A wonderful “floor,” a practical and attractive surface that serves as the focal point of all your outside activities, is the foundation of a superb outdoor room. You typically have two choices for your outdoor flooring: a concrete patio or a wooden deck. Decks are often weather-resistant wood or a composite material, whereas patios are typically made of poured-in-place concrete, precast concrete pavers, stone, or brick. While both kinds of surfaces can be used for comparable activities, there are important distinctions between them in terms of construction, overall cost, utility, and design flexibility. Be sure to consider the following aspects when choosing the option that best suits your budget, way of life, and surroundings.
Are you a big fan of your backyard? Are you trying to figure out how to improve the area and make it more welcoming? If so, you could be thinking about including a patio or deck. The big question is: Which is preferable, a concrete patio or a wood deck? Even though concrete patios make more sense, wood decks have been popular for a while now. Let us look at which option is the best to move in with.
Table of Contents
Factors to consider when choosing concrete vs. patio deck
Look at your surroundings. Is it flat as a pancake or mountainous and sloped? Because it rests directly on the subgrade, a patio built of concrete pavers or poured-in-place concrete works well for generally flat terrain. Because it can rest flush with the surface, it’s also the finest option for use as a pool deck adjacent to an in-ground pool.
A deck is a raised structure that can be elevated several feet when supported by joists or concrete pillars, or it can be elevated just a few inches above grade. Decks may be built on sloped or uneven terrain because they are raised. Thus, this is rarely a problem. Although constructing a concrete patio on a sloped property can be more difficult, it is frequently feasible.
The amount of weight that a raised or elevated deck can securely support is a crucial factor. Because decks are frequently tied to homes and must be strong enough for the intended purpose, many governments demand a permit before construction can begin. To ensure everything fits within the weight restrictions, you’ll need to decide what outdoor activities and furniture the deck will support. Patios flat on the ground are frequently better suited for heavy things like outdoor fireplaces or pizza ovens. Furthermore, since weight limits are rarely an issue, establishing a patio often doesn’t ask for a building permit or inspection.
The materials you choose and the work required for construction will determine how much a patio will cost compared to a deck. Decks made of pressure-treated lumber will cost the least ($16–$18 per square foot), while decks built of composite materials and high-end woods, such as tropical hardwoods, would cost the most ($23–over $30 per square foot).
Building a patio is typically a more affordable option depending on the aesthetic features you select and the intricacy of the project. A stamped concrete patio, for instance, can cost anywhere from $8 per square foot for a simple installation to more than $18 per square foot for a high-end project with several colors and designs. A concrete slab paver patio costs a bit higher, running at $20 per square foot.
Preservation and upkeep
A deck and a patio can boost your home’s value and improve the usability of your outside space, but if they demand constant care and upkeep, they can also become a headache and a costly strain. The material you select may significantly impact your final time and financial outlay.
While stunning, natural wood decks require the most upkeep to preserve their aesthetic appeal and structural integrity. The majority of wood decking varieties need power cleaning, restaining, or resealing every one to two years, according to LandscapingNetwork.com. In addition, rotting or mold damage, warping, loose nails or screws, and splintering in wood decks may need to be fixed.
To keep a concrete patio looking new, little more is required than periodic washing and resealing. Concrete paver patios could need extra maintenance every few years to keep the joints between the paving units filled with sand. Contrary to stained wood, colored concrete is unlikely to fade with time, saving money on painting or restaining.
Your choice may be influenced more by the design options for a wood deck or concrete patio than by any other aspect. Each material has a variety of alternatives as well as certain restrictions.
- Almost any color can be stained or painted on wood decks; if desired, the colors can be changed periodically. The deck boards can also make lovely patterns like chevron or herringbone. Decks, however, are frequently only available in square or rectangular designs.
- Concrete poured in place may be shaped to almost any shape, making it possible to surround a pool and design beautiful curved patterns. Concrete has more color options than any other patio material, but the color is often permanent and difficult to modify. This is one of concrete’s biggest advantages. Concrete can be imitated by stamping to look like brick, stone, and even wood.
- Additionally, geometric designs are feasible when using decorative engraving or scoring. Because concrete pavers are available in a wide range of forms, colors, and attractive patterns, patios constructed with them offer a similar degree of architectural diversity; the color is permanent, just like stamped or stained concrete, so make a careful choice.
The durability of your outdoor floor should be a top issue if you intend to dwell in your house for a very long period. A concrete patio will outlast most natural wood decks because it has a lifespan of 30 years or more. However, the longevity of concrete and composite decking is comparable. Regular care is necessary to increase a natural wood deck’s lifespan because it is more vulnerable to weathering and wear than concrete.
Regardless of all the other factors, the choice between constructing a wood deck or a concrete patio may come from personal preference. A deck is a clear choice if you enjoy the warmth and natural look of wood and don’t mind the additional maintenance required to keep it looking well. A concrete patio has no substitute if you want a low-maintenance material that offers unlimited colors, patterns, and finishes and can be formed into any shape.
Both patios and decks can be beautiful additions to your home, but before you choose one for your budget, it’s crucial to understand each option and which option is less expensive. Either way you would need professional builders to do a flawless job. Natural wood has long been the preferred option for deck construction; in fact, the very first decks were built of wood. Natural wood is the real deal; it is pure, pleasant to the senses, and beautiful. You have a variety of wood varieties to pick from, and each has unique characteristics and aesthetics. When installing wood decks, there are additional choices, such as the kind of finish.
On the other hand, patios made of concrete look great and work well, saving you money over time. Warping and splintering are two problems that may arise with wood or composite decks but not with a concrete patio. However, there is always a chance that your patio’s concrete can break.