Asked on Mar 15, 2012

Is it cheaper to build a concrete outdoor patio or a low floating deck?

by Heather
Approx. 12x14 and and 11 1/2 x 9 spaces. I would either build 2 decks and connect them or 1 concrete patio to connect them. I am connecting 2 outdoor patios on the back of my house.
  24 answers
  • Southern Trillium LLC Southern Trillium LLC on Mar 15, 2012
    One big factor is whether the existing terrain is level. If the area is not level, it will require retaining walls to pour concrete. Decks would just be built elevated with steps between. What is the area like? Are all of these areas on the same elevation/grade?
  • Ruth K Ruth K on Mar 16, 2012
    we have an existing cocrete floored porch,need to raise it to door step level I believe the contractor is doing a wooden above the concrete. will let you know as we go along.
  • Corin B Corin B on Mar 16, 2012
    A concrete patio is a permanent structure - property taxes will be a factor. A floating deck is temporary, so property taxes will not be affected.
  • Toe Toe on Mar 16, 2012
    What about using pavers if flexibility is an issue.
  • Rebecca W Rebecca W on Mar 16, 2012
    All true, but you don't have to worry about replacing wood are keeping it weather proofed if you use concrete.
  • Heather Heather on Mar 16, 2012
    No the area is not level. I know deckings would be comfy and concrete would be easy to maintain. I want to keep it cheep but nice. I'm attaching some pictures.
  • Heather Heather on Mar 16, 2012
    I took pictures of the back area so you can see a bit of both patios. The 3rd picture shows the ground is not level.
  • Mary T Mary T on Mar 16, 2012
    Looks like you have a mold issue up against the house...,A wood deck would hold moisture in and under it and you may have more of a problem...I would pour cement????
  • Karen B Karen B on Mar 16, 2012
    In answer to your question...cheaper to do a wood deck...the price of concrete is tremendous right now, and that would be a lot of ground to cover. You would have to seal the deck with Thompson's, and preferably before it rains on the raw wood, but it won't cost as much as the amount of concrete you would need for the proper thickness. You'll obviously pour concrete into the holes for your corner support posts, but that won't compare in cost. So my vote is wood, not concrete. Hope this helps.
  • Sherrie S Sherrie S on Mar 16, 2012
    I replaced my wooden deck with a concrete deck and it was costly. Since I plan to keep the house I find the deck is much less expensive to maintain properly. I don't have to worry about it blowing down during a hurricane or tornado .
  • Cheri M Cheri M on Mar 16, 2012
    you say connect... patios both look ok so i would just connect them with a sidewalk of pavers or concrete. Looks like you are just wanting to stay out of the mud pathway anyway.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 16, 2012
    @Karen mention Thompsons for sealing a deck...that stuff is can do a search here and see. I recommend oil based products, in particular Penofin..I have been using it for over 15 years with great results.
  • Julie T Julie T on Mar 16, 2012
    My husband add a concrete deck to our fish camp in south texas, I believe it ran about 4500 around about, maybe less not sure. I don't like the roof but the floor looks great.
  • Heather Heather on Mar 16, 2012
    I actually am connecting the patios and then going out larger. 12x14 off of one and 11 1/2 x 9 on the other to connect.
  • Heather Heather on Mar 16, 2012
    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.
  • Heather Heather on Mar 16, 2012
    Where does everyone buy their lumber?
  • Southern Trillium LLC Southern Trillium LLC on Mar 16, 2012
    Another thing to consider, but I don't believe it will be an issue for you in Marietta, is that sometimes there are rules/ordinances against increasing the impervious surface area on a lot. Concrete, pavers, mortared stone, etc are all usually considered an impervious surface. New rules/laws/ordinances can limit the amount of square feet that can be increased, and even with the increase, there can be additional taxes charged for stormwater runoff. Just pointing out all the things that have to be considered when doing projects like these.
  • Becky H Becky H on Mar 16, 2012
    If I were doing it on a budget, I'd enlarge the areas with pavers. Use the pavers to form a border around the existing cement patios, then bring them around the corner of the house, joining both while increasing the paved areas. I also think I might purchase some cement squares (they come in various sizes) to work in (pattern left to your discretion/imagination/preference) to tie in the original, concrete patios through design/color/texture. Just a suggestion/idea.
  • After seeing your photos, I can't see that you have any choice of using wood. That ground is so high up there is n room to have a wood deck. Even concrete would require some dirt work first..
  • Kelly S Kelly S on Mar 17, 2012
    I'd get rid of the green between the two and replace it with pavers all the way to the house. Expand outward with pavers too. Concrete will be more expensive but last longer and require less $$ is maintenance. How long are you planning on staying? If more than 10 yrs, placed concrete will be the better answer. Just be sure to grade everything away from the house or your foundation will in trouble. Wood decking in GA will require repaint/stain every year.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 17, 2012
    Heather...for large projects I get my lumber from a local lumber shop...they have FREE delivery on any thing you buy whether it is 1 2x4 or 4 pallets of concrete and enough wood to build a house. When I do smaller projects and repairs I like to use my local HD and hand pick the stuff. a wood deck can be built in the 10-15 dollars per sq ft range if your not getting too fancy with the materials. My all time favorite decking material is Ipe...but this is getting upwards of 6-7 bucks a sq foot now for just the decking.
  • Southern Trillium LLC Southern Trillium LLC on Mar 17, 2012
    If you are going to hire it out, pavers will cost roughly the same as a wood deck. There is a lot of excavation, base prep and compaction, and a lot of labor. Concrete can be half, or even less than half, the cost of pavers installed. I also agree with KMS about Ipe. It is a beautiful wood, great to work with, and holds up amazingly well over many years. It doesn't warp, bend, or splinter like pine and cedar does. About 6 years ago, my dad and I installed a true herringbone pattern deck at their house using Ipe lumber. After nearly 6 years, the joints are just as tight as the day we installed them. We used hidden fasteners in all the joints. It took a lot of labor to install that pattern, but it was and still is a beautiful deck.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 18, 2012
    Southern...your Ipe deck is just a toddler...mine is 15 now still looks brand new.
  • Southern Trillium LLC Southern Trillium LLC on Mar 18, 2012
    Great to hear the good news KMS.