Decks and patios are great for outdoor living. These living areas are a part of many homes in the U.S. They allow you to entertain, relax, read a book and do other things without being confined indoors. People love such structures since they allow them to stay close to nature and enjoy some sun and open air.
There are different types of areas for outdoor living, and, sometimes, people use the terms interchangeably. That doesn’t mean, however, that all these terms mean the same thing.
A deck can be found in the front, back, side or the intersection of two sides of a house. It’s generally a flat area constructed using lumber and elevated from the ground. While many decks are simple, open areas, there are also many that are enclosed with railings. Decks are generally uncovered, but in hotter areas, a pergola or a canopy can provide shelter from the sun. In many cases, a deck remodel adds a shade for more comfortable outdoor activities like barbecues and relaxation. Decks are also great near a pool.
When you see a covered area fronting the main entrance of a home, that’s usually a porch. It’s an external structure, but it’s common for a porch to have its own walls, columns, railings or screens. It’s a favorite sitting area for many. It can be an extended portion of the house for entertaining.
The portico is similar to a porch, but it’s usually smaller, supported by columns, and isn’t used for entertaining.
This area for outdoor living is mostly used for entertaining or for dining. It’s paved and commonly adjacent to greenery or a garden. Cobblestones, bricks, tile, concrete and other similar hard materials typically make up the floor. Outdoor furniture and plants are staples in patio design.
A lanai is a type of roofed porch or veranda, but it’s more popular with Hawaiian villas or Hawaiian-themed houses.
The veranda or verandah is similar to a porch, but it usually extends to the sides of the house and is level with the building’s ground floor. Some verandas are partially enclosed by railings and columns.
Balconies are usually found above the ground floor. They are either walled or enclosed by railings, and held in place by brackets or columns. Many balconies are too small for furniture or entertaining, though there are balconies big enough to accommodate furniture and more people all at once.