Each person wants to make the most of the functional area of his home, especially when it comes to small apartments. In this case, do not underestimate a room such as a balcony or loggia. By connecting imagination and skillful hands, they can be turned into a very useful part of an apartment or a country house. How? Find out from our article.
In fact, there are a huge number of options for arranging a balcony. It is only necessary to take into account all the nuances and features of your particular room, because with all the desire to arrange, for example, a winter garden on a cold balcony without glazing and insulation will not work, just as it will not work to place a lot of furniture in a very small area.
Let's look at several possible options for arranging a balcony:
If your apartment is on the ground floor and its layout does not imply a balcony, you can try to make an extension balcony. This structure requires mandatory approval from the authorities and housing and communal services. It will be necessary to collect a package of necessary documents and wait for the decision of the administration (up to 45 days). At the same time, there are many restrictions on such a construction, so be prepared for refusal.
But let's say a positive decision was made. Then your further actions are as follows:
- prepare a detailed drawing of the future structure, taking into account all the necessary parameters;
- then you need to lay the foundation for the future balcony. If you live in a climate with cold winter temperatures, be sure to find out how freezing the ground is. This information will help you determine the depth of the foundation - it should be below this mark. Reinforced concrete blocks are well suited as the material used;
- we install the floor slab. The most commonly used slab is reinforced concrete. It will become the floor of your balcony;
- we construct the walls of the balcony from bricks. They should be thick enough (from 25 cm and more), and their height should be equal to the height of the structure, although an empty space for glazing should be left from the level of the windows to the roof. Their exterior decoration should be in harmony with the overall style of the building;
- when installing the roof, remember that it is installed slightly at an angle to the building for free drainage of water. First, a frame is mounted, often wooden, then roofing material is laid on top. For roof insulation, use mineral wool or other heat-insulating material;
- further, it is necessary to dismantle the window frame and part of the wall to obtain a doorway through which the exit to the balcony will be carried out. The balcony door should open to the inside of the room. After its installation, the installation of the window sill, sills, ebbs, balcony glazing is carried out and repairs are carried out inside the resulting room;
if you want to install a suspended balcony on a frame, remember that the stability of the entire structure depends on the reliability of the fasteners, so do not do this work yourself, but contact the specialists who will do everything efficiently and give a guarantee for the work performed.
See below for more details.
On the renovated balcony, you can install a chest of drawers for storing various things, arrange a greenhouse or an office - it depends on the level of thermal insulation of the balcony room.
If you are the owner of an apartment in the so-called "Khrushchev", then the size of your balcony leaves much to be desired.What to do in this case? Cheer up, a small room can also be very functional, the main thing is to competently approach its arrangement in accordance with the desired purpose. Before starting repairs, be sure to check the quality of the floor slab - after all, such buildings are very old and the balconies in them may well be in poor condition.
If the quality of the slab is good, you can start glazing and insulation of the balcony.
A sufficiently large balcony or loggia (from 3 to 6 meters) will be a great place to relax if you put a sofa, armchairs or a bench with a coffee table there. You can also arrange an oriental-style hookah bar there: put a thick mattress, wicker rugs and bright pillows on the floor, put a hookah next to it and decorate the walls with motives from The Thousand and One Nights.
If you love sports and adhere to a healthy lifestyle, set up a mini-gym on the balcony with a couple of exercise machines and a corner for sports equipment.
Perhaps you are tired of the bustle of the city and you are attracted by the coziness of country houses - well, then you can implement a project of a house with a terrace or veranda. Their main difference is the presence of a roof over the premises: the veranda always has a roof, the terrace sometimes remains open and is used as a place for hanging out in the open air. So, for example, you can set up a barbecue on the terrace, a covered veranda will serve as a great place for arranging a winter garden, a living room, a games room or a gym there.
A terrace can be not only in a cottage, a bathhouse or a sauna can also be equipped with this functional extension. A small pool, sun loungers, a table with chairs, etc. are quite appropriate there.
Arrangement of a corner balcony has its own nuances. As a rule, corner balconies have a “L” layout and a slightly larger area than standard ones. Therefore, when planning its intended use, try to come up with the most functional use possible. For example, it's great to use it as a personal office, equip it with exercise equipment, or set up a dining area and turn it into a dining room, especially if it has an exit from the kitchen.
Increase in usable area
With the help of a balcony or loggia, you can increase the usable area in the apartment by dismantling the window-door unit and the partition between the rooms. Do not forget that in order for this redevelopment to be considered legal, it is necessary to obtain permission for it from the relevant authorities.
If for carrying out this procedure you need to remove the battery from under the window, move it a little to the side, it is not recommended to install it on the balcony. This is possible only with special permission, otherwise such a transfer will be considered illegal.
After carrying out the above dismantling and expanding the doorway, you will be able to install wide glass sliding doors. In this case, the room becomes integral and divided at the same time.
If the standard dimensions of the balcony block do not allow your imagination to roam, you can resort to increasing the area of the balcony itself. There are two ways: expansion with external glazing of the balcony and expansion of the perimeter of the floor slab. The first method is more visual than functional - when the glazing is removed outside the balcony, its area remains the same, but from the inside it seems larger. This option does not require approval from the administration. The second method is more expensive and time consuming, requiring mandatory documentation; however, it will expand your balcony by about 1/3 of its original area.
The balcony, located on the ground floor, is easier to physically enlarge - for this, the original structure is simply disassembled and another, larger in area, is erected in its place.To carry out these works, it is also necessary to obtain a mandatory permit.
If you live in a wooden house, but dream of relaxing in the evenings on your own balcony in a hammock, your option is to add a balcony to the house. It can be done in two ways:
- with releases. This technology involves the release of beams at a certain height for the construction of the balcony. The ends of the beams from the bar are fixed in the wall of the house, the releases are made 1.5-2 meters. After they are fastened together with a beam, first a boardwalk is made on them, and then the floor covering is laid;
- leaning on the racks. This is a more popular technology associated with the reliability of the resulting structures. It is assumed that the balcony rests on a kind of pillars (racks) made of timber or logs.
High-quality glazing of balconies and loggias is an act of utmost importance. The glazed balcony will be reliably protected from the vagaries of the weather, increased noise levels, as well as the ingress of dust and various foreign objects brought by the wind or falling from the upper floors.
How can a balcony be glazed? First, decide on its intended use - based on this, the type of glazing is selected. It can be cold or warm. When choosing a cold type of glazing, your balcony will be protected from the vagaries of the weather and pollution from street debris, but the temperature on it will not be higher than the temperature outside. This type of glazing is good if you want to use a balcony room as a storage room or a seasonal resting place.
Warm glazing will help maintain a positive temperature on the balcony and will allow you to stay on it even during the winter months. It is only necessary to supplement it with thermal insulation on the walls and floor, then the room will turn into a functional small room.
As for the glazing materials, they are as follows:
Plastic frames. A very beautiful and popular type of glazing. Such frames are most often equipped with double or triple glazing and are therefore used for warm glazing. They have an increased level of noise and waterproofing, in the closed position they are absolutely sealed. However, before installing them, you should check the condition of the parapet of your balcony and strengthen it if necessary - such frames are very heavy and require reliable support
Wooden frames. They were used even before the appearance of other glazing options, and are in demand to this day. The advantage of such frames is environmental friendliness. The wood allows air to pass through and the frames seem to "breathe", helping to circulate clean air on the balcony. The disadvantages include their relative fragility due to cracking and rather difficult maintenance (annual painting, impregnation with varnish, water-repellent agents)
Aluminum frames. Perhaps the most common type of glazing. They are loved for their durability, low cost, good light transmission and resistance to many adverse influences. The aluminum construction is light enough, so it can be used to glaze a large surface, install frames "to take out". The disadvantage of this design is a low level of sound insulation, as well as a not too high level of tightness, as a result of which a certain amount of water can enter the room due to atmospheric precipitation
Frameless glazing. If you like modern design solutions, pay attention to glazing that does not require the installation of frames. The window sashes are attached from the top and bottom to the guides. Such windows are made of very durable, thick glass, they allow maximum light to enter the room, have an original appearance and are suitable for any balconies. The disadvantage of this type of glazing is the impossibility of installing mosquito nets, poor sound insulation, the inability to insulate the balcony
French (panoramic) glazing. Its peculiarity is glazing from the balcony floor to the ceiling, i.e. all walls become transparent. A very interesting and original version of the balcony design, which does not require additional finishing. The undoubted advantage of French glazing is the creation of an increased level of illumination of the room, the area visually increases. However, if the balcony is on the sunny side, it will be very hot in the apartment. And, perhaps, the most serious drawback is the lack of privacy, from the street and the houses opposite you can see everything that is happening on your balcony
Sometimes there are so-called "common" balconies - when one balcony is shared by two adjacent apartments. If you want to glaze your half, you must first install a partition that separates your half from half of the neighbors. The material for the manufacture of such a fence will be foam blocks or bricks.
For attic glazing in a country house, use only durable plastic frames with double or triple glazing, especially if you choose a glazing method in which windows are installed directly into the roof slope at an angle. Windows should occupy from 1/8 to 1/10 of the total area of the attic.
Protection from water is necessary not only to avoid damage to the property on the balcony, but also to prevent the destruction of the balcony itself. It is no secret that the constant exposure to moisture destroys the concrete slab, as a result of which the reinforcement becomes bare and rusts, losing strength.
There are the following waterproofing methods:
- Laying waterproofing material on the floor;
- To protect the ceiling from the inside, a polystyrene plate is attached to it using glue or special brackets;
- Treatment of the entire balcony: sealing of the junction of the wall and balcony walls, silicone treatment of the space under the drainage and cornice;
- Additional installation of a canopy in a panel house, laying a layer of insulating material on the roof of the balcony when the apartment is on the top floor.
Have you decided to turn your balcony into a study, dining room or playroom? Or maybe you want to arrange a cozy corner there for relaxation at any time of the year? In this case, you cannot do without additional insulation of the balcony room.
For the insulation of hinged balconies and loggias, mineral wool is most often used. It is placed in a metal lattice pre-installed on the walls of the balcony, and then sheathed with clapboard, drywall sheets or wood panels. Plasterboard cladding can be additionally decorated with false stone or decorative plaster.
To insulate the attic floor and turn it into a full-fledged residential floor, expanded polystyrene and polystyrene foam, as well as ecowool, mineral wool, fiberglass are used. Each of these materials has a number of advantages and disadvantages that must be studied before deciding on any of them.
Inside… In order to qualitatively and functionally decorate the premises from the inside, you must either have a number of building skills yourself, or invite an experienced craftsman. The floor, walls and ceiling of the loggia must be repaired, for this it will be necessary to calculate the area of the room and, based on the data obtained, the amount of selected materials.
As a floor covering, you can choose linoleum, lay laminate or floor tiles. For wall cladding, choose plastic or wood panels, eurolining, block house (to imitate walls from a bar). If you live in a brick house, you can simply paint the brick wall any color you like. In the absence of such a desire, you can ennoble the original brickwork by hanging suitable paintings or climbing plants on the walls.Plasterboard walls are suitable for subsequent decoration with artificial stone under painted brick or with imitation of natural stone; there is also an option to use such walls for painting, apply liquid wallpaper or decorative plaster.
Outside… As a rule, the external decoration of the balcony is made for the purpose of additional insulation of the room. It is quite problematic to fulfill it on your own, on all floors, above the first. Therefore, if you nevertheless decide on external finishing, be sure to invite experienced specialists.
If you live on the first floor, it will not be superfluous to install additional protection against penetration from the outside in the form of a lattice, which must be fixed on the windows. It doesn't have to be boring and tasteless at all. Now, with the help of forging, they make absolutely stunning decorative lattices that will not only help protect your home, but will also give it an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Interesting design examples
When your balcony is fully prepared, start designing it. Here are some examples of how you can perform a beautiful landscaping of a balcony room: