Patios and Decks: Comparing the Differences

Patios and Decks: Comparing the Differences

Decks and patios are both excellent ways to define a new “room” for your house, outdoors. While both options serve well to extend the living space of your house, there are some differences between the two.

Patios are often made of stone pavers, stone tiles, or concrete pour meaning these are built into ground-level. Ground-level provides an even footing from space to space in your yard, either from your house, your yard, or a pathway. Because these are built into the ground level, there is no crawlspace below, limiting the potential for critters.

Decks can be made from a variety of wood, composite, vinyl, or a combination of wood and brick. Decks are versatile in that they can be built to a variety of heights, making them a great option for elevated living spaces in steep slope yards and a popular choice for homes with walkout basements.

We often refer to both patios and decks as foundational to your yard, meaning part of deciding which option to build where in your yard should also consider the overall flow and function of your space, knowing that the two can often be complimentary to each other as well. A sloped yard can be managed with either an elevated deck or a patio with a retaining wall.

Maybe you’re looking for a front porch to sit out on, but also want a space in the backyard for cooking, dining and hosting. A combination of wood deck out front with a stone patio and outdoor kitchen space in the back would extend your living space to the front and rear of your house in complimentary ways.

Perhaps you want a wooden deck attached to your house for dining, but also need a dedicated patio space for your firepit, creating specific, distinct activity zones in your yard.

For both patios and decks, you can also consider:

Lighting: consider the lighting needs of your space. Built-in well lights provide different lighting from exterior uplights, for example. Anchor points for additional lighting like string lights or lanterns can also be considered.  

Seating: be aware of how you want the space to be used and the seating needs to help facilitate it. Consider the size and spacing of your existing outdoor furniture, or consider how you can integrate seating into the design itself, extend the seating potential without using additional yard space. Wood benches with railings can be added to decks or decorative seating walls built into patios to help create space for more seats on seats.

Have an idea for which one is best for you? Let us know! Drop a comment below or connect with us to chat through those ideas.

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Hardscaping and Softscaping: What’s the Difference?

Hardscaping and Softscaping: What’s the Difference?

Landscaping is considered through two lenses: hardscaping and softscaping, both of which can help elevate a space on their own but when designed in compliment of each other, can create a beautiful, new space.

Finding the right balance for your yard starts with understanding the differences between both approaches.

Hardscaping is typically most of the “hard” aspects of your yard: the immoveable material that brings durability, functionality and aesthetic to your design. This can include:

  • Stone patios and pathways
  • Seating and retaining walls
  • Wooden decks or stairs
  • Fences and gates 
  • Permanent firepits, fireplaces and outdoor kitchens

Softscaping, then, is typically all of the flora in your yard, the living “colorful” additions to your space:  

  • Grasses and sod
  • Flowers and plants
  • Trees and shrubs

Both create positive additions to your yard. Hardscaping can help protect the environment around it from erosion and provides durable, unmoving function by creating pathways, wall structures or designated seating, fire or socializing spaces. Softscaping helps to bring the space to life. Bringing plants, trees and shrubs not only bring colorful aesthetic but also help create more privacy, making your outdoor space cozy and welcoming.

Looking to add any of these elements to your yard? Connect with us and we can help get you started!

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