Decks vs Patios … Which is the right choice?

If your home is in need of some outdoor space, adding a patio or deck can increase your square foot without being the bank. Each option offers an area to gather with friends and family, grill out, and relax under the sun (or stars); the option you choose will likely depend on your budget, space, and needs as well as the layout of your house. Let’s take a look at the benefits of both patios and decks so your hardest decision will be where to place the grill.

What’s the difference

A patio refers to an outdoor space placed directly on the ground and is usually paver bricks stone or cement, where a deck can be placed on or above the ground and is made of wood or composite material that looks like wood.  Decks or patios may or may not be connected to the house or constructed in a separate part of the yard. In most cases patios do not have a rail; they may or may not be covered. Today’s patios might feature party goodies like fire pits, built-in barbecues, and sitting areas, making them the perfect relaxation or socialization space.  In all honesty, adding the option of a fireplace at the end of the patio is a game changer for me.  Adding a real wood burning fireplace to a raised deck is a lot more expensive than just digging the foundation in the grass for use off the end of a patio.

Let’s compare costs

As with all renovation projects, your budget will likely impact your choice along with the style of your home.  The range for a deck or patio addition project can be large. For instance, Many home improvement websites provide cost comparison calculators and if you have basic math skills and can read a tape measure you can come pretty close to an actual dollar amount your materials will cost.   An average deck is going to run you around $6,00 to $10,000 in material and if you’re going to hire a professional to do the work you can figure around $15,000 for a new deck.   In short, patios are usually cheaper than decks. The cost of the project will depend upon a variety of factors though as you can imagine but the biggest factor is size.  Cement for a patio is about half the cost of decking but it’s not as easy to work with.

It all comes down to choice

For me, I prefer patios over all kinds of decks.  Red brick paver patios are beautiful as well as patios using large flat stones connected with mortar are timeless.  Cement patios have a charm that brings warmth and romance to your outdoor living space.  I like the ability to walk out onto the grass and be part of the landscape.  I feel that patios offer far more options then decks as you can add a pond off to the side and a fireplace as I mentioned earlier.  Patios can be “sculpted” and curved and narrowed into a walkway where a deck is usually square or a rectangle and to do anything different is expensive.

You can keep expanding a patio where adding to a deck is doable but not as easy.  You can plant flowers along the side of the patio as well as all kinds of other options such as a pergola look amazing over a patio and not as good over a deck.  Patios remind me of the “old world” look of European country homes and villas that are just gorgeous.  In saying that your house location has everything to say about your choice.  If your backyard is on a steep decline then a deck is a fantastic choice and now your scenic views come into play and I love that, too.

Decks are very useful when the terrain is challenging.  You can build decks on tall posts and add levels to decks and decks are considerably more flexible when you want to extend the outdoor space to cover the entire back of the home.  If you’re lucky enough to live on a sloping yard to can accommodate both looks by building a deck that steps down onto a patio.  It’s a beautiful look and the nice thing is that you don’t have to do this all at once.  Do it in phases.

Whichever way you choose to go, both decks and patios offer a positive return on your investment and unlimited possibilities for entertaining, socializing, or simply relaxing in an outdoor space. Contact Exterior Renovations 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!

If you’re thinking about adding a deck to your home now is the time to start planning and all of us at Exterior Renovations would be happy to assist with your project.