Balconies, by design, are small areas on the outside of a home that offer you a chance to get outside without leaving the upper floors. Typically they are not used for gathering spots or entertaining guests. Instead, the morning cup of coffee or a late night gaze at the stars is their primary use.
In this article, we will look at how balcony design can increase your home's value and give you a quiet little place to relax before or after your day. If planned properly and done correctly a balcony can add aesthetics and value to your home with little cost or effort on your part.
In just a few short steps you can have a small exit into the world without having to leave your front door.
Add-on or Improving an Existing Balcony Design?
The first thing you need to establish is if you will be creating the balcony design from scratch or improving a pre existing balcony.
It is much easier and cost effective to improve a balcony that is already there. However, your design features are more limited. If you are adding a balcony to your home, there are more possibilities, but there are also more things to consider and costs to incur.
Existing balcony makeovers are pretty simple. Because the balcony design is already there, you won’t need to acquire a new permit. You should double check with your HoA or municipal clerk to make sure, just in case your county or city requires a permit for any outside construction.
If you are building new, you will need a permit in most cases. You can apply through your county clerk's office, or wherever your city handles construction permits. If you in doubt a call to the city hall will be able to steer you in the right direction.
With (or without if it isn’t required) permit in hand, you are ready to plan and design your balcony project. You need to make a few decisions before you can begin, such as size of the balcony and location, of course. You will also need to decide what materials you will be constructing the balcony from.
A balcony is a major construction effort if not only because of the above ground level location. If you are not well equipped with eh knowledge and safety procedures, this is not a DIY style project.
A professional contractor should be hired to complete the construction for you. When obtaining a contractor, you need to ensure that everything is included in your quote so there won’t be any surprises later on.
Your quote should cover a minimum of:
- Labor costs
- Material costs
- Permits required
- Duration of project
- Removal of construction debris
- Miscellaneous extras
You should attempt to get a minimum of three quotes and go with the best option for you. This may not always be the lowest bid, but the one that is the most complete and works well with your given time frame.
Balcony Construction Costs
How much does a balcony design cost? A lot of the cost depends on the size and materials used. One of the largest fees will be in the materials. You will want to design your balcony with your contractor so they can assist in measurements. Doing so will allow them to give you a more accurate quote and ensure they purchase enough materials to complete the job on time.
According to HomeAdvisor, a balcony should cost between $20 and $45 per square foot. Of course, your overall costs may be higher or lower, depending on the size, shape, and materials used.
Wooden balconies, for example, are easier to build and take less time than wrought iron balconies. Your materials and labor costs will come into play. Ensure you have a budget to cover the construction costs and leave enough room to handle unexpected expenses (such as if you decide to add lighting.).
Balcony Design Ideas
If you need help figuring out what your balcony should look like, we have you covered. Following are designs and material ideas to help kick-start your brainstorming sessions so you can find the perfect balcony for you and your home.
Stainless Steel balconies are relatively low cost and make the most use of the available space. You will be able to use stainless steel for any style thought eh construction sets off the modern home and post-modern chic styles.
If your home has a larger surface area for the balcony you can save a lot of money in the balcony costs by going with stainless steel. It is one of the most cost-effective materials available.
Along with the rather band design flaws of stainless steel, you can spend the rest of your budget on the railings, balustrades, and details. With little extra cost, you can make the balcony really stand out (no pun intended) form the rest of your home for that eye-catching appeal.
Stainless steel balconies are also very secure and among the designs that are least likely to need repairs often.
Glass balconies are something to behold. Not only are they intriguing, but they add instant value to your home. The designs are more expensive because of the nature of working with glass, but the result is worth the extra cost.
You can opt for a complete glass balcony as well, to include glass flooring, glass walls, and glass accents.
Construction doesn't take as long once it begins when dealing with glass, although the preparation and material gathering will negate this. Once everything is ready to begin, a glass balcony goes up faster than any other type.
If your structure doesn't support a full balcony, you can still make use of the full-size opening. If you have a door, French doors or a full-size window, you may want to add a Juliette balcony for safety.
The value of the home will increase some because of the safety aspect, and you can enjoy the views without worry. A Juliette balcony cannot be stepped out onto, but the railing or glass wall can be leaned on and pressed against.
The main idea behind these types of balconies is to provide a safety net for second or third-floor openings. They are the least expensive type of balcony and construction is usually completed in a day or two.
While not traditional, if done properly you can add interesting detail to your home while giving you a way to leave your full-sized window or door open to the warm days.
Lounging balconies are designed to be used for relaxation and comfort. They are usually intricately designed and will include enough space for patio furniture, lounge chairs or even an outdoor sofa.
The construction materials will vary based on the desired size. Because these balconies tend to be much larger, the house structure must be able to withstand the weight. Proper measurements and structure, foundation and support beam inspections must be made.
These types of balconies are among the most expensive based on their massive size. Once completed, though, the balcony will be almost as large as the porch and deck below. You will have enough room to walk around, sit, stand and have multiple people out on it at once.
Walls or Balustrades
One of the most important details will be to decide if your balcony design will include walls or balustrades. Both are safety and security devices, and both can add an aesthetic touch to the finished project.
Just because they have a purpose doesn’t mean they can’t add eye-pleasing value. Walls will be larger, obviously and tend to cost more, but you can do more with them. Adding railings to walls and steel or iron design work will give the finished project extra punch.
Balustrades, on the other hand, can be varied in size, style, and height. With the right contractor and design, they can be just as beautiful to look at as they are functional.
You may even opt for a mixture of both if the mood suits you.
When making a balcony design, you have a lot to think about. Not only do you need to decide what type of balcony you want, but you must also think about what it will be made from.
Some of the most value increasing designs are glass and stainless steel. Instant value is raised when these are installed. With proper planning, a balcony can add functionality and safety to an otherwise open doorway.Making use of this exterior space will give you a place to hang out while raising the value of your home should you want to sell it.