Difference Between Deck and Patio

Difference Between Deck and Patio

Decks and patios are a popular outdoor living space that enhances the functionality and aesthetics of a home. It provides a great space for lounging, parties, and enjoyment. Now you might be wondering what is the difference between the two? Do they have different regulations? While both serve as extensions of outdoor living spaces, they differ in their construction, overall design and permit regulations.

Construction and Placement 

Decks are typically elevated structures that are built above ground level and attached to the house, often supported by posts and joints.They can be built in multi-levels and offer a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor spaces. Decks are commonly built with wood, composite materials, or vinyl, offering a range of options for customization.

Patios on the other hand, are ground level surfaces usually made of wood, concrete, pavers or natural stone. They can be directly connected to the house or stand separately in the yard. 



Both decks and patios can be customized according to individual preferences and budget. Decks may offer more in terms of architectural features, such as built in seating, railings and stairs. Redwood decks offer easy customization and affordability. When maintained properly wood can last for a while. Composite decking is made up of wood fibers coated in plastic. It is very durable and is made to mimic natural wood which gives a wide variety of options of similar looking wood. They don’t need as much maintenance as wood decking, no fade. Although it is more expensive due to manufacturing costs. Patios allow for various surface treatments like customized wood construction or concrete stamping. Wooden patio covers can also provide protection from the California sun.


The need for permits varies according to local building codes and regulations. In many cases both decks and patios may require a permit but the specific requirements can differ. It’s essential for homeowners to check with their local building department to understand the permitting process and whether it applies to their outdoor construction project.

Decks, especially those attached to the house or exceeding a certain length, often require permits. The regulations may require structural design, load bearing capacity, and safety features like railings. Local authorities typically want to confirm that the construction meets safety standards and align with zoning regulations.

Similarly, patios may also require permits in certain circumstances. While ground-level patios may be less likely to need permits compared to elevated decks. Some localities may still have specific requirements for patio construction, especially if it involves significant changes to the landscape or if it’s part of a larger project.


It’s important to note that failing to obtain the necessary permits can result in fines, delays or even the requirement to remove or modify the structure. Homeowners should contact their local building department early in the planning process to determine the specific permit requirements for decks or patios in their area.


The choice between a deck and a patio often depends on factors such as budget, landscape and personal style. Elite Construction and remodel is more than happy to assist in helping to answer your questions at (916) 469-4660. 




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