Are you looking out at your garden, still slightly tinged with frost, and wishing you could do more with it? Are you tired of sitting in deck chairs propped up on grass, with nowhere to enjoy yourself, eat or entertain in the summer months? You’re not alone, and luckily there is a simple solution. Make an outdoor living space. That might sound like a big, grand, expensive thing, but hear us out. An outdoor living space doesn’t have to be big or all that exciting. It just needs to be somewhere you can enjoy spending time in your garden comfortably. For some people, all that means is having some of their grass replaced with a deck or a patio, so that they can have comfy chairs and maybe a fire pit out there.
But that sparks an age-old debate. Do you want a deck, or a patio? It’s something we get asked about a lot, and whether one is better than the other. To be honest, they both have their pros and cons, and you will all have your own preferences. So in this blog, we’re going to go over the differences between a deck and a patio, and how to choose the right option for your garden.
The Difference Between A Deck And A Patio
Let’s start by going back to basics and get some definitions going.
A patio is a paved area of garden, usually made from block paving or brick, running from your house out into your garden (as far as you want it). It sits directly on the ground, and creates a nice stable surface that will withstand a lot of wear and tear. It’s a very traditional option, and most gardens today have some form of patio installed, even if it’s just a few blocks outside the back door to protect your feet!
A deck is an open outdoor porch or platform, usually made of wood, composite lumber or even aluminium. They are raised slightly off the ground and often have a cavity underneath them to allow airflow. They are a much more modern choice and can be used to create a stylised effect in your garden. You can also add on things like roofing to create more of an outdoor living space.
So now that we know what the difference is, let’s get into which is better! To make sure it’s fair, we’ve pulled together a list of pros and cons for each solution.
Decks: Pros And Cons
- Higher resale value. Generally, having a deck installed in your garden will get you a higher price if you decide to sell your home, giving you around an 87% return on investment on the deck itself.
- Works well on uneven terrain. Decks can be installed on any type of land, even if it’s not level. It’s preferable that it is of course, but it doesn’t have to be.
- Great for views: If you have a lovely view from your garden that’s just a little out of sight, a deck can help with that. Because they can be elevated as much as you want, it can give you the height you need to just relax and enjoy the view.
- Customisable. Decking can come in a variety of materials, finished and colours, so you can customise it to suit your style.
- Comfortable in the heat. When the sun starts shining again, a deck will be more comfortable for you to spend time on outdoors. The wood naturally absorbs less heat than paving, so you won’t bake quite so badly!
- More maintenance. Depending on the material you choose, decks will need to be power washed, stained and sealed every few years to keep them in good condition.
- Shorter lifespan. Wood is much more susceptible to weather conditions and can get damaged over time, especially if it’s not treated properly.
- Expensive. While the price of your deck will depend on the material and the size, decks are generally a more expensive option.
- Weight restrictions. Decking also comes with a weight restriction. This isn’t much of an issue with people but if you want to add hot tubs or outdoor kitchens, you need to make sure the deck can cope, or is reinforced.
Patios: Pros And Cons
- Cheaper. Patios are so common in this country in part because they are cheap to produce and lay. Installing a patio flush to the ground will be cheaper than installing a deck on the same space.
- Easy maintenance. Patio’s are the lowest of low-maintenance garden options. You will still need to power wash it when it starts to look grubby, but overall you can just leave it alone.
- Privacy. Being low to the ground, patio’s are a better option for people who want to keep their garden private and hidden behind hedges or fences.
- Long lifespan. A good quality patio can last over 25 years and still maintain it’s value, without much maintenance.
- Can’t be used on uneven ground. Patios can’t really be installed on ground that isn’t perfectly level. If your garden is uneven, you could easily double the cost getting the ground to the right state to start.
- Prone to cracking. Patio paving is very prone to cracking, especially if the soil underneath it wasn’t properly prepared before it was laid, or if you live somewhere that experiences extreme temperature ranges.
- Slip risks. When it’s wet (so most of the time in England) or icy, patio’s are a massive slip hazard, especially because they are such a smooth surface to begin with.
- Can be stained. Patios are also prone to staining. So if you’re entertaining outdoors and spill something, or if some natural stains like leaf residue or sap occur, it can be a nightmare to clean.
- More disruption during installation. Patio’s require a much more elaborate process to install, especially if the ground needs preparation work doing first. This makes it much more disruptive for you and your neighbours than a deck.
At the end of the day, the choice between a deck or a patio usually comes down to personal preference. Some people love the modern and warm feel of a deck, while others prefer patios for their low maintenance and versatility. Whatever your decision, make sure you hire a professional to build and install your solution for the best finish and lifespan.
p>At JB Landscaping, we are experts in both patio and deck installation. While we do love a good deck project, we are fully qualified and skilled to design, source and install beautiful garden solutions for you, whatever your preferences. And with our unique 3D design software, you will be able to see what each option will look like in your garden before we move a single spade-full of earth – so you can be confident that your garden will look exactly how you pictured it. For more information, please just get in touch with the team at JB Landscaping.