A balcony is an attractive feature on a home that can offer a variety of benefits, from additional living space to enhancing the external aesthetics. Balconies come in a range of sizes and designs to accommodate the needs and restrictions of different buildings.
Balconies will vary in size, depending on whether they are part of a house or apartment, with house balconies generally (but not always) larger than apartment balconies. Additionally, they will vary from one apartment to another, with balconies averaging around 4 feet deep by 10 feet wide for smaller apartments, though some apartments will have larger balconies while others will have smaller balconies.
If you’re considering adding an apartment to your home, it’s important to ensure it’s constructed according to codes, with necessary planning permission and permits, and by a reputable contractor. Additionally, you may want to get design advice from an architect or similar expert on what style of balcony will work best for the building and your needs.
What are the benefits of a balcony?
A balcony can offer a variety of benefits that make it an attractive addition to a home. It provides additional space and depending on the style it may be large enough for seating, creating an outdoor entertainment space.
A versatile balcony may also serve as a space for exercising or creating a miniature garden with pot plants. It’s a chance to create an outdoor extension to your home, with the opportunity to indulge in a pretty view or simply soak up some sun and fresh air.
A balcony also provides the opportunity to enhance the exterior style of your home, with a variety of different designs and construction materials to choose from. Additionally, creating an appealing and properly constructed balcony can enhance the value of your home, making it an enticing selling feature for prospective buyers.
Considerations when building a balcony
While a balcony can serve a variety of needs, it’s important to create one that will serve your specific needs so that you’ll actually use it. Additionally, if the balcony will be part of an apartment complex, it’s advisable to check what may or may not be allowed on the balcony as some apartment complexes may not allow certain items to be placed or stored on the balcony.
If you want a balcony to grow plants on, you’ll want to make sure it’s positioned somewhere that receives sufficient sunlight for the type of plants you want to grow.
Speaking of sunlight, if the balcony is exposed to a lot of sunlight you may want to install shading or a screen to provide some protection against glare or excessive heat if the balcony will have outdoor seating.
If the balcony will be facing a noisy street, you may want to keep it to a small design with sufficient space for standing, rather than a larger balcony that might not be used a lot because of the noise but will cost a lot more to build.
Determine whether you want the balcony to be used for outdoor seating, and if so, how many people you want it to accommodate. A balcony that fits two people and a small table may suit your needs, but if you want to host larger outdoor gatherings, obviously a larger balcony will be required.
A balcony of around 6 feet deep should fit four people seated around a table, while a balcony with a depth of around 3 to 4 feet should fit two people seated at a table.
Wind is another consideration. If the balcony will be exposed to a lot of wind, it can be constructed using a recessed design, full-height surrounding walls to block wind, or even an almost fully enclosed design.
While balconies that protrude will offer the best views, balconies that are completely recessed will provide protection from the elements. However, an attractive middle ground is a partly recessed design that provides protection from wind or rain while also enabling a good view.
Consider how much privacy you may require and what kind of view different balcony designs will provide. Balconies situated on high floors will likely not require as much privacy from nearby buildings, while balconies on lower floors might incorporate opaque railings to help provide extra privacy.
Additionally, access to the balcony will also affect its use. A balcony located off a bedroom will likely be for private use rather than entertaining guests, while a balcony located off a kitchen or lounge is more easily accessible for guests.