Before “outdoor living” became the cornerstone of home improvement television, people across the country already knew the joys of lounging on decks and kicking back on patios. If you’d like to add an outdoor room to your home, it’s time to match your dream to your budget. You’ll need to compare the cost of materials, labour and upkeep for each type of structure.
Although the term “deck” originally referred to the weight-supporting surfaces found on ships, today the word also refers to elevated structures installed along the backside of homes. Although decks were traditionally made of wood, modern versions often feature composite materials made from recycled plastics. This is a low-maintenance option that doesn’t split or warp like wood, and one that doesn’t need to be resealed periodically. However, the materials are about double the price of a wood deck. According to Robert Donaldson, an architect based in Cleveland, Ohio, with 14 years of experience in the planning and building of decks and patios, in 2011 a synthetic-wood deck averaged about $13.50 per square foot for materials. A treated lumber deck, on the other hand, cost about $7 or $8 per square foot for materials.Looking for home deck services? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Decks built with either type of material will require the additional cost of concrete footings to stabilize the structure, which could add another $1 to $2 per square foot. Plus, the labour to install a deck will be nearly equal to the cost of materials.
Patios are flat, ground-level structures that can be made of a variety of materials, ranging from stamped concrete to laid brick pavers. The cost of patio supplies will vary, depending on the materials selected. For example, as of 2011 a patio made of small brick pavers typically cost $5.25 to $5.75 per square foot, while using large concrete pavers would drop the price to about $3.50 per square foot, Donaldson says. You’ll pay more for stamped concrete, which could cost up to $12 per square foot more for complex designs [source: Concrete Network].
The cost of patio maintenance is low unless you count the vigilance required to keep grass and weeds from invading the patio area. Installation costs usually average $7.50 to $9 per square foot, depending on the complexity of the design and the size of the pavers.
Experienced DIYers may take one look at labour costs and opt to contribute sweat equity, but there are a few things to consider first. A deck or patio may require a permit if constructed within city limits. Buried gas, water and electric lines will need to be located and flagged, regardless of which structure you want to add.
So, is a deck cheaper than a patio? Overall, a patio comprised of large pavers in a simple pattern will offer some savings over a deck built of wood or composite material. Of course, there’s no rule that you can’t have a deck and a patio. They’re both great spaces for airy entertaining.
Deck and Patio Materials
One important element that determines the price in either a deck or patio is the material used to build it. Decks mostly are built out of wood which is the most popular and natural-looking material. However, wood demands the most maintenance out of any other material.
Composite Decking Material
Composite decks, on the other hand, are made to look like wood but can cost more. However, they are designed for maximum durability, which resists fading, staining and the toughest weather. Decks built with plastic cost just as much as composite decks, but last longer and require way less maintenance. Finally, aluminium decks are the most expensive ones but have the longest lifespan.
Moving on to patios, concrete patios are the most prevalent and the cheapest material used today. However, some people find it a little plain. Stamped concrete adds a little personality, but requires more maintenance. The most affordable and easy to install material to build a patio is gravel.
If you want more of a high-end appearance, either stone or flagstone can be used, but it’s more expensive. However, brick paver patios are cheaper than stone and could look just as nice. Finally, wood patios look the most natural and traditional but may need regular replacement. As you can see, patios have a bigger material selection than the materials needed to build a deck.
Other Factors that Determine Which Option Is Cheaper Include:
Slope of the yard on which you wish to place the deck or patio
A patio is usually placed directly on the ground, which is why it is preferable to choose a level space. A patio is often not the ideal option for uneven ground since the cost to create a foundation can double or even triple the cost of the addition. If you have uneven ground in your yard, a deck would be the cheaper option since the cost of installation is almost always never affected by the slope of the yard. Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of decking services Melbourne services.
Installing a deck is generally more difficult compared to that of a patio and is best handled by professionals. Structures for supporting the deck have to be cemented into holes that are drilled into the ground. You also have to make additional considerations when it comes to properly attaching the deck to your home.
You can build a deck on land that is not level, which makes it a great option for sloping landscapes or uneven yards. Waterproofing materials might be required in some cases to avoid compromising your home’s foundation.
Installing a patio is generally easier, but it requires extensive preparation of the ground surface where you will lay it. It is best installed in areas that are relatively flat and even because patios are typically installed on the ground directly.
The area where a patio is installed will often require reinforcement with rebar too if you are using poured concrete and the ground underneath has to be compacted. You can do it as a DIY project, but it will probably be a lot of difficult work.
When it comes to installation difficulty, installing a deck is generally more expensive since it usually requires a professional, but while installing a patio is generally cheaper, it might end up being quite an expensive project if your yard is either sloping or uneven.
The cost of installing a deck will depend on the size of the deck, the materials used, and whether you hire a professional or do it yourself. A deck measuring 16-feet by 20 feet may cost anywhere from $7,500 to upwards of $15,000. However, the cost will vary depending on the material used. For instance:
- Redwood and cedar cost anywhere from $25 to $30 per square foot, on average, with the cost of installation included
- Composite or PVC costs anywhere from $30 to $45 per square foot with the cost of installation included.
You can save significantly on costs if you build the deck yourself. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1.75 to $5.50 per linear foot for the decking materials needed and between $4 and $8 per square foot for posts and joists materials.
The cost of installing a new patio depends on the material used to construct the patio and whether any leveling or groundwork is needed before installation. A patio measuring 16 feet by 20 feet will vary in cost from $2,500 to $9,500 depending on the materials used and the labour needed.
- Concrete patio pavers cost anywhere from $10 to $20 per square foot on average
- Regular concrete has an average cost of $9 per square foot on average
- Stamped concrete cost anywhere from $12 to $15 per square foot on average.
- All the above prices are inclusive of the installation costs.
If you compare the installation costs of patios vs. decks, it is quite clear that patios are generally cheaper, but that’s just half the story. Depending on the materials used, it is still possible for patios to cost more to install than decks.
Maintenance is an important consideration when choosing between a patio and deck since it may determine which option is cheaper in the long run. A wood deck requires just power washing annually to protect against mildew and mould. Decks should generally be stained and sealed at least every two years to increase lifespan and improve durability. And quality composite decks just need hosed off and offer 25 – 50 year warranties against staining, fading, splintering and warping.
A patio, on the other hand, can be cleaned easily with a hose and requires minimal ongoing maintenance. Inspecting regularly for cracks is necessary at times to prevent water from leaking under the patio, thus causing erosion. In some of the extreme cases, the patio can crack, and the whole surface would require removal and replacement.
If you compare the maintenance requirements of wood decking, it becomes clear that patios are the cheaper option since they require less maintenance while decks are not as cheap to maintain since they require power washing annually, which often involves a professional, unless they’re built with composite or PVC decking.
Return on Investment (ROI)
If you are considering selling your property in the coming years, it can be a good idea to consider the ROI for a deck vs. a patio. Your choice in building materials will obviously contribute to the costs.
The average ROI for a deck is roughly 75 per cent more than that of a patio. For instance, a homeowner that spends $10,000 to build a deck can expect to get back $7,500 after reselling the property. In contrast, a homeowner that spends $3,500 to build a patio can only expect to get back $1,500 after reselling the property. But the value of a deck can also increase with the overall home as local property values increase along with it.
If you consider the ROI, the concrete patio is no match for the deck since decks have a generally higher ROI than patios. But it may also be the centrepiece of the house that is unique to its space and helps sell it. Buyers want a peaceful sanctuary they can envision themselves enjoying. Look around your neighbourhood and make note if the other houses around you have deck or patio additions, it might be what sets yours apart.
Which Is Best For Your Needs?
Composite deckingAside from cost, you’ll want to determine which outdoor addition works best for the purpose for which you hope to use it. Do you want to incorporate the landscaping into the overall design? If so, a patio might work best, as it can be surrounded by trees, shrubs and flowers. Do you want the area to be considered a space separate from the main house? Again, a patio works best here because the foundation can be placed away from the house. Patios also work well for homeowners who have in-ground pools and want a space around the area in which to gather, cookout, or relax.
Homeowners interested in spotlighting a view might opt for a deck since they can be built off of the ground and offer a wider visual range. Decks also work well for those with yards that are not level or that are built on a hill, since the supports can be cut to any height. Also, since decks must have stairs if the homeowner is interested in getting to the yard from the addition, those who want to keep the entertaining on the porch rather than in the yard may opt for this type of addition.
Whichever way you choose to go, both decks and patios offer a positive ROI and unlimited possibilities for entertaining, socializing, or simply relaxing in an outdoor space. Contact Great Day Improvements today to see how we can extend your living space through the addition of a deck or patio, and start living your life outside, too!
What’s The Difference Between A Patio & A Deck?
While many homeowners might link the two together, make no mistake that patios and decks are very different. They both serve the same purpose, letting you enjoy the outdoors on solid ground, but there are distinct characteristics that are unique to patios and decks. Before you build a deck or hire a pro to install your patio, be sure you review the following distinctions between all decks and patios.
Patio means a courtyard of a house or building. Unlike a courtyard, a patio doesn’t need surrounding walls. Patios are often attached to a house, but can also be detached. Patios can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, which I will expand on below. Patios are almost always built at ground level and do not need railings. Check out our Melbourne decking services services here.
Decks are almost always made of wood or composite. Decks are usually not at ground level and made to take advantage of their great view. It’s a challenging yet common DIY project many Americans take on in the summer. Because they’re not at ground level, railings are needed. Unlike patios, you will have to seal and clean decks regularly to prevent rot and mould.