Cost Comparison Guide: Is a Deck or Patio Cheaper?

Patios and decks are good additions to your home’s exterior, perfect for enjoying your space or entertaining your guests. Not only do they boost the appearance of your yard, but they give you a good atmosphere to create many happy and lasting memories. Beyond the pleasures that decks and patios can give, they are also a great way to boost your property’s value.

If you are considering adding these to your property, one of the important questions you will find yourself asking is which of them is the cheaper option. Knowing this will help you make a well-informed decision for your budget, and that’s what we are addressing in this article. Click here for more information.

Which is cheaper: a deck or a patio?

There are a couple of things you need to consider if you are thinking of adding a deck or patio to your home. If you are looking for a simple answer, it is cheaper to build a patio than a deck. However, you should know that this answer has been oversimplified. There are many factors that determine the cost of building a patio or a deck, the following are some of them:

  • The type of material used: is it vinyl, wood, or concrete?
  • Where the deck or patio is to be added: is it above ground or on the ground with support?
  • The size of the deck or patio
  • Extra features such as railings, seating, supports, etc.

Other cost influencing factors

In addition to the factors mentioned above, the following are some other determinants of the cost of deck and patio installation:

Sloppy or uneven ground

It is always preferable to place a patio directly on the ground. So, a level space makes the installation easier. When the ground is uneven, the cost of installing the patio can quickly double or even triple because extra expenses will have to go into creating a foundation.

A deck would be a more cost-effective option if the ground in your yard is sloppy or uneven because this is very unlikely to influence the cost of installation.

Installation difficulty

Deck installation is usually more difficult than patio installation. While both projects are best handled by a professional deck company, installing a deck requires more expertise. During the process of deck installation, holes have to be drilled into the ground, and structures will be cemented into the holes to serve as supports for the deck. Additional considerations will also have to be put into attaching the deck to your home.

Decks are a great option for uneven or sloppy landscapes as they can be built on land that is not level. In some cases, your deck may need waterproofing to prevent future problems with the foundation of your home. All these will add to the cost of your deck.

A lot goes into the preparation of the ground surface on which a patio is to be installed, but its installation is generally easier. Considering that patios are installed directly on the ground, the installation process can be a lot easier if the land surface is even and relatively flat.

When the difficulty of installation is considered, a deck generally costs more to install. However, you should note that while it is generally cheaper to install a deck, it could eventually cost you a lot more if your yard is uneven or sloppy.

Installation cost

The influencing factors of how much it costs to install a deck include the deck size, the materials to be used, and whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a deck company. You can expect to spend between $7,500 and $15,000 to install a deck of 16-by-20 feet. Again, these figures will vary based on your choice of material.

While you may be tempted to build your deck by yourself, it is almost never a wise pursuit as a lot of things can be messed up in your attempt, eventually costing your more down the line.

Two major factors that will determine the cost of a patio installation are the choice of materials and whether the installation process will involve any groundwork or leveling. The average cost of installing a 16-by-20-foot patio ranges between $2,500 and $9,500. Again, this is based on the material choice and the labor required.

If the installation costs are compared, it is obvious that the general cost of installing a patio is cheaper.

Maintenance cost

In choosing between a deck and a patio, one of the important considerations should be the maintenance demands of each. This is because, in the long run, it will influence the cheaper options.

To maintain a wood deck, an annual routine of power washing is required to protect it against mold and mildew. As a way of extending the lifespan of a deck, it is recommended that the deck is stained and sealed every two years.

A patio only requires minimal maintenance. It just needs to be cleaned with a hose from time to time. It is also necessary to do a regular inspection of the patio, checking for cracks. Doing this will help to prevent erosion due to water leaks underneath the patio. In severe cases, cracks on your patio may cause serious damage that will necessitate the removal and replacement of the patio.

When the maintenance needs of a deck are compared to that of a patio, it becomes obvious that a patio is the cheaper option.

Recoup cost

If you plan to put your property up for sale in the future, one of the things you may want to consider before choosing between a deck and a patio is the Return on Investment. The material you choose will definitely be a contributing factor to the cost.

A deck gives about 75% ROI more than that of a patio. A homeowner who has spent $12,000 on a deck installation is expected to get back $9,000 after selling the property. If a homeowner spends $4,000 on building a patio, the expected recoup cost after the property is sold should be about $1,700.

Putting ROI into consideration, you’d realize that a deck generally has a higher ROI compared to a patio.

Bottom line

A deck and a patio are two great options for your property. In finding out the cheaper one, you will need to consider several cost determinants including the size, the cost of materials, extra features, labor costs, etc.

To learn more about the average cost to build a deck and a patio based on different cost factors, you can check out Home Guide. However, the best way to get accurate figures for your deck or patio installation is to contact a deck company.

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