Most apartments either have a balcony or a patio as part of its amenities. Deciding whether you want a patio or balcony is an important decision to make prior to searching for a new apartment. While you may not always have the option to choose between a patio or balcony, if you do you should consider the pros and cons of each.
Pro of a Patio: Ground Level
Because a patio rests on the ground, by definition it must be located on the ground floor of a building. The benefits of having a patio are that you will be able to step off of it and immediately be on the ground, making it easy to use the door to the house as another entrance, let your pet out without having to walk down stairs or sit outside and enjoy your surroundings.
Pro of a Patio: Easy Maintenance
Because it is on the ground level, caring for a patio is easier than caring for a balcony. You can easily rinse off a patio with a hose or a bucket of water without having to worry about the run-off water affecting your downstairs neighbors.
Con of Patio: Less Safety
Being on the ground floor, however, also has its drawbacks. Because they are easily accessible, patios are often less safe than a balcony, which is not accessible except by climbing the exterior of the building. While entry into the apartment or home can be made more secure by certain security devices, its accessibility makes it less safe.
Con of Patio: Invasion of Nature
Being on the ground floor makes it likely that nature will impede on a patio. Weeds, bugs, wild animals and other parts of nature may creep up onto the concrete or bricks that constitute your patio. While you can combat weeds and grass with regular maintenance, bugs and animals are harder to predict and prevent.
Pro of Balcony: Birds Eye View
Because they are commonly located on higher floors, balconies offer residents a bird’s eye view of their surroundings. Regardless of whether this view is of buildings or nature, it can often be quite pretty and alluring. Do not be surprised if it is the view from your balcony that draws you to it more than once.
Pro of Balcony: Privacy
Unless you share a balcony, it will be surrounded on three walls by your apartment. This means that you will have a lot of privacy when using your patio. Also, you can place laundry and other personal items outside to air-dry without having them visible to your neighbors.
Con of Balcony: Smaller
Unfortunately, because they must be built alongside walls, balconies are often smaller than patios. A balcony may only be six or seven feet long and as many feet wide and be considered spacious.
Con of Balcony: Fewer Uses
Because a balcony is attached to the building, its uses are often regulated by the landlord or building owner. Items such as grills and heavy plants may be prohibited because of the safety danger the pose to the other residents.