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Deck vs Patio

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Deck

Decks are built with a joist and beam treated wood support structure sitting on concrete footings and with decking on top. Decking is generally made from treated wood or composite. Decks are a great solution if there is an issue with elevation or uneven terrain. They are built above the ground and, because of the structural support below, can be almost any height.

There are weight capacity limitations for decks since they are not sitting directly on the ground. Decks are easily customizable and can be built in phases. Building a deck is not difficult for the average DIYer and can be done in a single weekend if the plan is simple. Larger decks with multi levels will take longer to build. Power cutting tools like a circular saw or mitre saw are recommended to make the build go faster. Composite decking is more expensive than treated wood decking but requires less maintenance to keep it looking good.

Patio

Patios are usually made with stone, brick or concrete and are built directly on the ground. The patio area will need to be fairly flat, then excavated and prepped before laying stone. To avoid drainage issues, close attention should be made to ensure the patio slopes away from the house. Because patios are built level to the ground, they tend to be more private than a raised deck. There is a big range in prices for a patio. Concrete patio stones or pavers cost a fraction of the price of natural stone and are a popular choice. Patio stones in particular are preferred among homeowners because of the many styles, shapes and colours that give a high-end look.

Patios are less maintenance than a wood deck but can stain and will need regular cleaning. Patios are more durable than decks and can last for decades. They are also prone to cracking in extreme weather, if installed improperly or over the span of time.

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