Home Design: Balcony vs. Terrace

Thursday, 31 March 2016 Scott Barton

Designing a Colorado Springs custom home isn’t always just about the interior space. Especially in a beautiful state like Colorado where views of the Rocky Mountains are abundant and the weather is almost always picturesque, it’s hard to justify a home that doesn’t have outdoor living space. But how does one decide what type of outdoor living space is right for them and their family? Will a terrace work, or should a balcony be the way to go? Is there even a difference between the two? Both a terrace and a balcony are spaces that connect the interior and exterior living areas, but they are not interchangeable terms. Their size, location relative to the building and even the way they are constructed all are differentiating details between a terrace and balcony.

A home builder will be able to help you pick which living space is right for you, but before picking, you have to understand the pros and cons of each home area.

 

What are the benefits of adding outdoor living space?

You may first be pondering if you should truly invest your money into building a custom home with a terrace or balcony, and that’s normal. An outdoor living space can cost the homebuilder more money, however it adds not only extra square footage and lifestyle advantages, but it also can add value to the price of the house! Adding a terrace or balcony provide beautiful curb appeal, it adds extra livable space in the outdoor areas and, depending on how it’s designed, can make the indoor living space feel much larger than it actually is.

What are the differences between a balcony and a terrace?

Although a balcony and terrace have the same concept - to create a living space outside of the house - there are some differences between the two.

Size

The biggest difference between a balcony and a terrace is the size of each structure. Most times, terraces tend to be much larger than balconies. Balconies are on the smaller side which makes them less versatile, while the bigger size of the terrace allows it to be used for more things. Although balconies are smaller usually, they are still helpful in giving a space to get fresh air outside, as well as a way to make a room feel larger because of the open doors or windows.

Location

Where a terrace or balcony is attached to the building is also a big difference between the two structures. This not only is important because you may have a specific area in mind for outdoor living space, but it’s also important because where it is can affect the use of the space.

Balconies are usually off one of the upper floors of a home. Balconies are elevated platforms attached to the side of a building directly so they can be on anywhere from the second floor of a home to the sixth floor of an apartment complex. They are almost always surrounded by railing, fence or a wall because they’re not on ground level. The nice part about balconies being on an upper level is that if you’re sharing a house with someone or you are for some reason confined to an upstairs floor of a house, you can still go outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.

A terrace is more of interchangeable term for a patio. Rooftop terraces, which are popular communal areas on apartment buildings or workplaces, are common in cities because the living area can be built up rather than out. This is just another way to add a garden or beautiful oasis into an urban area. A terrace can be built going out from a house onto a ground level, however it is more commonly referred to on the top of a building.

terrace vs balcony custom home builder

Coverings

The coverings of a terrace and patio also make the spaces much different. Terraces are an open space so they typically are not covered - especially when they’re at the top of a building. The point of the terrace is to make areas feel more open and spacious, so covering a large terrace area would do the opposite. With a balcony, it can be opened or enclosed. They tend to be much smaller, so the covering doesn’t make it feel as small. In fact, balcony covers or enclosures can help the balcony to get some privacy or to protect it from sun and wind.

Other outdoor spaces to consider

Balconies and terraces are just two outdoor options you have while creating your custom home, but there are still other types of outdoor living spaces you can build to create the perfect area.

A porch is similar to a balcony, however it tends to be more spacious and is always covered. Front porches with a shelter projecting from the house or structure is pretty typical, but porches can be versatile. You can have a back porch, a side porch, or even a wrap-around porch that goes all the way around an entire building. Enclosures can range from nothing at all on a ground level, to a screen to keep out bugs, to a railing to keep people from coming off the porch. It’s a great way to bring your indoor living outside.

Verandas are another outdoor structure that are great additions to a custom home. It is a roofed platform that goes along the outside part of a house. It sometimes extends from both the front and sides of a building and is often partially enclosed with a railing. Veranda’s are similar to porches, however they are always on the ground level.

A deck is similar to a balcony, however it extends out more. It is usually a wooden structure, elevated from the ground, and is often used for outdoor dining, barbecuing and even just as a sitting area during warmer weather. Sometimes decks are enclosed or covered with a canopy, but often they’re left with just a railing to prevent people from falling.

Picking the right outdoor living space when designing Colorado Springs custom homes is something home builders do on a regular basis, so if you’re still unsure which type of space will work for your new house, consulting with them will help. Be sure to consider how the space will be used, how the space will affect other areas of the house, and if you want more than one outdoor living space.

Read 1848 times Last modified on Tuesday, 05 April 2016

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