So you’re looking at expanding your outdoor area? Maybe create a place for the family to enjoy their afternoons and the occasional barbeque? In most instances you may come across the first major decision or conundrum – should I go with the deck (normally of the wooden variety) or should I go for the concrete patio area? Below may help you with some of the decision making.
To make it clear, when we talk about a deck, we are normally talking about a raised and built structure that sits above the ground. In most situations, the deck will be made of sealed timber components and elevated to a significant level (although they can be built lower so they sit just above the ground.
On the other hand, when we talk about a patio, we a normally speaking about either concrete or pavers (in this instance concrete…hello! We are concrete contractors). A concrete patio can be created so it is flush with the ground, although an elevated level is an option.
Terrain – What is possible?
The first big question is what can possibly be built given the location and backyard / outdoor area that you have. If your property is on a slope of a hill then naturally a wooden deck is likely more applicable as by its very nature of having being built up, the work there is already required and necessary. Not to mention a sloping concrete patio looks and feels quite natural on the side of the hill. If the slope isn’t too steep then a solid pad can be laid out however the raised end may be required to be extremely thick, and thus ending up more expensive than just a basic slab. A deck is also helpful if you have a septic system or on site sewerage system that is in the way of the area you want to build.
Generally speaking, concrete is a cheaper building material, even with the extra visual components added such as colouring or staining. A deck will normally cost a little more as the building of the structure is also significantly longer thus leading to more labour and man hours. A deck will also require building permits from your local Council whereas a patio normally won’t. THere are exceptions however so always check with your local council.
As above, although concrete patios have come a long way in terms of what can be done with their visual appearance, many may prefer the look of a timber deck. This is neither here nor there and we can’t argue against either as the visual aspect your after is your own personal choice.
A concrete slab requires little to no maintenance except for maybe a little cleaning every now and then. The only issue that may require fixing is if the concrete cracks. Decks on the other hand require ongoing maintenance and re-staining or sealing to ensure that they maintain their weather resistance status. The sealing also helps prevents termites and other borers from entering the wood however there is always a risk that the structure becomes susceptible to pests. This requires the owner to also consider more vigorous pest control around the structure.
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