Deciding between a patio or a deck is a common dilemma that homeowners face when expanding their outdoor living area.  Clients in Wayne, Malvern, Downingtown and Chester Springs often ask our opinion and we never have one stock answer because every home has a different situation and location. For instance, townhomes and condos usually utilize decks because patios require more yard space.   However, more times than not, we typically recommend homeowners to consider a patio versus a deck.

Patio Advantages 

More Patio Design Options.  There is an endless variety of colors, shapes and textures of patio pavers and stone.  In the patio design process there is also the option of combining patterns, borders, and accents to give your patio design a feel and style of its own.  Our design process allows you to envision how your patio will look.   Decks are limited by the shape of boards.  Yes, boards can be cut and angled to produce different patterns, but the shear elevation may limit some options.  Our hardscape designer will work with your home style and individual preferences to create a truly unique patio design.  How to Select the Right Pavers for Your New Patio or Walkway.

Patios Offer Low Maintenance and Long Lifespan.   When a patio is installed by a reputable hardscaping contractor,  patios require almost no maintenance.  In addition, pavers and stone are extremely durable and stand up to rain and extreme temperature changes.  Decks require some routine maintenance unless you choose a composite material that usually drives up the cost considerably.

Patios Can be Landscaped for Privacy.   Patios are built flush with the ground and installing attractive landscaping allows shrubs and trees to soften the overall outdoor patio area in addition to providing shade and visual privacy.   Perennials and annuals can give the area a splash of color. If a deck is built above grade level, the people enjoying the space are more exposed to neighbors watching them.

Patios Give You Many Extra Hardscape Options.   Think of your backyard as an extension of your home.   Adding an outdoor living feature such as a fire pit, fireplace, outdoor kitchen or water feature can provide a reason to get outside and encourage family and friends to linger longer.   An elevated deck cannot support the weight of additional hardscaping features and open flames and sparks present dangers near wood.  Read Patio Design: Top 5 Patio Design Ideas You’ll Regret Not Knowing.

Patios Create a Connection Between Your Living Space and Your Landscape.  With a patio, family and friends can move much more easily to activities on the lawn without navigating deck stairs.  Being at an even level to the rest of your lawn creates a connection between your living space and your landscape.   A ground level patio also makes the lawn more accessible to guests with mobility issues.

Patios Offer a Higher Return on Investment.  Hardscaping that delivers the best financial ROI increase livable, usable space like patios, decks, and walkways that flow well.  However, patios seem to offer a higher return on investment.  Patios increase the home’s value by closer to 12% vs decks typically increase the home’s value by roughly 10%.

Patios are Budget Friendly.   Decks cost more per square foot than patios.   You can figure a composite material deck might cost you approximately $35 per sq. ft.  and a patio may cost an average of $18 - 25 per sq. ft.  Of course, these figures are rough and depend on factors such as grading, site preparation and accessibility.  Check out How Much Does It Cost to Install Patio Pavers.

Why Some Homes Lend Themselves to Decks

How Steep or Sloped is Your Property?   A raised deck can compensate for a severely sloped property.  Patios require level ground and although minor unevenness can be corrected, a severe slope will add to the cost of leveling the ground and some type of retaining wall will be necessary. How many steps are needed to go from your door to the ground.  Easy access is important and if you can get from the door to the ground in 4 steps, a patio works.  With 4 or more steps, a deck is more practical.

Patio and Deck Combination

Two Outdoor Living Spaces are Better Than One.  If you’re looking for a unique backyard design, why limit yourself to either a deck or a patio.  Some of our clients like the versatility of a deck and a patio.   They like the combination because it allows for more entertaining and intimate gathering areas.  Often the deck is closest to the kitchen which makes for an ideal dining area.  A fire pit or fireplace might draw guests down the stairs to a patio area to continue their evening.  For large gatherings, two areas are always used for the overflow or a teenage hangout. Patio Under Deck Extends Outdoor Living Area

What thing for sure, whether you choose a patio or deck, endless hours of enjoyment await as you and your family enjoy your new outdoor living space.

Whitehouse Landscaping is passionate about creating spaces that build memories for years to come.  Having been in business for more than 15 years in Montgomery and Chester counties, we have established a reputation of being a quality, trusted landscaping and hardscaping company that strives to satisfy each and every client.  Read reviews on Home Advisor website.

If you’re ready for a free consultation for your outdoor living project, fill out our contact  form or call 484-300-4290 and we’d be happy to set up an appointment.