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Balconies 阳台

"Juliet" balcony

A balcony is a platform that protrudes from the wall of an upper floor of a building and is enclosed by a railing. Balconies are often highly decorative, especially in wealthy or scenic areas. They are not designed as social areas but, rather, add an outdoor ambiance to the indoors.

Balcony Facts:

  • In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet famously courted Romeo from her balcony. The small balcony design typically associated with that scene is often referred to as a “Juliet balcony.”
  • Balconies can be large enough to resemble decks, but they do not provide access to the ground.
  • "Balcony" originates from the Italian word balcone, which means “large window.”
  • Balconies can be made from wood, iron, stone, and many other masonry materials.

Balcony – a small external space entered from a room above ground

DecksDeck 平台

A deck is a large, raised wooden floor attached to the back of a house and contained by a perimeter railing for safety. Decks are rarely covered, and usually have a rough or informal look that is not integrated with the rest of the house’s design. They are typically intended to be locations for large outdoor social gatherings, such as barbecues and birthday parties. Access to the deck may be from the ground through a stairway, or from the house through a back door.

Deck Facts:

  • The word “deck,” in this context, is generalized from decks on a ship.
  • The word “deck” originates from the Middle Low German word verdeck, meaning "covering." 
  • The first commercial boardwalk in the United States, which is considered a deck, was built in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Deck – an area of open ground raised with a wooden structure to provide an area of hard standing for various uses.

A deck is made of wood or synthetic wood. A patio is made of cement, stone or slate or a combination of those materials. Furthermore, a veranda is defined as an open-walled, roofed porch. I believe it may be considered a synonym for porch…

Patiospatio 露台

A patio is typically a paved, roofless surface adjoining a residence that is generally intended for dining and recreation. These open-air living spaces are at ground level and are usually made from cement, stone, slate, or a combination of these materials.

Patio Facts:

  • "Patio" originates from the latin word patere, meaning “to lie open.”
  • “Patio” is Spanish for “backyard” or “back garden.”
  • In Australia, a patio often refers to any kind of outdoor verandah or balcony.

Patio – a paved area outside to be used as open air living space

A patio is typically an outdoor space adjacent to a residence that is paved and does not have a roof. It may use pavers, brick, stone or concrete (if it’s made of wood, it would typically be called a deck). It’s used for relaxing, recreation or dining. In Spanish style homes it may refer to the interior courtyard. Many masonry homes in the St Petersburg area will have patios, especially smaller ones.

PorchesPorch 门廊

A porch is a wooden structure that forms a covered entrance to a doorway at ground level.  A porch is typically located at the front of the house.

Porch Facts:

  • Porches are often used as ante-rooms where muddy or wet clothes can be shed before entering the house.
  • The word “porch” originates from the Latin word porta, which means “gate” or “entrance.”
  • While many houses in the southern United States, as well as Victorian-style houses, have large porches suitable for social gatherings, most modern porches are too small for comfortable social use, and  merely add to the visual appeal of the building.
  • Porches are typically integrated with the house’s architecture by using similar design elements.

Porch – a small covered structure surrounding the outside of an entrance door (it’s purpose is to provide temporary shelter at the doorway)

A porch is attached to the home usually in the front or back. A balcony is an extension of a room on the exterior of the home usually in the air. A patio is detached from the home and on the ground. A deck is can be attach or detached from the home but is not covered and is not on the ground. A veranda is a mixture of a porch and a balcony. It is used as living space.

A porch is an extension to the exterior of a house, generally at the same level as the floor inside. It usually has a wood floor and generally has a roof. It may be on the front, back or side of the home and a home may have multiple porches. The sides may be open, screened, glassed or have lattice. It can be utilitarian, to protect you from the elements while you’re waiting to enter the home or a place to take off your boots or garden shoes; it can be the size of a room, with furniture for relaxing or dining. The materials and style are generally compatible with the house it’s attached to. Frame homes in older St Petersburg neighborhoods like the Old Northeast and Kenwood will typically have porches.

Verandahs 长廊

large verandah

A veranda is a long, roofed, open gallery built around a central structure and supported by pillars. Verandahs are often long enough to extend around the front and the sides of a structure. Their origins are uncertain, but they are known to be a hybrid of East Indian and European styles. The purpose of the verandah is social, although in a more relaxing, everyday sense than is the case of a deck or patio.

Verandah Facts:

  • "Verandah" is alternately spelled “veranda.”
  • Verandah appears in Hindi and several other native Indian languages, although it appears to be an adaptation of the Portuguese and Spanish baranda.
  • Australia and New Zealand have their own unique style of verandah. Some verandahs in these countries are roof-like structures that surround commercial buildings, often on every floor. Their purpose is to provide protection from the sun.

Veranda – a large covered area attached to the side of a building intended to be used as living space without solid walls

A veranda or verandah may be a large porch that’s a room for entertaining or it may be a gallery running along one or more sides of the home, roofed, perhaps with a railing. Often a verandah will wrap around a house – think Victorian or New Orleans style here – perhaps on the front and both sides. Verandas aren’t as common in St Petersburg but there are occasional Victorian style homes and some of the 1920s Mediterranean style homes will have them.

Lanai 夏威夷阳台

A lanai is less frequently defined, and often as a roofed porch or verandah. Actually it’s the Hawaiian word for patio or balcony. In Florida we wouldn’t use lanai for a balcony. A lanai is a typical term in a tropical climate and generally is furnished like a room. It may have removable panels of glass, screen or plastic and would usually have a hard surface floor, similar to a patio. Lanais are found in many St Petersburg neighborhoods – think of the masonry waterfront homes in Venetian Isles, Broadwater and Yacht Club Estates.

From Exterior Design Features – InterNACHI

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