I was just quoting a job where we are demolishing an old deck and replacing it with a paver patio. I am running into that more and more these days, homeowners want low maintenance and are opting for patios over decks. We are able to install a 3 feet high or under patio with the landing and steps for less than the cost of a same height deck. Plus the patios just flow a little better for entertaining than a raised deck. So when you are pricing out your deck, take a second to price out a patio, you just might be surprised!
Here is a little list of my thoughts paver patios vs. wood decks.
A paver patio can be built for about a third less than the price of a deck (DIY or professionals)
A deck can cost a third more than the price of a paver patio (DIY or professionals)
Built at ground level with steps and a landing down from the door (see photo)
Built above the ground, typically at door height
A ground level patio will not require railings
Decks often require railings which can obstruct views
Built at ground level which creates an easier transition from the patio to the yard creating a better flow for entertaining
Built off the ground with steps that often lead directly out onto the grass, creating an awkward transition for guests
Typically patios do not require city permits because they are not attached to the house (homeowners assoc. approval is a different story)
Decks often require city permits because they are attached to the house and considered an addition (may also require homeowners assoc. approval)
On a patio you can build in add-ons that would make your patio a cohesive entertaining area – a seat wall around the edge, a built-in fire pit and outdoor kitchen
On a deck you would need to buy removable items – seating (possible built-in benches), a mobile fire pit (watch the open flames) and grill
Low maintenance – spray clean, occasionally after years a paver can raise up and will need to be leveled
High maintenance (wood) – power washing, clear coat, painting or staining nails can pop up, wood can splinter and rot
And most importantly to my wife, you can go barefoot on a patio
As a deck ages you would want to wear footwear because of possible splinters and nails
Below are a few photos of some patios to give you an idea of what you might be able to do in your backyard. Enjoy!
This is actually a bluestone patio with paver wall. The patio comes directly off their house and transitions to a lower patio with fire pit.
This patio transitions from the door with two long steps down onto the patio.
These are circular steps down to the patio.
This is a raised patio that transitions down to a walkway with nice landscaping.