Outdoor Deck or Patio? You Decide

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Product review
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As the summer gets into full swing, many people turn to a patio or deck to capture those outdoor moments. If you’re debating which outdoor structure works for your yard–and your home value–here’s how to decide.

Outdoor Decks Work with Height

An outdoor deck is typically raised off the ground by 6 to 10 feet or more. This can be an advantage if you’re trying to make the most of a hilly site or one with an English basement. In some cases, a multi-tiered outdoor deck is ideal because it works with the terrain and gives you great backyard appeal.

Patio Designs Work With the Landscaping

Patio designs start at ground level, so this is a typically ideal outdoor structure for houses with submerged basements. Patios also allow you to design your entertainment space around the landscaping.

You might want a few curved flower beds around one side of the patio, for example. This can create a whole new outdoor entertainment area, a big plus with today’s buyers.

Regardless of the style, think carefully about how you orient the patio, says Ask The Builder. You want great views and some privacy.

Patio Designs and Building Materials

Patios also have more variety in building materials–from brick to concrete to stone. Consider what’s common in your neighborhood before splurging on bluestone. With a deck, think about how much maintenance you want; real wood adds character but also periodic upkeep.

The next step is to ask a few landscaping contractors for ideas. Depending on the style of your house and where you want the structure, one style might be a better choice.

Here are some good questions to ask a contractor.

Outdoor deck? Patio? Sometimes it’s a tough choice. Talk to a few contractors and lay it all out on paper. Soon you can see your outdoor entertainment haven taking shape.

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