A beautiful, cozy terrace is often the center of family life in summer. However, good planning is necessary for this. The terrace should be cosy, functional, beautiful to look at and also be secluded. There is usually a dining table and chairs on it, often a sun lounger, a porch swing or something similar, and it offers space for the children to play. When planning, you always have to think about what you want on the terrace. It should be planned and built accordingly large. Since potted plants are also often cultivated on terraces, you should also plan some space for them. All this must be considered when designing the terrace.

Location of the terrace

In most cases, the terrace is right next to the house, it is the extended living room, so to speak. The orientation depends on the property and its location, but it is often south-facing. In any case, short distances should be ensured, from the living room, but also from the kitchen.

If you like the morning sun, you have to face the east on the terrace. Then you can have breakfast in the morning sun. However, it is shady in the evening. The other way around, i.e. facing Weaten, you have shade in the morning but the sun in the evening.

The trend is towards the second terrace. A separate barbecue area is often planned, a pure sun terrace and one more in the shade or semi-shade. Especially when the terrace is visible from the outside, a second one is envisaged, which is then hidden and not visible. The second terrace is usually not equipped with a dining table and chairs, but rather with lounge furniture or other very comfortable parts. There is a large selection of elements for terrace design, from beach chairs and hammocks with frames to garden beds with mosquito nets, everything is possible.

It is good if the terrace is somewhat sheltered from the wind. A beautiful view is also welcome. This is sometimes a bit difficult in a residential housing estate when you are only looking at the houses all around. Then you have to create an attractive point of view for yourself. Planting aromatic plants around the terrace or placing them in pots is ideal. There are a lot of them.

The size of the terrace

As a minimum you take about 3 x 3 meters. But that’s really not much. A table, four chairs and an umbrella fit on it and not much more. If the terrace is in front of a door, an additional meter should be left free there. For larger tables, loungers, tubs and the like, more space must be planned accordingly!

Tip: A building permit is not required for a terrace.

The terrace design

The terrace must match the house and the rest of the garden. If you have a house in the Mediterranean style and the garden is planned accordingly, the terrace must also look accordingly. Natural stone slabs in yellow and terracotta tones, space for many potted plants and space for water as a design element are ideal. Even if it’s just a source stone, but water has to ripple.
Clinker as a terrace covering goes well with a house with clinker cladding and a cottage garden. There is a terrace for every type of house and garden.

The flooring

Apart from the fact that the terrace covering has to match the house and garden, it should also be easy to clean, not too sensitive and weather-resistant. It has to be level, otherwise the table and chairs will tip over, which is really uncomfortable. The gradient of 2%, which directs water away from the house, must not be forgotten, so that water does not damage the building fabric and algae and moss do not spread on the terrace itself. It is also important to plan for an underground cable for the power supply, regardless of whether an electric grill, lamps or music will later be operated with it.

Which materials are suitable?

Wood, natural stone, concrete or WPC are available as terrace coverings. Stone has the advantage of being extremely weather-resistant. The material is robust and easy to care for, but usually quite expensive. Wood requires a fair amount of maintenance, provided you want to preserve the beauty and grain.

natural stone

Basalt and granite are used. porphyry and others. Slabs are usually used, but plaster is also possible. With different laying techniques, every terrace can be designed to look great

  • – Polished surfaces can become extremely slippery when wet.
  • – The prices per m² start at around 50 to 60 euros. That’s quite high, but natural stone patios have the longest lifespan of all.
  • – Are colourfast, do not fade even after years.
  • + The material is frost-resistant and durable.
  • + Small patches have the advantage that they can be repaired more easily
  • + On the other hand, the furniture stands more securely on large, seamless surfaces, which is particularly important for tables

Concrete stones

The stones are available in all formats, colors and surface structures. You have the choice between prefabricated paving stones, slabs or steps made of concrete. The surfaces are processed and designed differently, depending on whether they are ground, polished, sawn, washed or blasted. In the meantime there is not only gray concrete block, but many colors are available. Concrete is made up of sand, gravel, cement and water. Color pigments determine the colour, additives such as natural stones refine the surface.

  • – May fade over time if not sealed with special paint
  • – Cleaning and maintenance are time-consuming. Stains from leaves, moss, garden soil, barbecue grease are often difficult or impossible to remove.
  • – Stone color may differ when wet than when dry.
  • + Are indestructible
  • + Impregnations, applied repeatedly, repel dirt and allow the surface to age naturally and beautifully.
  • + They are cheaper than natural stones. Prices here start at a good 20 euros per m².


Clinkers are a good alternative to large-format slabs and are particularly suitable for small terraces. They are artificially made but are made of natural stone material and therefore keep their color. They are usually made from pressed clay and some additives. Clinker prices start at around 35 euros per m².

  • – Sintered stones, i.e. those with a glazed surface, become really smooth when wet
  • – Laying is more complex because the stones are quite small
  • + Clinkers are durable and easy to care for.
  • + Flexural strength
  • + Acid and frost resistant
  • + Do not absorb water
  • + Colors are abrasion and waterproof and do not fade.
  • + Natural liveliness and warm radiance for many years


You have to choose the right type of wood and the right substructure. Tropical woods are particularly suitable for terrace coverings. I’m not a big fan of it myself. I will not support the deforestation of the rainforests, there are too many alternatives for that. But if you really want tropical wood, you should pay attention to the FSC seal for sustainable forestry. This seal from the Forest Stewardship Council is intended to guarantee that wood for the terrace comes from sustainable production and not from illegal logging in rainforests. It’s not working 100 percent yet, but they’re on the right track.

Alternatives are softwood and hardwood such as European larch, Siberian larch, various spruce woods, oak, Douglas fir and others. The wood must be protected from moisture by the construction! If moisture can always dry off well, the wood is also durable.

  • – Must be maintained
  • – Must not be permanently wet!
  • + Looks good.
  • + Natural material such as stone
  • + The prices here start at around 35 euros per m².

WPC coverings

WPC coverings are made from a mixture of wood and plastic, 70 percent wood and 30 percent plastic. Only wood chips, a by-product of the wood processing industry, are used.

  • – Not a purely natural material
  • + very durable and easy to care for.
  • + The material even has the beautiful wood grain, but is much more weather-resistant than wood.
  • + WPC is 100 percent recyclable.
  • + In addition, it is non-slip and there are no splinters.
  • + The terraces can be cleaned with a high-pressure cleaner.
  • + Oiling, as with wooden terraces, is no longer necessary.
  • + Laying is easy.

Terrace coverings and sun protection

The patio roof ensures that the patio can be used not only when the weather is nice. It provides shade and increases the living space. You can relax outside even when it rains. There are different types of patio covers. The framework and covering materials can also be different.

patio cover

  • Materials: aluminum, plastic, wood, glass
  • If you want to lose little or no light, you have to use glass or corrugated sheets.
  • There are canopies from specialist dealers, from the hardware store, but also some that you can build yourself. Instructions can be found on the internet.


  • Awnings provide reliable protection from the sun
  • There are good models for every price range
  • Ideal are those that retract independently in wind and rain.
  • Parasols and awnings also provide shade and are significantly cheaper.
  • A self-made pergola, covered with climbing plants, also provides reliable shade in summer.
  • Of course you can also plant one or more trees, but it takes time until he or she provides enough shade.
Tip: Light is also important. In turn, there are a wide variety of design suggestions, from wall and ceiling lamps, torches, lanterns and candles to patio fires, fire baskets and fairy lights.

privacy screen

Privacy protection, which also serves as a windbreak, is very important for every terrace. You have the choice between privacy screens, planted trellises or tall plants in tubs, which you can then arrange on the terrace as you wish.

  • Paravents are mobile solutions, usually easy to transport and can always be used in the right place.
  • Very decorative, but unfortunately also a bit expensive, are privacy screens made of polyrattan. But they look equally beautiful from both sides.
  • Screening systems made of WPC are quite new on the market. They are available in different colors, patterns and different sized elements. They are significantly cheaper.
  • Gabions filled with stones can also be used as privacy screens. The narrowest gabions are usually used for this.
  • Yews, thujas or other plants that are cut into shape form a natural privacy screen, but should be planted at a distance from the terrace, otherwise it will quickly become dark and cramped.
  • Planted trellis also form a very natural screen.
  • Bamboo mats, willow walls, bark wood mats or reed panels are also natural materials and fit well into a natural garden.
  • There are a wide variety of privacy protection solutions, just the right one for every terrace.

garden furniture

When choosing garden furniture, you can let your personal taste guide you. Of course, the financial framework must also be taken into account. Garden furniture should also be functional and easy to care for. If you have two terraces, you can have a functional dining set and feel-good furniture. If you only have a terrace, combination furniture is great for you, for example dining chairs that can be folded back, fitted with a stool, and can also be used as lounge chairs. There are garden furniture made of different materials. All have advantages and disadvantages.

  • Aluminium
    • very easy to care for
    • very light, therefore susceptible to wind
    • comfortably, even without conditions
    • durable, modern design, fit into any garden
    • Scratch easily and good furniture is expensive
  • stainless steel
    • very high quality and expensive furniture
    • last forever if processed well
    • require little care and look very elegant
  • iron or steel 
    • mostly heavy furniture
    • very durable depending on the surface protection method
    • the cheaper the furniture, as a rule, the more vulnerable it is
    • good furniture is weather-resistant, does not scratch as easily and requires little maintenance
    • Furniture is hard, it’s better to use pillows
  • wood
    • very natural material
    • important: care!
    • depending on the design different weight of the furniture
    • light ones are mobile
    • heavy furniture is very stable and windproof
    • large price ranges, depending on the material and processing
  • plastic
    • very easy to care for, weather-resistant and extremely durable
    • big price differences
  • Polyrattan
    • is also a plastic
    • Furniture is weather resistant
    • can be left outdoors all year round without being damaged
    • good furniture quite expensive, the price ranges and quality differences are large
Tip: Plants are also important design elements. Regardless of whether the planting around the terrace, potted or tub plants, hanging baskets or similar, only plants bring life to the terrace.

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