Outdoor Spaces: Porch, Patio, or Deck?

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Whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter, it’s great to enjoy the outdoors, especially if it’s from your very own balcony, porch, veranda, patio or deck. Watch the sunrise in the summer or critters frolic in the snow in the winter. Outdoor spaces such as these are wonderful due to their versatility.

But what’s the difference between all these spaces? They are certainly similar to a certain extent and we often use them interchangeably. There are, in fact, clear differences between all of the areas described by these terms.

If you are looking to add an outdoor space to your home, read on to find out which one is right for you!


A porch is a covered shelter projecting in front of the entrance of a house or building in general. The structure is external to the walls of the building but it may be enclosed in certain types of frames including walls, columns or screens, extending from the main structure.


A balcony is a platform on the outside of a building, enclosed by walls or balustrades, supported by columns or console brackets. The platform is projecting from the wall of a building, usually above the ground floor. Balconies are typically small and are not used as social spaces or for entertainment purposes.


This term has two forms, ‘verandah’ also being correct, although the version without an ‘h’ is usually preferred. A veranda is a roofed platform along the outside of a house. It’s level with the ground floor and often extends across both the front and the sides of the structure. It can be partly enclosed by a railing.


A patio is a paved outdoor area adjoining a house, generally used for dining or recreation. The term comes from Spanish where its meaning is different (inner courtyard). 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.


A deck is a flat, usually roofless platform adjoining a house. Decks are typically made of lumber and are elevated from the ground. It can include spaces for BBQing, dining as well as seating. Decks are generally enclosed by a railing. In some cases, decks can also be covered by a canopy or pergola.

Need help building your outdoor spaces? Contact Paul at 410-848-2605 or online here