Deck vs Patio: What's the Difference?
If you need some outdoor space, you might be contemplating the difference between the deck vs patio. Both of these increase square footage without breaking the bank. You can use them to gather with friends or family and simply relax. Which one is the most popular option? In 2017, almost 24% of the 780,000 single family homes that were built contained a deck. On the other hand, in 2014, nearly 100,000 homes were sold with patios. It appears that they are both popular choices with today’s homeowner. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each option and the main differences.
Difference in MaterialsOne of the main differences you’ll find is the material used to create your outdoor space. With a deck, you’ll utilize the following options:
- Wood – this is the most natural and popular option. On the other hand, it does require more maintenance.
- Composite – this looks like wood, but often costs more.
- Plastic – requires less upkeep but costs as much as a composite.
- Aluminum – cost the most but comes with a long lifespan.
- Concrete – you’ll find this the most often, but it’s also very plain.
- Stamped concrete – requires more maintenance but adds some personality.
- Gravel – easy to install and affordable.
- Stone – higher priced but creates an upscale appearance.
- Brick Pavers – costs less than stone, but tends to look just as nice, if done properly.
- Wood – requires regular replacement but looks natural.
Difference in CostsOf course, the majority of the cost is going to come from the materials you use. You still have to consider the installation expenses as well. With that said, we can still look at the national average to get an idea what it will run. Deck Cost:
- National average runs about $7,000.
- Installation works out to about $35 per square foot.
- Materials cost anywhere from $3-$25 per square foot.
- National average runs about $3,200.
- Installation works out to about $10-$20 per square foot.
- Materials cost anywhere from $1.50-$30 per square foot.
Difference in Return on InvestmentIf you’ve been thinking about the difference between a deck vs patio, then you’ve likely considered the resale value. Will you be paid back for your efforts? It truly depends on how you look at it. Sure, the deck has a higher return on investment with averages hitting between 60-80%. With that said, they do cost more to install and take more work. On the other hand, the patio only features a ROI of about 50% but it costs less to install. The majority of what you’ll gain from a patio is enjoyment. If the return on investment is most important, then you’ll want to go with a deck.
Advantages of a Deck
- Higher resale value
- Works well with any terrain – you can install it even when the yard isn’t level
- Offers a better view
- Customization is simple
- Comfortable when it’s hot
Disadvantages of a Deck
- Requires more maintenance
- Shorter lifespan
- You might need a permit to build
- Costs more
- Weight restrictions
Advantages of a Patio
- Less expensive
- Easy to maintain
- Offers more privacy
- Longer lifespan
- Doesn’t require any permits
Disadvantages of a Patio
- Not good on uneven terrain
- Prone to cracking
- Prone to stains
- Requires more construction if located with ground movement