What is a porch

Difference between balcony and terrace

is actually wrong, but there is no roof balcony

At first glance, the question of where to look for the difference between a balcony and a terrace may sound a bit strange. Ultimately, one suspects the balcony is elevated on a facade, while the terrace is at the level of the surrounding ground. If it weren't for the roof terrace. So when or why does a raised construction not turn into a balcony but a terrace on the roof instead?

Terms related to terrace and balcony

First of all, we want to list all the terms that go along with the terms terrace and balcony:

  • terrace
  • Roof terrace
  • veranda
  • Outdoor seating
  • balcony
  • loggia
  • Bay window
  • Altan
  • Roof garden

Terrace and veranda

In the word “terrace”, “terra” is the Latin term for floor. It is therefore obvious that the terrace is a patio at the level of the ground. More precisely defined, it is a fixed platform at ground level that connects to a building.

If, on the other hand, the terrace is covered or rather narrow and long than square, it is also called a veranda. This term, which comes from India, has flowed into the Anglo-American language area via Portugal.

Roof garden and roof terrace - behind it are Söller and Altan

The roof garden, on the other hand, actually presupposes that there is appropriate planting. The term “roof terrace” was coined in our time in the recognized sense. The correct name for the architecture of a roof terrace would actually be Söller or Altan.

Balcony and loggia

It gets interesting when the terms loggia and bay window are also used. But first we want to explain their meaning in more detail.

The loggia represents a raised patio like a balcony, but is to be found within the floor plan of the building. The balcony, on the other hand, protrudes from the facade and can therefore be found outside the floor plan.

The bay window is the counterpart to the loggia

If a small terrace or balcony is completely surrounded with masonry or wood, for example, it becomes a bay window. The bay window is thus the counterpart to the loggia, just outside the building plan. It becomes more complicated when there is a patio in the bay window. In the literal sense of the word, it would be a roof terrace, but most would more accurately describe this patio as a balcony. But here the term Söller or Altan is most appropriate.

Nevertheless, of course, the roof terrace is also justified

This makes it clear, on the one hand, that we are using colloquial terms, probably also due to the further development of the German language, not quite correct terms such as the "roof terrace". On the other hand, it becomes clear just as quickly that there is actually a technical term for each element that defines the respective element in a crystal-clear manner.

In this context, the distinction between parapets, balustrades and balcony railings is also worth mentioning. A parapet is usually full, i.e. without any gaps. In addition, it is usually bricked, but not mandatory. In contrast, the height of a railing does not necessarily have to be reached. The balustrade is to be found exactly in between. They are small pillars that are turned into a kind of railing via a handrail, but actually carved or cast from stone.

Author: Tom Hess Home »Building» Balcony