Deck or Patio? How to choose.

Diane Weber 05.15.2020

If you are planning some outdoor upgrades to your backyard this year, you might consider adding a deck or patio. But which one is right for you? Ask yourself these questions: How do I want it to look? Do I want this area to be part of the yard or separate from it? Does it need to be kid-friendly? Will this be a social entertainment area or quiet space? If you’re going to invest in an outdoor space, whether you’re building a new home or adding on, you’ll want to carefully consider all of the factors. Here’s a helpful guide on how to choose.

Basic Considerations

Patios are flush with the ground and generally made from paver stones, bricks or concrete. Patios allow you to add other elements such as outdoor kitchens, firepits and water features and you have the flexibility to choose any shape, position and design to fit your needs. Decks are great for homes with an uneven backyard and can provide a high level view of your backyard. You can also add built-in bench seating, privacy screens and are more kid friendly.


Patios are generally less expensive than decks, but the return on investment on a new deck runs greater than a patio. However, both additions can offer a great experience depending on what you’re looking for. Building your own deck could save you the most money on installation but you’ll need the correct tools, knowledge and of course, patience. Patios can be installed for a couple of hundred dollars if you choose simple material like gravel. But it’s often hard to tell if you installed it correctly and all patio materials are heavy.


Patios don’t require regular maintenance. While you may choose to seal your patio, it’s not necessary because pavers and stone patios are extremely durable. Patios can, however, crack over time and are harder to protect from ground moisture and flooding. Decks have longer life spans, especially if you choose a composite material. This looks like wood and requires less maintenance but is far more expensive than a wood deck. If you do go with wood, you may need to stain and sealed your deck every couple of years.

Have a plan before you start construction and if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, hire a professional. There is no right or wrong answer on which option is best for you – endless hours of outdoor enjoyment await you and your family.

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