Deck vs Patio: 7 Differences Determining What’s Best For Your Home

While both of these areas offer a relaxing outdoor space to enjoy by yourself or with friends and family, there are a few things to consider before deciding on building a patio or deck for your home. You should know the 7 key differences between the two to determine which is best for your home.


Patios are built from natural stone, concrete pavers, or cobblestones. Typically, they do not have a roof, but if you prefer you can have one built to add protection from sunlight, rain, or privacy. You can brighten up these spaces with functional furniture, plants, and lights. Patios can be built directly behind the house or can have a walkway to them.

stone patio entertainment area



On the other hand, a custom deck is more of an elevated space that can have single or more levels. Made primarily out of some composite wooden material, including processed lumber, decks are more entertainment areas where you can grill and dine with your friends. They are constructed in a way that makes them physically attached to the house with an entrance. The space is enclosed by a railing to give protection to the occupants. Again, the area can be decorated using pretty outdoor lights, plants, and comfortable furniture.

Comparison of Patio and Deck:

Location for Construction:

In this case, decks have an advantage over patios. It has an elevated structure that can be connected through stairs. This means that they can be built on uneven surfaces. A patio, on the other hand, is supposed to be made directly on the ground, so it can only be constructed on a flat surface. Additional landscape preparation is a consideration when choosing a patio.


Compared to patios, decks have a smaller lifespan, lasting for around 10 to 15 years, whereas patios can last for more than 25 years. The reason for this is that patios are built using durable materials, but decks are made from composite wood or lumber that can be damaged from overexposure to water and wood bugs. The only weakness a patio has, in this case, is the vulnerability to extreme temperatures.


While a patio may seem easier to DIY, there are several reasons they could fail over a short amount of time if proper installation is not done. Decks are more complex and must meet certain standards to hold up in the North Carolina mountains.

The way both are constructed is perhaps the most significant difference between the two. In patios, the floor has to be paved with stone or concrete pavers, and decks are built at an elevated level with wood. 


Patios do not need to be maintained regularly and can be cleaned easily. A deck, however, needs regular maintenance and requires sealing and staining annually. 

Cost and Valuation:

Construction of patios costs much less than that of decks, as the later require waterproof material and professional expertise. Homes with either have more value in the market, but when resale, the property with the deck will return 70% investment, more than the patios' 50% return.

Patios Vs. Decks:

LifespanLasts up to 25 years moreLasts for 10-15 years only
PurposeRelaxation activities like sun tanning etc.Outdoor entertainment, dining, grilling
LocationIn the back yard, built against home, garden or beside poolPhysically attached to the structure of the home with an entrance
DurabilityLast for a long time depending on materials usedVulnerable to wood-boring insects, water damage
MaintenanceRequires little maintenance, easy to cleanNeeds regular maintenance
Where to buildOnly on a flat surfaceCan be built on uneven surfaces
Value to propertyLess than deckMore than patio
Additional requirements/downsidesVulnerable to extreme temperaturesRequires staining or sealing annually



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by Greenscapes Landscaping & Retaining Walls Landscaping