses designed to have an appealing, flat surrounding area.
Tending to Them
Maintenance – everyone dislikes it, but has to do it. Let’s face it, the apparent pros of a patio come into full play here, and they aren’t subtle. Patios are made of stone, concrete, and all that good stuff we mentioned previously. They’re also built on ground level – again, as previously stated. Repetition aside, we hope you understand where we’re getting at with this.
A deck will require a lot more attention from you, almost as if it were a delicate car. It needs to be pressure washed every year, give or take a few months. Assuming your deck is gonna be made of real wood, you also have to consider the teensy, tiny, little fact that you’re going to have to seal it every two years or so. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
Costs and Considerations
Even though patios require less maintenance, they’re definitely not cheaper, at least not upfront. Most, if not all, patios will cost more than a deck at first. It all comes down to whether you prefer to spend more money on something low-maintenance or pay lower for something high-maintenance.
In addition, local building codes tend to have the final say in whether you’re even allowed to have a patio or not. Patios are not recommended for areas that aren’t entirely flat, while decks don’t have that limitation.
On the flip side, decks will require permits in some parts of the US since they’re an attachment to the main house and thus impact its value, not just the exterior. Patios generally do not require any permits, as long as you are on flat land – still worth checking in advance to make sure!
A Simple Summary
Getting a deck or patio often boils down to a matter of opportunity, priority, and personal taste. If you have the chance to build either one of the two and don’t have any local building codes or limitations, then go for whichever look fits your house more.
If your choice is more dependent on practical purposes, then a patio can give way to fancy ideas like outdoor pools, and provide a means of having a “barbecue” area of sorts. Decks, on the other hand, give you a better view and are much cozier during the autumn season.
As far as costs and maintenance go, your best bet is to go with a patio, assuming you can find a decent deal. Decks are high-maintenance but are also way better for houses that accommodate that sort of attached space.
We hope you enjoyed this article and have arrived closer to that mystifying decision. Whichever choice you opt for, there will be the usual pros and cons with either one, so don’t rush to a commitment just yet – try to gain some wisdom from contractor services near you.