Backyard Build — Decks vs Patios

Backyard Build — Decks vs Patios
March 7, 2016 Jane Kessler
Lan Avon deck

Lan Avon deckThe weather is finally starting to warm up, so it’s time to start thinking about getting outside. Once the spring clean up is finished, you want something fun to look forward to. So, how about adding a deck or patio? Outdoor entertaining is always a good time — so now it’s time to pick the design you want.

There are a few things you’re going to want to look at before you decide. The first and most important is cost. How much are you willing to spend to make your backyard into your outside oasis? Some resources estimate that decks can run an average of $33/per square foot, while patios cost much less at $15/per square foot. That doesn’t include possible amenities, like a built in barbecue, railings, seating, supports, etc. Also, you want to think about the area you want to place it. Is it right off the house? Is the groud level enough for a patio, or will excavation have to occur? That can greatly impact your budget. Decks are easier to build on uneven ground, so your yard layout may impact your decision.
wood deck
Another aspect you want to consider is annual maintenance and upkeep. Depending on the material, decks may need more attention. Power washing, staining and sealing to keep it looking good. Wood is also more prone to weatherization and can fade over time, if not treated correctly. With concrete patios, there is a risk of cracks, if the ground was not packed properly before poured. A plus for patios is that they don’t require a lot of maintenance. You may want to seal it, but it’s not necessary. And if using pavers or stones, just a quick hose down and sweeping may be all you need. Alternatively, patios are more susceptible to stains. Wine, grease, and natural stains, like leaves and sap, can be more difficult to remove from concrete.

Last point of interest is the purpose of your outdoor living space. What do you ultimately want to do with this area? Entertain and cook with guests? Have it detached and away from the house? An addition to your pool/spa space? Expand from your sunroom? These are all valid points! If you want a typical outdoor space, many think of decks. These are easily customizable to the color and style you want. But if you want it attached to your pool or spa space or further from your house, you may want a patio. Patios are easier to create separately than a deck because they are on the ground and require no supports. It’s all based on your idea for the space itself.
pool patio
Here are a few other things you may want to consider for your addition. Weather. Yeah, you want it for when it’s nice and warm, but what about when it’s raining? If not leveled properly, water can pool on a patio and create puddles that will need swept off. If you live in an area that gets lots of rain, you may want to think twice about pavers and stone patios. Anything used in between the stones could get washed away in heavy downpours. Also, the ease of building the addition. Patios are somewhat easier and don’t typically require a buidling permit or inspection. Decks usually require a building permit, which could mean wait time and a fee for the permit. But don’t take my word for it! Check with your borough or municipality before you build!

Whatever you choose to add on to your house is up to you! But don’t let all the options confuse you. Talk to professionals that can walk you through all the steps and help you build the addition you will love! Jamie and Troy at Dogtown Construction are more than happy to discuss your wants and assist you in designing your new backyard living space and get you ready for a season to remember! Call Dogtown at 570-975-7285 and start dreaming up your getaway in your own backyard!

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