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Choosing Between a Deck or Patio

Categories: Home Design Trends, Home maintenance tips | Posted: November 26, 2018

Customizing and designing your home’s interior is an essential part of being a homeowner. With all the time you’ll spend in it, you’ll undoubtedly want to make sure each room is perfect. But in this post, we’re moving out into your front or backyard. We’re talking about decks and patios – the difference between them and what to consider when choosing one or the other.

The most significant factors in this decision are maintenance, cleaning, and customization.

What’s the Difference Between a Patio and a Deck?

First, let’s look at the difference between the two. A patio is built at ground level and often directly attached to a house. It can be made from an array of materials, like concrete or brick. Patios are generally uncovered and don’t necessarily need guard railings or fencing. They come with more privacy since they’re at ground level and can be hidden behind a fence.

Decks, on the other hand, aren’t usually built at ground level. They tend to take advantage of a view and are therefore at higher levels. For this reason, it’s a good idea to put safety railings or fencing around them. Decks are usually made of wood or other composite materials. You can build decks on uneven ground, and they often add higher resale value to your property.

Even from these definitions, it’s easy to see why it’s a tough decision. Both patios and decks can be attached to a home or built away from the house, and both tend to be uncovered outdoor spaces.

Maintaining Your Outdoor Space

The first question to ask yourself is: how much maintenance do you want to do?

Since decks are made with wood, you’ll need to take care of it every year. That includes scrubbing it down, power washing, or sanding, not to mention checking for loose or protruding nails and screws. If you’re not using composite materials, you’ll need to check for splintering or peeling wood boards.

With patios, the amount of maintenance is certainly less than with wooden decks. But that doesn’t mean you can build it and forget it. You may need to replace stone tiles or clean the concrete now and again. Generally speaking, it will also be cheaper to build and maintain a patio than a deck due to the cost of materials, the elevation, and ongoing maintenance.

Whichever you choose, you’ll need to put in regular work to make sure your deck or patio doesn’t fall to pieces. Choosing composite materials for decks or durable materials for a patio can keep your outdoor space looking good for years to come.

Keeping Things Clean

We just covered ongoing maintenance, but what about cleaning? Though cleaning falls under maintenance, it’s certainly something to look at when deciding between a patio and deck.

Since decks are often made of wood, it’s common to get mold. After all, your deck battles all kinds of weather – rain, snow, and humidity. You can get mold under, near, or on your deck. It’s not difficult to remove, but you’ll need to stay on top of it. If left unchecked, mold could weaken its structure and cause major problems.

Patios can get mold too, but not nearly as often as with decks. Generally, you can clear your patio of mold by power washing. When it comes to cleaning, you’ll get by with less when you have a patio.

Customizing Your Patio or Deck

How much personal touch would you like to add to this new outdoor space?

While both decks and patios can be constructed in different sizes, shapes, and materials, you may run into some restrictions along the way. For example, using a specific stone texture or concrete to build a patio may prevent future changes, whereas wooden decks can be stained or painted to any color or shade that fits your home.

Changes to patios may be more expensive. If you’re looking to switch out the brick or patio tiles, you will likely need to rebuild the entire patio. But with decks, you can sand and re-stain every year if you want without damaging the materials.

That being said, you certainly have more options with patios. You can construct patios out of almost anything – stone, brick, concrete, pebbles, pea gravel, or rock. With a deck, you’ll be using either wood or composite materials. So, if there’s a specific aesthetic you’re looking to match, keep building materials in mind.

Making the Choice – It’s Up to You!

Whichever you choose, you’re sure to enjoy this new space. Whether you’re looking for a more customizable, elevated area or a private, durable patio, either option is a great choice. What’s great is you can add a portable fire pit, outdoor kitchen, or grill to either (just make sure you’ve got a fireproof platform for your deck!).

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