Soon, you may have a delightful new space where you can enjoy brunch with the birds, grilled suppers with good friends and sips of wine under the stars.
Both decks and patios are great additions to your quality of life, offer extra living space and add value to your home.
But what’s the difference?
A Primer On Patios
A patio is an outdoor space placed directly on the ground. It could be connected to the house or constructed in a separate part of the yard.
Patios often have concrete bases, but some homeowners use stone, tile, pavers, brick or other materials to create the foundation.
In most cases, patios don’t have a rail, but they might include such features as fire pits, built-in barbecues and sitting areas.
The Deal with Decks
Decks are typically constructed of wood or composite materials. Unlike patios, they’re not built directly on the ground but feature some type of support system to hold them up.
Decks can be built on the lower floor of a home, such as the living room or kitchen, or they might be added to an upper-level room. They’re typically enclosed with some type of railing.
How To Choose?
First, imagine yourself using the space, to get an idea of your outdoor routine. (While you’re at it, imagine yourself 20 pounds thinner and winning the lottery. Why not?)
Then, quiz yourself.
Do you want to use your outside space as a second dining room? How about one with a nice, shiny grill built in? A built-in works better with a patio. Or maybe a portable grill is OK with you. A deck would work fine.
Need more space? An elevated deck might be your choice — it would offer space underneath for storage or other purposes.
Want a fire pit? Hopefully you don’t need Smokey Bear to drop by to tell you a deck is a bad idea.
Sometimes, The Property Chooses
The choice might be obvious. Does your back door exit directly into the backyard? There may not be enough room for the framing and supports a deck needs. Hello, patio.
But if your yard has a significant slope and no large level area, a deck makes perfect sense. Decks also allow you to build over tree roots, so you can construct your backyard oasis without hurting the trees.
What About Maintenance?
Most wood decks require some annual maintenance, including power washing and water sealing. Even composite materials will need an occasional pressure-washing.
Patios typically require less maintenance, but weeds sneak through paver stones and cracks need to be occasionally refilled with sand.
Some experts say decks cost more than patios. The National Association of Realtors reports decks run around $33 per square foot while a patio might cost as low as $15 per square foot.
But that’s a tough call to make. The cost varies widely, depending on materials, size, the features you add and the engineering involved in construction. Yes, a plain concrete patio costs less than a wood deck. But add flagstone or pavers, and the cost can easily even out.
Keep in mind composite decking costs about twice the price of wood and require more framing, too.
Still Stumped? Let Neave in on the Plan
The experts at Neave Carpentry and Neave Masonry can help you with this decision, based on the unique features of your property and your lifestyle.
If a deck’s in your future, Neave Carpentry provides a complete service from beginning to end, assisting with design, construction, and maintenance. Our professional tradesmen and construction teams also do renovations and can help you refurbish your existing deck.
If you pick a patio, Neave Masonry’s team can help you from design right through installation. Either way, a project manager will visit your site and begin to explore ideas with you, then serve as your main contact point through the process.
If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.