What’s the Difference Between a Deck and a Patio?

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    What’s the Difference Between a Deck and a Patio?

    Which is easier to build? What about cost?

    A house is built to shelter us from the elements and to give us a place to rest, recover and to reassess ourselves. With all the hustle and bustle in life, it can be hard to do so, even in the walls of our own abode that’s why we try our best to make it into a home.

    While ornaments, furnishing and even pets should do the trick, some people find that these are not enough. With a bed to rest in, a kitchen to enjoy scrumptious meals in and a living room to let loose with friends and family, nothing says home better than creating your own little personal niche where you can live and let go while enjoying the beautiful scenery before you.

    Well, it might not really be as scenic as a bay watch or a mountain view, but a serene homestead definitely does the trick. That said, many people opt to put in the effort and expenses into creating a deck or patio for the home. Though both essentially serve the same purpose, in terms of materials, placement and arrangement a patio and deck are actually different.

    So … What’s the Difference?

    Before we go into the details of what separates a deck from a patio, let’s first see why people get these two mixed up.

    Though both a patio and deck can be used to have a change of scenery or to get some fresh air without having to stray too far from home, these are actually designed to accommodate a large group of people. This makes them perfect area to host events for friends and family.

    Patios are constructed directly to the ground. For this reason, they are typically made with concrete, stone, tile, pavers and bricks as their base. These make it the best place to add a built in fire pit, barbecue grill and outdoor sitting area. As such, most home owners would prefer having their patios located in a separate part of their yard. Some, however, would rather have it connected directly to their house.

    This is where it gets a bit confusing. While decks are connected with a house, they are compelled to do so. Otherwise, it would not be known as a deck. That said, accommodating a deck into your setup would be much harder and time consuming as opposed to a patio.

    Think of it this way, while a patio may have nothing to do with the setup of your home, a deck is required to do so. Made out of wood or vinyl a deck is connected to your home whether it be on the lower or upper level and thus it is essential that this not only complements the aesthetic of your home but that it also brings no burden to the foundation of your house. You can check out some backyard deck ideas on a budget if you are interested in building a deck in your home, all while saving some money.

    In the construction of a deck, there are many things to consider such as the entryways, railings and support system, as well as all the materials needed to build a deck. For a patio, the only things you would ever need to worry about are the design and additions to the setup.

    If you were to ask, “Is it easier to build a deck or a patio?” most contractors would say the patio by far.


    Generally speaking constructing something out of concrete would be more expensive than something created from wood. With that logic, of course, it would be puzzling as to why a patio would be much easier to build. How thick does a concrete slab need to be for a patio? We have an entire article dedicated to that topic!

    However, considering all the effort and possible remodeling that you would be doing, a patio requires less work and materials as opposed to a deck. If you haven’t already fit in a deck into your blue print, chances are, you haven’t created entryways to and from your deck. Also, your deck should be strong enough to stand on its own without being a burden to the internal structure of you home. This is especially true for decks attached to the higher floors of your home.

    So, is it cheaper to build a deck or patio? A deck wouldn’t be complete without railings and thus you’re stuck with extra expenses. Don’t even get me started on its maintenance. That said, it would make more sense to go for a patio, especially if you are after getting a big Return of Investment (ROI) on your home, if you do decide to sell it out in the future.

    In line with getting an ROI, I know you must be wondering if it would be possible to save up on making your patio. Now, you must be asking yourself:

    What is the least expensive patio material?

    As a rule of thumb, you have to earn much more than you spent if you want to get a good ROI. Now, this may not always be the case considering that you need to take into account the durability and sustainability of materials. This is particularly true for construction projects- both residential and corporate.

    Of course, nobody would want to sacrifice their safety just to save up on materials. With that in mind, weighing the different combinations of concrete for your porch depends on such factors. While going for the best may sound good, if it’s the ROI you’re after, doing so might just lead to the exact opposite.

    So, how do you go about it?

    Think yourself lucky. With our experience, we’ve made sure to save you all the guess work. Among the many options to choose from the top three least expensive patio materials are (1) pea gravel at $6 – $10, (2) poured or stamped concrete at $6 – $13 and (3) concrete pavers at $13-$20. Aside from being relatively cheaper, this components ensure your patio a long lifespan of up to 100 years and require less to no maintenance.

    If you’re ready to discover the true potential of your outdoor space, call us today. One of our composite decking experts will be happy to discuss your project and answer any questions you may have.

    Justin Wylie

    Justin Wylie, owner of All Pro Decks & Patios is a Deckorators® Certified Pro Elite located in the San Antonio Hill Country area. He specializes in building decks, patios, patio covers, pergolas, concrete slabs, fireplaces and more while providing quality and service for his customers.

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