There are a variety of options available for creating your perfect outdoor living space. If you are starting from the ground up, your first step is choosing to build either a deck or a patio. If you haven’t already, check out our blog on decks and learn about the typical materials, maintenance, and lifespan of outdoor decks. Or stay right here to discover the pros and cons of choosing a patio for your outdoor space!
There are many benefits to choosing a patio for your outdoor space:
- Less expensive to build than a deck
- Easy maintenance – most do not require yearly sealing, power washing, etc.
- Most patios will have a longer lifespan than decks.
- Typically, no permits are needed to start building a patio.
- Patios flow best into the pool area, if you want to incorporate your outdoor living space with a pool area, a patio may be your best option.
- Patios flow well with landscaped yards and make creating a cohesive space much easier.
Choosing a patio may come with a few downsides:
- A patio is built directly on the ground surface, so your surface must be level. This raises an issue with hilly or uneven yards. The cost of making your space level may be high and not worth the extra expense.
- In areas with extreme temperatures, your patio is susceptible to cracking.
- The surface of a patio can become slippery with ice or rain fall.
- Construction of a patio may take longer than a deck would, depending on the condition of your ground and the detail of construction installation.
If you think a patio might be the right option for you, remember that there are a variety of materials to choose from, each with different benefits. We have listed the most popular patio materials below with a brief description of their positive and negative aspects.
This is the most basic and cheapest option. A concrete patio can be stamped or colored for a touch of uniqueness or to create a more natural look. Concrete is a very durable choice, but it can crack and may need some maintenance over the years.
Natural Stone (Flagstone, Slate, Limestone, Bluestone)
Natural stone patios are beautiful, but are also the most expensive option. Natural stone will be very durable and require a low amount of maintenance. There are endless possibilities for designing your patio with natural stone.
Brick requires more maintenance, it has a porous surface that can crack and moss can form on areas that are shaded by trees or your home. Bricks can be patterned in multiple ways, giving you some design freedom. Overtime, bricks may shift causing an uneven surface.
Pavers come in an array of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them extremely popular. They allow for easy installation as they are made to fit together easily and are uniform in their thickness. A big benefit of pavers is that water passes through them quite easily, reducing any type of water build-up. Like bricks though, pavers may shift over time resulting in an uneven surface or space for weeds to grow through.