Decks vs. Patios: Which One Is Right For Your Yard?

One of the most popular ways to upgrade your yard is by installing a deck or patio. Both add a lovely space to spend time with friends and family and improve the look of your yard. If you’re having trouble deciding which option to go with, keep reading! We’ve broken down the difference between the two so you can choose the best option for your outdoor space.

Decks vs. Patios: Choosing Landscape Architecture For Your Outdoor Space

Structure Difference

Deckslow deck on grass

Decks are raised above the ground, unlike patios which are built directly on top of the earth. Decks don’t have a covering, while patios might have a roof or awning. Further, decks are connected to the home, usually from a back door, side door, or sliding door. Unlike patios, which are pretty much level with the ground, you can vary the height of the deck. A floating deck is raised a few feet off the ground and will need a railing and stairs. This might be something to consider if you need a wheelchair or motorized scooter to help you get around. If you’re concerned about stairs, consider a ground-level deck, which is not raised very high off the earth, and therefore won’t need stairs. This is a popular choice with seniors who want the perks of having a deck without traversing stairs.


On the other hand, patios can be poured wherever you’d like and don’t have to be connected to your home. Now, patios need to be level with the earth by their nature, but if you have an uneven yard, it may require some land grading for you to access the patio. Essentially, stairs are carved out of the hill or incline so that you can access the level part of the patio. These are called raised patios, and they are great for yards that aren’t perfectly flat. Just because you live on the side of a hill doesn’t mean you can’t have hardscaping designed for your home.



Generally, decks are constructed from woods like cedar, mahogany, or pine. They can also be created from aluminum, stone, cement, or composite materials that mimic the look and feel of wood. The material you end up going with will depend on different factors. If you have a strict budget to adhere to, pinewood is generally more affordable than cedar or mahogany. If you’re all about aesthetics, then perhaps a composite deck would fit your idea of a sleek, modern-looking yard.


Patios cave be built from paving stones or pour concrete and cement. A flat sheet of cement has a more modern look, while pavers can elicit various moods. Depending on the color and pattern of the paving stones, your patio could have a rural country feel or something more high-end.


Deckspaver back yard patio

If you go with the real wood option, you’ll need to re-stain the surface from time to time and make sure to add a water seal to make it last.


Paving stones may sprout weeds in the cracks, which will need to be addressed. Individual pavers may need to be replaced, and cement can develop small cracks that need to be patched. With patios, you won’t have to re-stain the stones, but you should expect to do a thorough power-washing every year to remove dirt deposited over the fall and winter.

Purpose Of Your Yard

Because decks are often elevated, you may not have as much privacy as you would with a patio. Patios can be screened in, which makes it easy to hang shades to keep roving eyes out. If you live in close proximity to your neighbors, you might want to go with a patio so you can set up privacy screens if need be. It’s much easier and more practical to build a privacy fence around a ground-level patio than it is to build a deck.

Curb Appeal

If you don’t plan on staying in your home forever, decks typically have a higher ROI than patios. And here in North Carolina, we have the chance to spend quite a bit of time outdoors, which a potential buyer will notice when considering your home. Research has shown that having a well-kempt landscape can significantly influence the price of real estate.

Get Backyard Landscaping From O’Connor Landscapes

Whether you go with a deck or take the patio route, the pros at O’Connor Landscapes can help! Our hardscaping services will give you the dream backyard you’ve always wanted. To learn more, call us at (910) 691-9227 or leave us a message online through our contact us form here. If you’re curious about other landscaping topics, be sure to check out our blog page, where you can read more helpful articles that provide both tips and inspiration.

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