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Home and Yard Improvements: Should I Build a Deck or Patio?

When thinking of landscaping, a common question for many people is whether to build a deck or a patio. Both provide areas for outdoor socialization and look great in a garden. There are pros and cons of both decks and patios, and choosing which feature to add to your yard largely comes down to the available space, budget, ground surface, and personal preference. Here’s our team’s rundown on the deck versus patio debate: 

What Is a Deck?

A deck is an open elevated platform that extends from a home. Decks are typically built from wood or wood-like composite materials. 

What Is a Patio?

A patio sits flush on the ground and can be attached to the house or in a separate area of the yard. Patios are paved, with materials such as tiles, concrete, or bricks.

Deck vs Patio   

Here are some considerations when choosing between a deck and a patio for your home.

  • Cost

Due to lower material costs, patios cost significantly less to build than decks. 

  • Life Span

A patio has a longer life span than a deck, although both need looking after to keep them in good condition. Wooden decks can rot over time and the color gradually fades. Patios can eventually crack, adding saw cuts to the patio will reduce this from happening.

  • Maintenance

When it comes to maintenance and cleaning, a patio is much easier to take care of. It’s often significantly cheaper and less time- and energy-consuming to maintain a patio. For a patio, you can hose it down and it is good to go!

  • Building Permits

You may need a permit to add a deck to your home. There’s generally no such requirement to install a patio.

  • Terrain

If the land outside your home has contours or is rolling, a deck would be your best option. Patios require more flat terrain.

  • Property Type

If you have a walk-out or daylight basement, you will be required to have a deck.

  • Weight Limits

Although both patios and decks can hold a significant amount of weight, greater weight restrictions typically apply to decks as compared to patios. If you’re planning to create an area for heavy items, such as a hot tub, Jacuzzi, or an outdoor kitchen, a patio may be a more suitable choice.

  • Privacy

If privacy is important, a ground-level patio would better suit your preferences. Elevated decks, on the other hand, typically provide better views. Don’t forget that either can be enclosed for added privacy and to be bug-free!

Both patios and decks can be customized to meet your preferences and both provide terrific outdoor living options to a home. Each feature can also look beautiful and enhance the appearance and appeal of your home. When custom-building a new home, our expert team at Heartland Builders is happy to discuss your landscaping requirements and advise further on whether a deck or patio is more suitable for your home. Contact us to discuss your requirements in more detail.