14 Tips for Relaxing Balcony Design of Your House!
Mahadev Desai is the Founder and CEO of gharpedia.com and SDCPL a leading design consultancy firm having strong national presence. He has a degree in Civil Engineering (BE) and Law (LLB) and has rich experience of 45 years. Besides being the Editor in Chief, he also mentors team at GharPedia. He is associated with many professional bodies. He is also co-founder of 1mnt.in the first in Industry software for contractors’ billing. He is a voracious reader, edited 4 books, and pioneer of book reading movement in Gujarat, India.
The balcony is one of the outdoor spaces where you can get a breath of fresh air & also the good view of the outside environment. It is a space in the house where you can feel either cool or warm but feel the fresh breeze of the outside while still being inside the house. It is an area in the house where you can feel either cool or warm fresh breeze inside your house. Therefore a good balcony design can make you feel relaxed & at ease.
Here are some tips that will help you to design balcony for your home:
The balcony serves a different purpose in cold climate like Europe, Northeast US, Canada or hot-warm and humid climate like India. Thus its design, size and function would vary depending upon the climate.
In hot climate the balconies protect the rooms from heating. This will keep the rooms cool. It will also very much depend on which direction it is facing. Balcony in east would be pleasant in morning during winter. Similarly balconies in west or south in summer would not be comfortable till late evening.
It should also have enough protections from rainwater during rains or monsoon. The balcony should also have provision for drainage of rain water in form spouts or down take pipes otherwise the rain water will enter in the room.
02. Type of House & Room:
The balcony is the perfect place where you can spend either barbeque or light tea-coffee season with friends & family and enjoy summer evening outdoor. If you don’t have a garden in your house, you can set up a cosy retreat in your balcony as outdoor spaces with the set up of outdoor furniture depending on the size of your balcony.
Again the nature of balcony design would vary from type of a house i.e. is it within a villa or a bungalow or is it within a small apartment or a multi storied flat or in a row house or a condonium?
It’s object and use will also depend on with which type of room it is attached i.e. room with balcony like with living room, bedroom or a dining room?
03. Look at Your Space:
First of all, see that your house has enough space for a balcony. Though it does not require a big space, it has to be adequate. It depends on you and how you want your balcony to be! Just be sure that it looks in proportion to the house, and it should not look ugly too. You just can’t place balcony anywhere you want!
04. Make a Good Plan, Size:
First, have a vision on how you want your balcony to be, and plan it very carefully. Look into the space you have and then decide what you want to do in that space. Maybe some place for seating & plants can be considered. Consider your overall space and know what elements can be placed there.
When the balcony is designed along the width of the rooms, most of the balconies are 10’ to 12’ wide with generally 4’ depth. Though this admeasures 40 sq. ft. it is not ideal shape for sitting. Instead a square one with 6’ to 7’ will be ideal shape & suitable for comfortable outdoor furniture & other decor items to display. It can accommodate four chairs or even a small swing.
In India the balconies are generally provided as projections in margins, as they are free of FSI at many places. Hence the builders sell and earn out of that but functionally it may not be ideal from user’s perspective.
05. The Usage:
You need to determine the use of your balcony; the usage will tell you what you are supposed to place in your balcony. If you are thinking to use it during nighttime enjoyment, then it will be different from the use for resting & relaxation during the day.
Many people will like to have a Swing (Zula) in the balcony design for either relaxing or quiet book reading or listening music or even meditation when have an attached room with balcony.
However the tragic story is that in India and Asian countries, though the balcony design is meant for relaxing it is mostly used for drying clothes, seeing road side processions or even as a store. When provided with dining or kitchen it is mostly used as a wash place in apartment buildings or flats.
The square balcony would be more functional than rectangular. If it is adequately large, you can even do meditation, yoga or even aerobic exercises.
It is very important to know the structural stability for carrying load of your balcony. It should be capable of resisting even occasional overcrowding. This is not serious in RCC buildings but critical in wooden framed or even load bearing structures. So, be sure that material used for balcony is light weight and has been checked by an engineer for safety. Always consult structural engineer for any doubt.
The balcony railings should also be sturdy and properly fixed and anchored. Apart from vertical members, the balcony railings should also be fixed at both ends in sidewalls. Its design should be safe for children.
Avoid any horizontal member, as the children can easily climb over it which can be dangerous. The height of the railing should preferably be minimum 1000 mm or 3’-3” instead of 3’-0″ provided normally.
07. Give a Good View:
Looking at the beautiful world around you can naturally feel more relaxed. Look for best spot for your balcony design where you can have a good view of the garden, the beach and other attractive outdoor scenarios if available within your neighbourhood. This way your balcony can be a good place to mingle with nature & environment.
08. Bring the Indoors Out:
Having balcony is like bringing your indoor to outside. The Room with balcony is a place, which extends your indoor space to the outdoor spaces. You can link your balcony to the indoor design of your home, this way; you will give the continuity & consistency of balcony design. It would be a lot of fun designing your balcony especially when you really prepare for all your needs to make it more beautiful.
09. Add Outdoor Furniture:
You can place some nice outdoor furniture in the balcony design so that you can relax and read books, listen music while looking the beauty around you. Let your outdoor furniture complement with the interior of your home interior design concept. Make sure that the outdoor furniture is not so small nor too big for the outdoor spaces, it should be in proportion with the space of your balcony design.
10. Give Pleasant Touch with Plants:
You can add lighter & pleasant touch by placing plants in your balcony design. Decide how you want your balcony to be, you can choose ornamental plants or flowering plants according to your choice. Make sure your plants should not be too big with respect to balcony space.
11. Watering Facility for Plants:
A small garden with few flowering & other show plants will add life to it. If there is no adequate space you can even hang small pots from your balcony ceiling.
However it is not wise to carry water from wash to the balcony. If you have plants in the balcony, you will have to arrange supply of water preferably by piping in your balcony design. You can install drip irrigation system or timer so that your plants will get enough water even when the sun is up and there is no rain. Watering manually will be demanding and tiring.
12. Add Good Lights:
Do not forget to place a required light in your balcony design. Choose the right lights for your balcony, but do not make it too lighted. You can use pin lights so you can use area even during the night. It will add more beauty to your balcony.
13. Railings Drop Pardis etc.:
The design of railings or drop pardi should be simple. It should not become a shelter for birds. It should be easy to clean and maintain.
14. Covering Balcony:
Many people cover the balcony with glass so that it can be protected from rain as well as dust or as a protection from mosquitoes or insects. But it definitely takes away some of its benefits if kept open. However while covering always check whether you have a statutory permission for the same and is it structurally safe?