In this era of increasing inflation, a balcony and porch are considered luxurious spaces for everyone in the United States of America.
Only a few people can afford houses with extra outdoor space, which is why it is a luxury. The balcony and porch are two different spaces that are similar in one way or another.
There are various types of balconies and porches that you can choose for your house once you figure out their differences, along with the pros and cons.
In the following blog, we will discuss the difference between a balcony and a porch in complete detail. Scroll down to know more.
What is a Porch
The porch is a small space in front of the house that is usually an entryway for people.
It can be both open or closed; the open porches face the road or garden of the house, while the closed ones protect your home in extreme weather conditions by keeping the environment moderate.
Whether we talk about the open or closed porch, both have shadows above them, protecting the people from the sun’s burning heat.
That is why they are considered a perfect area for relaxation in the summer.
A porch can be located in two different places, which are:
Most houses usually have a front porch in the house’s main entryway.
They can accommodate different furniture like a sofa, couch, or swing, which provides a relaxing space for people to have a hot cup of coffee in the evening while spending quality time with their friends and family.
Some residents who like to interact with their neighbors prefer front porches as a more convenient space as they can blend in with the people more quickly and conveniently.
Otherwise, they find their life dull without the presence of neighbors.
Back porches are more comfortable for people as they don’t give direct access to the road while the residents try to enjoy quality time with their families.
They wouldn’t want the passengers to stare at them every other minute, so back porches are considered a private and quiet space for some personal time.
Back porches give easy access to the kitchen, providing residents with a space to grill their food in the open air.
Types of Porches
Porches originated in the 1700s and became a luxury centuries later when it should have been the opposite. There are a lot of different types of porches, and we are going to discuss a few of them below:
They are one of the most exciting types of porch, which covers the house from two sides in continuity, rather than just from the front or back.
They can provide more than one entrance to your house, making it accessible for the residents to quickly get out from inside the house.
Wraparound porches are primarily found in the state of California and New England.
A screened-in porch is very similar to the front porch. However, the only difference is that windows cover it.
This porch makes them less exposed to the outside environment, which can sometimes be a nuisance for people who prefer peace.
However, the screened-in porches require high maintenance costs since they need to be replaced entirely if they tore off a bit.
Loggia was famous in previous years as they were designed as sheltered walkways in those big villas that people used to own.
It allows people to enjoy an outdoor stroll while staying protected from the sun’s burning heat.
Some of them also contain a glass partition which makes it a closed porch of the houses, protecting the place from extreme weather.
Front Entry Porch
This porch is typically tiny in size and consists of stairs that directly lead up to the main entrance of the door. These are simple and are present in houses slightly above the ground level.
Even though lanai falls under the category of a porch, they have a covered roof and are much like an indoor space that makes up a porch.
They are very suitable for people who are allergic to pests and cannot enter inside such porches.
They keep all the bugs away that might annoy you while having quality time with your family during dinner.
You can also grow indoor plants on Lanai Porch as it has direct sunlight access from glass ceilings.
This one is a free-standing porch that is not attached to the house. However, it is connected to the house’s main entrance with a pathway that leads directly to it.
You can customize it in a variety of different designs.
Rain porches usually extend beyond the porch floor and are considered a living area in an open environment.
They provide extra protection against harsh weather because of their vast space. They also protect your house against rain by not letting the water leak.
This type of porch is usually found in classical architecture that consists of a roof supported by a line of columns at the entrance of a building.
It is a physical representation of financial wellness, as wealthy people can only afford such buildings.
A balcony is not so different from a porch in terms of an opened space; however, both terms differ in location, as a porch is located on the ground floor, while you can only find a balcony on the upper floors.
A balcony is usually enclosed by the walls and is usually preferred by several people because of the exotic view that it offers people.
Types of Balcony
There are a lot of different types of balconies that are made according to the preference of residents. We are going to discuss some of them below:
Loggia Balcony is the type that is usually covered by a roof and glass windows which makes it an enclosed space.
People prefer it so that they can stay protected from harsh weather conditions.
It gives them the advantage of decorating an open space without worrying about destroying their furniture and accessories from unnecessary dust and wind.
A mezzanine balcony is an intermediate subfloor inside the apartment that adds another additional area to the house.
The mezzanine balcony is unsuitable for people who enjoy the outside view, as it is not located on the outer side of the house.
These balconies are usually preferred by people who want to make extra house rooms. You can view the inside of your house by standing on it.
As the name suggests, a false balcony is something you cannot really step into because of the absence of a flooring deck. It is just a railing placed outside your window for an exotic look.
People usually place small decorative items or plants on those balconies to give the outer side of your house a beautiful look.
Even though a false balcony can enhance the building view from the outside, it blocks the beautiful view from the inside for house residents.
Stacked balconies cannot be called a part of the house because they are built as separate parts by using vertical pillars or posts to support them.
They are usually made for fire safety so people can use them as an emergency exit when there is a fire outburst in the building.
These types of balconies are hung on the wall by 45-degree cables attached to the edges. The steel cables support these balconies, which gives them a hanging look on the window.
A cantilevered balcony is supported by only one end attached to the building. The other end that extends outward is unsupported, which can lead to building structure problems in the long term.
These balconies are tiny but built relatively more robustly to withstand the weight.
Porch vs Balcony
We have already discussed the two in detail, but if we were to talk about their differences, they only differ in terms of location.
A porch is located on the house’s ground floor, while a balcony is usually found on the upper portions of the house.
Different people prefer porches and balconies according to their tastes.
The balcony usually gives a fantastic view of the outside world which can be magical if your balcony is located on a much higher floor like the fifteenth one.
A balcony allows you to have a peaceful and quiet time away from all the people as you enjoy the nature and beauty of the outside world.
However, a porch allows you to interact with people, typically your neighbors, whom you repeatedly see.
Porch makes your life less dull by interacting with neighbors who can sit with you on a couch or a swing outside.
Even though you can decorate both places according to your choice, your belongings are much safer on a balcony as they are entirely out of the reach of outsiders.
However, a porch is accessible to everyone, which puts your belongings at risk of getting stolen by some random strangers.
How Porches and Balconies Enhance Living Spaces
Porches and balconies are cherished spaces in many homes and apartments. They offer not only a transitional space between the indoors and outdoors but also serve as unique areas that can enhance the overall living experience. Here’s how they play such a pivotal role:
- Extended Living Spaces: Both porches and balconies act as an extension of the internal living space. They provide an extra area for relaxation, dining, or even working, thus maximizing the functional area of a home.
- Connection with Nature: Especially in urban settings, porches and balconies become our connection to the outside world. They provide a space to feel the sun, listen to birds, or even just enjoy a breath of fresh air.
- Entertainment and Socializing: Porches, with their spacious design, are perfect for barbecues, parties, or just having a few neighbors over for coffee. Balconies, though often smaller, can be intimate settings for dinners or evening drinks.
- Personalized Aesthetics: These spaces allow homeowners and renters to get creative. Whether it’s hanging fairy lights, setting up potted plants, or laying down cozy furnishings, balconies, and porches can be tailored to individual tastes.
- Mental Health and Well-being: Having access to outdoor spaces like a balcony or porch has been linked to improved mental well-being. Even a few minutes outside can help reduce stress, increase mindfulness, and uplift one’s mood.
- Versatility: Depending on individual preferences, these spaces can be transformed into anything – from a mini-garden brimming with plants to a reading nook with bookshelves and comfy chairs.
- Increased Property Value: For homeowners, a well-maintained porch or balcony can add significant value to a property. They are often sought-after features for potential buyers or renters.
- Therapeutic Views: A balcony, especially in high-rise buildings, can offer panoramic views of the city or natural landscapes. This can be therapeutic, offering moments of reflection and relaxation.
- Cultural and Social Significance: In many cultures, the porch is more than just a structural feature. It’s a social hub where stories are shared, and communities bond. Balconies too, in apartments, can become places of shared experiences with neighbors.
In conclusion, while they might seem like mere architectural elements, porches and balconies have a profound impact on enhancing the quality of life.
They bridge the gap between the comfort of the indoors and the beauty of the outdoors, making our living spaces feel complete.
Porch and balconies have advantages and disadvantages, and people prefer them based on those pros and cons.
You can choose various designs for your outer space; even if you do not like any of those, you can also hire a professional to develop a new one.
We suggest you be as creative as you can with your outer spaces so that they can bring a lively feeling to your house by giving a welcome look to your guests.
We hope this blog turns out to be helpful for you in decorating your house’s outer look with constructions and renovations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can a porch be a balcony?
Technically, a balcony is a structural component at a rooftop level. A porch, by contrast, is commonly a raised deck or platform outside a main building or structure.
What are small porches called?
A small porch (usually refers to 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 decking) is a small structure attached to the side of a house or built on a raised platform. A porch that is small is called a portico.
What are the Enclosed Balconies called?
Enclosed balconies have various names depending on their design and regional vernacular.
Common terms include:
- Sunrooms are designed to give a significant amount of sunlight.
- Solariums, which typically have both glass walls and a glass roof for maximum light exposure
- Florida Rooms, a term especially prevalent in the U.S. that refers to an enclosed space offering an outdoor view
- Lanai is a word often used in Hawaii for an enclosed porch or veranda. The exact term can vary based on the specific features of the space and the region or culture referencing it.
What is a Back Porch Called?
A back porch is typically referred to simply as a “back porch” or “rear porch.”
It’s a covered space attached to the back of a house or building, providing a sheltered area to relax, dine, or socialize outside, away from the front street view.
Depending on the region or specific design, it might also be called a “veranda,” “lanai,” or “patio,” though these terms can have distinct characteristics or connotations in different contexts.
The primary distinction is its location at the back of the property, offering more privacy and often a view of the backyard or garden.
What is a Ground Floor Balcony Called?
A ground-floor balcony, depending on its design and function, is commonly referred to as a “patio” or “terrace.”
While both terms can describe outdoor spaces adjoining residences, a patio is typically paved and situated directly on the ground, usually in the backyard.
A terrace, on the other hand, might be slightly elevated from the surrounding ground, but still remain close to ground level.
The specific term used can vary based on regional vernacular and the particular characteristics of the space.
What is an Indoor Balcony Called?
An indoor balcony is commonly referred to as a “mezzanine” or “loft.”
These are intermediate floors between the main levels of a building and are often open to the floor below.
They overlook the space beneath and can be used for various purposes, including additional seating, storage, or as a decorative element.
The specific name can depend on its function and design, but “mezzanine” and “loft” are the most widely recognized terms for indoor balconies.