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Compare Costs of Decks vs Patios

Summary: Average Cost of a Deck vs a Patio

The average cost of a 16' x 20' deck is between $6,720 and $22,720 depending on materials and labor costs. A DIY 16' x 12' patio made from concrete pavers has an average cost of $700, with a poured concrete patio of the same size costing between $2,000 and $4,000 for labor and materials.

In This Article

  1. Sample Deck Installation Prices Paid
  2. Cost to Install a New Deck
  3. Sample Patio Installation Prices Paid
  4. Cost to Install a New Patio
  5. Pros and Cons of Decks
  6. Pros and Cons of Patios
  7. Deck Material Options
  8. Patio Material Options
  9. Deck and Patio Maintenance
  10. Free Deck or Patio Quotes

Below are some sample deck prices by location:

City Zip Code Average Price Paid
Boston, MA 02108 $8,728
Charlotte, NC 28105 $5,534
Los Angeles, CA 90001 $11,953
New York City 10001 $8,272
Philadelphia, PA 19019 $7,761
Chicago, IL 60629 $6,176
Houston, TX 77084 $5,977

*Source: Homeadvisor.com users

Costs to Install a New Deck

The cost of a deck depends on the materials used, the size of the deck, and whether you build it yourself or hire a professional. A 16' x 20' deck may cost less than $5,000 or upwards of $15,000. For example:

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  • Southern yellow pine has an average cost between $15 and $25 per square foot, including installation.
  • Cedar and redwood have an average cost between $25 and $30 per square foot, including installation.
  • Composite and vinyl decking are usually more expensive, with an average cost between $30 and $45 per square foot, including installation. However, maintenance costs are typically cheaper.
  • Building the deck yourself saves significantly on costs. For a DIY deck, expect to pay between $1.50 and $5 per square foot for materials and between $4 and $6 per square foot for joists and posts.
Cedar Decking Cost

Below are some sample patio prices by location:

City Zip Code Average Price Paid
Boston, MA 02108 $4,003
Charlotte, NC 28105 $2,767
Los Angeles, CA 90001 $4,874
New York City 10001 $4,344
Philadelphia, PA 19019 $3,106
Chicago, IL 60629 $4,054
Houston, TX 77084 $2,554

*Source: Homeadvisor.com users

Cost to Install a New Patio

Patio prices depend on the material used to construct the patio and whether any groundwork or leveling is required before installation. A 16' x 20' patio ranges in cost between $1,600 and $9,500 depending on the labor required and materials used.

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  • Regular concrete has an average cost of $5 per square foot, with stamped concrete averaging between $8 and $12.
  • A brick patio has an average cost between $7 and $8 per square foot.
  • Concrete patio pavers have an average cost between $10 and $20 per square foot.
  • A natural stone patio has an average cost between $15 and $30 per square foot.

All of the above prices include installation costs.

Pros and Cons of Decks

Like most additions to your home, there are pros and cons to installing a deck. Generally, decks are made from wood or vinyl, have some kind of railing, and are built with a support system that keeps them above ground. A deck can be built off the lower floor of a home or added to an upper level

Deck Pros

There are several benefits that come with adding a deck to your home. For one, a deck is a great spot to entertain for holiday parties and regular get togethers and adds an appealing aesthetic to your home. In addition, uneven surfaces present no difficulty, since decks are above ground level. Finally, they offer a higher return on investment in comparison to patios.

Deck Cons

There are also disadvantages to installing a deck. A deck typically costs more than a patio and requires regular maintenance. Wooden decks are especially susceptible to pest problems, such as termites, and water damage. Decks need to be stained and sealed every two years and last for an average of 10 to 15 years.

Composite Decking Cost

Pros and Cons of Patios

Unlike a deck, a patio is set directly on the ground, either as a connection to the house or in another part of the yard. Patios are most commonly made with a concrete base, but are also constructed with brick, concrete pavers, stone, tile, or other similar materials. Most patios do not have a railing, but many add features such as fire pits, grills, or tables.

Patio Pros

Patios offer a higher degree of customization in comparison to decks, because there are fewer size and style restrictions. A patio also comes with lower labor and material costs, with most materials offering increased durability. On average, patios last for 25 years, but can easily live longer with regular cleaning and basic upkeep.

Patio Cons

The biggest drawback to patios is that they require a flat surface, so you may need to do some groundwork or leveling before installation. Patios are also more likely to crack or unsettle in extreme temperatures.

Material Options for Decks and Patios

Both decks and patios offer multiple material options. Your choice depends on your budget and desired aesthetic.

Compare Deck Material Options

If you are installing a deck, your options include:

  • Aluminum: Though the highest in cost of deck materials, aluminum offers the longest lifespan.
  • Composite: A deck made from composite materials offers the appearance of wood, but with increased resistance to pests, rot, and weather damage. However, it also tends to cost more.
  • Plastic: This option requires the least amount of upkeep, with costs comparable to composite materials.
  • Wood: The most popular decking material, wood provides a classic, traditional aesthetic for your outdoor space. But it is important to remember that wood requires more maintenance than other material.

Compare Patio Material Options

Patios offer more options when it comes to materials, such as:

Natural Stone Patio Costs
  • Brick pavers: This option costs less than stone, but offers the same classic look when installed properly.
  • Concrete: The most common patio material, concrete patios can be constructed from pavers or poured. Some homeowners use stamped concrete to add a personal touch to the patio, but be aware that stamped concrete requires more maintenance.
  • Gravel: Perhaps the easiest materials to install, gravel is also one of the most affordable patio materials.
  • Stone: Though stone comes at a higher price than most other materials, it offers an elegant appearance that few others can match.
  • Wood: This material needs regular replacement, but provides a natural look that many enjoy.
Concrete Paver Patio Cost

Deck and Patio Maintenance and Durability

A wooden deck needs to be power washed annually to help prevent mildew, mold, and other damaging buildup. It should also be stained and sealed every two years to increase durability and lifespan.

Moisture can cause issues for decks, such as cracking and warping, no matter how well you maintain it. Regular staining and sealing helps improve the lifespan of your deck, but on average they last 10 to 15 years.

Patios are easily cleaned with a hose, with maintenance as simple as inspecting for cracks and acting quickly to seal problem areas. If water does leak under the patio and causes cracking, extreme cases may call for removing and replacing the entire surface.

Concrete and stone offer unmatched durability if properly maintained, but are still susceptible to extreme temperature changes. Expanding soil can cause cracks or heaving, but a well-installed patio has an average lifespan of 25 years.

Author: Angela Escobar

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