Concrete Decks/Patios

Among the deck products with lowest maintenance costs are concrete, concrete paver and ceramic paver decks and patios. The material itself will withstand most weather conditions, does not rot, and burning pieces of charcoal will not cause it to burn.

A good concrete or tile deck will last if:

  • It is built on a solid foundation. The soil around a newly built house will tend to settle unless it has been compacted. Even when built on compacted soil, a patio will tend to settle differently than the house. It may be necessary to connect the patio or deck to the foundation.

  • Expansion joints of wood, rubber, or asphalt must be built into the concrete in order to allow for controlled cracking. Old wood expansion joints tend to rot out, and may have to be replaced with treated lumber.
  • Not all clay products are intended for outside use, some will absorb a great deal of moisture and crack or flake as the moisture freezes. Even masonry intended for outside use benefits from moisture proofing every few years.
  • Concrete does not have to look dull and gray. It may be colored by use of various additives, colored sand, and specialty aggregate. The top layer of the concrete can be "washed off" during installation, producing an "exposed aggregate." A good place to see some alternative uses of concrete is Chuck Greening's "gate" at the northwest corner of the Good Shepard Center on 50th North and Meredian in Seattle.