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Deck vs Patio? Which should you choose?

Deck vs Patio? Which should you choose?

As spring is coming upon us, we are all itching to move outside (literally).  Perhaps you’ve been staring at dead space outside all winter dreaming of your outdoor space. But which should you choose?  Deck or patio?   What is the deciding factor?

Homeowners may use these terms interchangeably but there is a distinct difference.

A patio refers to an outdoor space placed directly on the ground. This area may be connected to the house or constructed in a separate part of the yard. Patios often have concrete bases or gravel to create the foundation first before stone, tile, brick, or pavement is laid down.  Most patios do not have a rail, and they may or may not be covered. The trend in patios are to create great entertainment spaces which can include a fire pit, built-in BBQ, outdoor kitchen and seating area.

Decks are typically constructed out of wood or plastic (wood-plastic composite). They can be built near the ground, but will have some type of support system to hold them up. Desks can be built off a lower floor of a home, or a higher level. Decks are typically enclosed with some type of railing (building codes take effect with deck building) and often the homeowner can have amazing views of their surroundings when built on a higher level.

Which should you choose?  Deck or patio?deck-vs-patio-which-one-should-you-choose-add-value-to-your-home-debi-collinson

Here’s your answer…….. it depends. Not the answer you were looking for?

The first thing to consider is where you live and the style of your home. Some neighbourhoods, especially newer builds, decks are most popular. In older homes and older neighbourhoods, patios tend to be the choice.

Some choices may be obvious. If you have a walkout from your kitchen or family room, a deck would be the best choice. If you have a walkout to a pool, then a patio would be the route to go. The physical layout and property characteristics will also play a role. For example, if you have sloping yard or tree roots in the patio area, decking will be the best option.

But what happens if your choices are not so obvious. Take the following into consideration:

Personal Preference:

What style of outdoor space do you like? How is your space going to be used? For large dinner parties, or small intimate groups? Is your style more traditional or more contemporary?

Getting confused? Let’s take a look at the pros & cons:

Patio: Prosdeck-vs-patio-which-one-should-you-choose-add-value-to-your-home-debi-collinson

  • Wide variety of styles of options of stones in various shapes and textures or patterned concrete
  • Easy maintenance (if installed properly)
  • Longevity (again, if installed properly)

Patio: Cons

  • There can be a lot of intensive construction required underneath a patio, especially in areas with a lot of ground movement where reinforcement is needed or leveling of the ground is needed
  • Impact on the environment when using concrete
  • Can be more or less expensive than a deck depending on the stones & style you choose

Decks: Prosdeck-vs-patio-which-one-should-you-choose-add-value-to-your-home-debi-collinson

  •  Can be a quicker, easier construction, especially if raised above ground level
  • Natural looking material
  • Can be more or less expensive depending on the wood used
  • Wood-plastic composite decks (a hybrid product of wood fibers and recycled plastic) is a dense, heavy, and weather- and stain-resistant deck board that won’t splinter, warp, rot,or split. They will not need replacing one day.

Decks: Cons

  •  Wood decks are high maintenance (requires regular oiling, staining or painting)
  • Longevity – wood decks will need replacing one day (more of an issue with untreated softwood decking)
  • Wood-plastic composite decks will not replacing but are higher in cost which needs to be factored into consideration

Which one adds more value to your home?

Adding or updating an existing outdoor space will definitely add value to your home. It can be pretty even with regards to adding value if you choose patio or deck.  The key is, is to do it effectively and installing it properly to ensure that you not only adding value but will create and exciting and inviting space that your family & friends will enjoy for years.  Designing an outdoor space will require a lot of thought, planning, and the proper execution. Take your time during this part. Check out outdoor living spaces on Pinterest to get loads of ideas. Doing your homework up front, will save you alot of time, money and aggravation.  In the end you will be so glad that you did this.

P.S. Be careful not to over or under renovate.  Check out: Are You Over Renovating Your Home?


Add Value to Your Home with Debi CollinsonWelcome! I’m Debi Collinson. Designer. Stager. Real Estate Investor. In 2006, at the request of a realtor, I staged my very first home. Staging houses was just starting to become popular. I watched every staging show on HGTV that I could find. I was very nervous staging my first house, but the sellers liked their newly redesigned home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price. I went back to design school and have never looked back. Since 2006, I have been staging & designing spaces to make them look like they belong in a magazine page, and buying “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent them out. Sign up to receive my e-mails of how to make your home stunning, how to sell your house for top dollar AND how to become financially independent one fixer upper at a time!

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