The patio vs deck controversy

Are you considering adding an outdoor space to enjoy nature while entertaining (and yes, making social distancing more enjoyable)? Often the question is whether to install a patio or a deck so let’s review some details about both options. 


A patio is a great way to add natural materials to your outdoor space and a garden as a buffer between your house (with a drip edge between) and patio. This softens the view of the house and it can feel like you are eating in a garden with plantings surrounding you. These gardens don’t have to be large to have a significant impact. And planted with Perennials such as grasses can be very low maintenance.

Flagstone (pictures here) is less expensive than bluestone and granite and there are also manufactured stone pavers such as Stonewood that allow for a clean smooth finish.

You can play with a grade in order to create a raised patio to get it closer to the first-floor height. Simply retaining the soil will allow you to create these garden beds as well.


People enjoy decks because they are typically just a step or two down from the first floor. You will need to consider the railing design and materials. If you have a walk-out basement and the deck is located above that basement door, a patio simply isn’t an option.

Building materials have come a long way with manufactured lumber (pictured here) or mahogany is always a great choice but more expensive. Be sure to do your research on any manufactured lumber (ie. Aztec) some get very hot and little feet can get burned. Selectwoods in Portsmouth has a great selection, knowledgeable salespeople, and samples. While manufactured lumber is maintenance-free and less expensive, mahogany is rich in color, extremely durable, and also maintenance-free if you let it go grey.

Overall, grade usually dictates the deck or patio application, but the cost might also be a deciding factor. A patio is a minimum of double the price depending on materials so consider your budget.

Enjoy your new outdoor space and hope you will enjoy chatting with a friend out there!


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