exterior patioAdding an outdoor living space to your home allows you to create a new, relaxing area for your family and friends while also increasing the value of your home. But what type of outdoor space is best: an outdoor patio or a custom deck?

While some people believe these two options are one in the same, they’re actually two separate choices. Patios and decks both provide a unique addition to your home, so below we’ve detailed the differences between them and how you can choose which one is best for you.

Patios and Decks Defined

An outdoor patio is a ground-level courtyard that can be fashioned in any shape and can be built using multiple mediums. Because an outdoor patio isn’t raised off the ground, you don’t need to include safety railings or surrounding walls.

A deck is usually built multiple feet above the ground to take advantage of a great view. A deck is a common option for homes that lack the right type of land for a patio and require safety railings because it’s not built at ground level.


Both of these outdoor living areas use different materials. An outdoor patio can use a wide range of mediums so you can personalize the space. Usually, patios are built using pavers, bricks, rocks or pebble gravel, or concrete. The materials you choose will permit you to pick from a range of shapes and designs that you can customize for your patio.

Custom decks usually are built with wood or composite material. You have some freedom with the shape and size of your deck, and you can personalize it with outdoor kitchen appliances, furniture, and lighting. The material used to build your deck is an important choice because there are some clear advantages to composite decking over wood decking. No matter what, a custom deck can be a serene and relaxing outdoor living area.


Both outdoor patios and custom decks require some type of maintenance. Patios need to be cleaned periodically, usually with a power washer. Without this maintenance, your patio is susceptible to growing mold, which will require you to buy biodegradable patio washers in order to clean it.

Maintenance for custom decks depends on the material that you choose to build it. Composite deck materials don’t require much cleaning, but wood decks need to be stained and sealed to ensure they last and keep their color and shape. Deck mold can accumulate without proper maintenance, but it’s easy to remove it if necessary.

paul construction deck design

Better Option?

There are many differences between outdoor patios and custom decks both in functionality and maintenance. There’s no clear victor in a comparison between these two outdoor living areas. The choice is purely based on personal preference or the landscape of your home. Some backyards are better suited for decks rather than patios and vice versa.

If you want to learn more about whether a custom deck or patio is the better option for your home, you can contact Paul Construction LLC.