Decks and Patios
The difference between a deck and patio is:
“In architecture, a deck is a flat surface capable of supporting weight, similar to a floor, but typically constructed outdoors, often elevated from the ground, and usually connected to a building.” From Wikipedia
And, “A patio (from the Spanish: patio meaning 'back garden' or 'backyard') is an outdoor space generally used for dining or recreation that often adjoins a residence and is typically paved.” From Wikipedia
Decks are the predominate outdoor living areas used on hillside locations. Some hillside homes have several levels of decks; a lower level structure to enter the home from, an mid-level structure off of the living area for outdoor living (sometimes known as a terrace) and upper level structures often used as an outdoor retreats off the bedrooms.
Sometimes a flat roof is used as an outdoor living area, especially in areas where you need to get up high to enjoy the view, like at the beach!
Usually the materials used to construct a deck are wood, or wood like, such as a composite or vinyl.
In multi-story buildings, decks are often used as walkways from one suite to another. Often in commercial applications, these structures are constructed of lightweight concrete.
Covered or not, a deck is a versatile structure that provides a level surface for convenient outdoor living in extreme elevations and tight spaces.
Patios are paved areas outside of a home or business, at ground level. Patios are often used for dining and recreation. Concrete, stone slabs, pavers and bricks are typical of the products used for this type of structure. The base is often formed of a compacted hard core (sometimes stone chips), then a layer of sand, and finally the construction material (sometimes set with mortar).
The firmness and stability of the base is essential to the sturdiness of the top layer of construction material. Patios that hold a lot of weight (such as a spa) require stronger foundations than those that are designed for light use (such as a dining area).
Of course if you are on a strict budget and are looking for and inexpensive way to establish a patio, you might consider a temporary structure. Just find a level area of ground, then, install an outdoor area rug, crushed stone or a Do It Yourself plywood structure nailed to the ground, and painted with your favorite design.
Whatever your budget, decks or patios are outdoor living ideas that expand your living space. Whether we are dining, entertaining or just relaxing, most of us appreciate outdoor living spaces.