Which is Better? A Deck or Patio?
Typically, a patio may or may not be adjacent to the house and is built on the ground out of concrete, brick, stone or other “hard” material. Decks, generally built of wood or vinyl, are attached to the house and are above the ground with a support structure to hold it up, even if it is just a few inches above ground. Either one is considered a good investment, because homebuyers want outdoor living spaces. Whatever you choose, start by setting a budget and planning your space. Make sure you’ll have room for everything you’d like, plus some extra. There’s no sense in building a gorgeous patio with no room for the grill, or a deck that can’t fit your furniture! No matter what your choice, please choose a reputable installer—without proper prep work and foundations, neither a deck nor a patio will last, and could actually be dangerous.
Costs can go either way. Depending on circumstances, materials chosen, local codes and requirements, either a deck or patio may be more money, although typically a deck costs more to build. If cost is the deciding factor, get quotes for both.
Decks typically require a permit and usage can be restricted by weight limits (you’ll have to plan ahead for a hot tub, for example). You will generally need railings, since decks are above ground. Decks require regular maintenance such as power washing, staining or painting to maintain both appearance and safety, since wood can rot. While staining a deck is part of the maintenance, it is also part of the creativity too—you can choose from so many colors and really personalize your look! Patios may benefit from periodic power washing, and sealing is optional but by no means necessary.
Because a deck is attached to the house its location is limited, but convenient to the inside. Patios can be up against the house or anywhere in the yard. If your ground is sloped, decks tend to be the better option because the supports can easily be cut to the right height. Patios may require backfilling to level the ground, and this can add tremendous cost—even more than the actual patio, in some cases. And since decks are built off the ground they often offer a better view, especially if your main living area is well above ground level. For example, if you have a walk-out basement in the back of your house, your kitchen and family room are a flight above ground level and a patio would require walking down a full flight of stairs. Here, a deck seems far more convenient and therefore much more likely to get used. You could also create a multi-level deck and a patio at the bottom if your budget allows, and enjoy the best of both!
A patio can easily last decades. The least expensive option is concrete. It is basic, for sure. It is prone to cracking and once a concrete patio is cracked, you will need to replace the entire patio to make the crack disappear. There are ways to make concrete seem less basic, like staining and stamping. Stamped concrete is of course pricier than plain poured, but it can be slippery when wet. Pavers have many options now—natural stone, concrete, brick, etc. and your installer will coordinate the look with your existing house and landscape, and can create some amazing patterns with the materials. Pavers have the added benefit of being easy to replace if one gets damaged. Additionally, patios are easy to blend with the existing landscape, and can provide function as well as beauty, as in a seat wall.
Whether you choose a deck or a patio for your outdoor living space, you will add value to your home and give you family another place to gather and spend time together. Choose an installer who is experienced, goes above the minimum, and does quality work so your investment will last. For paver patios, choose a provider who is certified and authorized. Southern Exposure Landscape Management is just such an installer. Check out our online gallery to see photos of some of the jobs we have done, or stop by our office to see our work for yourself!
Located in Summerfield, NC Southern Exposure Landscape Management specializes in the design, installation, and maintenance of residential and commercial projects throughout the Greensboro Triad Area (High Point, Jamestown, Burlington, Reidsville, Oak Ridge, Brown Summit, Summerfield). We are the premier Greensboro mulch installer. With over 20 years in business, Southern Exposure has the experience and knowledge to create beautiful garden features and flower beds in the landscape. Southern Exposure is the leading landscape management firm in Greensboro, NC. See why our clients choose us. Contact us today by web (online form) or phone (336.451.4969)