Deck vs. Patio Paver?

deckThe decision for the right design for your outdoor living space can be a tricky one. Two worthy opponents vying for your attention are decks and patios. 

Both are good choices, but which will work best for you? How will either hold up in the often-harsh Ohio winters?

In this article, we’ll give you a deep dive into decks and paver patios so you’ll be armed with the right information to make the best decision for you.

What are the basic differences between a deck and a paver patio?

Let’s start first with patios. Level with the ground, a paver patio often serves as a connection between your yard and your living area. You can spruce it up by adding shrubbery, flower beds birdbaths, water or fire features, etc. 

Decks, though, are elevated from the ground. While they can be freestanding, most decks are attached to homes or other structures. Because of their height, some safety features may be necessary – like a railing or built-in bench. 

What are decks and paver patios made from?

Most decks are made of wood. While it gives your deck a more natural look, wood can also be difficult to maintain over the long run. Other materials that can make your deck more durable include aluminum, composites (resin and wood) and polymer (plastic).

Paver patios are typically made of stone, brick, tile or concrete. Especially attractive features of pavers include the wide variety of available colors and the ability to lay the individual tiles in striking patterns.  

patio paverWhich is easier to install?

If you’re wanting to extend your living area from a second floor or want it to serve as a balcony, decking is your obvious choice because it’s elevated. Likewise, if ground-level outdoor living is your jam, a paver patio is the right choice.

As for the installation process itself, most decks are installed in the following stages. Keep in mind that your deck can be customized to your specific needs, so the steps may vary.

  • We’ll first make sure there are no underground services (water and power lines) running across the deck area.
  • The outline of your deck is made with string.
  • Any necessary removal of sod is made.
  • Support posts are installed and held in place with cement, and beams and joists are installed.
  • Decking boards are nailed in place.
  • Finally, features including stairs, railing and staining are added. 

As for paver patios, the installation process includes:

  • Removing sod and plants from the designated area down to the level of undisturbed soil
  • Compacting the soil to avoid settling
  • Installing a treated fabric that will prevent freezing and thawing of the deep soil
  • Spreading a six-inch layer of gravel and sand that serves as the setting bed
  • Laying the pavers and sealing the final product. 

Which is easier to maintain?

Depending upon the material you select, your deck can take a real beating during the winter months. Wooden decks are highly vulnerable to the continual freezing and thawing of water we see during our Ohio winters. You’ll also need to regularly power-wash, stain and seal your wood deck.

As for paver patios, the necessary maintenance is not nearly as intense. Since pavers are extremely durable, all that’s really needed is sealing – and even though that’s recommended to deal with our cold winter months, it’s not entirely necessary.

What are the pros and cons of a deck?

Here’s where we get to the meat of the matter. As for decks, the pros include:

  • Decks are a better option for uneven terrain.
  • They’re customizable to your individual style and tastes.
  • Decks provide an immediate boost to your resale value if you’re looking to quickly sell your home.

Cons for decks include:

  • The costs of installing a deck are often higher than a paver patio.
  • They often have a shorter lifespan because of vulnerability to harsh weather, rot and termites.
  • More maintenance is required than with a paver patio.
  • There are weight restrictions, which can be a problem during heavy snows and added features like a hot tub or an outdoor kitchen.

What are the pros and cons of a paver patio?

The advantages of choosing a paver patio include:

  • Maintenance is substantially less than a deck.
  • More privacy is available through a paver patio because it is low to the ground.
  • They have a far longer lifespan – roughly 25 years or more of use is common.

Among the con sides of paver patios are:

  • They are not a good choice for uneven terrain.
  • They are vulnerable to cracking – although this is easily fixed by replacing the individually damaged tiles.
  • Pave tiles can be stained by mildew, mud and other natural occurrences. 

The Bottom Line

As you can see, there’s plenty to like about paver patios and decks. We understand that choosing one over the other can be difficult. Our decades of experience, though, can be invaluable in guiding you towards the right choice. 

For ideas of how we can help, check out our online photo gallery of recent projects. 

Then, give us a call at (614) 779-0846 or get in touch via email

 

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Pergola vs. Sunshade?

pergolaIt may not feel like it, but by the end of March spring will have sprung – even for those of us here in the Buckeye State. With late-March and April highs projected to be in the mid-to-upper 60s, things will seem downright balmy.

With the arrival of the sunnier and warmer days of spring comes thoughts of outdoor living and entertaining. A vital part to enjoying your yard during the spring and summer months is providing yourself and your guests with shelter from the sun.  

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth and informative look at two of the most popular options for relief from the vertical rays: pergolas and sunshades.

What is a pergola?

While it can be connected to your house or freestanding, a pergola is an open structure with no walls, but is supported by several posts. Typically square or rectangular in shape, its roof is partially open with a lattice or trellis design that provides you and your guests with a bit of cover. This design makes it easy for air to circulate and for some sunlight to pass through.

The main purpose of a pergola is to establish the perimeters of an outdoor living area. 

How large are pergolas?

While some pergolas are large enough to provide shade for crowds of 30 or more, others can be intimate enough for just two. 

In other words, your pergola will be built to your specific needs.  

What are pergolas made of?

You have a variety of choices for your pergola materials. Popular choices include wood, steel, aluminum, and metal.

How long should my pergola last?

It depends on two things: the material you select and whether or not it’s properly maintained.

For a wood pergola, you should expect to enjoy 10 years or more from your investment. Metal, steel and aluminum pergolas will last even longer.

The trick is to avoid the DIY pergola kits you see in the big box stores. While their prices are appealing, you’ll be fortunate to get more than two years of use out of their products. 

patio paverWhat are the pros and cons of a pergola?

As with just about anything in life, there are pros and cons to installing a pergola.

Among the pros for a pergola are:

  • It will not obstruct the view from inside your home.
  • The necessity of relatively few materials
  • The versatility to add curtains or grow vines along the posts for privacy and decorative tastes and styles
  • Materials can be stained or painted to reflect the appearance of your home.

The cons sometimes associated with a pergola include:

  • Fading of the materials over time
  • The possibility of termites if your pergola is made of wood and proper treatments aren’t made

What is a sunshade?

Often referred to as shade sails, sunshades are another highly effective way to give you and your guests a bit of shade. Sunshades are typically made of specially treated fabric that’s mounted to steel posts and tightened to avoid flapping in high winds. 

How large are sunshades?

While they can be custom-made for your specific needs, sunshades are readily available in sizes as small as 10-feet to over 25-feet. You may need more than one sunshade to cover your outdoor living area.

Are sunshades waterproof?

Not entirely. While a light rain will roll off from the edges of your sunshade, a heavy downpour will likely result in some rainwater passing through.

Can I leave my sunshade up all year?

It’s not recommended. Most sunshades are not capable of supporting heavy snowfalls during the winter months or withstanding hurricane-force winds. 

How long should my sunshade last?

Much of the answer to that question depends on the installation of the sunshade. For example, while it’s not unusual to enjoy as much as 10 years of outdoor living with your sunshade, improper installation can cause it to become loose or even sag – which in turn leads to faster deterioration. 

What are the pros and cons of a sunshade?

While sunshades do provide great ventilation and are relatively easy to install, there are a few negatives to keep in mind.

Among the cons for a sunshade are:

  • They’re not built to withstand heavy weather
  • They present a legitimate fire hazard
  • Your investment can be damaged by birds, large branches and other obstacles. 

The Bottom Line

The decision to go with a pergola or sun shade is obviously your choice. We’re fans of both options, but can help you understand the pros and cons of each as they relate to your situation. That way, you don’t have any buyer’s remorse down the road. 

To find out more about how we can help you, and to get the ball rolling, visit our online Dream Builder page so that we have an idea of what you’ve got in mind. 

You can also give us a call at (614) 779-0846 or get in touch via email

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