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Woodsy Charm or Concrete Cool? The Pros & Cons of Decks vs. Patios

Woodsy Charm or Concrete Cool? The Pros & Cons of Decks vs. Patios

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Decks and patios provide perfect spots for spending quality time with family and friends. While patios are generally less expensive, decks can offer a better return on investment.

Deciding whether to install them in your home or have it free-standing can add to the confusion too.

With so many options available, weighing the pros and cons before purchasing is necessary.

Let’s dive deeper into the details to determine which among a wood deck or a concrete patio is right for you.

Factors that Influence Construction Cost

There are different factors that determine construction costs, whether you go for a wood deck or a concrete patio. Here are some of them:

Scope of Your Project

If you’re thinking of having a deck or patio, the size of the project will have the biggest impact on how much it costs.

The bigger the area, the more materials you’ll need, which means more money.

1 – Type of Material

When building a deck or patio, the main materials you’ll deal with are wood and concrete. You may use cedar, redwood, pressure-treated, or composite woods for decks.

Each type of wood or concrete has its benefits and disadvantages, of course. But whichever one you go for will impact the final cost of your deck and patio.

Concrete patios need high quality-materials with good comprehensive resistance. Otherwise, it’ll chirp and crack.

2 – Customizations

Customizing your wood deck or concrete patio with intricate design details and unique features can significantly add to the overall construction cost.

Elements such as multiple levels and built-in benches require additional materials as well.

3 – Labor

Labor costs play a significant role in the total cost of constructing a wood deck or concrete patio.

When customizations and intricate designs are involved, they require skilled labor, which typically comes with a higher price tag than standard installation methods.

Hiring professional labor for constructing a patio ranges from $40 to $80 per hour or $4 to $12 per square foot.

However, the exact price may vary based on the project’s complexity and the additional equipment and materials required for the construction.

Decking vs. Concrete Patio: A Comprehensive Breakdown

When thinking about creating a space outside your home, a decking or a cement patio would be a good use.

It can be tricky to decide because there are different materials you can use, and they all cost different amounts. Here’s a comparison:

Decking vs. Cement Patio

Let’s start with decking. It costs about $9 for every square foot of decking. The price includes everything you need, like the materials and tools.

But if you go for a cement patio, you can choose between bricks or concrete. A brick patio will cost you around $6 per square foot, while a concrete one will be closer to $4 per square foot.

Composite Deck vs. Pavers

If you’re considering using composite decking instead of traditional wood, you can expect to pay anywhere between $5 and $13 per square foot, depending on the quality of the material.

On the other hand, a basic brick paver patio will cost about $5 per square foot. If you want fancy designs stamped into the concrete, though, it could cost you around $12 per square foot.

One thing to consider is the lifetime cost of each option. Both composite decking and paver patios require minimal maintenance, and the cost will be roughly the same over their lifetime.

However, with a wood deck, you’ll need to spend time and money sanding and resealing it to slow down decay.

Deck vs. Patio: Which Is Cheaper?

A concrete patio is usually less expensive.

That’s because you can lay a concrete patio for just $4 per square foot, while a wooden deck will cost about $6 per square foot if you use cheaper pressure-treated lumber.

Of course, if you want a fancy multi-level deck, that’ll be more expensive.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Between a Deck or Patio

Here are some things worth considering when choosing either a deck or patio:

1 – Size

Decks are generally raised structures and can be built at various heights, whereas patios are typically built on the ground.

A patio might be better if you have a small backyard or limited space, as it takes up less room. On the other hand, a deck can offer more flexibility in size and layout if you have a larger area.

2 – Location

Suppose your backyard has uneven terrain or is sloped. In that case, a deck can accommodate the landscape and provide a level surface.

Conversely, patents require a level surface and may require excavation work to achieve that level.

Additionally, in case you live in an area with many trees or uneven ground, a patio may be more challenging to maintain than a deck.

3 – Style

Decks are typically made of wood or composite materials, which can provide a more rustic or natural look.

Conversely, patios can be made of various materials, including concrete, pavers, or natural stone.

Depending on your style preferences and the look of your home, one option may be more appealing.

4 – Functionality

Plan on using your outdoor space for dining or entertaining? A patio may be the better option as it provides a more stable and level surface for furniture.

However, if you use your outdoor space for various activities, such as sunbathing, grilling, or gardening, a deck may offer more flexibility and functionality.

D.I.Y vs. Professional Installation

DIY and professional installation are homeowners’ two options when it comes to home improvement.

Both have advantages and disadvantages; ultimately, the decision depends on personal preferences, expertise, and budget. Below are considerations you might want to look at:

D.I.Y Installation

This option is popular for homeowners with a limited budget and who want to take on the challenge of completing the project themselves.

DIY projects provide an opportunity to develop new skills, and completing a project on your own can be a satisfying experience.

It can be cost-effective as they eliminate the labor costs of hiring a professional. However, a DIY installation can be time-consuming and result in errors or safety hazards if not done correctly.

Additionally, some projects require specific tools or knowledge that the average homeowner may not have.

Professional Installation

Hiring an expert ensures the project will be completed safely, efficiently, and with high-quality materials and artistry.

Professionals have the necessary expertise, tools, and experience to complete a project with precision and attention to detail.

They can provide guidance on design options, material selection, and project management, which can save time and eliminate the stress of managing the project.

However, hiring a professional can be more expensive than a DIY project, as it includes the cost of labor.

Add-on and Upgrades

If you want to spruce up your outdoor living space, adding or upgrading your existing deck or patio can make a huge difference.

You can add many fun features like built-in seating, beautiful lighting, planters for your favorite flowers, and even an outdoor kitchen for those summer barbecues!

Plus, upgrading your materials can significantly impact the look and durability of your structure.

How to Maintain Your Deck or Patio to Ensure Its Longevity

Following proper maintenance practices, such as regular cleaning, sealing, and repairs, is important.

For a wood deck, clean it at least once a year and re-stain or seal it every two to three years.

Furthermore, you may sweep and wash your patio regularly and apply a concrete sealer every few years.

You have to inspect your deck or patio for signs of cracks or rot and make repairs as needed.

Final Thoughts

A concrete patio is usually cheaper than a wooden deck. However, the cost may vary depending on the materials and customizations required.

It’s essential to consider factors such as the size and functionality of your outdoor space before making a purchase.

Furthermore, it’s vital to consider the benefits and drawbacks of DIY vs. professional installation for both decks and patios.


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