Features and Benefits
Combining a balcony with a living room is perhaps the only way to increase usable living space, especially in small apartments. After planning and a series of installation work, you can get a new, very original interior. There are 2 ways of such a combination: removal of a window and a balcony door without a window sill space or its complete dismantling together with a sill. In the second case, it is necessary to coordinate the redevelopment with utilities and BTI, and the complexity of the work increases.
Combining a balcony with a room has the following advantages:
- the area of the room increases;
- the room becomes more illuminated;
- the apartment acquires an original design.
- But this method of expanding the useful space has its drawbacks:
- the complexity of the work;
- in the case of a complete dismantling of the sill and the window sill, a mandatory agreement with the BTI;
- additional thermal insulation is required.
If all these difficulties do not frighten the owners of the apartment, then you can start work, which will include 4 stages: the creation of a redevelopment project, approval in the BTI, dismantling of existing floors, finishing of a new space.
Coordination in the BTI
If it is planned to demolish the balcony partition completely, then it will not be easy to legalize all operations, a number of documents are required from state bodies, in particular, permission from the housing inspection and a detailed work plan agreed with the design organization. First, you should contact the BTI and take the registration certificate for the apartment, then order a redevelopment project with it in the appropriate organization. Such performers must have a mandatory certificate for carrying out such work.
There are many nuances associated with the dismantling of balcony ceilings. For example, a balcony must necessarily have glazing with sliding doors; it is impossible to bring radiator batteries into its territory from a dismantled window sill wall. If all the redevelopment work is approved by the housing inspectorate, then you can proceed to their execution. At the end of the dismantling, a commission is called, which evaluates the redevelopment and draws up an act of completion of the work. With this document, you must again contact the BTI to reissue the registration certificate for an apartment with a new layout.
How to redevelop
Before starting any redevelopment, it should be remembered that the balcony and the living room have a different climate, so the converted room should be comfortable for living in all seasons. On the loggia, there is usually a minimum of cladding and bare concrete partitions, and in a combined room it is worth making high-quality interior decoration and thermal insulation.
With a simple expansion of the room without dismantling the supporting structures and coordinating in the utilities, the task comes down to removing windows, frames, doors and door frames and then finishing and insulating the resulting space. First, doors, ordinary windows with vents or double-glazed windows are removed from the hinges. Then the frames, door frame and anchoring beams are removed. To do this, you need: a crowbar or a small pry bar, a hacksaw for wood and a hammer. In a panel house, especially if double-glazed windows were installed before, there may be metal pins that need to be cut off with a grinder or a hacksaw for metal.
The main problem that is first encountered when continuing work is the different floor levels in the room and on the loggia. This is due to the fact that the load-bearing slabs have different thicknesses. To extend the floor of the same level from the room, you can use self-leveling technologies using dry leveling mixtures. This method has a significant drawback - there will be a large load on the balcony ceiling, these slabs may not be designed for such a weight.
Another more efficient and safer way to combine levels in both rooms is to use timber-framed floors. At the same time, one more advantage will be achieved: thermal insulation made of foam plastic, mineral wool or other insulating material, additional moisture protection or a heating system can be placed under the top layer of such a coating.
Next, the question arises about the insulation of the front and side walls of the balcony. The combined room will have a larger volume, and the outer walls of the loggia in standard apartments are not so insulated to maintain a comfortable temperature in winter. The difficulty is also that it is impossible to expand the radiators from central heating to the balcony area. Therefore, it is necessary to insulate the outer walls as much as possible.
For insulation, as well as vapor barrier, protection from noise and moisture, penofol is effective - a material made of foamed polyethylene and a foil coating. It has a small thickness, therefore, saves space, comes in rolls and is glued with aluminum tape. The second suitable insulation is polystyrene, the main advantage of which is the price. But despite the low cost, it effectively copes with the protection from the cold. Styrofoam sheets are fixed in the wall frame, the gaps between them are foamed, moisture and vapor protection is installed upstairs, then the finish coating.
Mineral wool is an inorganic fiberglass material. Compared to other heat insulators, it has the main drawback - it pricks during installation, even if you protect your hands and face as much as possible, some particles will get on the skin, which causes discomfort. But unlike other materials, it can clog any gap.
The most expensive material for insulating a balcony is polystyrene foam or expanded polystyrene with a layer of foil. It has not only excellent thermal insulation, but also vapor barrier, moisture and chemical resistance. Rolls of foam are easily rolled into a thin and durable layer.
Some owners, when combining a loggia and an apartment, also use external thermal insulation from the side of the street. To do this, they can mount a thermal fur coat based on mineral wool or foam. The complexity of the work lies in the fact that it is problematic to install an insulating layer on the outer walls of the apartment. Therefore, for high floors, some are forced to order special vehicles for work.
After the issue of thermal insulation is resolved, they proceed to the final finishing of the combined space. Ideally, a living room or kitchen combined with a balcony should have a single look, so it is best to carry out all the repairs of the floors, walls and ceiling at the same time.
The window-sill space remaining after dismantling can be successfully used as a small table or a bar counter. For this, its lateral sides are leveled, putty and covered with paint or wallpaper. It is important to take into account that in this small wall, batteries from the central heating system are most often located inside. Therefore, finishing must be carried out, given that this is a place with high temperatures. A tabletop is usually installed on the upper part of the window sill.
Another option for using this small wall is for shelving. Additional shelves made of wood or plastic are installed on the upper part. The result is a very stylish and functional interior element. This idea is especially successful if there is a bedroom inside, and outside there is a workplace with a desk and a computer. Books, documents and other office supplies are placed on the rack.
If the wall separating the loggia and the room is completely dismantled, then you should take care of the redevelopment of central heating systems in advance. External or built-in batteries must be removed, which will require skilled locksmith and welder work. But after the redevelopment, you can maximize the area of the room.
The resulting U-shaped opening is decorated in different ways. You can create a separation of functional areas using an arched floor. This is a very popular method that looks impressive, but does not visually diminish the free space. The arch can be symmetrical or uneven, rounded, with right angles or in the shape of a trapezoid. Most often, these elements are made from a plasterboard frame with metal stiffeners, less often from wood or plastic. You can additionally highlight the zones using spot lighting.
Another method of separating two zones is with curtains, screens or sliding doors. They will also help create a shade inside the bedroom or living room, if it is a very bright day outside, and in cool weather protect it a little from low temperatures.
It is possible to connect two former rooms together without separating two different zones by means of common decoration, decor and lighting. Then you just get a more spacious and bright room. But it must be borne in mind that in this case it is necessary to insulate not only the walls and floors, but also the ceiling, since it has the same thin and non-insulated balcony slab.
As for lighting, you can use common lamps that relate to the room, especially since there is excellent natural light on the balcony most of the day. It is possible to conduct point devices or, for example, a floor lamp, to the outer zone, but additional power cables from the home network will be required.
The most complete picture of such a redevelopment can be obtained by studying the numerous reviews from families who have used this method. Most find it quite original and effective, especially for a one-room apartment with a small living space. But the owners most often prefer the partial dismantling of doors and double-glazed windows without completely destroying the load-bearing wall and troublesome red tape to agree on redevelopment in the BTI.
Most often, they prefer to combine the bedroom and the loggia, creating at the latter a small work area with a miniature desk or a relaxation area with armchairs. Another popular type of connection is a kitchen with a bar counter on the window sill.
Interesting ideas in interior design
A single space with the preservation of the sill and window sill space. There are options to combine the loggia with the hall without complicated installation and coordination with the BTI. This creates an impressive interior in a city apartment.
Combining a balcony with a nursery with a single color scheme and design. At the same time, load-bearing floors and central heating radiators are not affected. There is a comfortable sleeping place in the room area, and a comfortable study area in the balcony compartment.
The working room on the balcony is quite suitable for the comfortable work of one person. Adequate amount of natural light plays an important role here, which is important for sedentary work. At the same time, the former window has been converted into an elegant bookcase.
Combining balcony and bedroom with complete dismantling of load-bearing ceilings. At the same time, the room looks like a single whole, but the functional areas are clearly separated by different floor levels and beautiful curtains.
If the balcony is connected to the kitchen, then the most successful option is to equip the window-sill space for a bar counter with a massive countertop. It is both a stylish decorative element and a place for eating or relaxing for a small company.