Balconies are one of the most romantic architectural nuances. They bring to mind secret meetings between star-crossed lovers, beautiful views of nature, and intimate conversations with loved ones over cups of coffee. But on a practical level, they can increase your outdoor living space for less than the cost of ground-floor deck.
On the off chance that you’re thinking about adding a gallery to your subsequent story, you’ll need to choose the best plan, materials, and worker for hire for your spending plan and your objectives. The following are a couple of things to contemplate as you start this tomfoolery project.
How to build a second floor balcony
A small second-story balcony is a fairly simple project, but is best left to the pros. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have control over the finished product. Here are the design aspects you’ll want to consider before hiring a contractor:
When you choose the spot for your balcony, you don’t want to just look at the outside. You’re going to need to build a doorway and access point from your bedroom (or whatever room you choose to connect it to). It’s important to locate the access point in a convenient place, e.g., not smack in the middle of the only wall in your room big enough to fit your dresser without blocking the closet.
You may want to create two access points so that the balcony is accessible from two rooms—for example, a bedroom and master bath or two sibling bedrooms. Also consider whether you’ll want an exterior access point via a stairway, since this will affect the initial design.
Typical balcony materials include wood, cement, wood composite, and vinyl. Cement is structurally sound and holds up well to the elements, but it doesn’t match everyone’s idea of a relaxing outdoor oasis. However, it can be painted or stained to match your home, so don’t rule it out based on the thought of a chalky gray color. Wood is, of course, a classic balcony material that can be sealed against the elements, but it may need to be resealed every couple of years anyway. Wood composite requires slightly less maintenance than wood but also tends to be a little pricier. Vinyl is easy to install, reasonably priced, and can mimic the look of wood. Both composite and vinyl can be scrubbed when they start to look a little discolored.
Size is an important factor, especially because you don’t want to create an overhang that blocks the sunlight from reaching the ground floor. A balcony that extends four feet outward is a reasonable size for accommodating a few chairs and two to three people. But if you’re planning to use your balcony for storage or to extend your entertaining space, you may want look into a bigger structure or opt for a ground-floor deck.
The style of your balustrade very much defines the aesthetic of your balcony. Wood, metal, vinyl, glass panes, and concrete are common railing types. Choose a balustrade that forms a decorative semi-circle, angular lines, or a single straight line.
Permits can be a bit of a buzzkill when you’re excited about a project and want to get moving. But they’re an important part of maintaining the architectural integrity of your home and keeping you and your loved ones safe. A second-story balcony will require a permit from your city before construction can begin.
If you’ve chosen a contractor with the appropriate credentials and licenses, he or she will be able to guide you through the permitting process and give you valuable design advice. Before selecting your contractor, make sure you’ve requested multiple estimates and have verified the credentials of each candidate. You don’t want someone completing a potentially dangerous project on your property if they lack experience or the requisite insurance.
Before you start building anything, there are a few things you’ll need to consider during the planning process.
First, determine the size you want your bedroom balcony to be. It can be a small ledge to walk onto and enjoy the view or a large patio where you can sit and relax.
The size of your balcony is largely determined by the size of your home. Not to mention, the larger it is, the more support you’ll need.
Get the Right Permits
Like any major home improvement project, you’ll need to get building permits before starting. You’ll need to speak with your city and obtain a permit to ensure your home’s structure is safe to build a second story balcony.
The Right Railings Make All the Difference
Railings are a major part of your bedroom balcony. Not only are they used to keep you safe and prevent anyone from falling, but they can completely change the aesthetics. It can be the difference between improving your home’s curb appeal and creating an eye-sore.
You have many material and style options available. They can be iron rails, glass slates, stone or brick walls or anything else that meets your needs. Just make sure it doesn’t clash with your home’s exterior because it’ll take away from the look of your home.
Keep the Bugs Out with a Screened-In Balcony
Another fantastic option is to enclose your balcony with screens. It’s perfect for keeping bugs out while still enjoying the fresh air and natural light. Screened balconies have all the benefits of being inside and outside wrapped in one package.
Building a second story balcony can be done by yourself, but it’s much safer and easier to hire a professional. Working high up has obvious safety risks and if it isn’t something you do everyday, it could be very intimidating. Professional builders do this for a living and will have no problem building your balcony quickly and efficiently.
Before hiring a professional, make sure you’ve verified their credentials. You want to hire a contractor who’s trustworthy and does a good job. Ask to see pictures of their previous work so you get an idea of what your bedroom balcony will look like.
You’ll Need the Right Furniture for Your Bedroom Balcony
Now that your bedroom balcony is built, you’ll need to furnish it. A lot of the furniture you’ll be picking is determined by the size of your balcony. For instance, a four foot wide balcony is large enough for a couple of chairs and table only. We’ll go over some of our favorite balcony furniture below.
A Patio Table and Chairs is Perfect
As we mentioned, smaller balconies only have enough room for a couple of chairs and maybe a table. That might be all you need though. It’s the perfect place to read the paper and enjoy a cup of coffee on Sunday morning. Doesn’t that sound relaxing?
Have a Large Balcony? You’ll Have Space for Bigger Furniture
If you have more space on your balcony, you can get more creative. One popular option is to go with long lawn chairs. It’s perfect for sunbathing or resting on your bedroom balcony.
Another option you may like is an arm chair that you’d typically find in a living room. It’s a more comfortable way to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air. If you do go this route, we recommend getting an awning to protect your furniture as well.
Let’s say you went all out with your bedroom balcony and it’s really big. Then you can put and entire patio set out there. This is perfect for homes that don’t have a backyard. Your second story balcony is a makeshift patio.
Make Breakfast in Bed with a Small Outdoor Kitchen
Another route you can go with a large balcony is to create a small outdoor kitchen. Having a grill and counter space outside will allow you to make breakfast in bed for a special someone or make your own breakfast and relax outside on a cool summer morning.
Enter Your Balcony in Style with Beautiful Patio Doors
There’s more to your balcony than you think. Your patio door plays a major role in it’s looks and functionality. You have many different patio door options available so allow us to help you decide what’s best for your balcony.
There are two different styles to choose from: sliding patio doors and French patio doors. Sliding patio doors are easy to operate thanks to them opening and closing on a sliding track. They’ll also blur the lines between your bedroom and the balcony creating a more open feeling.
Sliding patio doors can be made from many materials but vinyl is the best option. Think of them like a large sliding window. You want the glass to be double or triple pane and the frame to be insulated. The only material that offers that would be vinyl. Plus, they’re durable enough to handle the Midwest weather without warping, rotting or expanding.
You can enter your bedroom balcony in style with a French patio door. They’re extremely elegant and swing open on a hinge which you can determine the direction (inwards or outwards). You can also choose whether it’s a two or three panel door.
French patio doors should be treated like an entry door, meaning they’re best when made from steel or fiberglass. Steel and fiberglass entry doors are foam-filled and energy efficient. Moisture won’t cause them to warp or rot either so they’re perfect for the Midwest.
When Midwest homeowners need a new patio door, they turn to Feldco. We’ll make sure you get the perfect door for your bedroom balcony and it’s installed properly. Get a free quote now and see why over 400,000 homeowners have trusted us with their home improvement project.
Add the Finishing Touch with a Gorgeous Window Treatment
You can further improve the look of your patio door with a gorgeous window treatment. The style you choose is up to you. They could be thick, elegant cloth curtains or slick, clean vinyl blinds and anything in between.
Another benefit of window treatments is the added privacy you’ll get when they’re closed. You don’t want your bedroom on display for everyone to see. The large windows of a patio door would surely do that if they’re not covered.
Curtains also add to the elegance of the entryway. It feels extravagant every time you pass through. Window treatments will improve the look of your balcony as well as your bedroom.
Time to Decorate Your Balcony
You can add a personal touch to your bedroom balcony with decoration. There’s no limit to what you can put on your balcony to catch the attention of your neighbors. The key is to not get too wild otherwise it’ll detract from your home’s curb appeal.
Add a Little Green with Potted Plants and Flowers
Having plants around your balcony gives it a lively, eco-friendly vibe that’s trending right now. The types of plants you choose are completely up to you. They can be small potted plants or even little trees.
Flowers are another great addition to your bedroom balcony for a splash of color and vibrancy.
Wall Mounted Lights Are an Elegant Touch
You’ll need a light on your balcony, especially at night. Since there’s no ceiling above, the best option is a wall mounted light. They’ll illuminate your bedroom balcony and show off it’s beauty even during the darkest nights. Plus, you can now use your balcony at all hours of the day without having to sit in the pitch black.
Avoid Hanging Flags
There’s nothing that’ll detract from the look of your bedroom balcony more than hanging a flag. We get it, you have an affinity for a sports team or your nationality and you want to display that pride. Hanging a flag from your bedroom balcony isn’t the way to do that. It gives your home the look of a college dorm. We recommend avoiding this at all costs.
Build the Bedroom Balcony of Your Dreams
Having a bedroom balcony can be a beautiful oasis attached to your home. You can relax outside, enjoy more fresh air and improve your home’s curb appeal and value all at once.
You’ll need to make sure it’s built sturdy and has the right railing to guarantee safety. If this isn’t something you’re comfortable doing on your own, we suggest you hire a professional.
There’s also more to your bedroom balcony than the balcony itself. You’ll need great furniture, decorations and a patio door. Everything will come together to create the perfect space for you to relax.
Speaking of patio doors, Feldco is here to make sure you get exactly what you’re looking for. We custom make our doors to fit your needs so no matter the size, we’re here to help. Get a free quote and get your patio door project started today!