1. Decks
  2. Patios

Decks and Patios: The Best Situations for Each

Are you thinking about the additional of a deck or a patio for your residence? An outdoor space can really help ascent your home nicely if it fits your base aesthetics and needs. But what are the differences between decks and patios, and which would be a more suitable choice for your property? There are a few things you’ll want to consider before deciding.

1. Terrain AKA Your Land/Property

While decks are easily built on uneven terrain, patios require flat, even ground for proper construction. If your yard is entirely sloped, it is smarter to choose a deck over a patio because patios have a prerequisite of flat ground. Decks work better for uneven ground as they are typically elevated. The extra cost of heavy machinery to level the ground for a proper patio isn’t worth it (unless you are dead set on having a patio space.

Another consideration is the composition of your land. If your property is less dirt and mostly clay, a hard foundation of rock, concrete, or pavers that would be used for patio construction typically is not the move. Why? Because the moisture in clay makes it inconsistent and melt thaw cycles can cause it to crack (not the best for a cemented or fixed foundation.

2. Durability of Construction Materials and Longevity

Another major difference between patios and decks are the materials they are made of. Decks are typically composed of timber or composite wood material. Conversely, patios are constructed out of cement, pavers, or stone.

Wooden decks do wear down faster than a stone or concrete patio. Decks constructed with timber have a 15-year shelf life while a well-constructed patio with a proper foundation to rest on will last upwards of 25 years (35 years for pavers!). Another factor to consider is weather—a wooden deck will last longer in a dry climate than one with full-on seasons.

3. Maintenance

In terms of maintenance, patios tend to be easier to upkept. While most basic deck builds need to be treated or oiled, most patios can simply be hosed down. Composite decks are a great option for a lower-maintenance deck build, but they are more expensive. It’s up to you to decide if going with a composite deck is worth the price point (and if it’s within budget).

4. Purpose of Your Space

It’s important to also consider the purpose of your home renovation because patios and decks afford different atmospheres. Decks tend to be attached to the home while patios can be detached. For this reason, decks can be considered more an extension of the home. They are naturally best suited for outdoor entertaining—whether throwing a dinner party or having friends over just to hang and enjoy the nice weather and fresh air. The ideal deck provides a pleasant view and easy access to the home.

Patios offer a more intimate and private space. They are easier to screen in (while decks tend to be open spaces). Because they are at ground level, it’s easy to incorporate green landscaping to create a unique space. Patios are also constructed with more fire-resistant materials, so there are less considerations if you want to include a fire pit.

5. Cost Considerations

Some other factors that you may want to think about involve your budget. For starters, it’s important to do research on the local guidelines for the permitting and/or licenses involved in constructing a deck or patio in your area as there could be additional fees that you need to consider. You’ll also want to get quotes to get an idea of what the labor cost of your project will be.

Patios tend to be cheaper to build due to materials and level of construction, but a deck adds more resale value to your property.

6. Consider the Base Aesthetics

Decks usually have a railing and afford a view because they are raised while a patio provides more intimacy. One of the questions you should ask yourself is what vibe fits better with your home. If you have that perfect view on lake front property, a deck might allow you to enjoy an unobstructed view. A patio can create a warm atmosphere tucked away in a private corner of your yard. 

Whether you choose to go with a wooden or composite deck or decide to construct an outdoor patio landscaped to include flowers and a fire pit area, these additions to your property will increase your property’s resale value. 

Located in Northern Virginia and interested in getting a quote for your deck or patio project? The experts at Battlefield Decks can answer any questions you might have about your deck or patio build project. We can also discuss your budget and options. Want to learn more? Visit our website and check out our portfolio of work or contact us for a quote.

Share this post