The difference between patios and decks is that patios usually have concrete or paved solid floors and decks are more usually raised wooden platforms. The basis of a choice between the two may be a question of taste or of circumstances. Some homes, built on uneven ground or a slope might not have a suitable surface upon which a level surface is able to be constructed. In which case they might require a platform raised above the ground, by mere inches or even by many feet. Wood is a preferred material for this sort of feature and, traditionally, is also the material used on boats from which this feature takes its name.
Both decks and patios are ‘extensions’ of the home’s solid base and comfort to an area immediately adjacent to the house. They serve the purpose of giving the house and ‘external room’, an open air living space, or merely a hard floored part of the garden where chairs and tables can easily be placed and the view appreciated. Both create a transition area between home and garden, inside and outside, and so both may include elements of domesticity and of nature.
The patio with a concrete or solid floor, once constructed, is mostly trouble and maintenance free. So long as the concrete is set or the paving stones laid correctly, there is no more to be considered. But a wooden deck might require maintenance and occasional attention; wood needs to be treated in order that it doesn’t suffer and deteriorate in hot sunshine or heavy rain fall. Flaws might be present in the wood which may weaken and crack over time, replacements may need to be made, and additional treatment applied.
Pressure treated wood is available and is popular for decking which is impregnated with chemicals to increase resistance to rotting and insect damage; although the treatment itself can prematurely age the wood and make it more susceptible to wear. Many hard woods have natural resistance, being solid and dense in structure but can be more expensive. Many people compromise by using wood composite decking; which looks like wood but is, in fact, an imitation made by compacting recycled plastic and wood mix. There is also fibreglass and other substitutes available.
The choices are almost endless, but whichever you decide upon patios and decks are a delightful, picturesque and highly functional addition to your home.