By Carson Arthur

I am one hundred percent committed to the belief that an amazing backyard is built around the useable space. For all of the gardeners out there, I will concede that plants are an important ingredient to a harmonized yard but if you don’t have a spot to sit outside with family and friends and enjoy them, then those blooms are a wasted opportunity.

When it comes to creating useable space, I tell homeowners that while there are so many options out there, it ultimately comes down to one of two choices: Deck vs. Patio.

Here are some of my justifications for each. You decide what works for you!



  • According to the Gallop Organization a good deck can increase a home’s perceived value by up to 10% by increasing the available living space. A potential buyer will often settle for smaller square footage inside a home if they know that they have the use of an outdoor room.
  • When it comes to costs, Decks will always be the less expensive option. Even if you choose high-end materials, the labour required to install a deck is less, helping to reduce your overall cost.
  • Installation is also a big benefit for choosing a deck. The way a deck is built allows you more creativity in location. Because the actual structure is built above the ground, tree roots, wet ground and big slopes can be easily overcome even by a DIY’er
  • Traditionally, the lifespan of a wood structure is about 7-8 years if it’s not cared for. This average is getting longer with more options coming into the market such as composites and all-weather stains. Even pressure treated wood is seeing new technology in products like MicroPro Sienna which uses smaller molecules in the stain to get the rich brown colour deeper into the wood; preserving it longer.
  • Remodeling Magazine (2014) Recently released a study showing that the return on investment for a wood deck is 87%, surpassing all indoor renovations.
  • When it comes to aesthetics, for homeowners that prefer colour coordination and avoid using mixed materials, decks are the best option for blending with fences, pergolas and arbours, which are traditionally made of wood.



  • Patios reign supreme when it comes to home Return-On-Investment (ROI). With a perceived increased value of up to 12% according to the Gallop Organization, having a big and beautiful patio in the backyard is a fantastic way to make the most of your outdoor opportunities.
  • While patios may be a large initial investment, a well-built patio can exceed 25 years with no maintenance, holding its value for the entire time. With no pests, rot, molds or natural elements that quickly breakdown stone, a patio will outlast any other outdoor useable space.
  • The marketplace for pavers and stone has become even more competitive with companies like Rinox looking to grow. By providing more colours, styles and options, these companies are driving down pricing and making patio installation more affordable for the average homeowner.
  • Originally, patios were limited to simple flat surfaces, but with new retaining walls and multi-level system designs, patios can now tackle almost any front or backyard situation.
  • Given the way patios are built, (with a solid crushed stone base below a layer of pavers), they are the BEST solution for any type of weight-bearing applications like driveways or even hot tubs.
  • Visually, patios offer one design element that makes them very desirable for homeowners. Patios can be built flush to the ground. If you have basement windows, you get to keep whatever natural light is available. Also, because you are lower to the ground, you are able to create more privacy by better using existing fences, privacy panels and even trees.


At the end of the day, both of these selections have fantastic merits. When faced with making a choice, homeowner’s need to understand that creating useable space outdoors is by far one of the smartest renovating decisions they can make. Way the pros and cons of each option, but feel confident that investing in the outdoors is not only good for your family, its good for your largest asset; your home.