Should You Consider Adding a DIY Balcony to Your Home?

Should You Consider Adding a DIY Balcony to Your Home?
  • Opening Intro -

    Having a balcony adds a sense of romance to a home and allows family members and guests to enjoy the great outdoors from a comfortable vantage point.

    However, there is a lot that goes into adding a do-it-yourself-balcony on to your home.

    Here are a few points to keep in mind.

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Design

The first thing you need to consider is whether it is truly practical to implement such a huge undertaking. While it can certainly add to a structure’s façade, contemplate whether you will get enough use out of it to make it worthwhile. When will the sun hit it? Will it be close to a neighbor’s home? Will you feel as though you have adequate privacy when spending time there? If you hope to entertain guests in this space, will it be easily accessible or will you have to invite them to walk through a bedroom to access it? Think about the times it can be used and whether the addition you are contemplating will be able to fulfill your expectations.

The next design aspect to contemplate is the way in which it will be supported. If you opt for a flat roof support, remember to add in appropriate costs and materials for proper drainage. You will also have railings and balusters, likely both decorative and functional, around the perimeter, which means it will affect the structure and its waterproofing, so be careful not to skimp. If you are planning to affix it to the wall, verify that your exterior structure will be strong enough to support the weight over time. If you are planning to offer support from beneath, it may reduce some issues, but may aesthetically add some problems. Will the support beams interfere with views from lower level windows? Make sure you don’t have to sacrifice one positive aspect of your home to introduce another.

Lighting

While a balcony may allow you to go out and bask in the sunlight from an upper level room, it can seriously reduce the light coming into the areas beneath it. Often, this is a front room or communal space where natural light is revered. Decide whether you will be happy with a more shaded space.

Maintenance

For both safety and aesthetic reasons, maintenance is a must in regards to balconies. Get a full understanding on which designs need more upkeep and the timeline at which it must be done. With constant weight being placed on the structure as well as weathering, this is one project where you must be attentive to maintenance needs and schedules. Research how much this will cost so you don’t get any surprises affecting your future budget.

Having a balcony can add a lot to your home, but also add a lot to your plate. Make sure you are ready to commit your time, money and attention — now and later — to the project before making the jump.

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