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Wood Deck Vs. Concrete Patio: Pros and Cons

You want a place for outdoor activities. You often picture yourself outside alone or with your family and friends doing various things. You have two choices in mind a concrete patio and a wood deck. Which is better? Which is more suitable and beneficial for you? How about its pros and cons? We went over to consult what professionals have to say, so you won't regret visiting here!

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A concrete patio is cheaper to build than a wood deck. It is also simpler to maintain overall. A wood deck has a shorter lifespan than a concrete patio. However, it works on any terrain with a better view, while a patio is suited to build on flat terrain with more privacy. Wood decks include simple to more complicated construction, unlike concrete ones.

Choosing the best outdoor pavement is essential. It depends on what kind of house or surroundings you have and how you want to use it. Keep reading as this post will guide you through and offer the details that lead to your best choice. 

comparison photo between concrete patio and wood deck with text. Wood Deck Vs. Concrete Patio Pros and Cons

Wood Pavement Vs. Concrete (Pros and Cons)

Knowing more about the two kinds of pavement makes a difference. Giving you the details as fair as possible makes deciding final and easy. 

Wood Deck Styles

There are three deck styles. Elaborating on it will make you understand wood decks better. They vary from simple to intricate ones such as these types of decks:

  • Ground-Level Deck: It is stable on its own, but you can raise it a little.
  • Elevated Deck: The deck is high, commonly adjoining the living and dining areas. It goes up to 30 inches or more.
  • Roof Deck: It is suitable in the city with limited space. It provides an overlooking view.

Three adirondack chairs on a deck overlooking a lake

Pros of Wood Deck 

  • Works on Any Terrain: You can build your dream wood deck whether you live on a flat, slope, or uneven ground; a ground-level deck for your flat area or a raised deck is suitable on slant or uneven ground. 
  • Scenic View: A high deck provides a beautiful view and a place for dinner parties.
  • Single to Multi-Level Construction: If you're looking forward to upgrading your property, this is it! Designing your deck into multiple layers can enhance property values. 
  • Install Amenity: Imagine relaxing in a hot tub outdoor. A deck spoils you with that kind of chill. 

Cons of Wood Deck 

  • Requires permit: Most decks must have a building permit for general safety. Thus, you must be willing to wait until you secure a building permit which can add up to your building time.
  • Requires a Railing: A 30-inch high deck or more must have at least 36-inch railing height. 
  • Costly: A tiered deck tends to be expensive due to materials and design.
  • Prone to Damage: Redwood or cedar is commonly the wood selection in building a deck. Cedar, as a softwood, can be easily damaged.

Check out this post to know more about railing construction and codes: What Deck Height Requires A Railing? [Code Requirements]

Impressive backyard landscape design. Cozy patio area with settees and table

Pros of Concrete Patio 

  • Cheaper: The average cost of building a patio is $15 per square foot, while a deck has almost double the price.
  • Versatile Designs: Concrete offers various finishing techniques and patterns that create a unique and modern patio.
  • Longer Lifespan: It has an average lifespan of 40 years. 
  • Low Maintenance: A patio is cheaper and easier to maintain, while a deck often needs checking of mold and rot or replacement of any damage.

To find out the best color for your patio and to achieve a sophisticated look, look into 11 Awesome Patio Color Schemes.

Cons of Concrete Patio 

  • Time Preparation: Preparing the flat area before pouring the concrete needs time.
  • Plain View: The patio is low without access to a beautiful view, unlike a deck.
  • Unattached to the House: A patio does not have to connect to the house, which might bother you at times. You may go back and forth to get things, especially during a barbeque party or a weekend family dinner.
  • Flat Terrain Only: Usually, a patio's location is in front of the house. It's leveled to the ground.

Deck and Patio Materials

The materials used in a deck or a patio differ in design, color, and cost. Cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated wood are the common preference for building a wood deck. Mahogany and ipe are the other wood choices, and it's the most expensive. Builders commonly use concrete, brick, and pavers in building a patio. Concrete is the cheapest material so far.

Preparing to Build a Deck

There are some preparations to make in building a deck. Planning is always necessary for building. Here is the list of the things to consider if you plan to build one:

  1. You have two options: a DIY project or a partnership with a contractor.
  2. Calculate the total cost.
  3. Choose design, size, and location.
  4. Secure a building permit.
  5. Decide which material to use for your deck.
  6. Gather the tools.
  7. Familiarize yourself with deck-building best practices.

Preparing to Build a DIY Patio

Building a DIY patio seems easier than building a deck yourself. But, there are things to be aware of when deciding to build a DIY patio. Check out this list:

  1. Prepare the tools/materials you'll need.
  2. Lay out the ground.
  3. Lay paver base.
  4. Place paver stones.
  5. Apply finish to your patio.

Installing paver bricks for patio in backyard. A workman's gloved hands use a hammer to place stone pavers.

What is the Cheapest Way to Make a Patio?

A paver patio can be a DIY project that saves you a lot of money. Professional labor costs from $6 to $11 per square foot. Pavers only cost between $2 and $4 per square foot.

An expertly-installed patio costs between $10 and $17 per square foot. Additional costs include delivery fees, tamping, and other materials needed. Doing it on your own requires time and strength and you may want to consider planning first before ordering or buying anything.

How Deep Do You Need to Dig for a Patio?

The depth depends on the ground where you plan to install your patio. Dig 1 inch or 2 for a rocky area if water does not accumulate. Dig 6 inches if water gathers quickly. To learn about the ground you have, you may contact your Public Works Department or City Hall to inquire about the type of soil condition on your property. 

Gutter, gutter, drain for water after rain on the sidewalk. Installation of paving slabs and drainage systems.

Does My Patio Need Drainage?

Yes. A patio needs drainage to prevent water from standing and to do away with mold growth. It's always best to consider putting drainage before installing one. There are three drainage systems that you can choose from:

  1. French Drain - an underground perforated pipe covered in gravel with a sheet of fabric topped with soil or sand.
  2. Perimeter Drain - an underground perforated pipe that leads water away from the entire house, which may cause damage.
  3. Channel Drain - a drainage system tucked into a trench with a grated top. It seems the easiest one to do. Channel drains come in different colors.

Click here to see this gray channel drain on Amazon.

What is the Cheapest Type of Deck to Build?

A small, basic deck is the most economical. It will cost you only $4,000. Basic materials amount, $4 per square foot; $15 for premium. Deciding to build a deck with pressure-treated wood will fit the budget since it is the cheapest wood for deck building. However, it may cost you more in the future. Also, a ground-level deck works best. 

Can I Build a Deck Directly on the Ground?

Yes, you can build a deck directly on the ground with the condition that you must use ground-contact wood. You can own a deck less than 8 inches in height. The good thing about it is it does not need stairs. Substructure should have the recommended materials durable and fit for contacting the ground.

Using the wrong materials may cause your deck to rot prematurely. Ensure treatment is applied to your wood and materials to avoid unwanted damage from ground contact.

Does a Deck Need Footings?

A large deck attached to a house must have footings. It spreads the weight of the deck, which makes stable construction. It also serves as support to keep the foundation intact. It protects and benefits the drainage system. A deck larger than 100 square feet and higher than the waistline usually needs deck footings. These all contribute to the lifespan of a deck.

A floating deck has a ground-level design. Thus, footings are not necessary. You can opt to use concrete blocks or planks instead.

concrete patio with chairs and sofa, wooden deck with umbrella and chairs. Wood Deck Vs. Concrete Patio Pros and Cons

In Closing

Choosing the best pavement should consider the style, materials, and cost. But, complimenting what you have read to personal taste and plan leads you to the final best choice. Whichever you choose, it will be a beautiful and a great additional surface to your place. The answer is yours!

Before you go, you might want to discover how to make your deck more stylish by choosing the right paint color. Go over this post to find out more:

What Color Should I Paint My Deck?