With winter looming around the corner, there’s no better time to begin your plans to expand your outdoor living space next spring. By building a deck or a patio, you add an extension of livable space you and your loved ones can enjoy, while also increasing the resale value of your home.
But, which is better for your space? As you begin to make your design plans, it’s helpful to compare the pros and cons of decks and patios, so you can make the best choice to complete your vision:
Pros & Cons of Patios
- They are ground level, so they don’t require any structural support or railings and tend to feel more private.
- They are often made from cheaper materials (i.e. concrete, pavers, etc.); however, more expensive materials can be used (i.e. bricks, etc.).
- They blend in with landscaping, making a seamless addition.
- They have no weight limits, so they are great options for hot tubs, outdoor kitchens, etc.
- Typically, they don’t require any building permits to complete.
- They require even, level terrain, so if your topography is more varied, you may require expensive retaining walls and ground leveling before installation.
- They usually are made from materials that are fairly porous and prone to staining, so cleaning patios often prove to be more difficult.
- They can shift or crack over time with extreme temperature variations and weed or vegetation growth.
Pros & Cons of Decks
- They can be installed at any height, so they are great option for those needing outdoor spaces off of an upper-level.
- They don’t require level ground, so decking can be installed over any terrain, which makes it a widely embraced outdoor-living option for homeowners.
- They can be created with a variety of materials (i.e. wood, composite, etc.), ranging in price; some maintenance-free decking materials require no maintenance, either!
- They are great options to display scenic views of your yard and surrounding landscape, since they create a higher platform.
- They offer complete customization, so the homeowner can create a truly unique space.
- They can easily seamlessly incorporate more complex design elements like gazebos, benches, spiral staircases, etc., because they already require foundational framework and structural support.
- They tend to have a higher resale value, making it a strong investment.
- They can be a more expensive option, depending on size, material choice, and complexity of design.
- They often require more maintenance (i.e. sanding, staining, treating, etc.), if you opt for materials like wood, in order to prevent splintering, cracking, etc.
- They can only hold a certain amount of weight once it’s installed. If you wish to have a hot tub, outdoor kitchen, rock fire pit, etc., the structural support needs to be able to hold that much weight.
- They usually require a building permit to install.
What’s Right for You?
In order to make the best decision that will complement your home, fit within your budget, and meet your needs, you should consider the following aspects:
- What do you want to do with your space? Do you plan on making an outdoor eating area or kitchen? Do you want your own spa retreat with a hot tub? Are you looking for an area in which you can sit and relax? Do you want multi-level functionality? The purpose of your space can help you determine if a deck or patio will be best for you. While any of the above questions could work for either option, the answer to these questions will affect the overall cost and size of space you’ll need.
- What is your space like? Do you have close neighbors and are looking for more privacy? Are the views from your backyard breathtaking, and you’re looking to show them off? Is your land flat, or does the ground have different variations? Knowing your space and choosing the option that best works with it can save you a lot of money in the long run. You may think a patio will save you more money, but if you have drastic ground leveling to do, you may have pinched more pennies by opting for decking. Know your space, and figure out what about your space you want to enhance.
- Your budget is the driving force, here. There are so many factors that affect the bottom-line cost to build a deck or a patio, such as size, complexity of design, and material choice. While outdoor decks usually are more expensive than a patio, it honestly depends on the overall design plan. A large patio made from brick with a built-in pizza oven will cost more than a simple, standard-sized wooden deck. Find out what you’re wanting to invest, and be strict and realistic in that budget.
If you’re looking to enhance your outdoor living space next spring, take the time this winter to talk with a professional deck contractor. At UglyDeck.com, our team of expert deck builders have completed countless decking and patio installations for homeowners and are highly knowledgeable about meeting building and safety codes. We know how important it is to get the design plans just right, so your new outdoor living space can complement your home, add resale-value potential, and create an enjoyable space to build new, lasting memories with your friends and family.
During the harsh winter months, get excited about your design plans, and come visit the UglyDeck.com team at one of our showroom locations, where you can consult with one of our pros about your design plans and ask any questions you have, and our team member will recommend the best maintenance-free products and offer expertise in making your vision come to life. If you don’t even know where to start, that’s okay! You can browse our photo galleries to get some outdoor-living inspiration, or one of our Twin Cities deck builders can come to your home for a free consultation and estimate, where they’ll inspect your space and recommend a design concept that meets all your needs and fits your budget. If you’d like to get started on planning your new hotspot outdoor hangout, contact us today, as we’d love to be a part of it!