Does your home have a deck or patio? The answer may depend upon which part of the country you live in, and how popular those exterior amenities are in new home construction.

deck and patio

The differences between a deck and a patio

Although some may use the words interchangeably there is a difference. Decks are built off the ground, patios are built directly on the ground. Decks can be constructed just off the ground (usually on supported beams) or high off an upper floor of a home. Decks tend to be made from wood or vinyl and usually are surrounded by a deck railing. Patios are usually made from poured and stamped concrete or made from individual stones. Usually they do not have a fencing surround but rather blend or extend into the surrounding landscape.


The average costs to build a deck or a patio

The 2014 national average cost to construct a wood deck, according to Remodeling Magazine, is $9,539* and $15,437* to build a vinyl deck. These costs are for a 16 foot x 20 foot deck; the cost per square footage is approximately $29.80 per square foot and $48.24 per square foot respectively. Adding a deck to your home may require permitting so be sure to check with your local government agency before starting your project. Constructing a patio may cost more or less than building a deck, depending upon the scope of the project and the cost of materials. Stamped concrete (poured concrete that is stamped to mimic individual stones) can range between $10 and $15 per square foot while natural stone pavers can cost up to $30 per square foot. You’ll want to hire a professional deck contractor or concrete contractor to make sure your project is build within your budget.


Geographic preferences for decks versus patios

According to the National Association of Home Builders survey of new home starts for 2012, the percentage of new homes built since 2005 with porches increased from 54% to 63%. The share of new homes built since 2005 with deck decreased from 26% to 22%. What’s more interesting about this survey was the geographical differences in the new homes built with patios versus decks.

decks versus patios


As you can see from the survey of new home starts in 2012, patios beat out decks in the west and the south, but decks were much more popular in the northeast. The West South Central (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas) showed a preference of patios (73%) over decks (4%). At the other extreme, New England (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) preferred decks (72%) over patios (22%).  These percentages have remained fairly stable in their division since 2009.

How does this affect your current home?

Why are these statistics important for you and your home? Paying attention to trends in new home construction will help you understand what prospective buyers are looking for, or expecting to see, in your home. If you are wanting to stay ahead of the trend, check out your neighboring homes for sale on and download the free Porch Home Report for listed homes. You should also Claim Your Home on Porch to keep track of any permits required for your home improvement projects. Find a builder, general contractor, decking contractor or patio contractor on Porch.

*Add a 16-by-20-foot deck using pressure-treated joists supported by 4×4 posts anchored to concrete piers. Install pressure-treated deck boards in a simple linear pattern. Include a built-in bench and planter of the same decking material. Include stairs, assuming three steps to grade. Provide a complete railing system using pressure-treated wood posts, railings, and balusters. Source: Remodeling Magazine

Top image credit: Shuler Architecture