You’re finally ready to make the most of your outdoor space by adding a deck or patio to your home — congratulations! You’re going to have so much extra space to create new memories. But now comes the tricky part: choosing between a deck vs. patio.
When it comes to deciding between these two options, there are a ton of factors to consider and it can start to feel overwhelming pretty quickly.
That’s why we’ve broken down each aspect to help you choose which option is right for your family.
We’ll cover the differences between a deck and a patio and take you through each of the deciding factors, from cost to climate and everything in-between.
Let’s dive in!
Deck Vs. Patio: The Key Differences
While some might use the terms deck and patio interchangeably, there are some key differences between the two.
When it comes to choosing which option is right for your family, it’s best to start by learning what differentiates a patio from a deck.
A deck is an elevated structure that’s typically made from wood, composite, or vinyl. Decks are always built above-ground and may be attached to the first or second floor of your home depending on your design.
Decks typically have some sort of railing along the edge for safety and are built using wooden, metal, or concrete supports underneath.
While decks are usually covered, it’s possible to have an uncovered deck — it just means you won’t be able to sit out when it’s raining (and you’ll probably find yourself moving your outdoor furniture to shelter a lot more often!).
Unlike a deck, a patio is built directly on the ground floor of your property, rather than elevated above it. Patios can be covered or uncovered and may even be enclosed with screens.
A patio may be attached to your house, or it could be built as a separate structure. They’re generally crafted with concrete, bricks, or pavers as opposed to wood, making them durable and hard-wearing.
Deck Vs. Patio: Which One Is Right For Your Family?
Now that you know the difference between a deck vs. patio, let’s dive into how to choose between the two. There are a number of factors to consider when deciding which option best fits your family’s needs.
This is probably one of the first things that comes to mind when you think about adding a deck or patio to your home — which option is more affordable?
Of course, cost depends on a variety of factors such as your location, yard type, and individual contractors close to where you live.
It’s no secret that each company will charge a slightly different price, so it pays to shop around and get multiple quotes before you build.
Generally speaking, patios are more affordable. They require less construction (there are no foundational or structural supports added with patios) and fewer materials to complete.
When all is said and done, you’ll be looking at up to $5,000 for a patio and up to $20,000 for a deck. However, decks are more customizable than patios and can increase the value of your home.
Both structures are an investment that you’ll be able to enjoy for years to come, so be sure to weigh all of the pros and cons, not just price!
One aspect of construction that can heavily affect the overall cost of your project is your yard and whether any changes need to be made to it before your build can begin.
If you have a level or near-level block of land, you have the luxury of choosing between a deck vs. patio with minimal issues either way.
However, if you have a sloping yard, a deck will be the more cost-effective option as you’ll be able to avoid bringing in heavy machinery to level out your land prior to construction.
While it’s not impossible to create a patio on a sloping yard, it will cost you extra!
It’s also important to check with your local guidelines when it comes to building permits and licenses you might need, as this could lead to costs you hadn’t initially considered. Local contractors should be familiar with rules and regulations in your town as well.
You want to be able to enjoy your backyard without compromising on privacy, so which option is better when it comes to a deck vs. patio?
While a patio may provide more privacy for you and your family, it’s unlikely to offer the same views as a deck due to the lack of elevation, so it’s important to consider which aspect is more important to you.
A patio can easily be screened-in to prevent any nosy neighbors from eyeing your burgers during your weekend cookout, whereas a deck will almost always be breezy and open.
However, since decks are elevated, you may find that your neighbors won’t be able to see into your deck if you’re above their yard. It all depends on where your structure is located and what the surrounding land looks like.
If you’re thinking a patio requires less maintenance and upkeep than a deck, you’re probably right.
Timber decks require regular oiling to keep them looking fresh, whereas patios only require a quick hose down once in a while.
But keep in mind that timber decking isn’t your only option when it comes to building a deck. Composite decking boards are a great option to create the deck of your dreams minus the ongoing maintenance.
Also, consider that both patios and decks require cleaning to keep them guest-ready and to prevent stains from debris and spills.
Tying into maintenance is the durability of a deck vs. patio — which one will last longer?
Decks are susceptible to rot (if they’re made from timber) and generally wear down faster than stone and concrete patios.
Even if your deck is covered, weather such as rain and UV rays will likely still wear it down over time. Patios, on the other hand, last longer thanks to the use of tougher materials.
One issue you may encounter with a patio is the cracking or splitting of concrete or stone, particularly if your patio has been built on slightly uneven ground. The good news is that if that does happen, you can quickly and easily repair cracks with special sealants.
While enjoying your deck or patio is a major upside to building one, it’d also be nice to have your new addition add a little extra resale value to your home.
But between a deck vs. patio, which structure brings a higher return on investment?
As you might have guessed due to the higher price tag, a deck will generally add more resale value to your home in comparison to a patio. Decks tend to look more sophisticated, and while there’s nothing wrong with a patio, we do love the views a deck can provide.
If you’re lucky enough to have city or ocean views from your home, adding a deck that overlooks your incredible view can add tens of thousands to your resale value.
This is definitely something to consider!
When it comes to styling your deck or patio, look for ways to add value here, too. Opting for quality craftsmanship and durable materials found in our range of sofas and sectionals will ensure you’ll be enjoying your deck or patio along with the furniture for years to come.
If you live in a warm climate with little rain and no snow, you’ll have much less moisture to worry about when it comes to the potential of timber rot. In comparison, if you live somewhere that experiences all seasons, consider how these weather conditions might affect your decision.
In any case, inclement weather isn’t unheard of for any climate — even California has the occasional unexpected downpour and added humidity!
For this reason, we recommend planning ahead when it comes to your outdoor furniture, regardless of whether you choose a deck or a patio.
All Outer furniture comes with an in-built OuterShell™ to protect it from the elements, including the sun’s harsh UV rays and moisture build-up from rainfall. This protective cover tucks neatly behind your Outer sofa cushions, ready for use at a moment’s notice.
Mold-resistant with a super snug fit and easy on/off zippers, these covers help prolong the life of your Outer furniture while allowing airflow so your sofa is always guest-ready.
Deck Vs. Patio: Our Final Thoughts
It’s a tough decision between a deck vs. patio — if only we could choose for you!
Remember to factor in aspects such as cost, climate, and the potential return on investment that your new deck or patio could bring to your home. Then add value to your deck or patio by choosing well-made, quality outdoor furniture and accessories to enjoy your life outside.
By considering the factors we’ve outlined in this guide, you’ll be ready to choose the best option for your family. Happy building!