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Low Deck Vs Patio: Which Ground Level Option Is Right For You?

If you’re looking to add some extra living space to your home, you may be wondering whether a low deck or patio is the better option. Both have their pros and cons, but which one is right for you? In this article, we’ll look at the differences between ground-level decks and patios to help you decide which is best for your needs.

What Is A Low Deck, And What Are The Benefits Of Having One?

Low decks, most commonly known as ground-level or platform decks, are decks less than 30 inches off the ground. Because they’re so close to the ground, they’re cheaper to build than raised decks and don’t require stairs or railings. Low decks are typically quick to build and blend in with your yard seamlessly.

One of the main reasons people choose to build a low deck instead of a raised deck is that their main living area is already at ground level. A low deck can connect your home to your backyard and make it feel like one cohesive space.

Ground-level decks can be used more comfortably throughout the year than patios. Patios are generally made of concrete or stone and can be quite hot in the summer months. On the other hand, a low deck will usually have a wood or composite surface that will stay cooler in the heat. They are also more comfortable than patios for walking barefoot.

What Are Patios, And What Are The Benefits Of Having One?

Patios are outdoor living spaces made from concrete, brick, stone, or pavers. Patios are low-maintenance, easy to clean, and can last many years with proper care.

The long lifespan of patios is a big reason they’re a popular choice for homeowners. They can last for decades without much upkeep. Generally speaking, patios are also cheaper to build than decks.

They’re a great option if you’re looking for a sturdy surface that can withstand heavy loads. (For example, if you plan to have a home gym in your backyard.) It can accommodate heavy weights and furniture without the risk of collapse or damage to its structural integrity.

Also, you can set up a fire pit or grill on your patio without worrying too much about damaging the surface or catching fire.

What Are The Differences Between Low Decks And Patios?

Now that we’ve looked at both low decks and patios let’s compare them side-by-side.

Low Decks Pros:

  • Decks are more resistant to heat and can be used more comfortably throughout the year than patios.
  • More comfortable for walking barefoot than on patios. This is true at any point of the year, but especially during the summer or when it’s cold outside. That’s because concrete surfaces transfer heat and cold more quickly than wood or composite.
  • Low maintenance if you choose a composite deck over a wooden deck. 
  • You have unlimited design possibilities. Decks are versatile and can take any shape or form. You can add stairs, railings, benches, planters, and more.

Patios Pros:

    • Patios are low-maintenance and durable, while wooden decks require regular upkeep, such as staining or sealing. (However, composite decks are low maintenance too, and are also very durable.)
  • Generally speaking, concrete patios are cheaper than decks.
  • In most cases, no permits are required to build a patio, while most cities require permits and regular inspections for decks.

How Do You Choose Between A Low Deck Or Patio For Your Home?

The best way to choose between a low deck and patio is to think about how you want to use your outdoor living space.

A low deck may be ideal if your priority is to create a comfortable space to relax and entertain guests. In warm climates, a low deck can provide a cool, comfortable place to enjoy your backyard.

On the other hand, a concrete patio might be the better option if you’re looking for a cheaper, easy-to-maintain surface that can withstand heavy weights and furniture. In addition, there are fewer restrictions on what you can do with your patio, and in most cases, no permits or regular inspections are required.

However, don’t let the thought of maintenance dissuade you from choosing a deck. Today’s composite decking materials are low-maintenance and durable, so you can enjoy your deck for decades to come without much upkeep.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing between a low deck and patio, there is no right or wrong answer. It ultimately depends on your budget, climate, and how you plan to use your outdoor living space.

Recommended Read: “5 Easy Deck Improvement Ideas To Decorate Your Space

Justin Wylie

Justin Wylie, owner of All Pro Decks & Patios is a Deckorators® Certified Pro Elite located in the San Antonio Hill Country area. He specializes in building decks, patios, patio covers, pergolas, concrete slabs, fireplaces and more while providing quality and service for his customers.

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