Concrete vs. Decking: Costs and Pros and Cons - Homeowners | hips (2023)

Comparison: concrete vs. decking


durabilityYou want a raised platform or your property is on uneven groundYou want a spot for a grill, fireplace, or hot tub and the floor is relatively flatLooksThey prefer the natural look of wood or a composite materialYou want to achieve different looks with decorative concrete or paversmaintenanceYou want a greener solutionYou want a durable, low-maintenance solutionpracticabilityYou want to add value to your homeYou want to save costs and the approval effort

Deciding between a concrete patio or a patio is usually a balance of aesthetics, practicality and cost, so you need to ask yourself what you really want from your outdoor space.

Whether you choose a concrete patio or deck, compare quotes from local professionals in your area on hipages and check out their previous projects to make sure you're hiring a contractor you're happy with.

*Costs and prices in this article are indicative and should be used as a guide only. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.

Concrete vs. Terrace: Should I build a concrete terrace instead of a terrace?

If you're expanding or improving your outdoor space, compare the pros and cons of a concrete deck versus a deck on Hipages.

Adding a patio or deck can be a great way to expand your outdoor living space and upgrade your home. But first you need to decide if a concrete deck or patio is the better option.

Read this guide to find out what your options are and compare the pros and cons of wood decking versus concrete decking, including:

(Video) Deck or Patio (which is best?)

  • Concrete Terrace vs Terrace: What's the Difference?
  • wooden decks
  • Composite-Decks
  • Concrete terraces
  • Concrete pavers
  • Concrete vs decking cost Australia
  • Comparison: concrete vs. decking

Concrete vs. Decking: Costs and Pros and Cons - Homeowners | hips (1)

Concrete Terrace vs Terrace: What's the Difference?

Patios and decks are both functional and decorative surfaces that can be used for entertaining, dining, or just enjoying the fresh air.

While they can serve the same purposes, there are many differences between concrete and decking that will determine the look, durability, cost, and ongoing maintenance needs of your outdoor space.

The main difference between a wooden deck and a concrete deck is that a deck is usually built directly on the ground while a deck is a raised platform usually built on a wooden frame with concrete supports.

Decks and decks can be made from a number of materials, but in this guide we will compare the most popular options of a wood or composite wood deck to concrete decking or pavers.

wooden decks

Wooden decking can be made from any durable wood that should be properly sealed to keep moisture out. Options range from pressure treated pine to hardwoods such as blackbutt, jarrah, merbau and spotted gum.

Advantages of wooden terraces

  • Suitable for uneven or sloping terrain
  • Natural appearance, with the color and texture of different types of wood
  • Environmentally friendly by using sustainably harvested wood
  • More comfortable on hot days
  • Less expensive than composite decking depending on choice of wood
  • A smaller patio can be a suitable DIY project, with less excavation than a patio

Disadvantages of wooden terraces

  • A building permit or other certification is usually required
  • Susceptible to moisture damage, mold and termites if not protected
  • Higher maintenance - needs pickling or sealing every few years
  • Load weight restrictions may make decks unsuitable for a hot tub or other feature
  • More expensive than a concrete terrace


Composite decking is an alternative to traditional decking made from wood fiber and recycled plastic. These decking boards can be designed authentically like wood or chosen in other designs and colors.

(Video) Pros and Cons of Different Deck, Porch and Patio Materials (Natural Stone, Concrete Pavers,...

Advantages of composite decking

  • Suitable for uneven or sloping terrain
  • Lasts longer than wooden decking, comparable to concrete
  • Made from 90% or more recycled materials
  • Resistant to moisture and termites
  • Low maintenance as no sealing or staining is required
  • A smaller deck can be a suitable DIY project

Disadvantages of composite decking

  • A building permit or other certification is usually required
  • Less natural look than wooden decking
  • Composite decking can overheat in direct sunlight
  • Load weight restrictions for elevated decks
  • Costs more than most wood decking and concrete decking

Concrete terraces

courtyardsusually lie flat on the ground and consist of a concrete slab or other stone surface. Stenciled or stamped concrete can imitate the appearance of natural stone, masonry and other materials.

Advantages of concrete terraces

  • Usually do not require planning permission
  • Decoration options with different colors and textures for each design
  • Longer lifespan than a wooden deck, comparable to a composite deck
  • Low maintenance but will require occasional sealing or resurfacing
  • No weight restrictions for a flat deck
  • Cheaper than a terrace or pavers

Disadvantages of concrete terraces

  • Installation can be more complex if the floor is sloping or uneven
  • Concrete is prone to cracking if not sealed well
  • Less suitable as a DIY project, since a level surface is required for drainage
  • Access to the site could pose a problem for the equipment
  • Adds less to property value than a deck

Concrete pavers

As an alternative to a uniform slab, precast concrete pavers can add interest to outdoor spaces without the hassle of building a deck.

Advantages of concrete pavers

  • Usually do not require planning permission
  • The look of natural stone or masonry at a lower cost
  • Longer lifespan than a wooden deck, comparable to a composite deck
  • Less maintenance than a wooden deck or concrete slab
  • No weight restrictions
  • Can be a suitable DIY project

Disadvantages of concrete pavers

  • May not be suitable for sloping or uneven ground
  • May develop efflorescence and be prone to cracking if unsealed
  • Larger pavers are heavy and difficult to machine
  • Costs more than a flat terrace
  • Adds less to property value than a deck

Concrete vs decking cost Australia

A key difference that could influence your decision is the cost of concrete and decking. While costs will vary depending on the type and size of your deck or patio, and whether you install it yourself or hire a professional, a patio usually costs more.

Expect to pay approximately:

  • $200 per m2 for treated pine decking
  • $320+ per m2 for hardwood decking
  • $350+ per square foot for composite decking
  • $1000+ per m2 for Raised Cyclone Grade Decking

Carpenters or deck builders charge about $50 an hour in Australia. A raised deck also has additional costs to consider for support structures, steps, and railings, so check to see if these are included when asking for quotes.

Concrete decks or pavers cost about:

  • $50-$100 per m2 for plain concrete
  • $50-120/m2 for colored concrete
  • $100-150 per square foot for stenciled or stamped concrete

Labor is usually the biggest cost of a concrete deck. Concrete builders charge about $67.50 on average in Australia.

Get quotes from local deck builders now

(Video) Which is the Better Investment - Deck or Patio?

frequently asked Questions

Is it cheaper to do decking or concrete?

When you compare the cost of concrete and decking, a concrete deck is almost always cheaper, although this depends on whether you do the work yourself and what type of wood or concrete you choose.

What costs more wooden terrace or concrete terrace?

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Wood decking starts at around $200 per square foot for treated pine decking or $320 for hardwood decking. A concrete deck is more affordable, starting at $50-$100 per square foot for plain concrete.

What is the difference between decking and concrete?

Decking boards are usually made from wood, a wood composite material or PVC, while a deck is made from concrete or other stone. A patio can also be built flat on the ground, while a deck is raised. These differences affect the cost of concrete versus decking, durability, maintenance, and other factors.

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