Decks and patios are now key features looked for by homebuyers when on the hunt for a new home. With the creation of the “outdoor living space” these structures have almost become a necessity. As a homeowner wondering whether to install a deck or a patio, there are a few items to keep in mind. First, whatever you install should not break your bank account. Second, it should suit your yard. Third, it should suit your needs.
Before we take a look at the differences between decks and patios, however, let’s clearly define what they are. Although many people use the two words interchangeably, a deck is a supported structure usually made out of wood, vinyl or concrete while a patio is laid directly on the ground and is typically made from stone, pavers, poured concrete, gravel or, sometimes, mulch.
The cost of installing a deck can run anywhere from $6,000 to $20,000 depending on the size and intricacy of your deck as well as the material you use. Composite decking is far more expensive per square foot than regular treated wood, while cedar planking comes in at the midrange of the two. A good cost calculator for decks can be found here //bit.ly/1Cpn7uw.
Patios are far more affordable than decks. Pavers can be as little as $0.50 but can go as high as $30 although you do have to take into consideration the cost of leveling the ground and adding enough crushed stone to make a stable base. If you plan on doing the work yourself, then a patio can run you as little as $200 or can go as high as $10,000 depending on the size and scope of your design. A good calculator can for patios can be found here //bit.ly/1HOrYFL.
Choosing the material that best suits your yard and your needs are also two very important considerations. If you have a sloping yard, then you will have to level the ground before installing a patio, whereas installing a deck will make leveling the surface much easier. However, if you want to incorporate your sitting area into your landscaping, it is easier to do so with patios, which can be surrounded by gardens and vegetation.
What you need is another factor that will influence your decision. If you want a spotlight place overlooking a view, then a deck is definitely the way to go. However, if you want a cozy spot for seeking shade and tranquility or for installing a fire pit, then a patio surrounded by lush gardens is probably a better idea. Many landscape designs will, in fact, incorporate both a deck and a patio in the same design to better serve different needs.
Regardless of whether you go with a deck or a patio, the options for both are endless and the results, if done well, can serve your family and home for years to come.