Many people use the terms deck and patio interchangeably to describe an outdoor entertainment space, but not all things are created equal. A patio and a deck might serve the same general purpose, such as a spot for grilling, entertaining, or a place to relax and watch the sunset at home however there are some major differences when choosing whether a patio or deck is right for you and your home.
Decks are built off the ground, which means that a deck is the right choice if your land is uneven, or if you want a view. Decks can be built just off the ground or much higher up, even on a second floor if that’s what you’re looking for. Also, think about where your space faces, as decks naturally absorb sunlight and heat and will often be cooler than a concrete patio. Conversely, a patio can be constructed right on the ground and can be made from a variety of materials such as concrete, stone, or brick. Patios may also provide more privacy depending on your property because they sit right on the ground and offer more flexible landscaping options.
Generally, you can expect the construction of a deck to cost significantly more than a patio. A deck will often increase your home’s value at a much higher rate than a patio, and decks tend to have a very high return on investment. A patio is a nice feature, but won’t add any significant value to your home. A deck will need much more regular maintenance, which can also increase the overall price.
As for that regular maintenance, a wooden deck will need to be power washed, stained, and sealed every couple of years depending on the wear and how much sun the deck gets. Decks are less likely than patios to end up with cracks in extreme temperatures. Patios can also crack if the ground shifts or if it was not properly prepared for the construction of the patio. Also, while patios are extremely durable and do not need to be sealed, they can easily be stained and are difficult to clean. On the other hand, Decks are much easier to clean and providing regular maintenance to your deck can certainly prolong its lifespan, while a patio can last decades without much work.
When determining whether a patio or deck is right for your home, take into consideration the many logistical, financial, and personal preference factors, and weigh the pros and cons of each. No matter which you choose, adding space, beauty and value to your home is always a positive addition.