Patio or decking: Which one is right for you?

Richard Partington

Published on: 01 May 2020

Block paving patio in the sun

Cloudless skies and warmer weather are finally here – and this means it’s time to get on with the garden renovations you’ve been thinking about all winter.

So, what’s top of your list? If it’s an attractive alfresco area, you’re probably considering your options. Namely, should you opt for patio or decking for your garden?

It’s a common gardener’s dilemma; both options boast a roster of advantages – and this can make choosing difficult. However, with a little research and some expert guidance, you’ll soon learn whether a patio or decking is right for you.

To find out which garden makeover project is best for you, read our breakdown of decking vs patios, below.

Cost

Decking populated with garden furniture

As with any purchase, whether it be cereal, sausages or shampoo, savvy shoppers are those who strike the balance between high quality and low price. This is very much the same when it comes to comparing patios vs decking.

For garden projects, it’s not just material and labour costs you need to consider – there’s longevity, too. With these factors in mind, mid-range patios end up being a more cost-effective option than garden decking. This is because a patio’s upfront material costs, which they might be slightly more expensive, last far longer than decking – and this means you pay less ripping out and replacing over time.

Of course, there are various high-end pavers which are more expensive and, as such, contribute to higher upfront costs. However, the luxurious finish and durability of porcelain, natural stone or Indian stone simply cannot be replicated with decking, so they’re certainly worth the extra cost. 

Convenience

Once you’ve put your pocket calculator through its paces, you can start to think about the more practical aspects of decking and patios. Mainly, which one requires the least leg-work?

Well, decking is less time-consuming to install. Just measure out your materials and build on your space, even on hilly and uneven terrain. However, for what you save in time you don’t get back in longevity. That’s because, as it’s more prone to weathering and discolouration, decking needs to be power-washed and sealed regularly to maintain good condition.

On the other hand, while designing and constructing your patio might take slightly longer (uneven ground can scupper building plans, for instance), your extra effort is more than worth it for a durable outdoor space. As long as the pavers are installed correctly, you should only need an annual clean to keep your patio spic and span.

Appeal

A garden lawn and patio combination

It’s all well and good mulling over the prices and practicalities of patio and decking, but which one looks better?

Of course, this ultimately boils down to personal preference. Some people will prefer the rustic feel of timber decking, while others will go for the smooth sophistication of granite paving.

All sounds simple enough. But there are a handful of objective pros and cons of decking and patios you should also consider. For one, patios aren’t raised, and this offers more privacy from nosy neighbours than decking provides. Plus, patios have no slippery steps to contend with, as well as more opportunities to coordinate the finish with surrounding charming garden paths.

If, after reading, you’ve decided a patio is more practical for you, just head over to the Simply Paving website to browse our full collection of pavers. You can also get in touch with us today on 0800 032 6306 or start a live chat.