Terraces and balconies are two effective means of expanding living areas and linking indoor and outdoor spaces. They both enhance the visual appeal of a property’s exterior while providing homeowners with the opportunity to appreciate nature in close proximity to their homes.
Although terraces and balconies share certain features, they are often confused with one another. However, each has unique architectural characteristics and serves a distinct purpose. Furthermore, significant distinctions exist between the two structures, such as their location, size, and construction.
By examining the differences between terraces and balconies, as well as their origins, you can maximize your enjoyment of these outdoor spaces in your own home. Keep reading to discover how to utilize these areas to their fullest potential.
What Is a Terrace?
A terrace refers to an outdoor space next to or atop a building that is typically paved or tiled. It is an open, level area that is usually slightly elevated if not situated on a rooftop. The term “terrace” has roots in both 16th-century Old French and Latin, with “terra” meaning “earth” in the latter language.
A terrace is an outdoor space situated adjacent to, or occasionally atop, a building. Unlike a balcony, it does not have to be affixed to a structure and can stand alone. It is an unenclosed area that is typically slightly elevated, and because it is not physically connected to a building (unless it is a rooftop terrace), it does not require access through an interior room of the house.
In comparison to a balcony, a terrace is significantly more expansive and can cover nearly the entire roof surface when located atop a building. It is frequently utilized as a garden or an area for hosting gatherings. When located in a bustling metropolis, it offers an excellent opportunity to establish a serene retreat that is isolated from the commotion of busy streets.
Terraces located adjacent to a house are also generally quite sizable. They are typically slightly elevated and offer ample outdoor living space for homeowners to entertain guests or unwind in the open air during pleasant weather. In particular, when private outdoor areas are scarce, such terraces can be a valuable asset when selling a home.
Frequently constructed as an independent entity, a terrace is built from the base upward and finalized with a surface that is paved, tiled, or composed of wood planks. In the event that wood is utilized, it is imperative to employ a variety that is resistant to moisture and specifically treated for outdoor use. This will ensure that the terrace remains in excellent condition and maintains its pristine appearance for many years.
What Is a Balcony?
A balcony is an elevated outdoor platform that is connected to the side of a building and secured by a low railing. It is accessible from an upper floor and serves the purpose of expanding living space beyond the interior of the building. The term “balcony” originates from the Old Italian word “balcone” and has been in use since the 17th century. One of the most renowned balconies globally is the one featured in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, known as Juliet’s balcony, located in Verona, Italy.
A balcony is an outdoor platform that is raised and attached to the side of a building, with a low railing or wall enclosing it. It is typically reachable from an upper floor and generally has only one entry point, typically a door.
Balconies are typically slim and elongated, and significantly smaller than terraces. Their dimensions are influenced by whether they are connected to an apartment building or a house, with the latter being usually more spacious. Generally, a balcony has a depth of at least four feet, providing ample room for a small outdoor bistro set to relish a cup of morning coffee, to grow and exhibit herbs and tomatoes, or to unroll your yoga mat and engage in a rejuvenating workout session in the fresh air.
If you’ve ever been curious about the construction of balconies and their ability to remain suspended in the air, the secret lies in the concealed structural support provided by joists. These are connected to the existing beams of the building, creating a sturdy framework that can sustain the weight of the balcony.
Terrace VS Balcony
Both of these outdoor constructions serve a variety of purposes, including providing a space for socializing and hosting gatherings, as well as creating a spot for a small container garden in the midst of a bustling urban environment.
It’s not difficult to understand why balconies and terraces remain sought-after amenities in private residences and public structures. Their enduring popularity can be attributed to their effectiveness in fulfilling their intended purpose, which is to expand and optimize living areas while linking typically compact indoor spaces with the vastness of the outdoors.