Two worthy outdoor opponents. One difficult question: Should I buy a deck or patio?
If you’re going to invest in an outdoor space, you want to carefully consider all of the factors. Learn the difference between a deck and patio, then use the deck vs. patio pros and cons charts below to help you decide.
Defining decks and patios
A deck is an open outdoor porch or platform without a roof that extends from a house. On the other hand, a patio is a paved area situated directly on the ground, which can either be attached or detached from a house. Patios are generally less expensive than decks, but the ROI on a new deck addition runs greater than one on a patio. However, both additions can offer a great experience depending on what you’re looking for.
Now that you know the difference between a deck and patio, use the charts below to help you decide which one is right for you.
Pros and cons of a deck
|Pros of a deck||Cons of a deck|
|Higher resale value|
There’s a 76% return on investment for a wooden deck on average, higher than all indoor home renovations.
Depending on the material, decks need to be power washed, stained and sealed every couple of years.
|Works well on uneven terrain|
Decks can be installed on any type of land, even if your yard is not level.
Wood is more susceptible to weather and can rot over time, as well as fade and become discolored if not properly treated.
|Good for a view|
Since a deck can be built off the ground, it serves up a better view, which can increase your home’s value.
Many towns and cities have different terms and may require a permit before building a deck, which may mean a fee and waiting period.
A wooden deck can be painted or stained to the color or shade you desire. It can even be stained to match the exterior design of your house.
While the price depends on the material, decks are usually more expensive, with an average cost of $30 per square foot for high-end decking material.
|Comfortable in heat|
If you live in a warmer climate and your home gets a lot of sunlight, wooden decks naturally absorb and retain less heat.
Consider weight when it comes to the design of your deck, specifically when you want to add a hot tub or outdoor kitchen.
Pros and cons of a patio
A patio is a paved area situated directly on the ground, which can either be attached or detached from a house.
|Pros of a patio||Cons of a patio|
Installing a patio flush to the ground can cost much less than a deck. At about $5 a square foot, concrete is usually the least expensive option.
|Not for uneven terrain|
Patios are best suited for even ground and the cost of creating a level foundation is very high.
Patios don’t require regular maintenance. While you may choose to seal your patio, it’s not necessary, since pavers and stone patios are extremely durable.
|Prone to cracks|
There’s more risk of a patio cracking if the soil under the concrete was not properly prepared. Cracking is also more likely in areas of extreme temperatures.
Patios are lower to the ground and have more flexibility in design and landscaping to provide privacy.
In colder areas, ice can easily form on a patio’s surface and raise the risk of falling.
A quality patio can last more than 25 years and maintain its value without much upkeep.
|Susceptible to stains|
Since a patio’s surface is exposed to harsh weather, it can be stained with mud, mildew and other natural stains such as leaves. Patios require frequent cleaning.
Installing a patio doesn’t typically require a building permit or inspections.
Patios may require more intensive construction and can take longer to install, particularly in areas with a lot of ground movement and where reinforcement is necessary.
If you add a deck or patio to your home, it’s a good idea to make sure you have the necessary property coverage. Learn how a home insurance check-up can ensure your policy is up-to-date and help you stay protected.
It’s also important to make sure whatever you build is safe in design. Check out this infographic below to see how safe your deck should be: