Your choice of paving or decking can depend on numerous factors, like cost and maintenance, but both have their attractions.
Attached decks, for example, offer an extension to your existing interior living space.
Patios, on the other hand, don’t have to be attached to the house.
When it comes to costs, paved patios are often cheaper and easier to build.
However, depending on the location, decking might be a more valuable upgrade to your outdoor living space.
Paving comes in all shapes and forms.
You can use natural stone, or concrete slabs, to create any finish from sleekly modern to weathered and rustic.
It is the ultimate adaptable material, with the huge advantage of being extremely durable.
The name derives from the ship’s deck, which in the old days was created from planks of wood.
Decking is similar to a floor, but typically constructed outdoors and is often elevated from the ground.
There’s a whole raft of decking options out there, not just traditional wood.
You can find environment-friendly options and non-slip finishes that suit our Great British weather.
Paving: the pros
You can customise it
With paving you won’t just be limited to a handful of boring looks; you can use different types of stone and colours to create something truly unique.
If you want something long-lasting for your garden then paving is the answer. Installed properly and looked after, it could last 20 years and more.
Easy to repair
You can smooth out scratches and marks from natural materials such as sandstone, but even if parts of your patio or poolside get cracked you can simply replace the broken slabs.
You may need to seal the pavers every so often and sweep and wash the stone to keep them looking good but over time your paving will actually look better and better.
A paved patio does not have to be attached to the house and can be easier to build.
Paving: the cons
Paving can cost more, especially if you choose a premium stone like granite. However, certain types, such as sandstone, can be quite competitive when it comes to price.
Some kinds of stone can be fragile, and break or crack when under intense pressure. You need to ensure yours is strong enough to withstand the weight of garden furniture.
Decking: the pros
A worthy investment
Attached decks offer an extension of the existing interior living space and can sometimes add to the value of your home as a result.
Composite decks can last just as long as paving if you look after them. Wooden decks are less weather-resistant than composite decks, giving them a shorter lifespan. However, regular washing, treating, and maintenance can extend the lifespan of a wooden deck.
Raised decks can work better on sloping or uneven ground than paving.
Admire the view
If you do install a raised deck you get a better view!
Decking: the cons
Timber decking can scratch and stain easily and can be prone to cracking and splintering
Wooden decks require power washing, repainting, and sealing every couple of years.
They can be slippery in winter unless they are treated.
A complex job
Decking requires more intensive construction underneath and can include the use of concrete.
Certain types of decking need planning permission.