Difference between Balcony and Patio

When we talk about outdoor living areas, both balcony and patio are great options, but often people get confused between both, and most of the time, balcony and patio are used synonymously as most people are unaware of the term patio. This article will help you to understand the difference between both the terms and what are their purposes.

What is a Balcony?

Balcony is the outer open space of a building generally located on the upper floors, which is generally supported by walls, grills, and balustrades. It is usually a smaller space mostly used for ventilation. The balcony has a vast history and can be seen since the medieval period. The basic purpose of a balcony is to provide fresh air and good access to sunshine. The balcony can either be enclosed, which gives privacy to the owners or it can be an open space.

What is a Patio?

The patio is derived from a Spanish word that means backyard. The patio refers to the living space outside the house. It can either be a proper garden or a simple relaxation area. The patio serves the purpose of outdoor recreation space or dining space, generally made up of bricks, stones, cobbles, or tiles. They often are decorated with outside furniture, plants, or a garden. People also use patios for parties, social gatherings, etc., Patio is larger in size compared to the balcony.

Though both patio and balcony are great options for outer space or outside living and look similar, they both have clear-cut differences which we will break down for you.

Difference between Balcony and Patio

The following table highlights the major differences between a Balcony and a Patio −

Small extension for the purpose of ventilation and light
Larger extension for the purpose of entertainment
Placed on the upper floors
Placed on the ground floor
Connection with house
Balcony is directly connected to the house.
A patio can be attached or detached from the building
Balcony is generally smaller with limited space
Patio is larger compared to the balcony and can be extended as per the owner’s wish
It is made up of cast iron and solid concrete
It is made up from different materials such as tiles, stones, cobbles, bricks, etc.
Built for ventilation, sunlight, and small sit-out
Built for entertainment purposes and social gathering
Does Not require much maintenance
Requires a lot of maintenance
Costs more
Costs less
Occupies less space
Occupies more space
Can be installed on the ground or upper levels with less maintenance.
Less expensive and easy to decorate
May not offer sufficient space for larger events.
Requires more maintenance


To summarize, both balcony and patio have their own advantages and disadvantages, it's important to consider finance, place, interest, etc., while choosing what type of outdoor living you want. If you have limited space, then a balcony can be a great option. It also provides good sunlight and fresh air. If you’re someone who loves to host gatherings and have sufficient space, then a patio can be a great option. Patio on the other hand also provides protection from bugs. Despite people synonymously using balcony and patio, both have different meanings and a lot of differences, from their uses, materials, and purpose to cost and maintenance.