What is the difference between a raised patio and a ground level patio?

Offering reliable landscaping services to homeowners in British Columbia since 2013

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Natasha Maerz

Owner/Office Manager

When it comes to designing your outdoor living space ( outdoor patio and outdoor dining space), one of the first things homeowners should consider is whether or not you want your patio be raised, or at ground level. The difference between a raised patio and a ground level patio are simple. Raised patios are elevated, and have a wall around the entire structure, made with retaining wall block, while ground level patios are exactly what their name implies, a patio that is built on the ground. Both raised patios and ground level patios can make patio season a dream for homeowners, and allow them to BBQ, have brunch, and really elevates outdoor dining. Who wouldn’t rather eat in their outdoor space and skip their regular routine of indoor dining?

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Differences between a raised patio and a ground level patio

If you are looking to add depth, richness, and an overall aesthetically pleasing look, a raised patio will do the trick. One of the main reasons homeowners choose to go with a raised patio over a ground level patio for their outdoor space  besides their looks, is that they want to be able to step straight out onto their patio without having to use steps. This option is great for people who have young children, or older adults who find using steps difficult. Homeowners whose dining rooms connect to their outdoor space, or who have lots of BBQ’s and friends over for outdoor dining, may want to consider a raised patio so that it easier to take food from inside to your patio without having to step down onto a ground level patio. Raised patios typically elevate your outside dining experience, and allow homeowners to enjoy the  feel of fine dining while also enjoying the look and feel of the outdoors. 

One thing to keep in mind when weighing what type of patio you want, is that raised patios take longer to build, and will cost more.  A typical patio that is built on the ground needs gravel, sand, joint sand, and pavers to be completed. With a raised patio, the retaining wall needs to be built first, and caps are added to complete the wall. Gravel is used to fill in the entire area, and then the sand, pavers and joint sand are placed. A lot more gravel is needed to fill in this area, and caps and blocks are used, upping the cost of labor and materials for your new patio. 

Similarities between a raised patio and a ground level patio

Both of these patio options allow you to enjoy your backyard space while hosting family dinners and enjoying nature. Other similarities when it comes to elevated and ground level patios are:

  • The patio pavers come in many shapes, colors, sizes and textures
  • Low maintenance – once sealed homeowners will only have to reseal the patio pavers every couple of years
  • Patio Pavers do not crack
  • Easy to replace – If a paver needs to be replaced, it’s as easy as removing the unwanted paver, and replacing it with a new one.
  • Décor- Fire pits, BBQs, and furniture can be used to make a patio feel like home
  • Patio heaters can be put on either paver patio, which is much needed in Canadian winter! 

Luckily, no matter what type you choose, you can create a beautiful outdoor living space, regardless of if it is elevated or not. When deciding what option is right for you and your family, consider your budget, time for the project to be completed, and what look you are going for.

If you are looking to add a patio to your backyard space read Top 12 problems with patios you should know.