What’s the Difference between a Porch and a Patio?

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Newly Finished Brick Paver Patio in Novi MI

Grillin’ on the patio. Sittin’ on the porch. These two structures often serve similar purposes, but are they one in the same? What’s the difference between a porch and a patio? What should you ask about if you’re enhancing your home’s exterior? Let’s dive into the definitions of porch vs. patio.

What Is a Porch?

A porch is a structure that is attached to the house, usually covered with some part of the roof. Porches connect with an entrypoint for the house, either in the front or the back. Porches are most common on the front of a house, but they can wrap around the entire perimeter or serve as a transition space from the back door.

While it is possible to entertain on a porch, this feature is mostly used for sitting and conversing.

What Is a Patio?

A patio does not necessarily have to be attached to the house. A patio may or may not have a cover over top, and they are usually larger than porches. Patios are designed for barbecues, fire pits, and other outdoor activities. They often serve as an exterior living room for a home, and they have become increasingly popular since Americans started working from home.

Key Differences: Porch vs. Patio

Here is a more detailed comparison of porches and patios:

  • Porch is always attached to the house, but a patio doesn’t have to be
  • Porches tend to have concrete steps or wood decking, while patios are usually concrete or paved
  • Porches are most common in the front of the house, while patios are most common in the backyard
  • Porches almost always have a roof over them, but patios are commonly open
  • Porches are usually meant for lounging or small groups, but patios are designed for entertainment
  • Both porches and patios can affect the appearance of your property

Is a Covered Patio Considered a Porch?

This is where the lines get a little blurred. A covered patio can technically be considered a porch, as long as it connects to an entry point for the house. This may come down to what is colloquially used in your area. If you reference the “back porch” or “back patio,” most people aren’t going to nitpick about the semantics.

Mortar City Masonry Works on Porches, Patios and Everything in between!

Are you wanting to add a patio to your backyard? Have an old porch in need of some TLC? Mortar City Masonry offers comprehensive masonry solutions, including brick porch repair, concrete refinishing, patio paving, paver restoration, and so much more. We proudly serve most communities in Southeast Michigan, and we’re fully licensed and insured.

Contact Mortar City Masonry at (586) 533-1305 to schedule your in-person consultation.