Let’s Talk about Outdoors: Patio, Porch, Balcony, Terrace, Deck and Veranda

Everybody likes to enjoy weather while sitting in his house space. If you have only a balcony, porch, veranda, patio or deck all these spaces wonderfully serves us to enjoy outdoors. All of us love to enjoy the outdoors; whether it’s spring, summer, autumn or winter.

All these spaces are surely similar to a certain extent and we often use them interchangeably, (and believes that all have the same meaning). There are, in fact, clear differences between all of the areas described by these terms, each of them has its specific features and terms.

Let’s understand them, and try to find out which one would be the best option for your home.

The Porch

Our friends often tell us about of sitting on the porch enjoying a cup of tea or coffee or spending some peaceful time. But what is a porch? Porches are specific outdoor areas typical of ‘90s house design. It’s a  covered shelter in front of the entrance of a house or building in general.

Porches can be both: open structures without windows; or enclosed interior extensions which protect the house from unpleasant weather conditions. Porches can be open extensions of living rooms and parlors; their roof provides shadow; which is exactly why porches are perfect relaxing areas during summer. Porches, or verandas help people socialize with their neighbors. They are perfect for pleasant chats, coffees, or evening get together and dinners.

The Balcony

Now let’s talk about balcony, it is an outdoor extension of a building’s upper floor; with an averagely one meter-enclosure (railings, baluster, screens, console brackets etc).

The Balcony

Balconies usually formed to serve as space enlargers, which serves as outdoor space for various activities; especially for people living in apartments, who could not enjoy a personal yard. Balconies are usually small spaces so they rarely serve for entertainment purposes.

Balconies are versatile as it provide both sun and shelter and they provide access to fresh air through doors. The enclosed balcony protects residents from stormy weather. Nowadays, there is no strict construction rule for building balconies, as these can be made of any solid and good-looking material.

A Terrace

A terrace is an open space that can be attached or detached to a building. In contrast, balconies are small elevated platforms that are affixed to a given room in the house. Whereas a terrace can have multiple points of access, a balcony is typically only accessible through the room. Balconies and Terraces are different from one another in terms of its location, size and construction.

The Terrace

The Patio

A patio is a paved outdoor area adjacent to the house, generally used for dining or recreation. The term Patio derived from Spanish word stands for backyard or backyard garden. Usually it’s a living space outside your house, either in the form of a proper garden or a simple relaxing area. Usually, patios are attached to the house. Some homes have a front patio. Unlike a covered porch, a patio can be an open area or may even be covered in trailing plants to offer protection from the sunlight in summers.

In order for a patio to be considered a courtyard, it needs to be completely surrounded by walls. Still, there is no determination of whether patios should be open or closed: they come in any size, shape, or enclosure (semi-closed, covered, uncovered, etc). There are three basic types of patios:

Flat- roof patio
Gable patios
Aluminium Patio
  • A flat-roof patio, attached to your house and provides a shade during rain
  • Either attached or free-standing Gable patios with peaked roofs.
  • A modern patio with an aluminum curved roof.

Common materials employed when building a patio include concrete, stone, bricks but also tiles or cobbles. Patios are often decorated with plants and outdoor furniture. Depending on their size, patios can be both covered and uncovered. They are usually made of gravel, stones, bricks, concrete or flagstones. Obviously, you can use whatever material you like and find practical.

The Veranda

So we could say that it’s like a large porch surrounding the house, and can be used for all sorts of outdoor activities. In West, it serves as a long porch that stores items; but in Pakistan, it’s one of the central parts of the house, where hosts receive their guests.

Verandas (also called as verandahs)are the set for all sorts of covered areas around the house. They are considered as ground floor balcony, that surrounds the house and gives access both to the entrance and the back door of the house. As most part of it is open, so it can have a railing fence.

The Deck

A deck is a flat, usually roofless stage adjacent to the house. Decks are typically made of timber which is distinct feature that separates it from porch, could be considered a porch patio deck. It can include spaces for BBQ, dining as well as relaxing space and is elevated from the ground. Decks are generally enclosed by a railing or even fences with separate doors and can also be covered by a canopy or pergola.

The main construction materials are wood and vinyl and can be built into a variety of shapes or styles. Decks can be used as a patio, porch or even balcony. The same as patios, decks can be attached to the house, or stand separately; in case of a large property in front of the house.A specific type of deck is the so-called ‘roof deck’, which actually stands for deck structures located on top of a roof.

Roof top Deck

You can found these places ideal in cities because of the amazing urban landscape; in both residential and commercial buildings. This trend is getting so popular that most of the construction companies are starting to specialize in the design of these modern outdoor shelters. A roof deck or patio provides the opportunity for green spaces in urban areas.