Deck vs Patio: Pros and Cons of Each

Here’s another good article from Great Day Improvements, LLC on decks vs. patios.

If your house is in dire need of some outdoor space, adding a patio or deck can increase your square foot without robbing your children of their college educations. Each option offers an area to gather with friends and family, grill out, and relax under the sun (or stars); the option you choose will likely depend on your budget, space and needs. In this article we’ll take a look at the benefits of both patios and decks so your hardest decision will be where to place the grill.

Patio or Deck: What’s the Difference?

Oftentimes homeowners use these terms interchangeably, but there are differences between the two. A patio refers to an outdoor space placed directly on the ground. This area may be connected to the house or constructed in a separate part of the yard. Patios often have concrete bases, but some homeowners use stone, tile, pavers, brick or other materials to create the foundation. In most cases patios do not have a rail; they may or may not be covered. Today’s patios might feature party goodies like fire pits, built in barbecues, and sitting areas, making them the perfect relaxation or socialization space.

Decks, on the other hand, are typically constructed of wood or vinyl. Though they can be built near the ground, they are not placed directly on the ground and feature some type of support system to hold up the addition. Decks may be built off of the lower floor of a home, such as the living room or kitchen, or they might be added to an upper level room or even on a rooftop setting. Decks are typically enclosed with some type of railing and often offer the homeowner excellent views of their surroundings.

Patio vs. Deck: A Cost Comparison

As with all renovation projects, your budget will likely impact your choice, and the range for a deck or patio addition project can be large. For instance, Remodeling Magazine’s Cost Value Report in 2013 states the average cost of a mid-range deck addition project runs around $15,000 for a composite deck and $9,327 for wood. While This Old House averages a new deck to be just shy of $6,000. A new patio might cost the homeowner a third of that lower-end price. Additionally, according to this article from House Logic, a free source from the National Association of Realtors™, decks run around $33 per square foot while a patio might cost as low as $15 per square foot. In short, patios are usually cheaper than decks. The cost of the project will depend upon a variety of factors though. These include:

  • Materials used (concrete, vinyl, wood)
  • Location of the addition (on the ground without supports, above ground, on the house with a door already leading out or in an area in which a door addition must be made)
  • Size of the addition
  • Features, such as a built in barbecue, railings, seating, supports

Another consideration to factor into the addition equation is the slope of the yard on which you plan to place the patio or deck. For instance, since a patio is placed directly on the ground, you’ll want to choose a space that is level. Patios may not be the best choice for uneven ground because the cost to create a level foundation can double or triple the cost of the actual addition.

Return on Investment (ROI)?

Aside from the initial cost to construct a patio, you should consider your return on investment (ROI) if, in the future, you plan to sell. Renovations done to the outside of the home, such as decks and patios, often offer a good ROI, because most homeowners want to have some type of outdoor living space.

The average return on investment for a new deck addition runs around 75%; on a patio, House Logic notes the ROI averages somewhere between 30-60%. What does this mean for you? Remodeling Magazine shows that a new wooden deck in the mid-range project category will average $9,327; the resale value places that deck at $7,213. In this case, the homeowner would recoup around 77.3% of what was paid. If adding a $3,000 patio to a home, a homeowner might expect to get back about $1,500 of the cost of the project when selling the home.

Which Is Best For Your Needs?

Aside from cost, you’ll want to determine which outdoor addition works best for the purpose for which you hope to use it. Do you want to incorporate the landscaping into the overall design? If so, a patio might work best, as it can be surrounded by trees, shrubs and flowers. Do you want the area to be considered a space separate from the main house? Again, a patio works best here because the foundation can be placed away from the house. Patios also work well for homeowners who have in ground pools and want a space around the area in which to gather, cook out, or relax.

Homeowners interested in spotlighting a view might opt for a deck, since they can be built off of the ground and offer a wider visual range. Decks also work well for those with yards that are not level or that are built on a hill, since the supports can be cut to any height. Also, since decks must have stairs if the homeowner is interested in getting to the yard from the addition, those who want to keep the entertaining on the porch rather than in the yard may opt for this type of addition.

Whichever way you choose to go, both decks and patios offer a positive ROI and unlimited possibilities for entertaining, socializing, or simply relaxing in an outdoor space. Contact Great Day Improvements today to see how we can extend your living space through the addition of a deck or patio, and start living your life outside, too!


5 Backyard Ideas to Improve Your Outdoor Space

Here’s an informative article on improving your outdoor space from Great Day Improvements .

When the weather is just right for enjoying your outdoor space, you want to be sure that space is perfect for you. In this post you will learn about 5 easy DIY backyard ideas to improve your outdoor space, including

  • Adding outdoor lighting
  • Adding a porch enclosure or sunroom
  • Creating a garden area
  • Adding a seating area
  • How to improve landscaping

Life seems just a bit sweeter when you can hang out in your backyard and enjoy the beauty of your outdoor space. Whether your backyard is large or small, there are multiple ways to improve its general appeal with items and solutions derived from nature, accessory stores and any other place where beauty may be found or created. Any DIY backyard guidebook can give you some insights to outdoor beauty. Here are 5 DIY backyard ideas to get you started:

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Keep Insect Pests Out Of Your Vegetable Garden

Here’s a good article on keeping pests out of your vegetable garden by Maria Iannotti for The Spruce.

5 Easy Ways to Keep Insect Pests Out of Your Vegetable Garden

While nothing can guarantee you won’t have pest problems in your vegetable garden, there are some low effort ways to cut down on the pest population. Basically, you want to avoid the conditions that invite pests into your garden in the first place. These five tips will help keep your plants healthy and problem free.

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The Best Time To Water Your Plants In The Summer

Here’s a good article on advice on the best time to water plants in the summer by Jamie McIntosh for The Spruce.

Drive around your neighborhood on a hot summer day, and you’ll see many approaches to watering plants. Some homeowners break out the hose at the end of the work day, while others program the automatic sprinklers to come on at dawn for 15 minutes a day; still others figure on the plants getting a drink whenever the kids decide it’s time to play in the sprinkler. However, timing your irrigation will not only lead to healthier plants, but it can also save on your water bill.

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How To Safely Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades

Here’s an informative article on safely sharpening lawn mower blades by David Beaulieu for The Spruce.

Choosing From a Variety of Tool Options

Although you may think of sharpening your lawn mower blade as a matter of mower care, it is actually a matter of lawn care. Dull blades are more likely to tear grass blades instead of cutting them cleanly. Such tears open up your lawn grass to an attack from diseases. Fungal diseases love to take advantage of open wounds in plants, especially in conjunction with moist conditions. Mowing the grass creates such conditions because cutting the grass blades releases some of the moisture content that they carry inside.

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9 Common Lawn Care Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

Here’s a good article on lawncare by Joseph Truini for Popular Mechanics.

It isn’t easy cultivating a perfect lawn, but avoiding these common mistakes is a good place to start.

Growing a lush, green lawn is well within the capabilities of any homeowner, as long as you follow a few simple rules. Unfortunately many lawns fail, not because of neglect, but because of some bad practices and misconceptions.

So, to help you have the greenest, healthiest lawn in the neighborhood, this compiled list helps you avoid the biggest pitfalls standing between you and a great lawn.

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6 Green Landscaping Trends In The Northeast

Here’s an informative article on landscaping trends by Amanda Maher for Buildium.

This the season! Bust out the wheelbarrows and crank up the lawn mowers—it’s time to get your yard in tip-top shape for the summer BBQs that we all love so much.

Not to mention, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you’ll spruce up the green spaces at your properties. For a few years, it made sense to put off any investments in landscaping. But since the economy has ticked up, there’s more competition in the real estate market, and improved outdoor aesthetics can make a huge difference for a property’s value.

But it’s about more than just curb appeal. There’s a growing trend to revamp backyards in a way that’s environmentally sustainable.

This is the first in a four-part series where we’ll take a look at eco-friendly landscape and outdoor design trends in various regions across the United States. As you’d imagine, some trends are taking hold across the country. But others are very specific to certain regions. After all, the farther south you venture, the more use people get out of their backyards. Head north and you’ll find people who are lucky if they get a few solid months outside each year.

To begin, let’s take a look at “green” landscaping trends in the Northeast.

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6 Tips To Keep House Sparrows Away From Your Feeders

Here’s an informative article on keep house sparrows away from bird feeders by Melissa Mayntz for The Farmer’s Almanac.

House sparrows are familiar, widespread birds. They’re a common sight in cities and their chirping is a familiar sound, but they aren’t always the most welcome guests to birdhouses and feeders. The common house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is considered an invasive bird in many areas, causing damage and problems for native species. They will take over prime nesting sites, particularly from eastern bluebirds, tree swallows, and purple martins, and usurp feeders and overwhelm other visitors, including finches, tanagers, buntings, native sparrows, and Orioles, chasing them away, thus reducing backyard species diversity. This is exactly the opposite of most birders’ wishes, who often take great care to plan landscaping, choose feeders, offer nesting sites, and provide a varied diet to attract a greater range of birds. So what can you do to discourage house sparrows from invading your back yard and feeders? We have a few strategies.

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Collecting Rainwater For The Garden

Here’s an informative article on rainwater collection for the garden by Janine Pineo for The Farmer’s Almanac.

The patter of rain on the roof can make a gardener’s day. Not only is nature watering the plants, but it’s providing hydration for later use. Collecting and saving rainwater for use in the garden just makes good sense, and was a common practice by our ancestors. It conserves water, saves money, and utilizes the resource that Mother Nature provides. The best part is, you won’t have to decide between a thriving garden and a high water bill if you’re faced with a hot, dry summer, or drought.

Why collect rainwater? The water that comes out of your tap often is treated with chemicals salts, minerals, and chlorine in order for it to be safe to drink. Unfortunately, these chemicals are not always good for your plants and the soil. Rainwater falls naturally soft, meaning it contains fewer concentrations of dissolved minerals like magnesium and calcium.

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Try Hydroseeding To Fill In Your Patchy Lawn

Here’s a good article on lawn care by Jenny Krane for Better Homes & Gardens.

Turn that tricky brown patch in the lawn a rich and lush green. Try hydroseeding, a landscaping process that makes seeding your lawn a whole lot easier.

We all have that one patch of the yard that just won’t grow grass, no matter the type, how much you fertilize, or how much you water. Instead of sticking to the same old process of tilling and laying down grass seed, try spray-on grass seed, or hydroseeding.

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