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Patios vs. Decks : Ask the Landscape Guy

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Patios vs. Decks

by Tim Sanford on 04/23/14

Recently I have been quoting jobs where we are demolishing an old deck and replacing it with a paver patio.  I am running into that more and more these days, homeowners want low maintenance outdoor living and are opting for patios over decks.  We are able to install patios up to three feet high with a landing and steps for less than the cost of a deck the same height.  Plus, the patios offer more options and flows a little better for entertaining than a raised deck.  So when you are pricing out your deck, take a second to price out a patio too, you just might be surprised!    

 Here is a little list of my thoughts on paver patios vs. wood decks:    


  • A paver patio can be built for about a third less than the price of a deck (DIY or professionals), if you are debating your choice, make sure to estimate both. 


  • Patios are built at ground level which creates an easier transition from the patio to the yard creating a better flow for entertaining.
  • A ground level patio will not require railings; decks often require railings which may obstruct views.
  • On a patio you can build add-ons that would provide a cohesive entertaining area - a seat wall around the edge, a custom fireplace and outdoor kitchen; decks have weight requirements which limit your options and you need to be careful with open flames.
  • Patios offer a wide variety of color and material options for every budget - natural stone, brick and concrete products; decks are more limited to wood or composite materials. 
  • And most importantly to my wife, you can go barefoot on a patio; after many years a deck can splinter and boards can warp.


  • Patios are low maintenance just spray it clean, occasionally after years a paver can raise up and will need to be leveled; decks require power washing, clear coating, painting or staining, nails can pop and wood can splinter or rot.


  • Typically patios do not require city permits (homeowners assoc. approval is a different story); decks often require permits because they are directly attached to the house, this may delay construction and add costs.

Below are a few photos of some patios to give you an idea of what you might be able to do in your backyard.  As always if you need a landscape contractor, give us a call.  Enjoy!

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