> DECK From shipbuilding: an open, outdoor area with a floor, often wood. A pergola-roof or awning may offer partial coverage. A deck is usually at or near grade (ground level) and thus does not require a railing. (Raised and second-level decks do.) A deck is most often connected to the house, although a raised, floored platform in the yard may be considered a deck. Also: porch flooring is called a deck or decking.
> PATIO From a Spanish word for courtyard, a paved area accessible from the house, at ground level and with neither railings nor roof. The paving may be flagstone, cobble, brick, concrete, tile, or packed gravel.
> PORCH A roofed shelter attached to the house, with a door to the interior. Near-grade porches don’t necessarily have railings, but most old-house porches do include a balustrade or shingled knee-wall as part of the enclosure. Porch variants include portico, piazza, loggia, arcade, gallery, and verandah.
> STOOP From the Dutch stoep (step), it comprises the stair-steps and landing in front of an entry door.
LEFT With a built-in daybed, this unobtrusive deck, designed by Chicago architect John Eifler for his 1916 Frank Lloyd Wright house, extends living space outdoors. ABOVE Left to weather naturally, wood planks making up the balustrade blend in with the stone piers.