In Florida, the end of summer is just a date on the calendar – with warm, balmy weather; there’s still plenty of time to enjoy days and evenings outside in your yard. Perhaps this is the year you decide to build a custom outdoor space. But should you build a deck or a patio? Though these two structures seem similar, there are some key differences. Before beginning your project, make sure to weigh all the pros and cons to determine which outdoor space is best for you.

backyard patio installation


Decks extend from the house at the same level as the back door, meaning that they are elevated platforms that then have steps down to the yard. Meanwhile, patios may sit right against the house or be detached and sit further into the yard. Both patios and decks offer a variety of ways to enjoy your outdoor space.

Deck Benefits

  • They can work well on uneven ground. If necessary, each leg of the deck can be a different height to accommodate uneven terrain.
  • They increase your resale value. Decks have a 76% return on investment, contributing to a greater resale value than any indoor home improvement does.
  • Decks are good for hot areas. The wood of a deck doesn’t absorb and retain heat the same way stone does, especially when stained or painted in a light color.
  • You can easily choose and change the color; whenever you feel the urge to revamp your backyard’s look, you can change the appearance of your deck relatively easily.

Deck Negatives

  • There is a greater amount of maintenance involved with a deck. Power washing and restaining are musts for caring properly for your deck and keeping it looking nice.
  • Decks don’t last as long as patios. The deck’s wood can rot, crack, and fade over time, especially if you live close to the beach and get frequent salty breezes.
  • Many local governing agencies require that you obtain a permit before beginning the construction of a deck. Check with your town and county to make sure you are compliant with their regulations.
  • Decks can be expensive. A high-end deck can cost about $30 per square foot, much more than a patio.
  • There are weight restrictions. Be sure to let your contractor know if you plan to put a kitchen, furnace, or hot tub on your deck so that they can let you know whether the materials can handle that weight.

Patio Benefits

  • Patios can be quite inexpensive, especially if you opt to go with concrete. They can cost about $5/sqft, which is about six times cheaper than a high-end deck.
  • Durability is guaranteed. Pavers and concrete can withstand weather conditions so that they will last for years. They are also lower maintenance since they don’t need to be sealed every few years.
  • You typically don’t need a permit to build a patio.
  • Patios can be incorporated into your surrounding landscape, giving your yard a seamless appearance. You’ve got many more options for design in terms of shape, size, and texture with a patio than with a deck.

Patio Negatives

  • It would be best if you had level ground for a patio. Depending on your soil type and the level of unevenness, it could end up being costly to grade the landscape.
  • Cracks are likely to form if the ground underneath the patio was not prepared properly.
  • Stains may form on your patio and pavers. They need frequent washing to keep them looking their best.

A patio or deck is the perfect solution if you are ready to extend your living space and have room in your backyard. West Coast Design Build Florida can help you design and install a beautiful outdoor living space and kitchen with professional ideas, advice, and skill. Call today for more information.