Is Decking Cheaper Than Patio? Find Out Here!

Written By James
Updated July 12, 2023 by James

Is Decking Cheaper Than Patio? Find Out Here!

Are you considering adding outdoor living space to your home but not sure whether a deck or patio is more cost-effective? Well, you're in luck because we have done the research for you! In this article, we will compare the costs of building and maintaining a deck versus a patio, so you can make an informed decision that fits your budget.

Firstly, let's talk about materials and labor costs. Building a deck typically requires wood or composite boards, screws, joists, and concrete footings. The total cost will depend on the size of the deck and the quality of materials used. On average, expect to pay between £15 to £35 per square foot for decking materials and labor.

On the other hand, patios are usually made from concrete pavers or natural stone tiles with gravel or sand base material. The cost also varies based on size and material quality but generally ranges between £10 to £25 per square foot for installation.

Essential Highlights

  • Building a deck is generally more expensive than building a patio.
  • The average cost of building a deck is £15-£35 per sq ft, while the average cost of building a patio is £10-£25 per sq ft.
  • Maintenance costs for decking include periodic cleaning, staining or sealing, and repair work, while patios require regular cleaning and sealing to maintain their condition.
  • The decision between a deck or patio depends on individual budget and needs, as well as factors such as size, location, and complexity.

Cost Comparison: Decking vs. Patio

If you're looking for a budget-friendly option, decking might be the way to go as it's typically cheaper than building a patio. A basic wood deck can cost anywhere from £10 to £35 per square foot, while a concrete patio typically ranges from £15 to £30 per square foot. Plus, if you opt for composite or vinyl decking materials instead of real wood, the cost may be even lower.

Of course, the actual cost of your project will depend on several factors such as size, location, and complexity. Additionally, keep in mind that while decking may be cheaper upfront, it may require more maintenance over time than a patio.

Now let's take a closer look at the materials and labor costs for decking.

Materials and Labor Costs for Decking

When it comes to building a deck, you'll want to consider the costs for both materials and labor. The materials used in decking include wooden planks, composite boards, railings, and fasteners. The cost of these materials can vary depending on their quality and brand.

Labor costs will also depend on the size of your deck and any additional features you want to add such as stairs or lighting. In general, decking is more expensive than a patio due to the cost of materials and labor required for installation. However, decks tend to last longer than patios with proper maintenance which can ultimately save you money in the long run.

Speaking of maintenance costs for decking...

Maintenance Costs for Decking

Maintaining a deck requires periodic cleaning, staining or sealing, and repair work as needed to ensure its longevity and optimal appearance. These maintenance costs can add up over time, especially if you neglect your deck and require extensive repairs down the line. However, the good news is that regular maintenance can help prevent major issues and prolong the life of your deck.

To give you an idea of the potential maintenance costs for decking, take a look at this table:

Maintenance Task Frequency Cost
------------- :-------------: -----:
Cleaning Every 6-12 months £50-£250
Staining/Sealing Every 2-3 years £500-£1,500
Repair work (e.g. replacing boards) As needed £100-£1,000+

As you can see, maintaining a deck does come with some additional expenses beyond the initial installation cost. However, it's important to keep in mind that investing in regular maintenance can save you money in the long run by preventing more costly repairs or even having to replace your entire deck prematurely.

Moving on to materials and labor costs for patios...

Materials and Labor Costs for Patios

Let's explore the costs of building a patio, including materials and labor.

The cost of materials for a patio can vary greatly depending on the type of material you choose. Concrete is one of the most popular choices, but it can be quite expensive. Pavers are another popular option, with prices ranging from £3 to £10 per square foot. Natural stone like flagstone or slate can also be used, but it tends to be the most expensive option.

Labour costs for building a patio will depend on the size and complexity of the project. On average, expect to pay between £8 and £20 per square foot for installation labour. If you want features like built-in seating or a fire pit, that'll add to your labour costs as well.

Keep in mind that these costs are just estimates and may vary based on your location and specific project requirements.

As you consider these material and labor costs for patios, it's important to keep in mind that there'll also be ongoing maintenance expenses associated with maintaining your patio over time...

Maintenance Costs for Patios

To keep your patio in good condition, it's important to regularly clean and seal the surface, which can add to your overall maintenance costs.

Cleaning your patio involves sweeping or power washing away any debris that has accumulated on the surface. This is especially important after heavy rainfall or if you have trees nearby that drop leaves and branches. If not cleaned regularly, this debris can become embedded in the surface and cause staining or even mold growth.

Sealing your patio protects it from weather damage such as fading from UV rays, cracking from freeze-thaw cycles, and water penetration. The frequency of sealing depends on the material of your patio, but generally needs to be done every 2-3 years.

This process involves applying a sealer to the surface of your patio which can range from DIY sprays to professional applications. Keep in mind that neglecting regular cleaning and sealing can lead to expensive repairs down the line, making maintenance costs an important factor when deciding between a deck or a patio.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to install a deck or patio?

When it comes to installing a deck or patio, the time frame largely depends on the size and complexity of the project. Generally speaking, you can expect a deck to take about 3-5 days to install and a patio to take around 1-2 weeks.

Can a deck or patio increase the resale value of my home?

Yes, a deck or patio can increase the resale value of your home by up to 12%. Buyers love outdoor living spaces and it's an investment that pays off. Consider which option fits your budget and lifestyle best.

What are some design options for decks and patios?

Looking to spruce up your outdoor space? For decks, consider an elevated design or incorporating built-in seating. Patios can feature stamped concrete or pavers for a unique look. Both options offer endless possibilities for customization and enjoyment.

Are there any regulations or permits required for building a deck or patio?

Before starting your deck or patio project, check with your local government for any regulations or permits required. This ensures safety and compliance with building codes.

Which option, decking or patio, is more environmentally friendly?

If you're looking for a more environmentally friendly option, consider a patio. Decking materials can have a higher carbon footprint and require regular maintenance with harsh chemicals. Patios can also be designed to incorporate sustainable features like permeable pavers or rain gardens.


So, is decking cheaper than patio? Well, it depends on several factors such as materials used, labor costs, and maintenance expenses.

In terms of materials and labor costs, decking can be more expensive than patios. However, when it comes to maintenance costs, patios require more upkeep compared to decks.

If you want a low-maintenance outdoor space with less cleaning and repairs needed over time, then decking may be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer a natural stone or concrete look and don't mind investing in regular maintenance tasks like sealing or power washing your patio every few years, then a patio may be a more cost-effective option for you.

Ultimately, the decision between decking and patio will depend on your personal preferences and budget constraints.

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My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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