There’s a fine line when it comes to a porch vs patio in the world of interior design. More often than not, people use both terms interchangeably, not knowing the real difference between them.
When it gets down to it, though, patios and porches are as different as night and day. The only thing in common between them is that they’re both used as lounge areas outside of the house. Other than that, there are a lot of differences.
If you want to know how porches and patios differ, you’ve landed yourself on the right page. We’ll cover all the differences between them to help you decide which is better for your home.
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Porch vs Patio: How Are They Different?
Primarily, the difference between patios and porches is their design. Porches are a part of the house’s design, and they’re attached to its structure. Subsequently, they’re made of the same exterior material as the house.
On the other hand, a patio is right beside the house. It may be a small area in front of the house, providing a seating area and some lights for decor purposes.
Here’s a roundup of the differences in detail.
Porches are parts of the house, while patios are parts of the surrounding landscape. In other words, patios don’t have architectural designs. They’re merely a sitting area designed with a few seats and hanging lights. Porches, however, are a part of the house’s design.
There’s also one difference that people mostly look over: the elevation. Porches are elevated off the ground by a few stair steps. Meanwhile, patios are level with the ground.
In the end, the difference between patios and porches depends on the region. In some states, the differences are negligible because of how houses are built. If there’s no elevation, you can pave both patios and porches right in front of the house. Patios and porches can also have roofs or not, depending on the owner’s preference. In this case, there isn’t much difference between them.
Since porches are considered a part of the house, they’re typically finished with the same material as the house’s exterior. So, you can build them out of tiles, stones or bricks, laid over concrete supports. Alternatively, you can have them framed with wood or composite.
On the other hand, patios are built of any form of masonries, such as bricks, concrete, or stone. Patios are more prone to getting affected by weather conditions, so they need solid materials. Of course, waterproof materials are a bonus.
If you want a porch, you can only install it when you’re still building your house or remodeling it. If you already have a place without a porch, you may have no choice but to install a patio.
The reason for that is simple; building the porch with the house ensures you get the same design and materials, so it doesn’t look disconnected from the overall look. Additionally, it needs professional installation, which will take a lot of time, so it’s better to do it when you’re already doing some remodeling jobs.
As for patios, they don’t include a lot of building. You can even make your own patio as a fun DIY project. It’ll take some work if there’s no flooring because you’ll need to level the ground first. Then, you’ll need to install some tiles or your material of choice.
Other than that, all it takes is some seating units, a roof, and maybe a piece of decor. Porches need to connect to the house’s structure.
Durability mostly has to do with the weather conditions in the area, but generally, both patios and porches are susceptible to some damage, though different from each other.
Porches are more prone to water damage if you live somewhere with a lot of rain. You may also encounter wood rot.
Patios are more likely to show cracks, and the floor may show signs of expansion. They’re more exposed to extreme weather conditions than porches, which are protected with the house’s exterior.
Patios are also more prone to getting affected by ground settlement.
Porch vs Patio: Which Is Better?
Like anything else, both patios and porches have a list of pros and cons that dictate which of them is better for the individual. A porch may be more convenient for you, while a patio is a better solution for others. In the end, it depends on your living conditions and preferences.
To help you choose between them, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each of them.
Porches have plenty of advantages. For starters, they match the exterior architecture of your house, so they’ll look elegant and match your decor. Additionally, they increase your living space. You can literally have an extra area of your house outside, which is pretty nice.
Porches are also covered and protected to an extent because of their attachment to the house’s structure. So, they’re not at risk of getting wear and tear like patios are.
As for the downsides, porches are pretty expensive to install, and they require regular maintenance, which in turn costs a lot. On top of that, porches are at a risk of termites, which can ruin anything getting in their way.
Patios are better than porches in the sense that they cost a lot less to install, and a wider range of patio designs to choose from. If you already have flooring, you won’t need anything other than some seats and tables. Plus, you can control the size and shape of your patio, contrary to porches, which will be already built with the house.
Patios aren’t void of downsides, though. They’re more susceptible to damage due to weather conditions. Plus, they serve as slipping hazards under heavy rain. Not to mention, you must build them on level ground, so you’ll need to make some adjustments before installing them.
Many people treat porches and patios as the same thing; luckily for you, that’s no longer the case. Now that you know the difference between a porch vs patio, you can decide easily which is better for your home!