When it comes to home improvement, it can be hard to decide what project to undertake next. The most common project options are to upgrade or update the deck, patio, or porch. So, which one should you choose?
It may be confusing what the difference is between these three outdoor living spaces. This article will help clarify that and give tips on which one may be best suited for your home.
Deck Vs. Patio Vs. Porch: What is the Difference?
A deck is a raised platform typically attached to a house or building. They are usually made of wood but can also be made of other materials such as aluminum or composite.
Decks can be used for various purposes, including entertaining guests, relaxing in the sun, or simply enjoying the outdoors. In addition to their practical benefits, decks also add to the aesthetic appeal of a home.
On the other hand, a patio is a paved outdoor area usually built directly on the ground. They can be made of concrete, stone, brick pavers, or other materials. Patios are popular places to dine, entertain, and just unwind. They also add curb appeal and value to a home.
Porches are very similar to decks in that they are raised platforms. However, they are typically enclosed with a roof, screens, or windows. Porches can be used for the same purposes as decks and patios but offer protection from the elements such as rain, snow, and bugs.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Decks, Patios, and Porches
Each of these outdoor living spaces has benefits and drawbacks. Considering these before deciding which one to upgrade to is essential.
Pros of Decks
Here are some of the benefits of upgrading to a deck:
- High resale value: Decks have one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) compared to other home improvement projects. According to Remodeling.com, there is a 76% ROI for a wooden deck.
- Can be installed on uneven terrain: If you have a yard with uneven terrain, a deck may be the better option as it can be built to accommodate this.
- Better view: Since decks are raised off the ground, they offer a better view of the surrounding area, perfect for homes in scenic locations.
- Works well in warmer weather: Wooden decks absorb heat, making them ideal for use in the warmer months. A deck makes it easy to soak up the sun or enjoy a sunset with family and friends.
Cons of Decks
While decks offer many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to keep in mind:
- More maintenance: Decks made of wood will require regular cleaning and sealing to prevent weather damage. Because wood is a natural material, it is also susceptible to rot, termites, and other pests.
- Potential for injury: Since decks are raised off the ground, there is a potential for injuries if someone falls off. This is especially true for young children and seniors. It might not be the best option if you have small children or elderly family members living with you.
- Expensive: The initial cost of a deck can be expensive, especially if you choose to use high-end materials.
Pros of Patios
Patios are an excellent option for many homeowners because they offer several benefits, such as:
- Low maintenance: Patios made of concrete or stone require little to no upkeep, making them very low maintenance. Plus, you won’t worry about pests and rot like you would with a wooden deck.
- Flexible design: Patios can be designed to fit any size or shape of the yard, making them very versatile.
- Cheaper: The initial cost of a patio is typically more affordable than the cost of a deck, at an average of $5 per square foot compared to $30 per square foot for a deck.
- No permits needed: In most cases, patios do not require a permit, making them much simpler to install than decks.
Cons of Patios
Patios, like anything else, have a few drawbacks that you should be aware of:
- May require some leveling: If your yard is not level, you may need to level the ground before installing a patio. This can add to the cost and time it takes to install a patio.
- Slippery: Patios can get slippery when wet making them a potential hazard. Be sure to choose materials that are less likely to be slippery and add traction if necessary.
- Can crack: If not installed correctly, patios can crack and settle over time. You can prevent this by choosing durable materials and having a professional install the patio.
Pros of Porches
Porches offer many benefits that make them a great option for many homeowners, such as:
- Protection from the weather: Porches are enclosed, making them ideal for use in all weather conditions. You can enjoy your porch rain or shine without worrying about the elements.
- Insect protection: Porches keep bugs and insects out, making them a great place to relax and entertain.
- Extended living space: Porches provide additional living space for your home. This is especially beneficial in the warmer months when you can enjoy the outdoors without leaving the comfort of your home.
Cons of Porches
As always, there are a few disadvantages to consider before constructing a porch onto your house:
- High cost: The initial cost of a porch can be expensive, especially if you add extra features like screens or windows.
- Maintenance: Porches require regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent weather damage. They can also be a potential hazard if not appropriately maintained.
- Permits: Porches usually require a permit for construction which can add to the cost and time it takes to build a porch.
How Should I Choose?
The best way to choose between a deck, patio, or porch is to consider your needs and what will work best for your home.
According to the Washington Post, there are some things to consider when deciding which is best for you:
Your home location will play a significant role in deciding which is best for you. For instance, if you live in an area with many insects, a porch might be the best option to keep them out. Or, if you have a small yard, a patio might be the better choice since it doesn’t require as much space as a deck.
Decks can offer more privacy since they are typically elevated off the ground. A deck might be the right choice if you have a large yard and enjoy entertaining. Ultimately, it’s important to consider all your options and choose the outdoor living space that best suits your needs.
Your house style can also help you decide which is best for you. For example, a porch might be the best choice to complement your home’s architecture if you have a colonial-style house.
Decks and patios can work with any style of home, but it’s important to consider how they will look on your house. You want your outdoor living space to be an extension of your home, not an eyesore.
Sloping lots can also be challenging when deciding between a deck, patio, and porch. Decks are generally better suited for flat or slightly sloped lots, while patios can work on flat or steeply sloped surfaces. Porches are usually not recommended for sloped lots since they can be unstable and dangerous.
Last, you’ll need to consider your budget when deciding between a deck, patio, or porch. As mentioned earlier, porches and decks can be expensive to build and maintain. If you’re on a tight budget, a patio might be the ideal choice since it’s typically cheaper to make and doesn’t require as much maintenance.
Decks are usually the most expensive option, but they can add the most value to your home. If you’re planning on selling your house in the future, a deck could be a worthwhile investment since it will give you years of enjoyment and increase the value of your home. Contact deck building professionals in Chicago for assistance.
You can’t go wrong whether you choose a deck, patio, or porch. Each option has advantages and disadvantages that you’ll need to consider before making a decision. But ultimately, the best choice is the one that best suits your needs and budget.
If you’re still unsure which is right for you, contact a company specializing in patio and deck building in Chicago. They will be able to help you choose the best option for your home and provide a free estimate.
Deck builders near Chicago can be found easily online or through referrals. Don’t wait, upgrade your outdoor living space today!