Patio vs Deck? Which One is Right for You?

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Mitchell

Mike Mitchell is an award-winning deck builder and designer who specializes in urban decking, transforming cityscapes with his creative constructions. He is a second-generation deck builder.

Table of Contents

Decks and patios can both go a long way toward improving your outdoor living space. Each provides space for entertaining, cooking, and relaxing while enjoying the open air. While they both essentially provide the same function, there is a considerable difference in needs and construction. If you’re thinking about a patio vs deck for your space, you’re in the right place.

Start With Your Yard & Wishes

Not every yard will be compatible with a patio or deck, and not every homeowner will be, either. If a patio is on your wish list, you’ll need a level area that is large enough or be prepared for the extra prep work necessary to create one. Because decks are raised off the ground and supports can be adjusted, decks can be built on uneven ground.

Another consideration is whether you prioritize privacy or views. Because patios sit directly on the ground, they tend to provide more privacy, especially inside a fenced yard. On the other hand, the view from your patio may be limited to just the fence. If you decide on a deck, especially a raised deck, you will enjoy a better view, but at the expense of your personal visibility.

The landscaping of your yard will also affect your choice. Because patios are flush with the ground, the surrounding trees, flower beds, and shrubs will likely become elements of the patio itself. Decks tend to include railings and other separators and tend to be set apart from the rest of your landscaping.

Time & Construction

In most cases, installing a patio comes with a lower average cost and is quicker to complete. Not only are patio materials often less costly, but you’ll need fewer total materials and fewer hours of labor to complete the job. Building a deck will require more extensive planning, often a more detailed inspection from your municipality, more hours to complete, and more materials overall.

Once the area has been prepared, constructing a patio is a fairly straightforward job that can be completed in a few days, depending on the materials selected. A poured concrete slab will be much faster to install than pavers or bricks, for example. A deck can take several weeks to complete, depending on the size and the complexity of the design.

Maintenance & Lifespan

Generally speaking, the overall lifespan of a patio tends to be longer than a deck. There are a number of variables that can affect your outcome. The first is decking materials. Natural wooden decks have a much shorter lifespan than wood composite decking and require considerably more maintenance to ensure a long life.

Patios can suffer from cracks and stains. This may not affect their longevity, but will certainly affect the overall look of your outdoor area. Natural wood decks will also show deterioration more quickly, but composite decking will look great for decades with minimal effort.

On the other hand, decks have more that can go wrong over time. They require regular professional inspections to ensure your safety. From footings in the ground to bracing attached to the home, railings, stairs, and more, the entirety of your deck must be properly maintained for safety and long-term beauty.

A Few More Considerations

One more major consideration is the resale value of patios vs decks. Generally speaking, a deck will have a higher resale value than a patio. Hence, you’ll enjoy a better return on your investment when you sell your home. For those who are not planning to sell any time soon, the cost compared to resale value becomes less important over time.

Another consideration is how you will use your space. Decks, especially raised decks, will have weight restrictions that must be adhered to. Any professionally designed and constructed deck will have the proper foundation and support for guests and furniture. Still, if you’re considering anything outside the basics, it’s critical to discuss this with your deck builder before you choose a deck.

The Right Deck or Patio for You

Ultimately, the decision to build a patio or deck comes down to you. Once you know how you want the space to function, your time frame, and what your budget can accommodate, your builder can help you create the deck or patio of your dreams. If you’re not sure what is right for your Frankfort home, we’re here to help! Contact Mitchell Construction to learn more.