July 2015

What is the difference between a patio and a deck?

Which is best may depend upon where  you live in San Diego

San Diego is known World-wide for our fabulous weather.  For that reason, a patio or deck is a great investment for most San Diego homeowners.  As patio and deck experts in San Diego, two of the most popular questions we receive from homeowners and clients are:

  1. What is the difference between a patio and a deck?
  2. Which one is best for us?

The answer to this question is going to depend on several factors, some of which have to do with where in San Diego you live.  In coastal communities such as parts of La Jolla, Del Mar, Encinitas, Solana Beach and Carlsbad, one type of outdoor structure will be a better solution than if you live in an inland San Diego community.

Before we can discuss which structure is best for which San Diego communities, we need to define a patio and deck.

What is a patio?

A patio is a Latin word and is defined as an area, usually paved, adjoining a house and used as an area for outdoor landing, dining, etc .   A patio is similar to a courtyard in that it is not surrounded by four walls.

Patio in San Diego - Republic Construction Inc

Patios can be attached or detached from a home and are often designed and oriented with the surrounding landscape in mind.

Patios can be any shape and made of a wide variety of materials including brick, tile, stone, pavers, pea gravel or rock.  They are often set on a concrete slab or a pebble or sand base.  Patios are also built at or around ground level and, as a result, do not require safety railings.

Carmel Valley Patio with Fireplace

What is a deck?

Decks are primarily made of wood or a composite wood-like material such as vinyl.  Popular woods for making decks include cedar, redwood and pressure-treated pine.  When properly cared for, wood decks can offer a beauty and warmth for many years.

Deck with lights on water

Like a patio, decks can be freestanding or part of a structure.  Many decks are often built to take advantage of a view and are elevated.  As a result, many decks have railings.  The railings are many times made of wood but can also be made of other materials such as metal or glass.

Certain types of woods are composite decking are resistant to pests and insects.  When treated correctly, decks won’t splinter or warp for a long period of time.  However, to maximize the useful life of your deck, routine maintenance and care is recommended.

Deck overlooking garden

Patios vs. decks, a cost comparison.

Generally speaking, patios are usually cheaper than decks.  However, the cost of the project will depend on several factors including:

  • Location of the addition (on the ground without supports or above ground, on the house with a door).
  • Materials used (concrete, wood, vinyl).
  • Size of the addition
  • Included features such as a built-in barbecue, seating, railings and support.

A second factor to consider when choosing a patio or a deck that greatly impacts the final price, is the slope of the yard in which you plan to place the patio or deck.  Most patios are placed on or in the ground.  As a result, patios are best on a level surface.  Flattening a sloped area for a patio can double or triple the cost of your new addition.

On a sloped surface, a deck may be the best choice because many decks are above ground and can be built on uneven ground.

Which is best for your needs?

In addition to the cost, you will need to determine which outdoor addition will work best for the purpose that you hope to use it for.  Is landscaping important and do you want to incorporate trees, shrubs, and flowers into your design?  If yes, a patio may be your best solution.

Is the space where you want to put your patio separate from the main structure?  Again, a patio may be the best option because the foundation can be placed away from the house or structure.

Do you have an in-ground pool and do you want to create a space around an area in which to gather, cook out or relax?  Again, a patio may be your best option here.

Do you have a view that you want to spotlight?  If yes, a deck might be your best option.  Many decks are built above-ground and can offer a wider visual range.  Decks are also ideal when looking to build in an area that is sloped, uneven, or on a hill.  Since many decks are built above-ground, stairs and railings need to be factored into the project.  Most stairs we have seen are made from the same type of wood as the deck itself while rails we have worked with have been made of not only wood but also glass and metal.

Patios vs. Decks in San Diego

San Diego has been blessed with some of the best climate in the World.  As a result, outdoor patios and decks are a very good investment for many San Diego homeowners.  If your property is located in one of the Coastal communities, has a beautiful view you want to optimize, and is built on a sloped surface like many residences in La Jolla, Del Mar, Encinitas, and parts of Solana Beach, a deck may be the best solution for your needs.

If your property is in an inland community and built on a level surface, then a patio may be your best option.  If you want to integrate your garden or in-ground pool into your design, then a patio may best fit your needs.

If you have questions about whether a patio or deck is best for your situation, have a project you would like to discuss or need more information, contact us or call (760) 419-5552 today.

About Republic Construction Inc.

Republic Construction Inc. is a general contractor in San Diego.  We specialize in patios and decks and proudly service the communities of Point Loma, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla, Del Mar, Fairbanks Ranch, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Carlsbad, Oceanside, and the rest of San Diego County.

Republic Construction Inc. services include:

Deck Design
Deck Refinishing
Deck Repair
Deck Waterproofing
Flagstone Installation
Home remodeling
Patio Covers
Patio Design
Pedestrian Walkways
New Construction


10 Beautiful Patios for Small Spaces

Patios for small spaces can also be beautiful

Beautiful patios do not have to be large to work.  It is possible to design and build stunning patios for small spaces that have the same effect as a large patio with a gorgeous vista.  In our last blog post, we profiled ten stunning patios and decks that had amazing views.  In this blog post, we profile patios that were built in small, enclosed areas that work to completely transform the area from a yard with minimal use to a completely functionality outdoor living area that in some cases, is an extension of the indoor living area.

While there are many large properties with amazing views all throughout San Diego, especially in La Jolla, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, and to a degree Encinitas, and Carlsbad, there are many more residences with very limited to no views in smaller spaces that can be just as transformed with the addition of a beautiful patio.   This includes to a degree many of the homes in the communities of Point Loma, Mission Beach, and Pacific Beach.  The patios profiled below work wonderfully to transform in what could be a small, grass-covered backyard with minimal uses into a stunning outdoor living area that has many different uses.

A second notable benefit to the patio designs profiled here is that by replacing lawns and small gardens, these spaces are transformed into drought-resistant uses and settings that do their part to reduce water use.  At the time of this writing, California is in the midst of a historic drought.  Any type of landscape that requires minimal to any water will have an impact.

1. Private Patio in a small space

The patio shown below transforms a small, enclosed space into a beautiful, private area that can serve many different purposes.  The setting below appears to consist primarily of concrete, rocks, patio furniture, an umbrella, and large planters surrounding by a small number of shrubs and fruit trees within rocks.  Everything works together very well to transform the space into an outdoor extension of the indoor living

Small Private Patio

2. Small Patio with Canyon Views

The patio below is perfect for a small area with a view.  The view can be an ocean view, city view or canyon view.  The materials used include a concrete pad, concrete pavers, a concrete wall with an integrated wood bench and a barbecue.  This setting works to transform an area that may be otherwise unusable into a perfect party setting for a small group of your closest friends.

Patio with Canyon Views

3. Above ground wood deck surrounding pool area

The example below is brilliant in its execution.  This patio features an above ground spa, Jacuzzi, or stationary lap pool.  It also features an integrated living area complete with a table and pillows.  The entire setting does a fabulous job of integrating both the water area and tree into the wood deck.  While this patio setting does not use concrete, it shows that wood can work as an alternative to concrete or gravel in certain settings.

Above Ground Deck

4. Multi-level concrete patio with integrated seating and flagstone walls

The example below has large concrete pavers on the lower level with integrated concrete seating, all within a small garden area.  The top level is also made of concrete and has a wood and glass protective railing.  The garden area is also multi-level with planters constructed of flagstone.  The centerpiece of this patio setting is the walled fire pit with one side having a full-length circular wall, also made of flagstone.

This particular design does a tremendous job in my mind of completely transforming  the area into a stylish and functional living area.

Multi Level Concrete Patio

5. Concrete patio in a drought resistant garden with concrete planters

The example below beautifully illustrates how a patio can be used as a way to make a backyard space into an open, drought-resistant living space.  This patio features a concrete pad with an integrated concrete planter surrounding by drought resistant landscape.

Concrete patio in drought resistant garden

6. Covered-patio

This particular example is a bit different than the other patios profiled in this post.  However, I really like all that was done in a relatively small area.  The matching wooden gate with the bottom of the patio cover creates a striking contrast to the rest to the surrounding area that works to create a very simple yet complex living area.  The integration of the chandelier and integrated lighting work to make an area that is usable 24 hours a day.

Beautiful covered patio

7. Fully-enclosed patio

This particular patio is very successful in converting an outdoor area into an extension of the indoor area.  This is accomplished with the wrap-around outdoor couch and coffee table.  I also particularly like the integration of the vegetation into the patio and the use of the potted plants.

Fully enclosed patio


8. Open patio and living area

This particular example is perfect example of a patio that will work in an older and smaller backyard.  This could have easily have been a dried up back yard but instead was converted into an outside living area with the addition of a small in-ground fountain, concrete pavers and pebble in-fill.  The outdoor furniture completes the transition to an outdoor living room

Open patio


9. Partially enclosed patio and living area

This particular patio features concrete pavers with grass growing between the pavers.  The seating area around the outside of the patio is made of the same wood and is painted to match the house.  The seating area is also cushioned and is broken up with the use of a painted concrete planter.  The most interesting feature about the patio below is the wooden structure over the patio area giving the appearance of a roof.  One could also add a sliding roof structure on rails using the design below to make the patio area truly convertible.

Partially enclosed patio

10. Open patio as art

The patio area below seems to serve artistic purposes over utility but is nonetheless, very well executed.  The patio area has a concrete border around the patio with a gravel infill.  The small shrubs surrounding the patio area work to frame the area.  The center piece of the patio area is of course the chrome sphere in the center of the area.  The two cushioned chairs work to transition the area from art to a living area.  Lastly, the angular features of the patio area and shrubs work very well with the angles of the Spanish-themed house.

Open patio as art


I hope that the patio areas profile here show that one does not need an expansive area with spectacular views to create a beautiful patio area that works.  Most of the patio areas are within small enclosed areas and work to completely transform the small backyard into a functional outdoor living area that is in many cases an extension of the indoor living area.

A second benefit to the patio designs profiled is that many of the gardens are drought resistant.  By removing vegetation and replacing it with concrete and rocks, water consumption is further reduced.  This is especially important now that San Diego and the rest of California are suffering the worst drought in the history of the area.

We would like to hear your comments on the patios profiled above.  Contact us or call (760) 419-5552 with questions or to request information about your patio or deck.

About Republic Construction Inc.

Republic Construction Inc. is a licensed general contractor specializing in decks and patios in the San Diego communities of Point Loma, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, Solana BeachEncinitas, Leucadia, Carlsbad, and Oceanside.

Republic Construction Inc., services include:

Deck Design
Deck Refinishing

Deck Repair
Deck Waterproofing
Flagstone Installation
Home Remodeling
Patio Covers
Patio Design
Pedestrian Walkways
New Construction

Patio and Deck Ideas for San Diego – June 2015

San Diego is the perfect place for a beautiful patio or deck for your home.  We have some of the best weather in the world where it is sunny and mild year round.  We also have some amazing coastline and views that combined with the weather make a patio or deck a necessity for your home.

We have scoured the Internet looking for beautiful patios and deck ideas for San Diego homes.  When looking, we tried to focus on patios and decks that would work best for many of the style of properties in various San Diego communities such as La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Leucadia, Carlsbad, and Oceanside.   The examples below were selected because of their style, design, originality, elegance, and execution.

Tuscan Style Patio

The example below has a strong Tuscan influence and features beautiful flagstone flooring with a wood ceiling and tile roof.  The hanging chandelier is a particularly elegant touch that works to give this patio strong romantic flair.

This particular patio design would be complementary to some of the Tuscan-themed homes and developments in Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Encinitas.

Patio design ideas BL001-1

Contemporary Modern Patio

This striking contemporary patio has flagstone flooring with rock sidings giving the area a lovely natural feel.  Surrounding the pool area is a steel and glass railing which contrasts nicely with the natural flooring and sliding.

Contemporary Patio - Republic Construction San Diego

Simple and Elegant Patio

This patio is striking in its simplicity and elegance. It features a concrete and pebble flooring with a partial inlaid wood ceiling and matching wood deck surrounding the spa. The pool is an infinity pool with a steel and wire railing surrounding the spa area.

Simple and Elegant Patio - Republic Construction San Diego

Beautiful Deck and Garden

This deck has natural wood flooring with one side of the enclosed area featuring the same type of wood. The three other sides of the deck are inlaid with flagstone and steel tubing providing railing that surrounds the entire deck area. The steel tube railing while the railing surrounding the entire deck area has steel tubing inlaid which creates a striking contrast with the natural materials.

This particular style of patio and deck would be amazing in some of the homes surrounding the lagoons in Encinitas, Solana Beach, Carlsbad and Oceanside.

Natural Deck - Republic Construction San Diego

Gorgeous Wood Deck

This wood deck is beautifully integrated into the forested surroundings of this property. The wood is sanded into a smooth surface and constructed into a visually appealing symmetrical pattern.

Gorgeous Wood Deck - Republic Construction San Diego

Partially Enclosed Wood Patio

This partially enclosed patio and deck features a light colored wood flooring with a nearly full-length glass enclosure and wood ceiling with recessed lighting. Visitors step down into the deck area which is made of slightly darker grained wood. To create a natural border between the patio and deck, there are wood planters made of the same wood as the deck area. This patio and deck area is absolutely stunning.

Partially covered wood patio - Republic Construction San Diego

Stunning Natural Wood Deck

This particular deck really stands out in how it has been integrated into the surrounding landscape, specifically the tree. The dark polished wood deck showcases the texture and color of the tree in addition to the other natural elements. This particular design would be ideal for properties in the hills and semi-rural communities of La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Ocean Side and inland North County

Forest Deck Pool - Republic Construction San Diego

Forest Deck house - Republic Construction San Diego

Amazing Patio with Ocean Views

This particular patio area is along the lines of many of the homes that we see along the Coast in the communities of La Jolla and Del Mar. The patio area is made flagstone and the integrated ceiling overhang features recessed lighting making it perfect for cool summer evenings.

Patio with Ocean Views - Republic Construction San Diego

Flagstone Patio with Wooden Trestle Cover

This covered patio area has flagstone flooring with the roof area supported by large beams. There is also an integrated bar and kitchen complete with barbeque that is integrated into the wall of the building. This particular set up is perfect for entertaining or barbecuing any time of the year in San Diego.

Patio with Wood Roof - Republic Construction San Diego

This covered patio features a brick flooring, flagstone and wood sidings and wood ceiling. The patio openings are protected with painted steel and glass railings. It also features a kitchen area for evening barbeques.

Evening Patio - Republic Construction San Diego


We really hope that you enjoyed reading this post as much as we enjoyed making it. The team at Republic Construction Inc. has the knowledge and experience to design and construct patios or decks similar to the ones posted in this blog post.

Please contact us or call (760) 419-5552 if you have any questions, need information, or discuss your patio and deck plans.

About Republic Construction Inc.

Republic Construction Inc. is a licensed general contractor specializing in decks and patios in the San Diego communities of Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Leucadia, Carlsbad, and Oceanside.

Republic Construction Inc., services include:

Deck Design
Deck Refinishing

Deck Repair
Deck Waterproofing
Flagstone Installation
Home Remodeling
Patio Covers
Patio Design
Pedestrian Walkways
New Construction


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