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Patio vs Porch – What is the Difference Between a Porch and a Patio?


Patio vs Porch 

There have been too many misconceptions about patio vs porch, while some use them interchangeably, some use these words differently.

The way these words are been used varies from country to country, and some took them to be similar; some use them differently. 

patio vs porch

The term porch originates from the French word and it means a covered entrance; In a simple term, it is referred to as a covered or semi-covered living area at the front of a house.

Generally, a porch is an elevated structure attached to the house with a wall and roof frame, usually a frontage or back entry of a house.

When you think of a porch, it goes well with a deck or a balcony, they are similar and mostly located in the same place within the home.

A patio, on the other hand, originates from the Spanish word that means an outdoor courtyard paved with cement meant for eating and holding outdoor activities.

In a simple sense, a patio is a paved area that is away from the house. It is usually not attached to the building, and a perfect example is the garden area.

Many homes with a large square area of land usually have a garden space to enjoy the beauty of the outdoor space. 

What is a Patio Area?

A patio is an outdoor area usually away from the house and is mostly used for recreation, dining, and other fun activities.

A patio is located within the premises of the yard and is built to create a fun avenue. It is an open space decorated with outdoor furniture and flowers to make the whole area appealing.

patio vs porch
patio area

A patio can be anywhere in your outdoor area but not attached to your home. However, a deck can be covered with a pergola, gazebos, or canopy to protect the furniture and provide a shaded area against elements for better comfort.  

What is Considered a Porch?

A porch, on the other hand, is a gallery or covered area that is extended from the main building. It is usually at the entrance or exit of the home.

Its structure is dependent on the structure of the house, because of that, it comes in different structures.

They are usually covered and roofed as part of the house, and they provide a space to sit, dine, and admire the nature.

patio vs porch

The porch gives you the opportunity of enjoying the beauty of nature without leaving the premises of your home.

They are located at the front of the house and serves as an outdoor receiving area or living room expansion. These areas can either be open structures without windows or enclosed interior extensions.

It may be enclosed in different types of frames, including walls, windows, columns, or screens. Front porches are the most common you’ll see although back porches are also a thing mainly used as a service entry.

In summary, a porch might be screened in or even enclosed with glass or bricks so that it can be used year-round. A “front porch” extends across the front of the house, while a “back porch” simply serves as a service entry.

Generally, a porch is considered an extension of the living space, though it is not included in square footage unless it can be used year-round. A porch is sometimes called a lanai, a veranda, or a gallery, depending on the architecture and region.

What Is The Difference Between a Patio and a Porch?

  • A patio is a paved area commonly adjoining the house (not attached to the building) – while the porch is usually an extension of the building (attached or built together with the house)
  • A patio is usually an open space – while a porch is covered or semi-covered 
  • A patio is situated mostly in the yard or within the garden – while the porch is built at the entrance or the exit of the house
  • Patios are generally at ground level – while the porch is usually above the ground (depends on the structure of the house)
  • The patio area is design to be an avenue for fun and feast – while a porch can be used as a waiting or receiving area.  

 What Is The Difference Between a Patio and a Balcony?

A balcony is at least one floor above the ground level and is usually situated outside the building (or sometimes indoors overlooking a courtyard or living room area), enclosed by concrete or balustrades.

A balcony is the same as a porch in structure and design, and if there were any differences, it would be minor. They are both located in the same area of the house and possess the features and functions in most places.  

patio vs balcony

A patio, on the other hand, is generally at ground level, and open space adjacent to the building (non-elevated and usually roofless).

But to provide protection to the furniture against elements, you make use of a gazebo or other patio shade.

Making use of a shade in your patio area does not only protect your patio furniture or accessories but also makes the space comfortable at any time of the day.

Is A Patio In Front or Back?

This depends solely on how your house is structured on the land. Some house possesses their garden at the front. A porch is usually situated and attached to the front of the house.

This porch serves as a waiting or receiving area for visitors. And they serve as a relaxation center for the homeowner during summer.

patio vs porch

Most patios are usually located at the back of the house, and it designs with chairs and tables to create a beautiful ambiance for relation or seasonal feast.

Patios, unlike porches, are usually open spaces but may be covered with canopies or gazebos to provide protection against elements or insects while spending time in the patios.   

Difference Between Porch and Deck

A porch is very similar to a deck, they are both extensions of the main building and they create an avenue to relax and catch some fresh air.

The deck design is different from that of a porch and they are uniquely made to fit the design of the house. The main difference between the two is that a porch has a roof and it is enclosed or partially enclosed.

A deck on the other hand is an open porch that extends from the main building without a roof.  The construction of a porch and deck are usually the same because they need to structure with the main building, unlike a patio that’s usually away from the main building.


The main difference when talking about patio vs porch is the origin of the word and the location of its intent according to culture and customs.

Patio originates from the Spanish word and is essentially an outdoor courtyard paved with cement meant for outdoor activities, seasonal feasts, and is occasionally covered with a gazebo, tent, or pergola.

The porch comes from the French word that means covered entrance of a house. In Latin, it means the front gate, and so generally referred to as the front entrance.

patio vs porch and other outdoor living spaces have subtle differences, but many people in the English language use them synonymously as most English countries have influences from all over the world.



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