With summer in view, people are looking forward to spending more time outdoors. Patios and decks are wonderful options to expand the usefulness of your backyard, but it’s important to know the difference between these popular exterior features. This guide can help you choose the best possible fit for your property. 


Patios are open spaces that are adjacent to homes and other buildings. While patios are sometimes attached to the adjacent structure, they don’t necessarily have to be. They can also be made out of many different materials, including concrete, gravel, stones, or pavers. Patios are usually situated at ground level. 

Most patios only require sweeping and spraying with a hose as debris and dirt collect. They also tend to have a long lifespan, which is even better when you consider the relatively low cost of installing one. In terms of drawbacks, they’re hard to install on ground that’s not level or even. Concrete is prone to cracking due to soil movement or changes in temperature. 


PatiosUnlike patios, which can be made from many materials, decks are most often made of wood or wood composites. Decks can be elevated, situated slightly above ground level, or even installed on the second floor of a home. Decks can be freestanding or attached to the house itself. In Montana, decks that are more than 30 inches above grade, over 120 square feet, and attached to a home require a permit. 

In terms of maintenance, decks do require regular care. Wood will need to be stained and sealed every few years to protect it from the elements. Your deck may also need to be inspected for safety reasons. Inspections can be conducted during the building phase (to make sure footings and framing are correct). Decks should also be inspected once per year after they’re built. Yearly inspections look for things like rotted wood, rusted connectors, faulty railings, and damage caused by pests. An experienced contractor can conduct professional deck inspection. 


After deciding between a patio and deck for your property, you’ll need to select a reliable contractor to do the building. Since 1994, Valley Fence Inc. has helped homeowners in Kalispell, MT, beautify the exterior of their homes, while also making them safer and more secure. Along with fence construction, they also install decks and patios. Choose from a wide variety of styles and materials, which are augmented by their custom woodwork. Call (406) 755-9799 to discuss your home improvement ideas or visit the website to learn more about their services.