Having a deck or a patio in your backyard adds outdoor living space to your home. Having one also adds to your home value. If you are deciding between installing a deck or a patio on to your home, there are quite a few factors to consider.

The Maintenance Factor

Some decks and patios require more maintenance than others. When deciding on which kind of a deck or patio you want, you must consider the time and money involved with the maintenance. A real wood deck will need to be power washed and re-stained every couple of years. A composite material deck has far less maintenance required. A brick paver patio needs to be coated every few years. It may need to be re-leveled and have more sand filled into the cracks as the ground settles over the years. A concrete patio will have less maintenance.  

Types of Decks

Nowadays there are quite a few different types of deck materials to consider. They are each unique in their own way. They range in price as well.

1.  Pressure-Treated Wood
This type of deck is one of the lower-cost options. The lumber is made from fir and is pressure-treated. It is also treated with pesticide and anti-rot substances. These types of decks can last for decades. They can be stained if the natural tan or brown color is not desirable. If you're not staining the deck, they do require a clear coat of sealer every other year or so. According to houselogic.com the cost of a pressure-treated deck is approximately $2.35 per square foot.

2.  Cedar or Redwood
A cedar deck is a less expensive real-wood option, costing approximately $3.75 per square foot. Redwood is the more expensive real-wood option, costing around $7.75 per square foot. Redwood may have limited availability. It may only be available on the West Coast. Since these are wood, they can rot. You should refinish real wood annually to extend its life. Every four or five years you should power wash, strip the stain, sand and reseal real wood decks. Maintained properly, real wood decks can last 15-20 years.

3. Vinyl
A vinyl deck has the lowest maintenance. It is basically maintenance-free and may even come with a longer, 25-year warranty. The true name is polyvinyl chloride (PVC) decking. This material has no wood content. There is no staining or resealing necessary. It comes in white, gray, brown and tan color options.

4.  Composite
A composite deck is made of wood fiber combined with recycled polyethylene. It is another low-maintenance option. Since it does contain real wood, it can get moldy. It needs to be cleaned with a deck wash every few years. There are many different color and texture options. There are also different qualities of composite. According to house-logic.com, the premium type comes with a longer, 25-year warranty and can cost upwards of $7.80 per square foot.

Types of Patios

You can get very creative with patios and show off your own personal, unique style.

1.  Paver
Paver patios come with a highest cost. Paver material can be brick, natural stone or concrete. They take longer to install because of the many steps involved. If installed correctly, they can be enjoyed for a few years with little maintenance. They will need to be re-sanded and resealed every few years. According to designingidea.com, be prepared to pay between $12-$22 per square foot.

2.  Concrete

Concrete patios are a very versatile and lower-cost option. They come in many colors and finishes. Stamped concrete is very on trend nowadays. They are super easy to maintain. Concrete can crack or chip. However, it can easily be repaired. A safety concern is that concrete is very hard and slippery when wet.

The deck or patio you choose can show off your personality. A premium patio or deck can add more to your home value. Consider that when making your choice.