A deck or patio may be the largest outdoor investment you make on your property. There are many things you want to look at before you make a decision whether to build a deck or patio. Water issues need to be taken care of first off. This Includes snow loads.
If your outdoor living space is on the side of a building where the snow drifts high on your metal roof and comes off all at once, a patio is recommended. Snow crashing down even from eight feet can take out even a properly built deck if it has a high moisture weight content. A properly built patio has a solid foundation to withstand these forces.
Today’s composite and vinyl deck boards become brittle in the cold temperatures. If water pools in the area where you want to install the deck or patio, you need to install drainage along the foundation. You can also pitch the patio away from the house the help with runoff.
Do you have a lot of mature trees in the area you would like to build your outdoor living space? A deck may be easier to build around the root systems of the trees because it requires less excavation.
Do you plan on installing a fire pit or pizza oven in the proposed area? A patio is most likely a better choice. Some pizza ovens can weigh 10,000 lbs. If the entry-level to the outdoor space is on the second story, a deck is a more reasonable choice.
If there are underground utilities or hazards that may need access, a deck will be a better choice. Accessibility for heavy equipment is also a question you need to ask yourself. If you cannot bring equipment in to dig out for the base of a patio, you need to do it by hand or build a deck.
If you plan on putting an elaborate kitchen with heavy ovens, a patio may be applicable. You can frame a deck properly to hold small and medium hot tubs. With large ones, a patio may be a better choice.