Patio vs. Deck: 9 Questions to Ask Yourself

Dreaming of an outdoor entertainment space where you can spend the lazy days of summer enjoying some solace in nature, or hanging out with family and friends amidst the smell of burgers being grilled to perfection? 

Not sure whether a patio or deck is the best option to achieve this dream? 

Here are nine questions that you should ask yourself when trying to decide whether a patio or deck is right for you.

Deck at Horton Group’s 66 High Street luxury condos.

1) What is the difference between a patio and a deck?

A patio is level with the ground, while a deck is on a raised platform. Typically patios are made of concrete, but can also be made of brick, pavers, stone, or tile. Decks are usually made of wood, composite wood, or vinyl. Decks are required to have railings while patios often do not have railings.

2) What is my budget?

If you’re on a tight budget, then a patio will typically be your cheaper option. Since patios are level with the ground, there is no added cost to build a platform. However, decks will typically have a higher return-on-investment (averaging 72% in 2020). If you are concerned with the resale value of your house, it is worth considering paying more for the deck.

3) Do I want to DIY it?

For safety and building code reasons, deck construction is better left to the professionals. If you want a DIY project, you’re better off going with the patio, but hiring a professional is still recommended.

4) Is my property sloping or hilly?

If your property is not on level ground, a deck will probably be a better option for you, especially if you want a deck that you can access through an interior living space. If your heart is set on a patio, you can always level out the land – but keep in mind this requires additional time and cost to complete the project.

5) Do I need to get a permit?

In many places, you need a permit in order to build a deck, as you are adding an additional structure to your home that must be safely built up-to-code. It depends on the location, but you often don’t need a permit to build a patio. Always check with your municipality to ensure you are following guidelines. 

Covered patio at Horton Group’s 21 Palms construction.

6) Do I want my outdoor entertainment space attached to my house?

Decks are almost always attached to the house. Patios can be attached or located anywhere on your property. It’s up to your personal preference whether you want a structure attached to your home or something a little farther away.

7) How much maintenance am I willing to do?

Typically there isn’t much maintenance to perform on a patio other than to keep it clean and repair any cracks. The amount of maintenance you will need to perform on a deck is dependent on the material. Vinyl and composite decking are long-lasting and should not need much beyond cleaning. Decks made out of wood will need to be sanded and resealed regularly.

8) What kind of view do I want?

Since decks are raised, they can provide an awesome view of the landscape, but if you do not want any rails blocking your view, a patio might be a better option for you. A patio is also the better option if you prefer your outdoor entertainment space to be immersed in your landscaping, such as surrounded by gardens, fountains, or simply nature.

9) What about a pool?

If you have or want a pool in your outdoor space this will be a huge factor in determining whether a patio or deck makes more sense for you. A patio can easily make a great entertainment space around an inground pool. If you have an above-ground pool, you can build a deck around it.

Conclusion

There are many factors to consider when choosing between a patio or a deck for your home. These include budget, ROI, local building codes, typography, personal preference, and other features that you want to include such as a pool. It’s important to ask yourself these nine questions to make the best decision for you.

Outdoor Kitchen Design Tips

There’s a reason why outdoor kitchens have become increasingly popular over the past decade. Not only are they practical, but they add a luxurious feature to your home. 

An outdoor kitchen also increases your square footage for entertaining, allowing you to stay engaged with guests while limiting foot traffic in and out of the home. 

If you’re looking for some inspiration, keep reading to learn how to design your dream outdoor kitchen.

Plan And Select A Layout

When designing an outdoor kitchen, personalization is key. Factor in space for seating and appliances, while still allowing plenty of room for walking and cooking. You’ll want to consider space for prepping, cooking, entertaining, and dining when planning your kitchen. 

Once you have the exact measurements, explore possible layouts for your kitchen. 

Here are some of the most common layouts:

  • L-Shaped: This shape works well for small to medium-sized spaces and fits perfectly in corners.
  • Linear: An excellent option for small spaces and small budgets. A linear layout can either run along the side of the house or be freestanding like an island. 
  • Galley: In a galley layout, appliances and cabinets face each other along a rectangular line divided by a central walkway.
  • U-Shaped: This layout is lined with appliances and cabinets on three sides, forming a U-shape, with an open space in the center. This works best for large outdoor kitchens and offers more space for appliances and countertops.

Personalize Accessories and Appliances

To elevate your outdoor kitchen and make it fit your needs, consider accessories. A fire pit adds a cozy element to your outdoor kitchen, helps keep the night lit, and extends patio season into cooler months.

Not much of a cook? Make a bar the focal point of your kitchen. If you’re a master chef, purchase the bells and whistles such as a pizza oven or grilling station. 

Furniture and Decor

Once you have your layout and appliances, you can begin to have fun with the design! Remember, this space is an extension of your indoor living areas and brings together dining, entertaining, and relaxing. 

Choose outdoor furniture that meets your style and is comfortable, with enough seating for all. If you have one seating area, make sure the space can accommodate dining and conversing. If you have multiple seating areas, you can incorporate furniture for lounging and separate furniture for eating. 

Finally, some type of protection is vital for an outdoor kitchen, whether it’s a pergola, retractable roof, or canopy. This helps weatherproof the space and allows you to use it whether the sun is blaring or there’s a light rain. 

6 Outdoor Design Ideas You’ll Love

Outdoor living spaces can be designed to fit your needs and style, and remain an important feature for homeowners and buyers alike. From hosting daytime gatherings to relaxing evenings, your property expands your living space and allows you to enjoy the outdoors. 

Here are six design features to take your outdoor living space to the next level:

Patio Doors

Oversized doors leading out to your patio or deck extend your interior living space to the outdoors. French patio doors are easy to open, bifold doors can create a larger entrance, and multi-slide patio doors can extend the length of the wall, with panels that tuck into pockets. Each one of these options opens up your indoor and outdoor living spaces for entertaining or relaxing at home. 

Covered Outdoor Area

A covered space creates more opportunities to be outside, whether the sun is shining so brightly you need shade, or a light rain begins. You can also create separate outdoor spaces, keeping one covered and others uncovered to meet everyone’s preferences. Awnings, gazebos, and screened porches are all options for covered outdoor space. 

Outdoor Kitchen

If you love to entertain, an outdoor kitchen makes it more convenient to prep food and drinks while hosting, but also limits the number of times your guests walk in and out of the house. 

Built-in cooking and prep stations provide everything you need to make meals outside, so you can enjoy your company and the weather. 

Irrigation System

Beautiful landscaping can be admired throughout the warmer months, making your property a serene reatreat. An irrigation system allows you to maintain your landscaping with less maintenance, giving you more time to enjoy the outdoors. 

Privacy

There are numerous ways to create privacy, no matter what type of property you own. Fencing, hedges, and landscaping can all create a private oasis for you to enjoy. 

Fire Pits

An outdoor fire pit is a wonderful way to create ambiance in your outdoor living space. Whether you opt for a built-in or portable fire pit,  you can cozy up on chilly evenings and extend the use of your outdoor space. 

Lighting for Your Outdoor Living Space

Outdoor living spaces have become more popular and have moved beyond the basic deck with table and chairs. Homeowners are creating beautiful outdoor spaces with a warming and peaceful atmosphere to enjoy their backyard’s comfort. Just like inside your home, your outdoor space requires proper lighting. 

Whether your style is traditional or modern, outdoor lighting options come in many shapes and sizes. Ultimately, you will want to choose a combination of outdoor and landscape lighting to create the ambiance you are looking for. Keep reading to discover the best illumination options for a more striking backyard. 

 

String Lights

A budget-friendly option, string lights are the easiest way to create a relaxing environment in your yard. All you need is a power outlet and structures to attach the lights. If you don’t have any accessible outlet, opt for solar-powered string lights. 

 

 

 

Ceiling Lights 

outdoor fan

Ceiling lights can provide more direct and general lighting. Consider installing a ceiling fan, which will help keep your outdoor areas cool during the hot summer months. Just keep in mind many ceiling fans are required to be installed by a professional, but you don’t need an expert to help you pick one out!

 

Pendants and Chandelier

outdoor pendantIf you are looking for more decorative options, hanging a pendant or chandelier will transform your outdoor living space into a stylish and elegant backyard escape. This is a great lighting option for counters and bar areas, creating an intentional space for entertaining that you and your family can enjoy year-round. 

 

Landscape Lighting

landscape lightingHave you been working hard on your landscaping all summer long? Landscape lighting can be used to create focal points in your yard to highlight your landscape elements such as trees, plants, and flowers. Not only will this lighting option create a soft glow, but it will also provide a focal point in your yard. 

 

Path Lights

path lighting

Path lighting is designed to help navigate walkways to help you and your guests move safely and comfortably after dark. Use outdoor lanterns near driveways and deck railings and wall-mounted lanterns next to doors to create a welcoming space. 

 

 

 

Table and Floor Lamps

outdoor lighting - lamps

If you don’t have the structure to hang string lights or install a ceiling fan, a table or floor lamp is made for the outdoors too! Create a cozy reading nook or a relaxing conversation area with a wet-rated lamp or lantern. 

 

 

It is also important to factor in lighting control for your outdoor living spaces. Consider using dimmers to adjust your light level or timers to turn on and off lights automatically. Whether you are creating a relaxing escape or an entertaining space, well-planned lighting will help you achieve the ultimate outdoor experience. 

10 Simple DIY Summer Projects

Summer is in the air! Longer days and warmer weather are ideal for playing outdoor games, firing up the grill, hanging by the pool, and DIY projects. Rather than heading to the store and purchasing summer decor, take matters into your own hands with some of these DIY crafts. From yard Yahtzee to succulent garden masterpieces, we compiled a list of simple DIY projects that will keep you busy all summer long!

Mug Bird Feeder 

Nothing screams summer more than a custom bird feeder. This adorable DIY mug bird feeder is a great handmade project, especially for those who love to draw and doodle. Mugs and plates from the dollar store are great for this craft!

 

 Yard Yahtzee

Calling all Yahtzee lovers! Yard Yahtzee is a clever craft idea for any summer barbeque. Enjoy with your family and friends with this supersized version of your favorite dice game. 

 

Fruit Painted Coasters  

These colorful and fun graphic fruit painted coasters are the perfect addition to your summer decor. Not only are they practical, but they are easily customizable and simple to make. 

 

Garden Masterpiece with Succulents  

 

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can easily make this beautiful plant art with succulents. A low maintenance planter, your succulent masterpiece will be a great backyard addition.  

 

Tin Can Luminaries

If you’re ready to make these Tin Can Luminaries, you’ll definitely want citronella candles to go with it. Keep the mosquitoes away and your summer nights lit with these beautiful luminaries. 

 

Shoe Organizer Herb Garden

All you need for this vertical herb garden is hanging shoe rack, soil, and seedlings! Not only will this organizer protect your plants from critters, it is a cost-effective alternative to planters. 

 

Serving Tray Makeover 

Does your old serving tray need a makeover? Check out a simple and affordable way to spruce up any serving tray without any paint! 

 

Plastic Bottle Hanging Planters

Put your recycled water bottles to use with these DIY plastic bottle hanging planters. This is another great alternative to planters and simple enough to craft with your kids!

 

Tulip Wreath 

For a fun and festive look, this tulip wreath is the perfect burst of color for your front door or decor! If tulips aren’t your go-to flower, switch it out with any greenery of your choice. 

 

Garden Rock Sign 

These adorable garden rock signs are made with just a little imagination and paint. Using a few rocks from around your yard, these markers are essential for any growing area. 

 

We hope these few DIY summer crafts ideas inspired you to try something new! Comment below any summer projects that you’ve been crafting. 

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