The balcony is a great place to unwind and spend time outside. Still, most homeowners frequently use it as a storeroom or a miniature garden or leave it unattended without using it frequently. Even though nature’s forces aren’t always kind, it’s important to furnish the balcony with the appropriate furniture, upholstered pieces, décor, and shielding to ensure that it can endure any weather.
Designing the ideal balcony enclosure can take time, especially if the home or apartment is small. Fortunately, there are several creative ways to design the little area, the majority of which you will be familiar with by the end of this article.
What is a Balcony Enclosure?
A balcony enclosure is a frame that is attached to an existing balcony structure and converts it into more of an indoor or hybrid space indoors and outdoors, depending on the season. For instance, adding a glass-paned enclosure to a balcony effectively converts it into a sunroom.
Why Install Balcony Enclosures for Apartments?
There are multiple reasons why you might consider installing a balcony screen enclosure. Some of these include the following:
- To create an extra room for your apartment.
- For temperature control or protection from harsh weather. (rain, wind, etc.)
- To keep pests and insects away.
- As a safety precaution for those with kids or pets.
Considerations Before Enclosing a Balcony
It would be best to look into the following before considering enclosing your balcony:
- Building Regulations, Rules, and Codes
Every building is subject to specific norms, rules, and regulations, some of which may be related to those of other buildings. Research these codes, laws, and restrictions before acting on your ideas. Along with national restrictions, this includes details on permission requirements, view blockage, and safety regulations.
- The Balcony’s Nature
Here, you need to understand whether the nature of the balcony you have belongs to the owners’ area or the community property. This informs you of your boundaries and whether exclusive rights might protect them.
- Cost of Balcony Enclosure
You now need to decide if you can afford the enclosure style you want. You decide whether to do it yourself or employ an interior decorator. How much do you plan to spend on it? What style of décor do you desire? If you think you can afford it, you can begin planning its creation.
Top Ideas for Creating an Enclosed Balcony
If you’ve decided to create an enclosed balcony, below are some top ideas for you to explore.
- Wooden Balcony Enclosure
Wooden balcony enclosures’ inclusion in design makes outdoor leisure time considerably more enjoyable. Renters should not choose this because the majority of buildings have restrictions. In some cases, one can ensure that the wooden structure is free-standing or attached simply to the railing rather than the building.
It can successfully divide your balcony from your neighbor’s. Maintenance is crucial; it must be weatherproofed at least once a year to ensure the elements are kept in good shape and are usable for years to come. Additionally, you can style it however you choose.
- Bamboo/Straw Walls Enclosed Balcony
Straw or bamboo walls are a fantastic and remarkably universal solution for balcony enclosures that provide significant benefits. It looks fantastic, to start with, and it is relatively affordable and doesn’t take up much space. This feature allows almost anyone to afford it.
The main flaw in this technique is the fragility of the straws. It will deteriorate when exposed to unfavorable weather conditions, such as rain or intense sunlight. But when the new season starts, you can swap out the current cover for a new one.
- Glass Balcony Enclosures
With a glass balcony enclosure, your balcony effectively becomes a sunroom for your apartment or another indoor space. The main and only difference between the framed and frameless glass enclosures is their appearance. You can utilize them in various ways by opening them like windows. Glass balcony enclosures are excellent for regulating temperature and weather, and many options are available.
Most of the time, it is built permanently and is expensive to make because it needs to be professionally placed. Cleaning the outside could also be challenging, depending on where it is located. Overall, it is not ideal for renters.
- Screen Balcony Enclosure
A screen is one of the easiest balcony enclosure ideas to find. You could use screen mesh, like a big screen, or a patterned screen. This crosses over into privacy screens, with more options available, including professional installation. Notwithstanding, DIY could save you money. It is also a good safety enclosure for protecting kids and pets while keeping bugs out.
Its major cons include little weather protection and the possibility of making the apartment darker. Although these are minor considerations for you, it is a good choice.
- Canvas/Fabric Balcony Enclosures
A canvas stretched over a frame or mounted on canvas blinds and then set in place at the bottom makes up a canvas balcony screen enclosure. Because you can handle everything yourself, this is the easiest alternative for renters, as there is no need for invasive DIY work.
Anything that doesn’t leave a mark might be used to hold everything in place, including adhesive hooks and staples. It is waterproof, so it can be used anywhere, but it is not the most appealing choice because it obstructs your balcony view. Additionally, the canvas or cloth will eventually need to be replaced.
Next Steps After Enclosing a Balcony
After enclosing your balcony, you are left with an empty indoor room. So what next? It would help if you made it appealing and liveable to fit your taste. Here are two major steps to take.
This is the point where you put the finishing touches on the room. You can add aesthetically pleasing accessories, furniture, shelves, and other things to fit your taste. This generally involves decorating it as you please while including the necessities like proper lighting.
- Protect the enclosure
To ensure that your enclosure is protected, you can use wood paneling, metal siding, vinyl strip siding, and so on. These make the balcony appear to be a part of the interior.
A balcony enclosure is definitely your best bet if you want a sunroom or want to increase your level of privacy while opening up the space. They offer numerous customization options depending on your unit.
To be on the safe side, always review the restrictions you must abide by and make sure you choose a solution that complements the overall design of your flat.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is the cost of enclosing a balcony?
A balcony enclosure costs at least $500, depending on factors such as the size or material used, the type of labor used, the size of the balcony, the type of enclosure, and permits. The cheapest solutions are balconies enclosed with straw walls. Fabrics, wood, and glass are more expensive, while plant-based balcony enclosures depend on the quantity and species of the plants.
- In what areas is frameless balcony enclosure preferred?
The cutting-edge frameless balcony enclosure is ideal for residential and commercial buildings. It is occasionally used by landlords as well. If the latter situation applies to you, understand what kind of system is permitted.
- Are balcony enclosures and privacy screens any different?
Privacy screens differ from balcony enclosures in that they often maintain the balcony’s external status while obstructing interior views. Frequently, privacy screens will be made of mesh, bamboo panels, or a similar material. A balcony enclosure could also be used as a privacy screen by adding curtains or blinds, but this isn’t its primary use.
- What’s the best way to enclose a balcony?
There isn’t just one optimal way to enclose a balcony; everyone has various tastes. The legal requirements are important, yet they could be rather strict in apartment complexes. However, balcony enclosures made of wood or vegetation are one of the most common and seem to be the best option. Still, glass balcony enclosures are popular among homeowners.