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Is a deck or patio cheape

Is A Deck Or Patio Cheaper? Comparing The Costs

Homeowners wishing to spruce up their backyard will look for good features to implement in the design. A deck and a patio are the options for the ones that like to enjoy the outdoors. If you work with a constrained budget, you want to know which option is cheaper. Is a deck or patio cheaper?This post goes into more detail on this topic. Once you go through it, you can make a beer decision for your next project!

patio cheaper

Is A Deck Or Patio Cheaper?

A patio is cheaper to build when compared to a deck. The materials used to construct a patio are more affordable than the ones used to make a deck. You can use inexpensive materials such as concrete, pavers, bricks, or even gravel to build your patio. A deck is made of wood, which is usually more expensive. Even though there are cheaper wood options for building a deck, they can quickly deteriorate. According to research, building a patio costs half less than a deck per square foot. 

However, the building costs aren’t the only thing that makes a patio cheaper than a deck. Remember that decks require frequent maintenance to stay in good condition. A deck is made of wood, and the extreme temperatures and sun exposure will damage the surface. Therefore homeowners need to apply stain and sealants to make their decks look perfect. Knowing these product costs can add up to the cost of owning a deck. A patio is made of materials that don’t require much maintenance, so you won’t have high costs when thinking long-term. 

Is A Deck Or Patio Cheaper? Comparing The Costs

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Patio?

Building a patio costs between $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the size and material chosen. The fees will be added to the final price if any prep work needs to be completed before the building. 

Gravel is the cheapest material for building a patio. The costs vary between $1.50 – $4 per square foot for setting up a gravel patio, which is the most affordable option. This will cost more if you wish to have additions such as a pergola or privacy screens. 

cost to build a patio

A poured concrete patio costs between $4 and $8 per square foot. The beauty of concrete is quite versatile and can fit various styles, from modern to traditional. With different finishes, you can customize the concrete patio to your liking. Stenciled concrete is another excellent alternative, where stencils are stamped to create intriguing patterns.

Pavers are a popular option, available for any price range. The cheapest ones start at $0.50 per square foot and go up to $10 for the aesthetic choices. With being available in different colors and shapes, you can choose other pavers to create a unique patio.

a patio

Flagstone costs $11 to $30 per square foot. It is a more expensive option compared to the others as it consists of natural stones. 

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Deck?

The average cost for building a deck is $21 per square foot. The average price range for a deck is $3,920 – $10,540, while high-end options can go more than $17,000. The final price depends on the size and material used. You can ask your contractor to provide a price estimate based on your specific situation. Cedar and pine are the most affordable options for building a wood deck.

build a deck

If you wish to enjoy the outdoors but work with a limited budget, a few options are available. The more complex the design is, the higher the price will be. Therefore it would be best to choose simple designs to save money. A simple deck without curves and special features will be more affordable. The wood used to build a deck can get pricey, but don’t go for the cheapest options since they require more maintenance costs. 

Another way to save on your deck is to do it off-season when the contractors aren’t that busy. Most homeowners will want to build a deck during the warmer months to take advantage o the sun. Contractors won’t have loads of work from November to March, which is the right time to negotiate and achieve a better price. If you think ahead, you can save money.

When it comes to DIYng, this option is not recommended if you don’t have the experience. Building a deck can be a complex process, including building foundation support and obtaining a permit to ensure the construction meets the codes. If you don’t have carpentry skills, it would be better to leave this job in the hands of professionals. 

Location of patio/deck

One factor determining the price for building an addition is that a patio in your backyard requires a level of space. If your backyard has an uneven ground or a slope, the costs of leveling out the place will be higher. However, the sloped floor does not affect the deck in any way since it is already elevated.

Location of patio/deck

Complexity of Installation

Another factor that influences the price of your deck or patio is the installation difficulty. The more complex the process is, the more labor hours you will need to pay. While you can make a patio yourself, let professionals take care of your deck. Considering this aspect, a patio is cheaper to build than a deck. However, the project can get more pricey if the ground is uneven and requires more prep work. 

Building a deck is more complex than a patio. Your contractor will drill holes into the ground and pour concrete to ground the deck. If the deck is attached to the building, they will need to find a way to execute this. 

A patio is simple to install if the ground is flat. In case of uneven surfaces, prep work is needed to ensure your patio gets appropriately positioned. 

Complexity of installation

Installation costs

The installation costs depend on the size and materials used. If you can do it yourself, you cut the labor costs for installation. However, not all patio or deck building projects can be done by yourself. In some cases, you will need to hire a contractor. 


Is a deck or patio cheaper in the long run? Homeowners often overlook this question. When deciding whether you can afford a deck or a patio, it is essential to count on the maintenance costs. A wood deck is more susceptible to damage, so you need to pay extra attention to maintaining it. In addition, we explain the maintenance routine for each and the associated costs so that you can get a better idea.

A deck requires power washing once per year to remove dust, debris, and mildew. Since the wood is exposed to weather elements, you must apply sealant and stain every few years to enhance durability. 

On the other hand, a patio doesn’t require much maintenance. The practice depends on the material your patio is made of. Washing with a hose is enough to clean concrete and pavers. If you have a gravel patio, you only need to return the scattered stones. With poured concrete, you might need to replace it when it cracks. Stone pavers can be individually replaced, which is way easier.

Therefore, owning a patio is less expensive in the long run. It is made of materials that don’t require frequent maintenance or buying additional products. 


Not everyone might want to build a deck or patio for their pleasure. Homeowners who intend to sell their property soon will want to make it more appealing. If you’re wondering which option has a higher return on investment, it would be a deck. The return on investment for a deck is 75% higher. A deck is a highly desirable feature in the eyes of buyers, so it would help sell the property faster. If increasing the resale value is your goal, make sure to do research or talk to an agent to find out more about the current market trends. 

Is a deck or a patio better for me?

Both deck and a patio allow you to enjoy the outdoors and set up an entertainment area. Regardless, there is a difference in design, costs, and maintenance.

 A deck is an elevated structure, meaning it provides better views. Therefore, it is recommended for houses near the sea or other areas with good views. A patio is on ground level, so you might not enjoy the landscape as you would with an elevated deck. However, the patio feels more intimate and private. 

When it comes to curb appeal, the patio might be the winner. The patio is seamlessly blended into the backyard, while a deck stands out. 

Moreover, a deck provides a better view and feels more open to the outdoors. On the other hand, a patio offers more privacy. In the end, the choice depends on your specific needs.


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