Home / Home Improvement / How to Choose between a Patio or a Deck


A patio or a deck—that is the question. In Australia, both are quite popular among homeowners who want to transform their outdoor living areas. While these terms are typically used side by side, they should never be used interchangeably. A patio is quite different from a deck, and which suits you best will depend on your needs. Read along to learn more about whether you are better off with a patio or a deck:

A Deck is High, a Patio is Not

One of the easiest ways to distinguish between a patio and a deck is that the latter is elevated above ground, while the former is not. Patio is essentially a Spanish term meaning a courtyard. A patio is a courtyard placed outdoors without being surrounded by walls. Consider it an open space in any outdoor area intended for people to mingle.

Decks are usually designed with an elevation. The main reason of a deck is to make the best of a great view. A deck can be attached or detached from a house. But it is not on the ground, as part of a garden, like a patio could be. A deck is a great place to mingle enjoying the surrounding view, whereas a patio offers a close and intimate view of an outdoor area or a garden.

Patios can be attached or detached from a house too. These are usually part of landscaping whereas decks are desperately built. Consider these factors to decide whether you want a patio or a deck.

Patios are Versatile, Decks are Comfortable

One of the biggest advantages of patios is that you can use a variety of materials to build them. For example, patios can be made with concrete, stone, tiles, gravel, or brick, among others. Decks are very commonly built with wood, though in recent years there are vinyl-mixed composite material used for these structures.

If you want a posh-looking outdoor area for having tea or hanging out, patios are great. But decks are considered to be more comfortable for intimate gatherings. Patios can look good, while decks are sturdy and private. If you choose an option like composite decking at Mosman, you can create a really warm atmosphere perfect for relaxing in the evenings. Decks are the best for placing comforts like cushions, while patios are best for metal furniture.

You May Require Permission for a Deck

Just about any homeowner can design a patio. However, if you have your mind set on a deck, check with local regulations first. Some municipalities have zoning laws to ensure that decks are built safely. Some may require scheduled inspections as well. So if you can’t get permission for a deck, you can always go for a patio.

Both Support Most Structures

In Australia, a patio typically has an accompanying pergola for shade and privacy. Decks and easily support these structures as well. In fact, both decks and patios support similar structures to improve comfort and privacy.

If you want an fire pit or an outdoor kitchen, you can built both onto a patio or a deck. On a deck, it would be designed segregated from the wood with fireproof material. You can add a pool to both a deck and a patio. However, pools are more popular with decks because of the great view you can get.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether you want a patio or a deck. If you want a great view from above, go with a deck. Otherwise, a patio would do.

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