PROPERTY CLINIC: Which would add more value to my home: wooden decking in the garden, or a stone patio?
I’ve been spending more time in the garden during the gorgeous weather and it’s got me thinking that I should spend some money improving my outdoor space.
Decking seems an obvious option and doesn’t seem to cost too much but would it be better to spend more money and opt for a patio instead?
What would add the most value to my home?
A patio adds the most value to a property as it is more permanent and needs less maintenance
MailOnline Property expert Myra Butterworth replies: It’s the age old question – decking or patio in the garden. It can be a hotly debated subject.
The hot weather has got us all thinking much more about how we make the most of our outdoor space.
If you are lucky enough to have a garden or even just a backyard, it’s like having an extra room at this time of year and will have really come into its own this summer.
But what’s the best way of investing in this outside space? A lush lawn is appealing but requires a lot of maintenance.
And even if you do have grass, you need somewhere to sit, maybe with a table and chairs, which is where opting for decking or a patio makes sense.
Decking has become almost too popular thanks to the various DIY shows on television, with even Alan Titchmarsh admitting that he ‘feels bad’ about inspiring a boom in the wooden feature.
Stone patios may be more classic but take longer to install and cost a lot more. So which is best for your garden and which, crucially, will add the most value to your home?
If you’re installing something with a view to selling your property, decking might be cheaper and look better for the first year or two
Mike Scott, chief property analyst at fixed-fee estate agent Yopa, says: A patio tends to add more value to a property than decking because it is more permanent and needs less maintenance.
But if you’re installing something with a view to selling, decking might be cheaper and look better for the first year or two.
Patios and decking have their pros and cons which you need to weigh up before choosing one over the other.
The character and style of your home should also have an impact on your decision, as well as your budget and timescale.
A good quality paved patio is easy to maintain and should be built to last a lifetime.
A trip to your local DIY store will show that there is lots of choice to suit all tastes, so there should be a patio to suit you.
Patios work well with all sorts of properties, both period and new-build.
The biggest downside to a patio is cost.
They can be very expensive, depending on the materials, the size of the patio and the quality of the stone.
There is also a lot more work involved with a patio than if you were laying decking.
Underneath the patio itself more construction is required, particularly if you have soft soil, which needs reinforcing, and a concrete base.
Whereas stone patios have been around forever, decking is relatively new to the UK, but even so it has become ubiquitous in a short time.
It has grown in popularity so quickly because it is usually far cheaper than a patio, even if you use the best quality timber, because there tends to be less ground preparation.
It is easier to lay and therefore quicker to install than a patio, particularly if it is raised above ground level.
Wood also looks more natural than paving stones, so it may fit your garden better or the style of your house.
Decking drains easily so after a shower on a sunny day it will dry quickly, but it can be very slippery in wet weather.
Decking requires quite a lot of maintenance, such as regular oiling every couple of years, and softwood may not last as long as a patio, so it will need replacing in a few years.
Warped decking that hasn’t been cared for will not add to the appeal of your garden.