You’ve been thinking about it for some time and you’ve finally decided to take the plunge — you’re going to build a patio or deck this summer.
But if you want to have a space to socialize and entertain outdoors, the cost is going to be one of the main components to think about.
In general, it costs less to build a patio than a deck, according to Bob Vila.
“Building a patio is often the more cost-effective option due to a variety of factors. Patios consist of more affordable materials, like stamped concrete or stone as opposed to wood or bricks which are common for decks,” he said. “Patios also require less labor and maintenance, which can help keep the costs down. Since patios generally don’t require permits or inspections, they can save you money as well. For the most affordable solution, build your own patio as a weekend DIY project.”
Still, pricing can be flexible on patios and decks.
Better Homes and Gardens reported it can cost $5,000 to install a simple, small concrete patio. A complex, stone or more unique patio can range from $10,000 to $35,000. A DIY project could cost less, according to Fixr. You can spend $700 (and a lot of work hours) on a 16-by-12-foot one using heavy concrete pavers.
Meanwhile, a 16-by-20-foot deck can cost as little as $6,720 or as much as $22,720. On average, it’ll cost $10,560. Expect closer to the high side in the Seattle area.
When you set a budget for the deck or patio you want to install, size is also going to be a factor. And even if you want a large outdoor hangout space, you need to consider the size of your yard.
“If your patio is overly large it could lose its intimacy,” Southern Exposure Landscape Management said on its blog. “This shows the importance of planning and determining the size of your patio before creating it. Planning ahead of time results in a well-designed outdoor living area that you can utilize to suit your lifestyle.”
For your deck, take the size of your home into account, according to the Armadillo Composite Decking blog.
“Most builders suggest that your deck should be no larger than 20% of the house’s square footage. This is so that the deck does not overwhelm a home visually,” it said. “This, of course, is up to you. If you feel you need a larger deck that takes up more of your yard space, feel free! This may give you less lawn to mow and more yard to enjoy.”
And finally, act fast. Many contractors are already booked up for the summer.