Research shows that adding outdoor living space, such as a porch, deck, or patio, to your home can increase your property value by 8-12 percent. These spaces can also yield a return on investment of approximately 80 percent.
Have you been thinking about sprucing up the exterior of your home with a deck or patio? Are you unsure about which one you want to choose?
Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of both decks and patios. This information will help you decide once and for all where you stand on the deck vs patio debate.
A deck provides you with a great place to grill, hang out with friends and family, and just relax at the end of a long day. It’s no wonder they’re such a popular option for folks looking to add a fun and functional outdoor living space to their property.
If you’re on the fence about building a deck, here are some pros and cons you should keep in mind:
Pros of a Deck
- Higher Resale Value
Often, when people start looking into decks and patios for their backyards, they start by asking about the typical patio vs deck resale value.
Both options will increase the resale value of your home. However, you’ll typically see a more significant increase from a deck compared to a patio.
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, a deck will likely be a better choice. Even if you don’t have plans to sell your home anytime soon, this is still a good point to keep in mind.
- Good for All Types of Land
When you’re building a deck, you don’t have to worry about the terrain of your backyard as much. Even if you don’t have a level backyard, you can still add a deck to your home and enjoy an outdoor living space without too many problems.
- Better View
When you build a deck, you often get to enjoy a better view of your area. You don’t have to worry about staring straight into your neighbors’ backyards (or having them stare straight into yours). You can look out on your neighborhood from above and take in the sites in style.
Cons of a Deck
- Higher Cost
Another common question has to do with the differences in the cost of building a deck vs patio. It’s true that a deck will increase the resale value of your house more than a patio. It’s also more expensive to build, though.
Remember this if you’re working with a limited budget. You might be able to stretch your dollars farther by installing a patio instead of building a deck.
- Possible Permit Requirements
A potential downside to building a deck is that, depending on where you live, you might have to get a permit before you can get started. You might also have to adhere to certain rules put in place by your local government.
These rules can get in the way of you carrying out your creative vision. They can also make the whole process more frustrating and time-consuming.
- Increased Maintenance
Certain types of decks, especially wooden decks, come with a lot of maintenance requirements. For example, they’ll need to be power washed on a regular basis. You’ll also need to de-stain and reseal the wood every couple of years to keep the deck looking nice.
Approximately 87 percent of home buyers say that they want a home with a patio, so it’s safe to assume that this is a good addition to your home that will help you fetch a better price when the time comes to resell your home. However, there are some potential downsides to choosing a patio instead of a deck.
Outlined below are some of the pluses and minuses of adding a patio to your property:
Pros of a Patio
- More Affordable
When you start looking into the cost of a concrete patio vs wood deck, you’ll quickly find that the patio is the cheaper option.
Choosing the less expensive route and picking a patio over a deck might mean that you have more money left over to spend on styling. You can add more flair to a patio and make it an outdoor living space that everyone will enjoy, rather than spending all your coins on just getting the deck built.
- Easier Maintenance
You don’t have to do as much work to maintain a concrete or paved patio. You can simply spray it down and sweep it on a regular basis to get rid of dirt and dust buildup.
- No Permits Needed
Most of the time, you don’t have to worry about getting any permits to install a patio. If you don’t want to waste time waiting for approval, a patio might be a better choice for your backyard.
Cons of a Patio
- Not Good for All Backyards
Before you get too excited, keep in mind that not all backyards can accommodate a patio. If you have an uneven backyard, you might not be able to set up a patio without spending a lot of money to first create a level surface.
- Prone to Cracking and Staining
Although patios typically don’t require as much maintenance, they’re also susceptible to certain types of damage that decks are not. For example, patios are more likely to become cracked, especially if the soil underneath the concrete was not properly prepared. Patios might also be more susceptible to stains than decks if you don’t keep up with spraying them down regularly.
- More Construction Costs
Even though patios usually win in arguments about deck vs patio cost, it’s important to note that there is the potential for higher construction costs (and more construction time) for patios than decks.
Remember, you need a level surface for your patio. By the time you invest in this if you don’t already have one, you could end up spending as much as you would have for a deck (if not more).
Bonus Tips for a Better Backyard
No matter where you stand on the building a deck vs patio debate, there are lots of steps you can take to make your outdoor living space of choice more enjoyable. Here are some of the best ways to enhance these spaces so that you’ll actually use them once they’re built:
- Invest in Comfortable Furniture
To make your outdoor living space more inviting, make sure you invest in some comfortable outdoor furniture. Look for chairs and couches that look nice and that everyone can use. Make sure they’re weatherproof and can withstand rain and wind with ease, too.
- Bring in Some Greenery
Adding plants and flowers to your outdoor living space makes it much more appealing and turns it into a place that you and your family will love to visit. Keep the amount of sunlight your deck or patio gets in mind when you’re choosing plants. This will help you ensure you’re picking ones that can survive and thrive.
If you don’t trust yourself to care for plants, you can also purchase realistic-looking artificial ones. They’ll still create a nice ambiance, and you’ll be able to reuse them year after year.
- Consider a Water Feature
After you’ve added a patio to your backyard, consider taking things to the next level with a water feature, such as a fountain or waterfall. Water features, like plants, create a nice outdoor scene, and they also provide some peaceful background noise for your gatherings.
- Banish Bugs
Take steps to keep bugs at bay, especially during the summer when they’re especially prevalent. Nobody wants to be slapping at mosquitos or shooing away flies when they’re trying to enjoy a nice backyard barbecue.
Set up some citronella candles, for example. You can also install inconspicuous bug traps to keep insects away from you and your guests.
- Add Outdoor Lighting
Finally, don’t forget to add outdoor lighting. Outdoor lighting ensures you can enjoy your patio or deck at any time, day or night. It also creates a nice, relaxing environment and can help to keep bugs and pests away.
If you need help with outdoor lighting, reach out to a professional. They can help you choose lights that work well for your outdoor space and create the kind of aesthetic you’re looking for.
Deck vs Patio: Where Do You Stand?
Now that you know more about the pros and cons of both of these backyard renovation options, what do you think? What’s your position on the deck vs patio debate?
Both decks and patios come with their own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s ultimately up to you to decide which one is right for your backyard. Keep this information in mind as you start planning your updates and you’ll have no trouble choosing.
Don’t forget to check out some of our other home improvement articles, too. We have lots of resources for the inside and outside of your home that will help you spruce them up so that they suit your specific tastes.