A balcony is essentially a unique and functional area that can be used in many different ways. Some create a cozy corner there for summer evenings, putting a couple of chairs and a small table, others plant a real oasis of flowers there, which serves as a decoration for the whole house. But some try to use this area as practical as possible, combining it with the room, or make a kind of pantry out of the balcony, gradually taking out unnecessary things there.
So that over time the loggia does not turn into a dump, you should very competently organize the space and place a rack, inside which things will be folded. Of course, you can use the shelves not only for unnecessary things, but also for seedlings. It is not so difficult to make a rack on the balcony with your own hands, it is enough to have detailed drawings and assembly diagrams at hand in order to build useful furniture for your own convenience.
Balcony racks can be made of wood or metal pipes, depending on their type. The material depends on the purpose of the furniture and the interior of the balcony itself.
- open. This type of rack is like a cabinet without walls with open shelves. They are installed against the wall on metal brackets and can have several tiers, depending on your wishes.
- Built in. This type is a closed cabinet, standing along one of the side walls of the balcony. Doors can be either swing or sliding, or roller blinds can be used instead. Built-in shelving goes from floor to ceiling in height.
- Low. Such racks are mainly placed on an open balcony, they are not higher than the balcony partition, so they are not visible from the outside. They can be used not only as storage shelves, but also as a table, covered with a tablecloth in the summer.
- Angular. Corner shelving is a closet or open shelves in the corner of the balcony.
Which type to choose is up to you. It all depends on your preferences and the number of items to take out.
Features and Benefits
Of course, the main advantage of the shelves on the loggia is that they help to make the most practical use of the balcony area and unload the house from unnecessary things. Thanks to a well-built shelving, your balcony will always be clean and tidy. And you can use additional shelves in different ways.
For example, inside you can store things that are needed only in a certain season of the year or tools and other things that are not so often needed in everyday life. Many housewives use balcony cabinets for storing cans and cans, as well as a pantry. To decorate the balcony, flowers or seedlings will be stirred on open shelves, and even in the summer you can grow greens on them.
The advantage of building a rack with your own hands is that you can do exactly what you need and a certain size. And of course, independent work is much cheaper than ordering from a store or from a carpenter.
Where to begin
Before you start building a rack with your own hands, you need to calculate everything very competently, choose the right place and material. The structure of the shelving unit must be sturdy and the shelves wide and roomy to provide ample storage space. The cabinet must be stable, it is important to correctly calculate the load and, if it wobbles slightly, additionally fix it to the wall.
The rack should in no case obstruct natural light entering through the window, and its dimensions should correspond to the area of the balcony in order to leave enough space for movement. Fire safety rules should be observed, and if there are heaters on the balcony, then the wooden rack should be placed away from it.
Before starting the construction of a wooden rack, you need to properly process the wood so that it is not exposed to moisture or dryness. You also need to sand the wood very well and keep it dry before use. If you use unfinished material, the quality of the shelf mounts may suffer and then you have to start over.
Made of wood
Wooden shelving is made of rectangular or square boards with a thickness of at least two and a half centimeters. For shelves, you can also use plywood, the main thing is to calculate the expected load so that the shelf does not fall under the weight. Also for work you will need nails, screws and metal corners.
First you need to mount a wooden frame at the end of the balcony. The frame consists of vertical boards along the height of the balcony and horizontal boards located on the ceiling and on the floor. The distance between the boards will determine the depth of the shelves. In order to fix the timber, you need to drill holes on it, and then mark the places on the wall through them. After that, holes are drilled in the wall, and then a bar is applied to the right place and fixed with self-tapping screws.
The racks are held together with metal corners. Between the vertical posts, you need to install special rails on which the shelves will be held. After the entire structure is installed and its strength has been checked, you can put in the boards for the shelves and cover the rack with linseed oil, and then varnish for a greater shine of the wood. You can simply cover the wardrobe with varnish according to your desire or to match the design of the entire balcony.
In order not to spoil the aesthetic appearance of the balcony, it is still better to close the shelves with hinged doors. The leaves are hinged to the side rails. Doors, as a rule, are cut out of plywood according to the dimensions of the rack frame, then hinges are attached to them and hung on the sashes. It is advisable to install a magnet or latch so that the doors do not open on their own. For greater practicality, you can install two pairs of doors, one on the upper, mezzanine part, and the second on the main one.
If part of the rack is intended for seedlings and flowers, only half of the doors are closed for things that should be hidden from prying eyes.
A rack made of metal pipes is much stronger and more practical than a wooden one; it can easily withstand heavy and bulky items. Such racks are made according to the same principle as wooden ones. A frame is mounted from metal pipes, and then shelves are inserted inside. By the way, it is still better to use wooden shelves in order to slightly reduce the cost of the cabinet. As a rule, doors are not installed on the frame of a metal rack and it serves as a stand for flowers or other decor.
For seedlings and flowers
In addition to storing things, many people use racks on the balcony as a stand for growing seedlings and flowers. Such shelves can become a real decoration of the loggia, thanks to the landscaping and coloring of plants. Such a rack, as a rule, is made in the form of free-standing shelves, and the number of tiers is determined directly by you.
First, you need to make markings on the wall and drill holes for the brackets, and then attach them to the surface and fix them well. After checking the strength and quality of the fastening, you can install the shelves. It is better to use either painted boards or laminated chipboard sheets as shelves, since wood that is not covered with a protective layer can suffer from moisture.
The shelves can be hung not only on top of each other, some owners create a real flower garden on their balcony with beautiful decor. They hang the shelves diagonally and scattered, some are made wider, others narrower, and beautiful compositions are created with the help of multi-colored flowers.
If you only need a rack for growing seedlings, then the shelves can be made removable or reclining. This is very convenient, as it will save space on the balcony, and the shelves themselves will carefully wait for their season.