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Patio vs. Terrace: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
A patio is a ground-level outdoor area for leisure, often adjoining a house, while a terrace is an elevated flat platform, typically on a building's roof or higher floor.
Patio vs. Terrace

Key Differences

Patios are usually found on the ground level and are designed for recreational activities like dining or lounging. They are often paved and may be surrounded by a garden. In contrast, terraces are elevated platforms, which can be located on the top of buildings or on raised ground, providing a panoramic view.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
A patio is typically directly connected to a house or a building and is considered an extension of the living space. It's often used for outdoor gatherings or relaxation. A terrace, however, is more of an architectural feature, offering an outdoor space on an upper level, often utilized for enjoying views or gardening.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
In terms of construction, patios are commonly made with concrete, stone, or bricks and are found in residential homes. Terraces, on the other hand, can be found in various types of buildings, including residential, commercial, and historical structures, and are usually more structured in design.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
The primary function of a patio is to provide a comfortable outdoor space for ground-level activities, often incorporating features like furniture, fire pits, or barbecues. Terraces serve a broader range of purposes, from leisure spaces to functional areas for events, gardening, or as an urban oasis in city buildings.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
Accessibility differs as well, with patios being easily accessible from ground-level areas of a building, making them ideal for family activities. Terraces may require stairs or elevators for access, offering a more secluded and often more scenic space.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Location

Ground level, adjacent to a house
Elevated, on a building's roof or upper floor
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Primary Use

Leisure, dining, outdoor gatherings
Enjoying views, gardening, urban leisure
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Construction Material

Commonly concrete, stone, bricks
Structured design, various materials
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Accessibility

Directly accessible from the house
May require stairs or elevator
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Common Features

Outdoor furniture, fire pits, barbecues
Panoramic views, gardening areas
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
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Patio and Terrace Definitions

Patio

A courtyard of a house or building, used as an outdoor living space.
The family gathered on the patio for Sunday brunch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Terrace

An elevated platform or balcony, often used for leisure.
They had breakfast on the terrace overlooking the sea.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Patio

An outdoor space for dining or recreation, adjacent to a house.
They enjoyed evening barbecues on their patio.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Terrace

A level, raised open space, often used for gardening or leisure in urban settings.
The terrace garden was her escape in the city.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Patio

A ground-level terrace, especially in a house or an apartment.
Their ground-floor apartment came with a small patio.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
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Terrace

An outdoor, elevated area in a house or building, used for relaxation or entertainment.
Their new home had a spacious terrace for outdoor parties.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Patio

An outdoor area for leisure, typically paved and without a roof.
They set up a hammock on the patio for sunny afternoons.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Terrace

A porch or walkway bordered by colonnades.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Patio

A paved area outside a home, used for sitting or leisure activities.
The patio was adorned with potted plants and outdoor furniture.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Terrace

A platform extending outdoors from a floor of a house or apartment building.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Patio

An outdoor space for dining or recreation that adjoins a residence and is often paved.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

An open, often paved area adjacent to a house serving as an outdoor living space; a patio.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Patio

A roofless inner courtyard, typically found in Spanish and Spanish-style dwellings.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A raised bank of earth having vertical or sloping sides and a flat top
Turning a hillside into a series of ascending terraces for farming.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Patio

A paved outside area, adjoining a house, used for dining or recreation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A flat, narrow stretch of ground, often having a steep slope facing a river, lake, or sea.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Patio

An inner courtyard typical of traditional houses in some regions of Spain.
The flat looks out on a patio on one side and a churro café on on the other.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A row of buildings erected on raised ground or on a sloping site.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Patio

A paved yard or floor where ores are cleaned and sorted, or where ore, salt, mercury, etc., are trampled by horses, to effect intermixture and amalgamation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A section of row houses.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Patio

In Spain, Spanish America, etc., a court or courtyard of a house or other building; esp., an inner court open to the sky.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

Abbr. Ter. or Terr. A residential street, especially along the top or slope of a hill.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Patio

A usually paved area adjacent to a dwelling, used for outdoor lounging, dining, receptions of guests, etc.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A narrow strip of landscaped earth in the middle of a street.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Patio

Usually paved outdoor area adjoining a residence
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

To provide (a house, for example) with a terrace or terraces.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

To form (a hillside or sloping lawn, for example) into terraces.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A flat open area on the topmost floor of a building or apartment
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A platform that extends outwards from a building.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

(agriculture) A raised, flat-topped bank of earth with sloping sides, especially one of a series for farming or leisure; a similar natural area of ground, often next to a river.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

(geology) A step-like landform; (sometimes) remnants of floodplains.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A row of residential houses with no gaps between them; a group of row houses.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A single house in such a group.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

The standing area of a sports stadium.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

The roof of a building, especially if accessible to the residents. Often used for drying laundry, sun-drying foodstuffs, exercise, or sleeping outdoors in hot weather.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

To provide something with a terrace.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

To form something into a terrace.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A raised level space, shelf, or platform of earth, supported on one or more sides by a wall, a bank of tuft, or the like, whether designed for use or pleasure.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A balcony, especially a large and uncovered one.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A flat roof to a house; as, the buildings of the Oriental nations are covered with terraces.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A street, or a row of houses, on a bank or the side of a hill; hence, any street, or row of houses.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A level plain, usually with a steep front, bordering a river, a lake, or sometimes the sea.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

To form into a terrace or terraces; to furnish with a terrace or terraces, as, to terrace a garden, or a building.
Clermont's terraced height, and Esher's groves.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

Usually paved outdoor area adjoining a residence
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A level shelf of land interrupting a declivity (with steep slopes above and below)
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

A row of houses built in a similar style and having common dividing walls (or the street on which they face);
Grosvenor Terrace
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

Provide (a house) with a terrace;
We terrassed the country house
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

Make into terraces as for cultivation;
The Incas terraced their mountainous land
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Terrace

An open, often paved area, connected to a house or building at an elevated level.
The hotel room boasted a private terrace with a stunning view.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Terrace

A flat, roofed area, especially on the top of a building.
The rooftop terrace was perfect for evening events.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is the primary purpose of a patio?

The primary purpose of a patio is to provide a comfortable, ground-level outdoor space for leisure and entertainment.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Do patios need a roof?

Patios typically do not have a roof and are open-air, but they can have a pergola or similar structure for shade.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

What materials are used for building patios?

Patios are commonly built with materials like concrete, bricks, pavers, or stone.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Are patios customizable?

Yes, patios are highly customizable in terms of size, shape, material, and design.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

What is a common feature of a terrace?

A common feature of a terrace is the panoramic view it often provides.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can a terrace be found in a private home?

Yes, a terrace can be part of a private home, often located on an upper floor or rooftop.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Is a patio suitable for large gatherings?

Yes, patios can be suitable for large gatherings, depending on their size and design.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can terraces have gardens?

Yes, terraces can have gardens, especially in urban settings where ground space is limited.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Do terraces offer privacy?

Terraces can offer more privacy than patios, especially if they are elevated and not easily visible from street level.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Are terraces always elevated?

Yes, terraces are by definition elevated platforms, often above ground level.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can a patio increase property value?

Yes, a well-designed patio can increase the property value by enhancing outdoor living space.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

How does weather affect the use of a terrace?

Weather can greatly affect the use of a terrace, especially in areas with extreme conditions, as they are more exposed.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Are patios suitable for all climates?

Patios can be adapted to most climates with appropriate materials and designs.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Do terraces require special construction permits?

Terraces may require special construction permits, especially if they involve structural changes to a building.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Is it more expensive to build a terrace than a patio?

Building a terrace can be more expensive than a patio, especially if it involves structural modifications or is located on a high level.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

How do patios affect landscaping?

Patios can significantly enhance landscaping by providing a functional outdoor area that integrates with the garden or yard.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can patios have outdoor kitchens?

Yes, patios can be equipped with outdoor kitchens, making them ideal for outdoor dining and entertainment.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can patios be enclosed?

Patios can be enclosed with screens, glass, or other materials for added protection and extended use.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Are terraces common in urban areas?

Yes, terraces are common in urban areas, particularly in apartment buildings and commercial properties.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Is maintenance different for terraces compared to patios?

Maintenance can differ; terraces may require more attention due to their elevated position and exposure to elements.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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