Patio vs Deck – Differences and Advantages You Should Know

Patio vs Deck – Differences and Advantages You Should Know

Should you build a patio or deck? How do you know which one is right for you and your family? It all depends on your lifestyle and preferences, but how can you really tell the difference between the two, anyway?

Patio is a Spanish word that translates to courtyard of a house or building. A courtyard is traditionally an open space surrounded by walls or other structures or an area of ground adjacent to a building.

The main difference between a patio and a courtyard is that the former is not limited by walls. And its similarities lay on the fact that a courtyard is an open space and can be situated directly on the ground.

Patios can either be attached or detached from a house. They should be designed and oriented with the landscape in mind. Patio designs are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with a variety of surface materials, including concrete, pavers, stone, tile, brick, pebbles, rock, or gravel. Another important factor to consider when distinguishing both of them is that patios don’t require safety railing since they’re built at ground level.

Decks are primarily made of wood or a composite wood material or vinyl, like Trex. Popular woods for decking include redwood, cedar, and pressure treated pine. Decks offer a beauty and warmth unlike any other material if they’re maintained well.

Patio vs Deck – Differences and Advantages You Should Know

Like patios, decks can be attached to a house or freestanding. Decks often are built to take advantage of the surrounding views. Decks can be of different levels and often need railings. Certain types of wood and composite decking are resistant to insects like Ipe wood. Bear in mind that unlike natural wood, composite and vinyl decking don’t splinter and usually don’t warp.

Before constructing, altering or replacing a deck, you are required to obtain a permit from your local building and zoning department. The construction shall meet the requirements of the 2018 Kentucky Building Code as well as zoning requirements. Site plan, construction plans, elevations, framing plan, footings, sections, details, safety railing heights are required to submit in order to obtain a permit. This residential deck help guide from the Lexington’s building inspection will give you an idea of everything that’s needed in order to obtain a permit.

Similarities Between Patios and Decks Both patios and decks are outdoor or backyard spaces that define activity areas and guide you from one space to another.

Other traits they share:

·       A pergola can be built over either for shade or privacy.

·       An outdoor kitchen can be located on both patio or deck.

·       They can accommodate fire pits, although a fire feature placed on a deck will need a base made of concrete, ceramic or porcelain to separate it from the wood deck.

·       A patio or deck can surround a swimming pool or jacuzzi.

Maintaining Patios and Decks

Unlike a patio, a wood deck needs to be maintained yearly. This might require scrubbing or sanding. If the deck has gone too long without regular care, it might need to be refinished or painted. Either one will require prep to make sure there aren’t any loose nails, screws, or boards. It should also be sanded or refinished to ensure there are no peeling pieces of wood that could cause splinters.

Depending on the material chosen, a patio will also need to be maintained, although it won’t require the same level of attention as a deck would. Bricks might need to be replaced, pea gravel should be cleaned and raked and concrete slabs might need to be pressure washed to get rid of mold or mildew.

Patio vs Deck – Differences and Advantages You Should Know
Patio vs Deck – Differences and Advantages You Should Know


What do you think?

What do you think?

1 Comment
One Trackback:

[…] to safely enjoy the outdoors. Are you confused about what differentiates a deck from a porch? Click here to read my previous post about the key differences. Here are the top three reasons why homeowners […]

Comments are closed.