Decks and patios are two popular options for outdoor living spaces. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks. If you’re currently trying to decide which one to build on your own property, here’s a comparison of decks vs. patios to help you make that decision.
Cost and Resale Value
While decks are typically more expensive than patios, it’s worth noting that decks have a significantly higher resale value. If you eventually sell your home, the investment into the deck will be well worth it. However, if your budget is limited, a patio is a more affordable option.
Decks require more maintenance than patios, especially if they are made of wood. Wooden decks must be power washed, stained or painted, and sealed every few years. There are also composite decks that require less maintenance.
Note that all decks, regardless of materials and construction, should be inspected annually and cleaned with soap and water each year to maintain their safety and appearance.
Patios are a low-maintenance alternative to decks since they are typically made of concrete or stone. However, they are prone to cracks and stains. You will need to address these issues as they come up, but the upkeep is usually less expensive for patios.
Decks have stricter construction requirements. Many local governments require construction permits to build a deck, which may involve paying fees and getting periodic deck inspections. Patios typically require a zoning permit, which is less invasive.
Some townships may require inspections for the excavations for patio work, but this is not very common. These townships want to confirm that the space abides by property stand-offs. Generally you can build up to 500 square feet without an engineer’s review, but since a deck allows water to pass through its surface, this is not a concern at all.
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Decks and patios can both provide a great atmosphere for relaxing and entertaining. It really depends on your preferences. Raised decks can give you a stunning view. Patios or ground-level decks offer more privacy, especially when you create the right landscaping.
Patios do not necessarily need to be built at ground level. Some homeowners opt to install a raised patio, perhaps elevated 4 feet or so, but this may not always be feasible.
You can also add other hardscapes to a deck or patio to enhance the outdoor living experience. For example, you can build a fire pit on a patio to help you stay warm on chilly nights. Or, install an outdoor kitchen to make entertaining even more convenient.
If decks and patios are properly constructed and maintained they have a similar lifespan. Careful selection of materials for decks could create a space that will last over 30 years. Many paver patios will experience shifts from freeze thaw cycles within that time frame.
There are various differences between patios and decks. If you need help deciding, or you’re ready to get started on a project, contact Breyer Construction & Landscape. Our expert contractors will help you design the outdoor living space of your dreams!