Whether you’re enjoying the view or entertaining friends, having a functional outdoor living space adds comfort and style to your home. If creating a new living space is on your to-do list, you may be wondering whether a deck or patio is right for you.
While many people use the terms deck and patio interchangeably, you may be disappointed if you ask a contractor to build one, and he creates the other. Designing an outdoor space that’s a good fit for your home can be tricky when you don’t know your options. If you’re ready to add an outdoor entertaining space to your home, you’ve come to the right place.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about designing the outdoor oasis of your dreams!
What’s the Difference Between a Deck and Patio?
While it may seem like semantics, a deck and a patio have some key differences that can help you decide which option is right for your home. First, let’s look at the way patios and decks are similar before we note their differences.
Unlike a three-season room or screened-in porch, a deck or patio offers an outdoor entertaining space without full walls. Either a deck or patio is appropriate around a pool. You can cover either with a pergola or awning for shade.
Decks and patios are great spaces for entertaining and dining. Both can house a grill or outdoor kitchen to minimize trips into the house.
While a deck is typically attached to the house, a patio can be detached or attached. Consider the flow between your house and the outdoor area before making a decision. Decks are elevated and extend from the house to enjoy a view, while patios are ground level and are generally intended as an entertaining space.
Another primary difference between decks and patios is what they’re crafted from. A deck is almost always made from wood or wood composite. A patio is more versatile, and materials can be concrete, pavers, gravel, tile, and more.
Generally speaking, if you see an outdoor space made from wood, that’s a deck. Otherwise, it’s likely considered a patio.
Decks and patios can have very different zoning and building requirements, so deciding which type of space you want is vital before you call a contractor.
Pros and Cons of Decks
Decks can offer a beautiful view of your property, making them a preferred outdoor space and a solid investment for houses in scenic areas. Multi-level decks or wraparound decks can add style and curb appeal to the front of your house, while a back deck provides a private oasis and plenty of space for entertaining.
If your backyard isn’t level or your home is built on a hill, a deck can provide a cost-effective outdoor space that connects to the house. One of the benefits of decks is for parties where guests may move between the house and the deck frequently. A deck can provide optimal flow for large groups and become a continuation of indoor living space.
Since a deck is often made of wood, decks may require year-round maintenance to look their best. That may mean cleaning, restaining, shoveling snow, and resealing each year to keep your deck looking warm and inviting.
Using durable wood products like Ipe can ensure your deck stays beautiful even after years of use.
A back deck often has railings along the sides and stairs down to the back yard. If stairs are something you are looking to avoid, a deck may not be an appropriate choice for your needs.
Pros and Cons of Patios
Patios are a great way to enjoy landscaping and create a lovely, low-maintenance outdoor space for your home. There are many ways to personalize the style and design of your patio space, so you can customize your space to fit your exact needs. A patio can be a great place to enjoy a fire pit, create an entertaining space separate from your house, or naturally expand your living space into your backyard.
If you like spending time in your backyard or front yard, a patio is a great way to connect activities happening in the yard to a covered entertaining space. While a deck can keep activities in the yard separate from the house, a patio can offer a more cohesive outdoor space since they are on the same level as your lawn. Patios can also provide a great lounge space around an inground pool.
Since a patio is on the ground level, they are not an ideal way to make the most of a view. Plus, while you may enjoy a customized patio, patios do not typically offer the same resale value as a deck does. They are often made from materials like stone, brick, or concrete, which can make walking or lounging in that space less comfortable than a deck.
Should I Get a Deck or Patio?
Before you choose between a deck or patio, make sure you have an idea of how you will use the space. That will help you decide what type of outdoor living area best suits your home and lifestyle.
If you love your land and have a view from your home, a deck can help you make the most of that view and increase your property’s value. A well-designed deck can offer an attractive addition to your house that increases curb appeal and brings warmth to your space. While a deck may require more maintenance, the wood look offers a classic design.
For a custom look, a patio can offer the flexibility to create a space designed precisely for your entertaining needs. While a patio may be less comfortable, they can be placed anywhere and offer a relaxing area connected to your yard. Patios are also a great way to dress up a pool and add space for lounging.
If a deck is right for you, we recommend beautiful Ipe wood to create a gorgeous space that’s built to last. Get started on building your outdoor space with Ipe decking today!