Decks with Screened Porches over Patios by Archadeck

New Deck with Screened Porch over Existing Patio by Archadeck Outdoor Living

Do you sometimes look at your yard and think “What can be done to make the backyard more usable?”

Or are you wondering, “Is it time to remodel or replace that tired patio too?”  Well is it?

Once the year winds down, it’s common for homeowners to begin thinking about outdoor improvements for the following season.

Since many people in the St. Louis area have ‘original-to-the-house’, older concrete or brick patios on their property, we’re often asked about the ‘deck vs. patio’ debate when it comes time to renovate.

And more often than not, that aged patio might need attention.  Then the question becomes  Replacement?  Renovation? or Let’s Start Anew.

Wood Screen Porch over Patio by Archadeck

Wood Screen Porch over Patio by Archadeck

Outdoor living spaces such as decks, porch and patio enclosures have become a cornerstone among home improvement projects.

Understandably though, most customers aren’t familiar with planning this type of project.

Or where to start, for that matter.

But there’s no better way to begin the process than by doing a little research, such as reading this post – so please keep reading!

Then, after some initial exploration, look for a reputable contractor… preferably one that specializes in outdoor living spaces.

Naturally, we hope you’ll consider Archadeck, but for now here’s a few tips to get you started in your quest for backyard-improvement options:

Grades and elevations:

Two Story Decks for Hilly Backyard by Archadeck, St. Louis

Two Story Deck for Hilly and Sloping Landscape by Archadeck St. Louis

First and foremost, consider the landscape.

The landscape around your home, in and of itself, might be the deciding factor for any outdoor addition particularly when it comes to ‘deck vs. patio’.   And here’s why.

Decks offer great design possibilities.  They are truly an extension of your home and can be designed over a variety of terrains and around existing trees.

Decks allow for elevation —  gentle slopes or steep inclines/declines — and can create lots of extra space with a multi-level or two story design.

Screened Enclosure adjoins Patio area, Project by Archadeck

Screened Enclosure adjoins Patio area, Project by Archadeck

Patios, on the other hand, are a ground-level space and are built with concrete, pavers, stone or brick.

They commonly adjoin the house where there is one-step-down, work best on very flat terrain and are rather one-dimensional in style.

With proper engineering and installation, a patio — in conjunction with retaining walls and infill dirt — may be designed to level-out a hilly site; however, this extra effort can become cost-prohibitive for some clients.

Key Takeaways:  More often than not, decks offer many more design possibilities when compared to hardscapes because decks can be built ‘over, around and up’.

Patios, as a usable outdoor living space, normally work best with a large, level backyard layout.

Raised Deck with Screened Patio Enclosure by Archadeck

Low Maintenance Deck with Screened Patio Enclosure by Archadeck

Cost and maintenance:

Depending on the materials and size of an outdoor project, there’s no consistent rule of thumb regarding the price of a deck when compared to a patio.  Expenditures for either structure are completely  dependent on a whole host of elements.

In regards to maintenance, some folks mistakenly think that patios are totally ‘maintenance free’; however, a patio will require weeding, crack repair/refilling and often sealing.  Winter can be particularly hazardous for falling on ice-covered patios.  De-icing salts can negatively impact pavers in just a few years too, so care is required.

Maintaining a deck is similar to maintaining a home.  If your deck is constructed with wood there will be more routine maintenance than if it’s constructed with low maintenance composite, capped composite or PVC.  But any deck will require some upkeep.

Key Takeaways:  Prices are determined by the scope of a project.  Both patios and decks will require some degree of maintenance.

Comfort and flexibility:

Elevated Deck with Under Deck Patio Enclosure, Renderings by Archadeck

Elevated Deck with Under Deck Patio Enclosure, Renderings by Archadeck

Rather than an either/or decision, homeowners can entirely maximize a backyard space for comfort and flexibility by transforming a patio into a multi-faceted, multilevel structure with a deck and screened patio enclosure.

Uncovered patios or decks, alone or as a combined project, are desirable spaces for open grilling, sunning and entertaining.

However, a screened-in deck or screened patio room offers, by far, the best protection from sun, wet weather and bugs.

Screened Enclosure over Patio and under a Deck, St. Louis, by Archadeck

Screened Enclosure over Patio and under a Deck by Archadeck, St. Louis

Key Takeaways:  A patio enclosure blends with your home’s interior, providing shade and shelter as a room… outdoors.

Combine a custom deck, patio and patio enclosure for the utmost in comfort and flexibility.

Archadeck knows that every building-site and every project is quite unique.

Especially for homes located in a region like St. Louis, custom decking offers the benefits of design and building versatility that cannot be achieved with a patio alone.  Nonetheless, if you’d like a deck in conjunction with a patio area, as some families do, we work closely with our partner contractors to plan and design your outdoor living space.

Patio Deck with Screened Enclosure by Archadeck - Kneewall Rails

Patio Deck with Screened Enclosure with Kneewall Rails, Project by Archadeck

Give us a call 636.227.0800 if you live anywhere in the Greater St. Louis, Mo area.

Visit our website, to see hundreds of completed projects throughout the region.

If, however, you live outside of St. Louis, just visit to find a location nearby.

Recommended Reading: Choosing a St. Louis Deck Contractor

Sources and Citations:  DYI Network, Angie’s List, Outdoor Living Brands, HGTVRemodels, Archadeck Outdoor Living, Belgard, Slideshare, Archadeck Nova Scotia, Archadeck Indiana