Deck vs Patio: Which One Is Right for You?

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    Before "outdoor living" became a staple of home improvement TV, Americans enjoyed decks and patios. If you want an outdoor room, consider your budget. Compare materials, labour, and maintenance costs for each structure.

    "Deck" originally referred to weight-supporting surfaces on ships, but now it also refers to elevated home structures. Modern decks are often made from recycled plastic composites. It doesn't split or warp like wood and doesn't need to be resealed. The materials cost double a wood deck. According to Robert Donaldson, a Cleveland, Ohio, architect with 14 years of deck-building experience, a synthetic-wood deck cost $13.50 per square foot in 2011. A treated lumber deck costs $7 to $8 per square foot.

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    Concrete footings add $1 to $2 per square foot to the cost of wood or composite decks. Plus, deck installation labour costs nearly as much as materials.

    Flat patios can be made of stamped concrete or brick pavers. Patio supplies cost varies by material. Small brick pavers cost $5.25 to $5.75 per square foot in 2011, while large concrete pavers cost $3.50, says Donaldson. Stamped concrete costs $12 per square foot more for complex designs [source: Concrete Network].

    Low patio maintenance costs are offset by the need to keep grass and weeds at bay. Depending on the design and paver size, installation costs average $7.50 to $9 per square foot.

    There are a few things experienced DIYers should consider before opting to contribute sweat equity. A city deck or patio may need a permit. Whatever structure you add, buried gas, water, and electric lines must be located and flagged.

    A deck or patio? A patio made of large pavers in a simple pattern is cheaper than a wood or composite deck. You can have a deck and a patio. Both are airy party spaces.

    Deck Vs Patio Which One Is Right For You 2

    Deck and Patio Materials

    The kind of material that is used to construct a deck or patio is one of the primary factors that decides how much money you will have to spend. Wood is the material of choice for deck construction because it is both the most common and the most natural looking. However, compared to other materials, wood requires the most maintenance over its lifetime.

    Composite Decking Material

    Composite decks, on the other hand, are designed to give the impression that they are made of wood but can be more expensive. On the other hand, they are created with an emphasis on maximum durability, meaning that they are resistant to fading, stains, and even the harshest of weather conditions.

    Decks made of plastic are just as expensive as decks made of composite materials, but they have a much longer lifespan and require much less maintenance. Last but not least, aluminium decks, despite being the most expensive option, have the potential to last the longest.

    Patio Materials

    Moving on to patios, one of the most popular and cost-effective materials utilised in patio construction today is concrete. On the other hand, there are those who think it's too simple. Although it adds some personality, stamped concrete is more difficult to maintain than other types of concrete. Gravel is the material for constructing a patio that is both the most cost-effective and the simplest to put in place.

    Either stone or flagstone can be used, but using stone will incur a higher cost because it will give the appearance of a higher-end product. Brick paver patios, on the other hand, are less expensive than stone patios but can look just as nice.

    Last but not least, wooden patios have the appearance of being the most natural and traditional, but they may require more maintenance. As can be seen, patios offer a wider variety of material options compared to the materials that are required to construct 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

    Because a patio is typically installed directly on the ground, it is best to select a space that is already level. Due to the fact that the expense of constructing a foundation can double or even triple the cost of the addition, a patio is not always the best option when the ground is uneven. If the ground in your yard is sloped in any way, the most cost-effective solution would be to instal a deck because the cost of installation is almost never affected by the gradient of the yard.

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    Installation Difficulty

    When compared to the process of installing a patio, the installation of a deck is typically much more difficult and should be left to the expertise of trained professionals. It is necessary to drill holes into the ground and then cement the structural components that will support the deck into place. When it comes to securely attaching the deck to your house, you will also need to make some additional preparations and considerations.

    Because a deck can be constructed on land that is not level, it is an excellent choice for areas that have sloping landscapes or yards that are not level. Materials for water resistance may be necessary in certain circumstances to prevent water damage to the foundation of your home.

    In most cases, the installation of a patio will be simpler, but you will need to do extensive preparation work on the ground surface where it will be laid. Patios are typically installed directly on the ground, so it is best to do so in locations that are reasonably even and flat before beginning the installation process.

    If you are going to use poured concrete for the patio and the ground underneath it needs to be compacted, the area where the patio will be installed will typically need to be reinforced with rebar as well. It is possible to complete it on your own as a do-it-yourself project, but you should be prepared for a lot of hard work.

    Even though installing a patio is generally less expensive than installing a deck, the latter can end up being quite an expensive project if the terrain of your yard is sloped or uneven. The average cost of installing a deck is higher than the average cost of installing a patio. Deck installation typically requires the assistance of a professional.

    Installation Cost

    The cost of installing a deck will vary depending on several factors, including the size of the deck, the materials that are used, and whether or not the installation is done by a professional or by the homeowner themselves. The price of a deck with dimensions of 16 metres by 20 metres can range anywhere from $7,500 to more than $15,000. The price, however, will change depending on the type of material that is employed. Take, for example:

    • 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.

    If you construct the deck on your own, you will be able to save a significant amount of money. It is reasonable to anticipate spending anywhere from $1.75 to $5.50 per linear foot for the necessary decking materials, and between $4 and $8 per square foot for the materials required for the posts and joists.

    The cost of constructing a new patio will vary depending on the materials that are used, as well as whether or not the patio needs to be levelled or if additional groundwork is required before installation. The price of constructing a patio with dimensions of 16 by 20 feet can range anywhere from $2,500 to $9,500, depending on the materials and amount of labour required.

    • 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.

    In most cases, patios have lower installation costs than decks do, which makes it abundantly clear that patios are the better financial investment. However, this only tells part of the story. Patios may still end up costing more to instal than decks do, however, if more expensive materials are used in the patio's construction.


    When deciding between a deck and a patio, the cost of maintenance should be a primary consideration because it could influence which option is less expensive over the course of its lifetime. To prevent mildew and mould growth, all that is required to maintain a wood deck is an annual power washing. It is recommended that decks be stained and sealed at least once every two years to extend their lifespan and improve their durability. Additionally, quality composite decks can be cleaned with a garden hose and come with warranties that protect them from stains, fading, splintering, and warping for 25–50 years.

    On the other hand, a patio can be cleaned quickly and easily with a hose, and it calls for very little ongoing maintenance. In order to prevent erosion and prevent water from leaking under the patio, it is sometimes necessary to inspect the surface for cracks on a regular basis. In the most severe circumstances, the patio might crack, in which case the entire surface would have to be removed and reinstalled.

    When compared to the maintenance requirements of wood decking, it is clear that patios are the more cost-effective option because they need less maintenance. Decks, on the other hand, are not as cost-effective to maintain because they require power washing annually, which often involves the assistance of a professional, unless they are constructed with composite or PVC decking.

    Return on Investment (ROI)

    If you are thinking about selling your home in the next few years, it is a good idea to compare the return on investment (ROI) for building a deck versus building a patio. Your selection of building materials will almost certainly have an effect on the final price.

    When compared to the ROI provided by a patio, the ROI provided by a deck is approximately 75% higher on average. For instance, a homeowner who invests $10,000 into the construction of a deck on their property can anticipate recouping $7,500 upon the sale of their home. On the other hand, a homeowner who spends $3,500 to build a patio on their property can only anticipate recouping $1,500 of that investment when they sell their home. However, the value of a deck may rise in tandem with the overall value of the home if the values of neighbouring properties rise at the same time.

    When compared in terms of return on investment (ROI), a deck is clearly superior to a concrete patio because decks typically have a higher ROI than patios do. However, it could also be the focal point of the home, which makes it stand out from other houses in the neighbourhood and contributes to the sale of the property.

    Buyers are looking for a tranquil haven where they can picture themselves relaxing and enjoying themselves. Take a walk around your neighbourhood and make a mental note if any of the other houses in the area have decks or patios; this could be the feature that distinguishes your home from the others in the area.

    Which Is Best For Your Needs?

    Decking composite Aside from cost, you should consider the outdoor addition's purpose. Do you want to include landscaping? A patio surrounded by trees, shrubs, and flowers may work best. Do you want to separate the area from the house? Again, a patio works best because it can be built away from the house. Patios work well for homeowners with in-ground pools who want a place to gather, cookout, or relax.

    Decks can be built off the ground and offer a wider view than patios. Deck supports can be cut to any height, making them ideal for uneven or hilly yards. Since decks must have stairs to access the yard, those who prefer to entertain on the porch may choose this type of addition.

    Decks and patios offer a positive ROI and endless possibilities for entertaining, socialising, or relaxing outdoors. Great Day Improvements can add a deck or patio to your home so you can live outside.

    What’s The Difference Between A Patio & A Deck?

    Patios and decks are two distinct outdoor living spaces, despite the fact that some homeowners may confuse the two and use the terms interchangeably. Patios and decks both allow people to enjoy the outdoors on stable ground, which is their primary function; however, patios and decks each have some distinguishing qualities that set them apart from one another. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the following distinctions between all decks and patios before you construct a deck or work with a professional to instal your patio.

    A patio is the enclosed outdoor space in the middle of a house or other building. A patio, in contrast to a courtyard, does not require walls to surround it. Patios can be detached from a house or attached to it, as is most commonly the case. Patios are able to take on any form, and they can be constructed using a wide variety of materials, which I will elaborate on in the following sentence. Patios are almost always constructed at ground level and do not require railings because they are not elevated.

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    Wood or a composite material are almost always used in the construction of decks. Decks are typically elevated above the ground in order to take full advantage of the scenery they overlook. It's a challenging but common do-it-yourself project that a lot of people in the United States take on during the summer. Railings are required because the platforms are elevated above ground level. Decks, in contrast to patios, will require regular sealing and cleaning in order to prevent rot and mould growth.

    FAQs About Building decks

    Decks can provide a great view, while patios tend to offer more privacy. The views from your deck or patio depend on your home's location and surrounding environment. However, decks usually offer better views than patios due to their elevation.

    Most patios are set on a concrete slab or a sand and pebble base. Since patios are built at or around ground level, they don't require safety railings. Decks are primarily made of wood or a composite wood material or vinyl, like Trex. Popular woods for decking include redwood, cedar, and pressure-treated pine.

    Both a deck and a patio offer an impressive resale value. However, patios are usually less expensive to put in and their resale value sits at 100%—which is slightly higher than the 76% resale value of a deck.

    Cost. Depending on the material you choose, a patio is a more affordable option than a wood deck. Concrete pavers have an average cost of $4 to $12 per square foot (before installation cost), while natural stone can go up to $30 per square foot.

    Adding a deck to your home is one of the best investment decisions you can make. According to Remodeling Magazine's Cost Vs. Value Report, a homeowner can expect to recoup about 65% of the cost of building a new composite deck when the time comes to sell your home.

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