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What Are All The Differences Between Decks And Patios?

Monday, November 27, 2023

Outdoor living areas like decks and patios are great for relaxing and entertaining. Whether you are dining out with family and friends or relaxing after work. An outdoor deck or patio can be the ideal place to make many happy memories.

However, before you start planning to build an outdoor living area that suits your needs, you may have some questions. Should you build a deck or a patio? Should you build a freestanding patio or a deck attached to your home? There are so many options when it comes to building an outdoor living area that it can be hard to figure out which is best.

The Difference Between Decks and Patios

The main differences between decks and patios are how they are built, where they are placed, and the materials used to make them. Both can provide you with useful outdoor living space. However, there are some things to consider, such as whether you want an elevated deck or a ground-level patio.

Knowing the difference between a deck and a patio can help you choose the right project for your needs. You should consider its cost, location, view, and your preferences.

Not only are decks and patios different from each other but they are also divided into more specific categories. Compare their pros and cons and choose the one that suits you best.


What Is A Deck?

A deck is a raised platform constructed from different materials. Common decking materials include wood, pressure-treated wood, composite decking material, and PVC decking material. Decks are usually attached to the house. Higher decks can be accessed by stairs. Decks can also be built lower to the ground and raised only by framing.

Two Common Types of Decks

Outdoor decks differ from decks in that they not only have decks built on the ground but also elevated decks that are raised away from the ground.

Elevated Decks

In many neighborhoods, living and dining rooms on the main floor lead to elevated decks. Because they are elevated, they work well on sloping lots and other uneven ground. For this reason, elevated decks are perfect for elevated homes or where there are a lot of hills.

Ground Level Decks

Despite its name, a ground-level deck is not completely flush with the ground. Even though these decks are lower to the ground, they still require a slightly higher foundation. Decks that are close to the ground usually have some stairs to make it easier for guests to reach the deck.

Elevated decks require more maintenance than ground-level decks, and ground-level decks don’t need to be attached to the house to remain stable.

What Is A Patio?

A patio is an outdoor sitting area that is flush with the ground and is usually made of concrete. Some say concrete is the best material for building a patio, but you can also build a patio out of stone, dirt, or other materials.

The most important thing to consider if you want to build a patio or deck is whether the ground is level. The patio needs to be on a flat area because it sits on the ground. You can also level the ground by manually treating it.


What Is The Difference Between A Deck And A Patio?

Many people ask how much they cost when they are unsure of the difference between a deck and a patio. However, there is more to building an outdoor entertaining area than just the cost. You should also consider how long it will take to build, whether you need a permit, the return on your investment, and your lifestyle.

Here are some of the pros and cons of decks and patios that you should consider before deciding to build an outdoor living space.

Cost Comparison

Building a patio is easier and cheaper than building a deck because the materials for a patio are cheaper. Patios are flush with the ground, which means that stairs, joists, railings, and the rest of the deck require less material and labor.

On the other hand, the average return on investment for outdoor decks is 76%, which is higher than home improvements and building a deck. Therefore, cost is only one of the factors to consider when choosing between a deck and a patio.



As a venue for enjoying outdoor living, aesthetics are also an important influence.

While patios cost far less than decks, patios are also far less aesthetically pleasing than decks. To build your outdoor living space with an outdoor deck, you can choose from a number of different deck design options. Make your outdoor deck more aesthetically pleasing and a focal point for pedestrians.

Project Build Time

In most places, a building permit is required before building a deck. This can make you wait longer to start building.

Building a patio doesn’t always require a permit, but it’s always a good idea to check with your local building office to determine if one is needed. Even if a permit isn’t required, you may need to do a lot of work on the ground before laying concrete for your patio.


Lifestyle Differences

Since decks are usually higher, you get a better view. This is because the view is better from higher up. Of course, since decks are set back from the ground, building and safety rules require deck railings to be installed on elevated decks. One of the most expensive parts of an elevated deck is these additions.

On the other hand, patios are lower to the ground and can provide you with more privacy. This is especially true of enclosed patios with screens.

Maintenance And Upkeep

As an outdoor living space for entertaining and relaxing, the maintenance and upkeep required varies depending on the material.

Concrete block patios are sturdy and require little maintenance. However, you will need to treat the ground under your porch so that it doesn’t crack when it gets cold.

Wooden decks need to be repaired, painted, and sealed every two years. If you choose composite decking material for your outdoor deck, it will last much longer and require very little maintenance each year.


Terrain Factors

Decks work well in flat areas. If the ground is sloping or uneven, a raised deck will work well.

That said, you can build a deck regardless of the terrain of your yard. But patios can only be built on flat ground.


If properly maintained, a patio can last for decades. Of course, you’ll need to pick up leaves and other debris regularly so that the patio stays clean and tidy and becomes a great place for people to spend time outdoors.

Wooden decks have a lifespan of 5-10 years, and regular maintenance and upkeep work on a wooden deck can extend its life. Composite decking materials last longer than wooden decks because they can cope better with all kinds of weather.

If your outdoor deck is built from composite decking boards. Properly installed, composite decking can last as long as a patio.


To Summarize

Both decks and patios are good options if you want to live outdoors. But the similarities are just that, and the differences are many. Patios are at ground level, last a long time, and provide you with space. Elevated decks, on the other hand, are high above the ground and give you an unobstructed view.

When choosing between a patio and a deck, you should consider the area you want to use, your income, and your personal tastes. Patios are usually better than decks in terms of cost and ease of construction. But it depends on where you live and what you want to do with your outdoor area.

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