Deck vs. Patio: Choosing the Right Outdoor Structure for Your Home

When it comes to enhancing your outdoor living space, you’re faced with the choice of whether to install a deck or a patio. Both options offer unique benefits and can be tailored to suit your specific needs and style. As a seasoned deck and patio builder with projects in Pittsburgh, PA, and Morgantown, WV, we’re here to guide you through the pros and cons of decks and patios to help you make the best decision for your home.

Decks: The Elevated Haven


  • Elevated Design: Decks are typically elevated structures attached to your home, offering a stunning view and a sense of separation from the ground. This elevation can create an inviting atmosphere for outdoor gatherings, and give you more space with the chance to utilize your under deck area.
  • Versatility: Decks can be designed in various shapes and sizes, allowing for customization that suits your home’s architecture and your personal style. Custom additions to your deck could include an outdoor kitchen, a covered portion, built-in heaters and more. This versatility makes decks a great choice for any kind of home. 
  • Increase in Home Value: Adding a well-designed deck can significantly increase the resale value of your home, making it a wise investment for your present and future self. 
  • Ease of Maintenance: Decks made of composite or PVC materials require minimal maintenance. Regular cleaning and occasional inspections are usually sufficient to keep your deck in great condition.
  • Longevity: Properly built and maintained decks can last for many years, providing you with a long-lasting outdoor space for relaxation and entertainment.

Raised covered composite deck with under deck storage


  • Higher Initial Cost: Decks, especially those constructed with high-quality materials, tend to have a higher upfront cost compared to patios. However, the long-term value often outweighs this initial investment.
  • Regular Maintenance: Wooden decks require regular staining and sealing to protect them from the elements. Neglecting this maintenance can result in costly repairs or replacements.
  • Vulnerability to Weather: Since decks are elevated, they are more exposed to the elements. Harsh weather conditions can lead to wear and tear, which requires ongoing maintenance, especially if the quality of materials is substandard.

Patios: Grounded Elegance


  • Lower Initial Cost: Patios are generally less expensive to install than decks, making them an appealing option for those on a budget.
  • Endless Material Choices: You can create a patio using various materials such as concrete, pavers, bricks, or natural stone. This allows for a wide range of design possibilities, enabling you to achieve the look and feel you desire.
  • Low Maintenance: Patios are typically easier to maintain. Cleaning and occasional resealing are often all that’s needed to keep your patio in excellent condition.
  • Durability: Depending on the material used, patios can be incredibly durable and resistant to wear and tear, especially when constructed by experienced professionals.
  • Entertaining Elements: Because a patio is on stable ground, you have more options when it comes to custom additions. Large outdoor kitchens, unique fire features and even a hot tub or pool are great features to add to your entertaining space.  

Patio with built in grill with dining area and fire pit


  • Limited Elevation: Unlike decks, patios are typically at ground level, which may limit your view or make you feel less connected to the outdoors.
  • Less Versatile: While you can create a unique look with various materials, patios generally offer less flexibility in terms of design compared to decks.
  • Less Value Addition: While patios can enhance your outdoor living space, they may not increase the resale value of your home to the same extent as a deck.
  • Susceptible to Settling: Over time, patios may settle or shift due to natural ground movement. Proper installation and maintenance can minimize this issue.

Choosing the Right Option

To determine whether a deck or patio is the right choice for your home, consider the following factors:

  • Budget: Your available budget is a crucial factor. If you’re working with a tight budget, a patio may be the more cost-effective option. However, if you’re willing to make a larger upfront investment, a deck may be a better long-term choice.
  • Aesthetic Preferences: Think about the look and feel you want for your outdoor space. Decks offer a more elevated, panoramic view, while patios can provide a grounded, intimate setting. Consider your personal preferences and the architecture of your home.
  • Resale Value: If you plan to sell your home in the future, think about the impact your choice will have on its resale value. Decks often provide a higher return on investment in this regard.
  • Functionality: What will be the primary purpose of your outdoor space? If you intend to use it for dining and entertaining, a patio might be the better option. If you want a more versatile space for various activities, a deck could be ideal.

If you’re torn between a deck and patio, why not do both?! The combination of a deck and patio can be very beautiful and extremely functional. Depending on all of the factors above, it may be worth considering adding both to your backyard for the ultimate entertaining and/or relaxing space. 

Raised covered deck with patio, outdoor kitchen and fire pit

Finding the Right Builder

Regardless of whether you choose a deck or patio, finding the right builder is crucial. Look for a professional deck builder or patio contractor with experience in your local area, such as Pittsburgh, PA, or Morgantown, WV. They should have a portfolio of completed projects and proper licensing and insurance.

The decision to install a deck or patio depends on your budget, aesthetic preferences, maintenance commitment, local climate, and the functionality of the outdoor space. While decks offer an elevated view and add resale value, patios are cost-effective and require less maintenance. Whichever option you choose, working with an experienced deck builder or patio contractor is essential to ensure a well-constructed, beautiful outdoor living space that complements your home.

If you’re in the Pittsburgh, PA, or Morgantown, WV area and are ready to enhance your outdoor living space, don’t hesitate to contact us, your trusted deck and patio builder, for a consultation. We’ll work with you to design and build the perfect outdoor structure to meet your needs and preferences, creating an inviting and functional space you’ll enjoy for years to come.