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Verandah vs. Balcony: What's the Difference?

By Janet White || Published on December 10, 2023
Verandah is an open-air, roofed platform along the outside of a house. Balcony is a platform projecting from the wall of a building, often enclosed by a railing.

Key Differences

A verandah is a ground-level, covered platform that often wraps around a house or extends along one side, typically used for leisure or as an additional living space. In contrast, a balcony is a raised platform projecting from the upper floors of a building, usually enclosed by a railing or balustrade, and accessed from inside the building.
Verandahs are part of the main building structure, extending the living space outward and are accessible without stairs. They provide shade and are ideal for relaxation and outdoor dining. Balconies, however, are elevated platforms that often require stairs or an elevator for access. They offer outdoor space in high-rise buildings and serve as vantage points for views.
In architectural design, verandahs are seen as extensions of the ground floor, integrating with the garden or surrounding landscape. They are commonly found in traditional houses, especially in tropical or subtropical climates. Balconies are characteristic of urban architecture, providing outdoor space in apartments and high-rise buildings.
Verandahs typically run along the length or perimeter of a house and can be open or enclosed by screens. They are often used as transitional spaces between indoors and outdoors. Balconies are usually smaller, projecting from the building's facade, and provide a private outdoor area for apartment dwellers.
The structural design of verandahs supports leisure activities, with room for furniture and plants, enhancing the home's aesthetic appeal. Balconies, being more compact, are designed for standing or small gatherings, often enhancing the building's exterior design.

Comparison Chart


Ground level, along the house's perimeter.
Elevated, projecting from upper floors.


Direct from ground level.
Accessible from inside the building, usually through stairs or an elevator.

Design Purpose

Extends living space, leisure area.
Provides outdoor space, vantage point.

Typical Use

Relaxation, outdoor dining.
Small gatherings, viewing surroundings.


Often roofed, can be open or enclosed.
Enclosed by a railing, smaller than verandahs.

Verandah and Balcony Definitions


An external corridor on a building, often enclosed by railings.
The house had a wide verandah overlooking the garden.


A platform projecting from the wall of a building, surrounded by a railing.
She stepped out onto the balcony to enjoy the city view.


A roofed, open-air gallery or porch attached to the outside of a building.
They enjoyed the cool evening breeze on the verandah.


A protruding space from an upper floor, enclosed for safety.
The balcony offered a perfect spot for morning coffee.


An outdoor area attached to a house, used for leisure activities.
Their verandah was decorated with potted plants and outdoor furniture.


An elevated outdoor extension of a building's upper floor.
Their apartment had a small balcony for potted plants.


A covered platform along the outside of a house.
We set up rocking chairs on the verandah for a relaxed seating area.


A raised platform on the exterior of a building, often used for leisure.
He watched the sunset from the balcony of his hotel room.


A sheltered, open area extending from a house.
The verandah provided a shaded space for outdoor dining.


An outdoor area accessible from an upper story of a building.
The couple enjoyed dinner on their private balcony.


A porch or balcony, usually roofed and often partly enclosed, extending along the outside of a building. Also called regionally gallery.


A platform that projects from the wall of a building and is surrounded by a railing, balustrade, or parapet.


Alternative spelling of veranda


A gallery that projects over the main floor in a theater or auditorium.


A porch along the outside of a building (sometimes partly enclosed)


(architectural element) An accessible structure extending from a building, especially outside a window.


An accessible structure overlooking a stage or the like.


A platform projecting from the wall of a building, usually resting on brackets or consoles, and inclosed by a parapet; as, a balcony in front of a window. Also, a projecting gallery in places of amusement; as, the balcony in a theater.


A projecting gallery once common at the stern of large ships.


An upper floor projecting from the rear over the main floor in an auditorium


A platform projecting from the wall of a building and surrounded by a balustrade or railing or parapet


Do verandahs add value to a house?

Yes, they often enhance the aesthetic and functional appeal of a house.

Can balconies be added to any building?

It depends on the building's structure and local regulations.

Are balconies safe for children?

Yes, if they are properly enclosed and supervised.

Are verandahs common in all climates?

They are more common in warmer climates.

Can a verandah be enclosed?

Yes, some verandahs are enclosed with screens or glass.

What materials are used for verandahs?

Wood, concrete, and metal are common materials.

What is the primary function of a balcony?

To provide outdoor space in high-rise buildings.

Can verandahs be retrofitted to existing homes?

Yes, depending on the house structure and zoning laws.

Do balconies need special maintenance?

Regular checks and maintenance are necessary for safety and durability.

Can verandahs be used all year round?

In mild climates, they can be used throughout the year.

Are balconies considered private spaces?

Yes, they are typically private outdoor areas for residents.

Can plants be grown on balconies?

Yes, balconies are popular for container gardening.

What kind of furniture is suitable for a verandah?

Outdoor furniture that is weather-resistant.

Can verandahs be screened in for bug protection?

Yes, many are screened to enhance comfort.

Is planning permission required for a verandah?

It depends on local building codes and regulations.

How big can a verandah be?

Sizes vary, some wrap around the entire building.

Do all apartments have balconies?

No, it varies by the building design and location.

Do balconies increase an apartment’s value?

Yes, they are often desirable features in apartments.

How are balconies secured?

With railings or balustrades for safety.

Are there size restrictions for balconies?

Building codes often dictate balcony sizes and designs.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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