Decks and patios are a great asset to any house. Depending on your situation it may be better to have a deck versus a patio. However, in most cases a patio is a better choice.
Defining Decks and Patios
A patio, for the most part, is a paved area that is on the ground or at grade. A patio can be installed in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as in several different types of materials, pavers being the most popular.
Decks are usually elevated off the ground and have railings.They are usually constructed from either different types of wood (i.e. cedar, redwood, or pine) or composite material.
Why install a patio vs. a deck
- A patio can seem bigger since it does not require railings –>
- There is no open space under a patio where critters can live and come up and visit you when you are enjoying your space
- Being elevated in your yard allows you to see more of your neighbors, where as a patio ‘at grade’ will feel more secluded
Cleaning Your Patio or Deck
Both composite and wood decks require care and cleaning. Depending on their exposure, they can accumulate mold or mildew. This can be cleaned with chemicals or a power washer. Patios typically don’t have to be cleaned as often as decks unless the client really wants it to be cleaned. Patios tend to hold up a little better than decks because they are constructed with more durable materials. Especially taking into account Maryland weather with extreme heat and extreme cold.
Which is Best for You?
There are a lot of factors that go into your choice. Here are just a few:
- Do you want to come straight out of your house onto a surface OR is that door 10’ off the ground? Then you need a deck.
- Is there a slope where you are coming out of your house? Then you may want a deck.
- Is the door at grade OR you don’t mind taking a few steps down, you could install a patio.
- Do you have children that play in the yard? You may want to consider a patio ‘at grade’ because it would be easier to get to them if they were in trouble.
- Do you live on the water and cannot add any more “impervious space” to your lot? Then consider a deck with spacing between the boards instead of a patio.
The overall cost of a composite deck versus a paver patio is about the same however permitting may be different. Almost all decks require a permit, where as patios do not.
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