Deck VS Balcony: Differences, Costs, Pros And Cons

Who would want to miss the opportunity of having a unique and attractive open-air spot in their homes for relaxation or recreational activities with their friends and family? They are perfect for enjoying the warm summer days or breezy cold winter evenings.

If you are hesitant to choose between a modern deck and a traditional balcony, you have landed at the right place!

A deck is a flat surface, usually wooden planked, that you can walk on and utilize for many different purposes. On the flip side, a balcony is an accessible outdoor structure extending from the house or building. The main difference between the two is that a deck is built on the first floor while a balcony is on the second floor, and it is usually smaller in size than a deck.

Outdoor structures are versatile as they promote comfort and even enhance aesthetics with customization. Investing in them is one of the easiest ways to uplift your home’s value. Let’s discover the advantages and disadvantages of having a deck or a balcony.

What Is The Difference Between A Deck And A Balcony?

With each passing year, outdoor living spaces have started to gain attention as they successfully add the element of functionality and visual appeal to the home’s exterior. People now are inclined toward spending more time, effort, and money on outdoor spaces as they have many long-term benefits.

Difference Between A Deck And A Balcony

However, as most outdoor structures are extended parts of the house, homeowners often use them interchangeably. It doesn’t mean that they are the same because there are many technical differences between them. Similarly, a deck and balcony have a lot of distinctiveness in terms of function, material, installation processes, etc.

Also Read: Deck VS Porch

Defining A Deck:

Decks are a flat, elevated, and roofless platform that is either directly attached to or detached from the main building. They are made out of wood, processed lumber, and composite materials. As they are raised from the ground, they often are enclosed with a railing for safety.

Decks are known as one of the most trending outdoor spaces, and you get two options to pick from, like single-level and multi-level decks. While single leveled decks are good for aesthetics, the multi-leveled decks help in giving a better view, especially in regions with more attractive surroundings. Both types are ideal for organizing get together, dining, barbecues, and other open-air entertainment programs.

Defining A Balcony:

Balconies are small outdoor structures, an extension of the house or an apartment building upper floor. They may or may not be enclosed or have a roof and are often connected to a given room. It provides enough space where the residents can stand and enjoy a fresh breeze of air without going outside the home.

In addition, balconies are enclosed with grills or railings. A single building or home can have more than one balcony, depending on the architectural and ventilation requirements. They are typically small in width and length, but they are enough to give a sense of personal outdoor pace in apartment buildings.

The Pros And Cons Of Having A Deck:

The Pros And Cons Of Having A Deck

Aesthetic Appeal:

One of the leading reason behind the immense popularity of decking is that they add a visual appeal to your property and enhances the whole outlook. When you choose materials like wood for a deck, it provides a rustic and natural appearance to your outdoor space and increases its aesthetic value. Thus, you will be more than willing to spend some quality time in a deck. Besides, it also makes it appealing to the customers showing interest in buying your home.

Also Read: Best Wood For Decking

Ideal Space For Gatherings:

If you are looking for the perfect outdoor space for your property, you can never skip a deck. It is a fantastic spot for your backyard where you can easily host different parties or arrange a fun activity. Furthermore, it allows you to place modern garden furniture over them as they are built strong enough to hold a considerable amount of weight without the risk of collapsing.

Quick Installation Process:

While outdoor spaces are full of advantages, sometimes it can take a very long time to construct them. However, this is not the case with decks because they can be built quickly and completed in a few weeks. The time taken can vary based on how big you want the deck. Many homeowners prefer installing it during the winter months as once the summer arrives, they are fully ready for usage.

Provides Extra Space:

Apart from being a spot for a get-together and enjoyment, you can also utilize the deck as a storage place. It can serve as a dedicated area to keep bird feeders, potted plants, and other similar decorative features when there is no other suitable place. As they are capable of holding weight, you can also store heavier objects like furniture on your deck.

Increases The Value Of The Home:

When you decide to install a deck, it might require a high initial investment, including material costs and hiring a professional for construction. However, it can turn out to be a smart investment because it successfully increases the value of your property. Decks will attract many potential buyers, and you can get a good return on what you invest in this outdoor structure.

Enhances View And Safety:

As decks are elevated structures, they can provide attractive views of your surroundings. It is why many people living in northern regions prefer opting for decks because they can sit there and enjoy the beauty of nature. But, raised deck platforms might require railings to make them safer, especially if you have children.

Relatively Expensive:

There is no denying that decks are super expensive and can get out of your budget. The materials used for this open-air space, such as natural wood and composite, are not cheap. Not to forget other costs such as contacting a professional and labor work. Besides, yearly maintenance and upkeep will further increase the expenses, so you should go for this option only when you are financially well-equipped for it.

Requires Constant Maintenance:

Wood is often the first choice for decks because of the attractive look it gives. But, it needs consistent care and maintenance because natural wood is sensitive to cracking, splintering, and damage. Moreover, it requires regular cleaning, sealing, and power washes, so it remains in a good state and lasts for many coming years. If you are not careful, wooden decks might not survive for that long.

Prone To Weather Degradation:

Wooden decks are also prone to degrade fast when exposed to extreme weather. They might demand constant replacements if built in a region with varying natural conditions. Thus, it will further add to the cost and make decks even more expensive. However, on the contrary, composite decks do not require excessive upkeep and their maintenance requirements are almost zero.

The Pros And Cons Of Having A Balcony:

The Pros And Cons Of Having A Balcony


Balcony, unlike decks, can give you a hundred percent private outdoor space where you are free to do whatever you want. Some people prefer privacy and no interference in their family time, and balconies, in this case, are the go-to place. You can arrange dinners and small parties in this space without worrying about anything.

Also Read: Can You Build a Deck Over a Septic Tank? Step by Step Guide

Offers Views And Ventilation:

As a balcony is attached to a home or building on a level above the ground, it is an ideal place for enjoying mesmerizing views from the height. The higher the balcony, the more glimpse of the surrounding you can get, and when you stand in this open space, you can look around and see for miles. In addition, balconies also offer ventilation, which means you can get fresh air without going outside the house.

Good For Plantation:

Another advantage of having a balcony is you can use this space for adding greenery to your home or apartment. It will instantly give a fresher and pleasing look to your outdoor spot. Besides, as balconies are an extension of the house, it will be easy for you to take out time and time and water your plants as they are easily accessible.

Gives Additional Storage Space:

It can be real trouble when you don’t have enough space inside your home or apartment. In such a situation, balconies can prove very handy and helpful and can use them as an alternative for storage space. However, it is crucial to cover your belongings with tarps and keep them out of the sunlight. Weather can damage the stuff, so you must take the necessary measure before storing them on a balcony.

Smaller In Size:

The frequent problem arising with balconies is they are usually smaller in size, making it difficult to use this outdoor space for many purposes. It also limits the activities and the number of individuals that can sit or relax on the balcony as it may not be able to for too many at one time. You can extend it to a certain degree, but it is not as spacious as a deck.


Before constructing a balcony, you might have to follow a few rules and regulations set by the building owner or area construction officer. Similarly, if you live in an apartment, you will have to face the same rules from the landlord, and breaking them can have consequences. For instance, grilling, placing laundry, or covering the balcony might not be allowed in some buildings.

Dangerous And Risky:

Although most balconies have some enclosure or railing to make them less risky, they can still be dangerous. Also, homes with children can make balconies even more unsafe for everyday usage because they might fall or injure themselves. Furthermore, small items can accidentally fall off the balcony and damage the property or hurt any individual present under them.

Also Read: What to Put Under the Deck for Moisture? 6 Different Options

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Deck?

The cost to install a deck is dependent primarily upon the material, size, and complexity of the deck design that is getting built. For example, constructing a deck under two hundred square feet can cost around three thousand to fourteen thousand dollars. Moreover, if you want to install a second-story deck, the overall cost will increase by thirty to sixty percent. Apart from material and design, the style and foundation can also affect the total expenses.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Deck?

Pressure-treated wood can cost about fifteen to twenty dollars per square foot and two to five dollars for decking boards. On the other hand, plastic and composite materials can cost between $30 and $40 per square foot. If you opt for multiple leveled decks or one with railings or grills, it will immensely increase the overall cost. Take, for instance, a wraparound deck that can easily cost fifty to a hundred percent more than a regular deck.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Balcony?

A balcony, on average, can cost about $20 to $90 per square foot. Other factors that can alter the price include the kind of balcony you plan to install, your location, material choices, and the current landscaping of your property. If you want to create a space big enough to easily accommodate some furniture (4 feet by 10 feet), the cost can go up from $600 to $2,400.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Balcony?

Similarly, you might have to use external beams for constructing a balcony which can be hard on the budget, and you’ll have to pay more. Project size, the labor cost of the market, material, and installing sliding doors or French doors can also elevate the pricing range of balcony construction.

Also Read: Cheapest Ways To Build A Deck In 2022


Deck and balcony are both excellent outdoor addition to your home, but sometimes people often get confused between them. Balconies are an extended part of the building or house, directly attached to the rest of the structure. Decks, on the contrary, can be either connected or separate from home, mostly without a roof.

Wooden and composite decks are expensive and require maintenance now and then. But, they can dramatically increase the value of the property. Balcony might not add much value to the house as they are a more conventional style of adding extra space. Both successfully give incredible views, but there is danger and risk involved with a balcony due to height.

If you are looking for a small, private space that gives good ventilation, a balcony might work in your favor, and you can install more than one on your property if you want. Decks are more suitable for individuals looking for visual appeal, more room for activity, and uplift the resale value of their house.


What Is A Small Balcony Called?

A compact style balcony is also known as a Juliet balcony which is usually very narrow. It is located on the upper story of a building and sits outside a window or a French door. These Juliet balconies are very common in Mediterranean countries like Italy and Spain. They are designed in a way that they tend to give the appearance of a full balcony in places where it is prohibited to install larger outer spaces.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Wood Deck?

The average life span of a wood deck is about ten to fifteen years. However, the actual period of the wood deck will depend on the type of wood you choose and how much you look after its maintenance and upkeep. Wood is vulnerable to degrade faster if you do not take its care and treat them with deck sealants once a year.

How Often Should You Replace Your Deck?

According to the international association of certified home inspectors, decks constructed out of wooden planks can last for as long as fifteen years. On the other hand, structural woods will remain intact for around thirty years. Composite decks are good for more than twenty years when you give them regular washes and cleaning.

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