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Real Estate Dictionary: Outdoor Edition

As summer comes to an end and fall rapidly approaches -we look to the season-friendly aspects of our homes. Whether it’s outdoor entertaining, or cozying up in an element-protected room, there are so many ways you can enhance your home’s outside spaces. Features like decks, patios, and porches, while sometime considered, “add-ons” have actually served very specific and functional roles within the layout of homes throughout history. We’ve put together a guide of outdoor related definitions for you to freshen up on.

Here are some defining features about varying outside rooms and structures:

Outside Features:


  • Usually at the front of the house, but can be at the back of a home as well
  • Covered only by a roof, creating an opened air space
  • Creates a nice entrance for your home with an optional seating area
  • Similar: wrap-around porch, back porch
  • Great for: small seating areas

There’s nothing more American than sitting on a rocking chair on a front porch. With historical inspiration, porches have become a staple on an all-american home.

In NEO: You’ll find beautiful wrap-around porches in Americana towns like Chagrin Falls, Hudson, Willoughby and lots of old towns in the Western Reserve.
8944 Music Street, Novelty, OH 77072
8944 Music Street, Novelty, OH 77072


  • Also, verandah
  • Perhaps a fancier way to say porch, specifically, a porch that wraps around an outside corner of the home


  • Typically on the facade of a condominium or apartment building
  • Projects from the side of the building anywhere above ground level
  • Great for: outdoor access for a potentially small apartment or condo

Balconies date back to ancient Rome, and were used not only as a functional part of a home, but as a religious and political marketing tool. According to Brittanica.com, throughout the Roman to the Victorian periods, balconies on public buildings were places from which speeches could be made or crowds exhorted.

Today, balconies are incredibly popular on water-front homes, condos and apartments to enhance the living areas of homes and let freshness of the outdoors in. 

2540 Cedarwood Rd, Pepper Pike, OH 44124
2540 Cedarwood Rd, Pepper Pike, OH 44124


  • Simply defined as a paved outdoor area
  • Flush with the ground, no elevation
  • Typically made of concrete, stone, or brick
7875 Old Mill Rd, Gates Mill, OH 44040
7875 Old Mill Rd, Gates Mill, OH 44040


  • Usually on the top of an apartment or condominium building
  • Larger than a balcony and has a separate entrance
  • Often tiered where there is a hillside
7590 Thistle Lane, Russell, OH 44072
7590 Thistle Lane, Russell, OH 44072


  • Elevated outdoor space, usually on a platform
  • Typically constructed of lumber or composite boards
2634 Ginger Wren, Pepper Pike, OH 44124
2634 Ginger Wren, Pepper Pike, OH 44124
8944 Music Street, Novelty, OH 44072
8944 Music Street, Novelty, OH 44072


  • Indoor/outdoor space
  • House opens to the outside

Part of your house:


According to the National Sunroom Association, “A sunroom is an enclosed energy efficient space connected to the exterior of a home that is designed to provide the effect of bringing the outdoors to the inside by admitting natural sunlight and allowing uninterrupted views of the exterior landscape.”

  • Protected from the elements
  • 3 or 4 season rooms
4085 Brush Rd, Richfield, OH 44286


  • A specifically designed sunroom
  • Has a segmented roof system typically made of glass


No matter what feature you have in your home, each adds a special characteristic to your house. All of these outdoor features help connect your home with nature. With a better understanding of the unique qualities to each feature, you can better help your real estate agent understand what you are looking for in your next home.