Defining Backyard Spaces: What’s the Difference Between a Patio and a Deck?

November 25

When it comes to designing the perfect backyard for relaxation and outdoor gatherings, one of the key things to consider is what the seating area is going to be like and how it’ll fit with the rest of your backyard landscaping in San Diego. Needless to say, simply putting a lawn table and some chairs on the grass isn’t going to cut it if you’re looking to make the most of your backyard. By far the best way to create a comfy and well-defined seating area that complements its surroundings is by building a patio or a deck. But what exactly is the difference between a deck and a patio? Which one of these two additions costs more to build? Can you build a patio yourself or do you need to call in the experts? Read on to learn the answers to these questions.

What is a backyard patio?

A patio is a paved area that’s built directly on the ground. It doesn’t need walls and can be either attached or detached from a building. Patios are usually oriented and designed in a way that perfectly meshes with the rest of the backyard design. Patios can be made out of a variety of different materials, including stone, concrete, brick, tile, pebbles, pavers, pea gravel, or rock. Furthermore, they don’t need safety railings and can be shaped however you want. On the other hand, a deck is an open outdoor platform or porch that lacks a roof and extends from a building (although modern decks can be freestanding as well). They’re normally made of wood, vinyl, or a composite wood material. Since they’re often elevated to take advantage of a view, most decks also need to have railings. Other things to consider include:
  • A pergola or a cover can be built over both decks and patios
  • Fire pits on decks need a fireproof material to separate them from the wood
  • Both decks and patios can accommodate an outdoor kitchen
  • Both can be used to surround a spa or a swimming pool
  • Decks generally cost more to build than patios
  • Decks need to be inspected regularly to meet the requirements set by Senate Bill 721
  • Wood decks require annual maintenance in order to preserve their look

How do I build a small backyard patio?

Unless you have a background in landscaping or construction, we advise you against attempting to build a patio on your own. Not only does building a quality patio take a lot of time, energy, and materials, a DIY job is unlikely to fit well with the rest of your backyard. With that in mind, here’s how to build a simple patio in 5 steps:
  1. Outline the patio area, remove the sod, and excavate a 5-inch base
  2. Line the excavated area using landscape fabric
  3. Fill the excavated area with a 4-inch-deep layer of sand and gravel
  4. Lay down the stones (brick, flagstone, etc.)
  5. Spread builder’s sand over the stones and work it in with a stiff broom
  6. Grab your garden hose and finish the patio by watering the surface with a fine mist

Who provides the finest backyard landscaping services in San Diego?

How do I build a small backyard patio? Americans love their backyards, and for a good reason. In addition to boosting the value of your property, a well-made backyard is a great place for play, relaxation, outdoor parties, and even cultivating your own flower garden. Whether you’re looking to build a brand new backyard at your Rancho Santa Fe property, or breathe new life into an existing one, don’t hesitate to contact Pacific Dreamscapes. With an A+++ rating with BBB and 5-star rating on Google reviews, we’re superbly equipped to meet your every landscaping need. Call us today.