In Soviet times, balconies were used only for storing things or in order to find out the weather outside. Everything is changing in the modern world. Both the balcony and the loggia enter our life as a full-fledged room to which certain functions can be assigned. In addition, balconies give the whole house a finished look. With the help of a certain way built balconies, you can give the structure an unusual look, which is often used by architects.
Loggia and balcony: the difference
First you need to determine what are the differences between these rooms. People are often confused, believing that if a balcony is glazed, it turns into a loggia. This is not true. What is a balcony and how to distinguish it from a loggia?
The balcony is an outrigger structure. The name comes from the word beam, and originally it was a ledge by the window. In the future, he received a fence and an increase in volume. Now it represents a concrete slab protruding from the facade of the house. It has a perimeter fence - a parapet. According to GOST, the balcony cannot be wider than 1.5 meters. It is often called a bay window.
At the loggia, by its definition, the side fences are the walls of the house, and only one side faces the street. It is much more reliable than a balcony due to the solidity of its design. She is not afraid of either snow or rain.
By law, the loggia and the balcony used to be part of the total area of the apartment, but due to the latest changes in legislation, this has ceased to be so. This area is now the common property of the house. Only the coefficient with which square meters are taken into account differs: at the balcony it is equal to 0.3, at the loggia - 0.5.
In the minds of many, a balcony is a rectangular box, but this concept is much broader. It accommodates many types. Let's consider them in order.
Bay windows have different designs
- On a cantilever reinforced concrete slab. This arrangement is very popular in old buildings. The slab is inserted into the wall of the building at a distance of about half a meter and fixed. Typically, this design is used in brick houses. But for foam block walls, such a mount is not suitable, since the structure is very heavy.
- On cantilever beams. Here the base plate is supported by beams made of concrete or metal. Even in the Middle Ages, balconies of castles were fastened with consoles.
- On external supports. They use columns or brackets, or both together. The base plate rests on them. The pole mount is only suitable for balconies located no higher than the second floor. It is imperative to equip the foundation. There is a minus in the use of columns as supports, since during operation they can settle unevenly, thereby causing a curvature of the structure.
Loggias also have a number of varieties
- Built-in… In fact, this is a continuation of the room, fenced off by a balcony block.
- Remote… These are two walls attached perpendicular to the facade of the house. The base plates are supported by cantilever beams embedded in the wall of the building.
- Loggia balcony. This is a transitional structure, where half of the building is inside the house, and part is taken out of it. This loggia has a plus. It lies in the fact that there is not much darkening of the room. Light enters the apartment unhindered.
Balconies and loggias are warm and cold.
Initially, they are designed as unheated cold rooms, often in budget housing according to the project, even without glazing. But the situation is easy to fix.To do this, they are glazed with plastic windows, insulated with foamed polyethylene or mineral wool, heated, or heated floors are laid, and interior decoration is made. At the exit you will get an additional heated room.
There are types of glazing
Wooden frames. Eco-friendly, allow the room to "breathe". Modern wooden double-glazed windows are practical, airtight, but require special care.
Plastic double-glazed windows. Most popular today. They do an excellent job of thermal insulation and sound insulation, they are practical, durable. But they do not provide fresh air at all if they are completely closed. Too heavy for old balconies.
Aluminum structures, lightweight durable. They are great for glazing balconies and loggias, but they do not keep heat well, and they will not work with a warm room.
Frameless glazing - modern technology that has no frames. The bay window is closed with a solid glass surface. Such glazing perfectly transmits a large amount of light without blocking it. But a significant drawback is the impossibility of installing a mosquito net.
Nowadays, balcony glazing with panoramic structures is very popular. To do this, remove all sorts of fences and produce glazing from ceiling to floor. The balcony immediately takes on a gorgeous look, lets in maximum light without shading the room it adjoins. But on such a bay window there should be absolute order and dark curtains should be hung so that, if necessary, you can close the room from prying eyes.
A special place is occupied by the French balcony. It is not a room and has a purely decorative function. In essence, this is a narrow area. Its standard dimensions are about 40 cm wide.With the help of it you can admire the view, but you will not be able to walk on it or store things, let alone place furniture. Usually such balconies have wrought iron railing or panoramic windows.
How to do it yourself: step by step
Many residents of the first floors dream of having a balcony. But what if the design of the house does not imply this structure? You can build it yourself.
This structure, according to the law, can only be built on the first floor. On the second, it is also possible, but for this you need to spend a lot of time and effort.
For its construction, the first thing is to get permission for redevelopment so that all alterations are legal. It is not so easy to do this, but it is still possible, of course, if your house is not an architectural monument.
Initially, a clear project is needed, which will indicate not only the dimensions, but also all the calculations, supply of communications, the layout of electricity, etc.
To obtain a building permit, in addition to the project, you will need:
- title deeds;
- certificate from the BTI;
- coordination of the architectural department;
- certificates from Vodokanal, Gas Service, Power Grids;
- permission of the management company;
- photographs of the facade of the house.
Of course, you can build a balcony without permission for this, but it's not a fact that you will then be given the opportunity to arrange it. Or they may be obliged to dismantle it with the restoration of the integrity of the building.
After obtaining permission to build a bay window, you can proceed to construction work. It can, in fact, be divided into two parts: the construction of the balcony and its arrangement.
The loggia is much easier to organize. He moved the window block deep into the room, glazed it up and it is ready, but you will have to tinker with the construction of the bay window.
There are two ways to attach a bay window on the ground floor
- With the construction of the foundation.
- With the organization of supports for the base.
When building a balcony on the first floor, it is very convenient that its size can exceed the standard for this house, which will allow you to organize an additional room on it.
Usually, balconies are erected using a strip foundation. This allows you to make a balcony even in an angular shape.When organizing it, you need to firmly tie the foundation of the balcony to the base of the house in order to get a single structure. Moreover, their height should be the same. To determine the depth of the laying, you need to determine how deeply the soil freezes and the level of groundwater flow.
If, when drawing up the layout of the project, you must have a cellar, then it is more convenient to dig a hole for it right away, so that later the walls do not interfere with the opening of the ground.
Then we scald the frame, fasten it to the wall with anchor bolts.
It is necessary to wait 28 days in order for the concrete of the foundation to dry well, after which you can proceed to further construction.
First, reinforced concrete base slabs or wooden logs are installed. Then a wooden floor is laid.
After that, the walls of the bay window are laid out. In order for the laying of foam blocks to hold more reliably, which is especially important if plastic double-glazed windows are installed, you can initially weld the balcony frame completely. Foam blocks must be tightly laid against the wall so that the structure better communicates with the facade of the house.
Waterproofing works are mandatory. They will prevent the walls from collapsing and maintain the integrity of the structure.
Next, the window block is dismantled and a block with a door is installed. Remember that the doors must open into the room.
You can use the balcony of the second floor as a roof, or if your structure goes beyond it, you will have to build it entirely.
At the end of the first part, a window block, a visor, and ebb tides are installed.
Then we move on to interior decoration.
Initially, it is necessary to carry out an electrician and supply heating, but if you plan to light and heat in a new room, install an outlet. Electrical wiring also needs to be routed to the cellar for convenience.
Let's move on to insulation. For this, it is best to use Penoplex. It perfectly retains heat, preventing cold air from penetrating, it is not afraid of condensation. The thickness of the foam for the balcony insulation is 40-60 mm. Laying is carried out over the entire area of the street walls. Then it is closed with moisture resistant plasterboard or PVC panels.
If you are equipping a cellar, then it is necessary to insulate it and ensure complete sealing so that warm air from the balcony does not get there.
If in the place where the balcony is now, there used to be an external air conditioner unit, it must be moved outside the new premises.
For safety reasons, it is better to provide roller shutters that will reliably protect your balcony from burglars.
After you have completely completed the construction and brought up all communications, you need to equip it. Here you can give free rein to imagination, assign various functions to the bay window and arrange a balcony inside, according to its intended purpose.
Most common function. To do this, it is necessary, first of all, to organize a wide window sill for flowers.
It is better to choose waterproof laminate or tiles for finishing the floor. The second way is better to put on a "warm floor". Then you can walk on it without shoes, and also, this will give an additional source of heat.
It is better not to glue the wallpaper in such a room because of the constant humidity. A suitable option is to paint the walls, or decorate them with plastic clapboard.
Also, if your windows will not face north, you will need sun protection. Vertical blinds are perfect for this. They make it easy to adjust the light intensity in your garden. On the north side, it is worthwhile to provide an additional lamp, since in winter the flowers will miss it.
If you have attached a balcony to a private house and are planning to place a winter garden there, then an excellent option for the summer is to provide for the installation of an awning. It will allow air to pass through, it is easy to control it, you can open and close the roof as needed. It is possible to equip it with automatic control and air heating.
The center of the composition in the garden should be a large flower. They can be a palm tree, dracaena or ficus. A rose tree is also suitable if the area allows it to be placed. On the walls, you can organize a rack for installing pots, but you can also simply hang the planter on the walls.
If a fire escape passes through your new space, then it can also be decorated with flowers. For such an accomplishment, you will either need to weld metal circles to it, on which you can subsequently hang the pots, or carefully put them on the steps, without blocking the passage.
An excellent winter garden option is a composition made up of annual plants such as petunias.
Potted roses are also great for landscaping. They will delight you with their flowers all winter, and their smell will remind you of the coming summer.
In the spring, a place can be allocated in the winter garden and seedlings can be grown. Tomatoes, eggplants, peppers will grow well in such conditions, you can grow strawberries. It is also possible to grow vegetables all year round. For this, special varieties of cucumbers and tomatoes have been developed, aimed at growing in a balcony. They do not require pollination, are not tall, and produce large yields in a small area.
To maintain the desired temperature and humidity in the winter garden, it is best to install an air conditioner and a humidifier.
An excellent option to transfer the dining table to the newly appeared area. Most often it is arranged by combining a balcony with a kitchen. In order not to demolish the load-bearing wall, which will not be allowed to you in the BTI, a bar counter is usually installed in place of the protrusion, which replaces the dining table. The ledge on the ceiling is made in the form of an arch. At the same time, a refrigerator will perfectly fit into a niche on the balcony near the counter. This is very important, especially for small apartments with a kitchen of 6 sq. meters and a balcony 3 meters long. In the area of such a dining room, it is better to put laminate or tiles on the floor.
Do not forget, when laying the floor, about the inconspicuous design of the hatch in the cellar. It needs an unobstructed passage, and it should not stand out from the general background of the floor.
You can organize a kind of bar. If you have a good view from the window, the bar counter can be placed on his windowsill. At the same time, organize the painting of a brick wall with a slightly grayish paint and create a loft-style interior.
If the balcony is built wide, then you can fit a full table with a soft kitchenette. It will be convenient to eat with the whole family.
If your balcony is more than 5 sq. m., you can easily arrange a bedroom on it. An excellent option for organizing a bed would be a “bed in a closet”. It will completely retract, does not take up much space when folded. You can also place a folding table and a bedside table, which will not interfere with the folding of the bed.
In this case, it is better to hang tulle and dark curtains on the balcony. Tulle will add coziness, and dark curtains can protect you from the sun while relaxing.
An entire mini-living room can be organized on the wide balcony. For this, it is even possible to arrange a false plasterboard fireplace, install a seating area and enjoy the atmosphere of peace. The device of such a fireplace does not require the use of firewood. You can simply mount an electric fireplace or TV into it and enjoy the illusion of smoldering coals.
You can also make an additional utility room, which will be equipped with storage space for cans, a floor bucket, an ironing board and many other equipment. Also, having brought water and sewerage to the built balcony, you can take out a washing machine, which is usually difficult to determine a place in small apartments.
If the balcony is 6 meters long or more, then it can be easily divided by a partition and several functions can be combined on it. For dividing the space, a moisture-resistant drywall or a plastic door is best suited.Like the house as a whole, on the balcony, it is necessary to close up cracks and seams, paint periodically if the facade is painted.
Separate consideration here deserves an attached balcony with an increased size. This is because all the rubbish people throw out of windows will end up on your roof. And in order not to spoil the view from the windows to neighbors, it is necessary to periodically arrange its washing.
Many will say that there is no need to litter. But there are also people living in the house who do not do this, and they will not be very pleased to look at the pile of garbage and cigarette butts on your roof. Therefore, if you have already built a large bay window, take the trouble to arrange its washing at least 2 times a year.