If you need an outdoor space to entertain or relax, adding a patio or deck can increase your options. Each structure offers an area to gather with friends and family, grill out, and relax under the sun. The choice you make will depend on your budget, space, and needs. 

Comparing Decks vs. Patios

A patio is an outdoor space placed directly on the ground. This area may be connected to the house or constructed in a separate part of the yard. Decks can be built near the ground or as a second-story structure. Usually, they feature some type of support system to hold up the addition.

Patios and decks add value to homes and improve the quality of life for homeowners. Although some people use the terms patio and deck as if they were the same, these structures are very different. Before you decide which type of outdoor living space is right for your home, consider the following differences between each type of structure.

1. Aesthetics

The look of a wooden deck is very attractive. It adds warmth and charm to a home compared to a concrete patio. A wood deck's natural beauty draws the eye and creates the overall impression that the entire deck has been made from natural wood.

2. Structural Differences

Patios require a flat surface for installation, however, retaining walls and multi-level systems give homeowners more options. Patios often have concrete bases, but some homeowners use other materials for the foundation. Stone, tile, pavers, or brick are some of the options.

Patios are also senior-friendly for people who want to age in place. Most patios have few or no steps involved. This makes patios easier for people with disabilities and physical limitations to navigate.

Decks are constructed of wood or vinyl. Decks may be built off of the lower floor of a home, such as the living room or kitchen. You can also choose to add a deck off the upper level or even on a rooftop setting. They are typically enclosed with railings.

3. Durability and Maintenance

Patios have a longer lifespan than decks with little to no annual maintenance required. Sometimes leaves can create stains on the surface of the patio. You can avoid this by regularly removing debris from the patio's surface. Some patios can be sealed to prevent water from soaking into your concrete.

Decks on the other hand require a lot of maintenance to extend their lifespan and aesthetics. Every couple of years, they must be stained, painted, or otherwise sealed. Seasonally, you may need to power wash your deck as well.

4. Customization

Patios offer several opportunities for customization. Patios can be made with pavers, bluestone, granite, travertine, stamped concrete, and more. Patios are also a safer choice if you’d like to include structures like a fire pit, an outdoor kitchen with built-in grills, or a hot tub as they can accommodate more weight than an above-ground deck.

5. Intended Use

Homeowners must choose the outdoor addition that works best for the purpose they hope to use it for. If you want a designated outdoor space away from the house, a patio is the best option 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 or relax.

Homeowners interested in spotlighting a view might opt for a deck since they can be built off the ground and offer a more panoramic visual range. Decks also work well for those with yards that are not level or that are built on a hill. The support of a deck can be cut to any height.

6. Costs

The cost of building a patio or deck will depend upon a variety of factors that include:

  • Materials used
  • Location of the addition
  • Size of the addition
  • Features such as railings, seating, and supports

Another consideration to factor into the costs is the slope of the yard on which you plan to place the patio or deck. Patios may not be the best choice for uneven ground because the cost to create a level foundation can double or triple the cost of the actual addition. 

Create an Outdoor Space You’ll Enjoy

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

RT Construction can extend your living space through the addition of a deck or patio so you can expand your enjoyment of the outdoors. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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