One of the first considerations when planning an outdoor living space is whether to build a deck or create a patio. While decks and patios come in all forms, decks generally feel like extensions of homes while patios seem to be more integrated with the surrounding landscape because they reside directly on the ground.
In some situations, the site or location of the proposed outdoor living space will determine the choice. However, with careful planning and intelligent design work, it is possible to incorporate either one. The important thing is to locate your final choice in the ideal place. Then it’s simply a matter of establishing your wants and needs in terms of budget, shape, material, and size.
Patios are much more versatile with regard to design and budget since a broader variety of materials can be used. Patios, in general, do not require railings as a deck would which allows even more flexibility in the design process. Weatherwise, patios are able to tolerate much more water from sources such as snow, rain, and pools than decks and therefore need less maintenance.
Decks are considered structures with regard to the building codes. They require building permits and inspections by building department personnel. Patios are ground-hugging landscape elements that do not require building permits. Decks and patios are both required to comply with local zoning codes in terms of setbacks and coverage.
A number of factors must be evaluated before making …