July 20

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Which is Better — a Deck or Patio?

By finnteriors

July 20, 2021


It is summertime and outside is where we spend our days. Is your home in need of an outdoor update? When deciding to create a new space for outdoor living there are important things to consider.

First, you must decide what type of space you want. There are many options, from decks to patios that can provide just what you need. These outdoor areas can provide a beautiful setting for entertaining guests or just having some downtime with the family while savoring the fresh air and nature around you.

5 Differences between Decks and Patios

There are several differences between these two outdoor spaces. Even though they serve the same purpose, there are specific details that should be considered. The most obvious is that decks are raised, while patios are typically flush with the ground. There are differences in materials that are used, the building process, and the cost of the project. We have listed below 5 things to consider before choosing your new outdoor space.

1. Building Permit and Inspections

When building a new outdoor living space, you must first apply for the required building permits and inspections. However, this is typically only required for a deck rather than a patio, because decks are attached to the exterior structure of the home and can compromise its integrity as well as its appearance.

Inspections may be needed throughout the process to ensure the deck is built to code and meets all the requirements of your local municipality. Inspections are necessary to ensure the safety of the deck for those who use it. If guidelines are not met, it could result in fines and fees as well as being forced to remove the deck.

Patios usually do not require permits or inspections.  Since a patio is not attached to the home’s structure, it can not compromise the integrity of the house. However, it is always best to check with your city before you start building to confirm if a permit is needed.

deck or patio
2. Patios Are More Affordable and Easier to Maintain

When deciding on a budget for your new outdoor space, you must first consider the size of the space, and the amount of material that will be needed. This will have the biggest impact on the overall cost.

A patio can be much more affordable than a deck. The biggest factor would be the materials used to create a patio. Working with stamped concrete or stone, as opposed to wood or bricks that are used for decks, is much more cost-effective. A patio will typically require less labor time to build and ongoing maintenance is minimal, which lowers the costs.

Decks are often made with natural materials. The upkeep and maintenance can be quite a bit more expensive and time-consuming. From maintaining the condition of the deck with power washing, painting, and resealing, to replacing wood planks as needed overtime, the costs will accumulate.

3. Decks Can be Built on Uneven Terrain

Decks are better suited than patios for uneven land. Oftentimes, we find our yard is not as flat as needed for a patio.  Patios are built directly on the ground and require flat land to be built on. This can often require extra labor to prep the land, especially with hilly terrain. Therefore, when deciding on which to build, you will need to consider the space where you are building and measure the grade of the land to determine what would work best for you.

4. Weight Restrictions for Decks

It is important to determine what items you plan to place on your outdoor space and their weight. Chairs, tables, outdoor grills, and other items can work great for both patios and decks.

Heavier items like hot tubs could pose an issue for a deck and are better suited for a patio.

With the elevated height of a deck, there are weight restrictions that are in place to prevent compromise of its structure. This is another reason why permits and inspections are required for decks.

5. Decks Can Generate Higher Resale Value 

When the time comes to sell your home, a deck can add value to your home according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs Value report. While the initial investment can be higher for a deck than a patio, that investment can pay off when selling the house.

A deck is often a positive selling point in nice climates and something homebuyers look for. If you are not planning to sell anytime soon then a patio could still be a great choice as well.

Get Ready to Enjoy the Outdoors

A deck or patio is an excellent addition to any home. At Finnteriors, our team of experienced deck contractors provides designs, installations, and repairs. We offer affordable quality work and outstanding customer service. If you’re ready to add to your outdoor living space, contact Finnteriors today for a free estimate.

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