When a terrace is landscaped beautifully, it becomes an outdoor living room during good weather and forms a transition from the outdoors to the indoors throughout the year.
The terrace may be either at ground level, below ground level, or elevated above it. The simplest type is ground level.
There is a wide choice of flooring materials to use. One may use cement, poured and leveled with a large board, or use smooth turf, or flagstones.
The use of flagstones is made simple by applying a load of sand or gravel to the subsoil and digging the flagstones into the sand or gravel. This gives a very pleasing effect. Hollow clay building tiles can be split and laid as units in the terrace floor, their rough edges in the soil.
A sunken terrace is one which is below ground level. It can be very attractive, and it does give a feeling of coolness on a humid day or a hot night. The sunken terrace requires a retaining wall to prevent soil from continually eroding into it, and also to maintain the topsoil of the surrounding garden.
The raised terrace is generally not fully raised, but starts at the house level and is raised at its outer edge. Again, a retaining wall is required. The principle problem with the raised terrace is leveling. Drainage is supplied either by a central drain, going into a tile line, or by underground piping through the retaining wall.