Deck builder Port Jefferson

How To Choose Between A Deck And Patio?

The two common outdoor living space options are decks and patios. Some use these terms interchangeably because of their similarities, but they have some key differences which can dictate your decision to prefer one over the other. You can decide on the right outdoor living space after consulting deck builders as well because most contractors can build both decks and patios.

Basics About Patios And Decks

Both patios and decks are built in the backyard for creating a living space. Patios are installed by using materials like bricks, concrete, pebbles, stones, tiles, peal gravel, and others. On the other hand, decks are usually built with wood, vinyl, or composite wood.

Both a patio and deck can be attached or detached from the house. However, decks are elevated whereas patios are commonly installed on the ground level.

Differences Between Decks And Patios

Patios Are Cheaper To Install Than Decks

Installing a patio in your yard is much more cost-effective than building a deck of the same size. This is primarily due to the materials used in laying a patio compared to decking.

For a patio, you have a wide range of materials that range from cheap to expensive. So, you can select the right one according to your requirements and budget. A cheap and durable patio material is concrete. Moreover, other materials like bricks, tiles, stamped concrete, pea gravel, and some stones are also cheaper than decking materials.

Decks Require A Permit Whereas Patios Don’t

Typically, you may need a building permit for installing a deck to ensure the structure is sound and hazard-free. It’s because decks are considered an extension of the house and building them requires a permit as if you’re extending your house.

Moreover, inspections are required during the deck installation process as well so the deck meets the codes and regulations.

If permits and inspections are required, there is no way around them. You will need to follow them and if you fail to follow the guidelines, you may be charged with a penalty or may be ordered to remove the structure that doesn’t meet the guidelines. This means removing the deck entirely.

Patios, however, don’t usually require any permit or inspection because they are built on the ground as separate structures even when they are attached to the house. This can also save you permit and inspection costs. But before proceeding with patio installation, check the local codes to be sure that your patio doesn’t need a permit.

Decks Can Be Installed On Uneven Terrain While Patios Require An Even Surface

One of the major benefits of decks is that they can be installed anywhere. It doesn’t matter if the surface is rocky, uneven, or has a slope, deck installation is possible. On the other hand, patios are limited to even surfaces. If the yard space is uneven, you will have the only option of decking for an outdoor living space.

You can have a patio built on an uneven surface, but for this, the ground will be leveled before the patio installation process. Although patios are cheaper than decks, this process will cost even more than deck installation.

Decks Offer A Better View

Decks are built off the ground. As they are slightly or much elevated, the view offered by decks can be better compared to patios that are usually installed on ground level. Keep in mind that the surrounding view from the deck depends on the location of your home and how cleverly the deck is installed for better views.

A trade-off with any elevated living area is less privacy. In this sense, patios offer better privacy because they are built on the ground and you can try different designs and ways to improve the privacy at a low cost.

Patios Last Longer Than Decks

Patios are more long-lasting than decks. Traditional wood decking will keep your outdoor space livable for 15 years while a concrete patio can last for 20-40 years. They can last even more if they are maintained well.

However, if you only want a deck for your backyard and require a long-lasting decking material, you should look into cedar, mahogany, pressure-treated lumber, and plastic lumber (HDPE) as they can give you a decent lifespan of 30 years. But keep in mind that the cost of these materials will be higher than traditional wood.

That being said, most patio materials are excellent when it comes to longer lifespan and lower cost.

Decks Can’t Withstand Unlimited Weight

Decks are built by installing posts so all the weight on a deck should be within the capacity of the installed posts otherwise, the deck can collapse. This doesn’t mean you can’t place chairs and tables and have some guests on the deck, but you must know how much weight the deck can withstand and work within that range. Typically, a traditional wood deck can carry loads of about 50 pounds/square foot.

So, if you don’t want to be bothered with weight restrictions, go for a patio. However, if you are fine with it and have an uneven surface, decks are best suited for your yard.

Decks Can Absorb Heat And Retain Less Heat

People living in warm areas know the struggle of walking on a patio on a sunny day. If you don’t want your outdoor living space to become uncomfortably hot on warmer days, consider decks because most of the decking materials absorb heat very well. This means they retain less heat compared to patio materials like concrete and bricks.

Patios When Wet Can Cause Slipping

In colder areas, ice can form in outdoor spaces. This ice can make your patio a slipping hazard. Moreover, if you have a pool patio, there may be an increased risk of slipping. Therefore, if you live in a cold area or want to install living space attached to your pool, consider decking.

Patios Are Easier To Maintain

Not only most patio materials are affordable, but most of them are also easier to maintain the wood decks. If you choose stone, pavers, or concrete, they can withstand wear and tear and require the least amount of maintenance.

On the other hand, wood decks are high maintenance. You will have to seal and repaint them every few years. Moreover, power washing them every year may also be required.

Decks Offer A Higher Return On Investment

Decks are more expensive than patios, but they also offer a better ROI compared to patios. If you’re doing home improvement for selling your house, then you shouldn’t think of anything and go for deck installation.

Moreover, even if you’re building the outdoor space for yourself and you might sell your house in a couple of years, you should still install a deck instead of a patio. This will make your house more attractive to the buyers.

Decks Are Easily Customizable

Customization is easier when comes to decks. You can paint or stain the deck in any color. You can even stain the deck to match your house as well.

Painting and staining are not possible for most patio materials. Of the common patio materials, concrete is the only one that can be stained and painted.


Both patios and decks have their strength and weak areas. Now that you know about them, consult deck contractors Port Jefferson Station and start the planning process for your deck or patio.

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