Advantages of a ground-level Deck vs Patio

With several new innovative products being introduced to the hardscape industry over the last several years, we now have the ability to create beautiful maintenance free decks and patios quickly and cost efficiently.  These products also allow us to do conventional tasks more efficiently, such as put a deck in the ground, as opposed to building a standard interlock patio. Here we will look at the advantages of a ground level Deck vs patio.

First, let’s review the basic concept of a ground patio. The area where the patio is to be built is excavated to a depth of 12-24” depending on the soil conditions. The excavated area is compacted, granular material is added and compacted to create the base.  Interlock stone, pavers, or bricks are laid on the compacted base and voila – you have a stone patio.  Now, there are some other steps and materials need in this process such as geotextile, edging, polymeric sand, etc., but this is the basic process. 

This may seem to be a somewhat simple task, so are there advantages of a ground level Deck vs patio and why would you choose this build method?  The reality is that in our harsh Canadian climate with constant freeze-thaw cycles over the winter, despite all your hard work and effort to build and install the ground patio, it will inevitably shift and move.

But how, you ask, can one put a deck in the ground without it rotting out and falling apart over time?  Most people think of a deck as a wood framed structure, supporting wood or composite decking boards. In this scenario, you would be correct to be hesitant to use wood. You are probably now thinking that there are no advantages of a ground level Deck vs patio and I have completely lost my mind.

For those who have read our blog series, you will know we are all about discovering innovative stone decking products that allow you to build that maintenance free deck that will save you time, money and will last!  So, when I speak of a “deck” it is related to the concept of a stone deck and using some of the new products on the market to accomplish this.

These products are designed to minimize excavation, require less granular material to be brought in, create a thermal layer to minimize or eliminate the effects of the freeze-thaw cycles, and can be supported by a proper footing system. These are just some of the advantages of a ground level Deck vs patio, and I haven’t even mentioned the time and effort you will save!

Evolutiondeck manufactures a product called Paverdeck, which is a galvanized steel decking kit that can be fully or partially buried in the ground depending on the topography of your work area.  This deck would either be floated on concrete blocks or supported by footings, depending on your soil conditions, and creates a solid flat surface ready to clad with stone or porcelain pavers. And it does this without the need to excavate, backfill and compact as is necessary in a conventional application.

The Paverdeck System is a sturdy, long lasting subfloor, that will not allow any of the stones or pavers to shift or move.  As you can see, the Paverdeck System demonstrates the advantages of a ground level Deck vs patio.

Two other great products on the market are Stonedeks Soil Grid and Alliance Gator Gator Base.  Both these systems allow for less excavation and the need for less granular materials to be brought in and compacted. They create a thermal insulating layer, which again will help minimize or eliminate the effects of the freeze-thaw cycles.  These two types of ground application products are the perfect choice for the homeowner who is trying to save even more money by doing the work themselves.  This further demonstrates how SoilGrid and Gator Base products prove the advantages of a ground level Deck vs patio.

As more of these innovative products hit the market, the consumer will have even more choices to select from and be able to find the perfect product that fits their needs and skill set.

Welcome to the Stone Deck Revolution!