A balcony increases comfort and quality in objects immensely. After all, you can enjoy the sun from your own four walls. But the desired balcony was not always realized in building projects. So it can be that the finished building is missing a few fine-tuning. In other cases, a house was acquired that could actually be perfect – if only there was a balcony! If the room is also renovated and the room layout changes, there is often room for a new terrace. The good news is that adding a balcony can also be done after the fact. To do this, it must first be planned, using various CAD software. Here builders can also become active themselves as laypeople, because as long as all building law requirements are met, nothing stands in the way of the dream of a balcony.
This is how the preparation works
Planning is half the success – but when it comes to construction, you have to plan it yourself. Because if a balcony is to be attached to the building, various points must be observed. These are three specific aspects that must be carefully considered and checked so that nothing stands in the way of successful construction.
The structural analysis
A balcony is usually added to the existing building. It therefore requires a lot of planning and calculations so that the result is not only high quality, but above all safe. Additions change the structure of the building, which can sometimes lead to life-threatening collapses. However, there are many different variations of balconies that can be realized. If one version is therefore not possible, the other options must also be played through.
In this sense, not every place on the wall is suitable for adding a balcony. If weight is derived at the wrong point, the statics will be affected. In any case, however, the work of the structural engineer and therefore an expert must be obtained. As a result, this determines whether the desired measures can be carried out. However, in order to make the process easier, builders can also make some thoughts in advance and write them down. The rough planning of the balcony plays a role here. Because the structural engineer is given the desired locations and the data for the dream balcony. Points that must be taken into account on the part of the engineer before engaging a structural engineer are:
- the place for the balcony
- the size of the balcony
- the material
- the equipment (any attachments or accessories)
- calculable loads
In order to visualize these answers, it is best to use CAD software, which enables planning and drawing even for the layperson.
Check building law requirements
When building and adding objects, various prerequisites always have to be clarified. In addition to the static conditions, in which the structural engineer aims at the quality and implementation options, municipalities and the state also issue regulations. After all, construction work must first be approved by the building authorities, which is why all requirements must be found out in advance. This could, for example, be the minimum distance to neighboring properties, which is of course reduced by adding a balcony. But in the same way, different communities often give individual specifications regarding the appearance of new buildings. This is particularly the case when there are different buildings or objects with a historical background in the municipality. In this sense, all characteristics relating to the appearance and the condition must be planned and checked within the framework of the building law requirements.
A balcony offers great opportunities to get more quality of life and comfort in your new dream home. Nevertheless, implementation involves both costs and effort. Accordingly, it should be carefully considered. After all, builders expect a specific purpose behind the new extension. So that this is actually fulfilled in the end result, the various aspects must be clarified in advance. The focus here is on the following points:
- Incidence of light: A balcony that extends into the darkest corner of the garden and receives virtually no sunlight is of no interest to most people. After all, the extension should serve as a place to relax or as a balcony, especially in the warm seasons. So it has to be considered in advance whether the incidence of light at the desired point is advantageous at all. This point must also be observed if plants and vegetables are to be raised on the balcony. For example, if the solar radiation is too high or not there at all, it is impossible for some vegetation to grow.
- Privacy: What is special about a balcony is first and foremost that the outside air and sun can be enjoyed within your own four walls. For this, however, the privacy must also be appropriate. For this reason, before planning and implementation, it should be considered whether this can be maintained. At the same time, it is also about the quiet coexistence between the neighbors. In this sense, these should not be disturbed either. It is therefore advisable to discuss any construction projects in the area of the balcony with the nearest neighbors.
- Volume: A balcony should serve as a place to withdraw and relax. However, this is difficult to do if the volume is constantly booming from the street, a company or the neighbors. So you have to proceed realistically and think in advance whether you can actually find peace on the new balcony.
Balcony rooms take shape: ideas are visualized
The planning and visualization of the new balcony is one of the most exciting parts of the construction project. But it’s not just about the design and the look. In addition, various documents are required for the approval of the building application. These also include plans and drawings of the balcony, which already correspond to the plans to be implemented. While an architect is usually commissioned here, the first floor plans and ideas can also be drawn independently. Various CAD software are available here, which have been specifically designed for laypeople. Thus, they are self-explanatory and gradually lead to a professional plan. At the same time, various software also help to visualize the various ideas. This means that a wide variety of styles can be tried out and the optically perfect balcony can be found.
Depending on the scope of the software, various tools are made available with which the characteristics can be set up. However, this is not just about style and looks. At the same time, you can experiment with different materials, all of which have advantages and disadvantages. The budget also depends on these. In addition, the size of the balcony can be varied. Perhaps the wide balcony you want is too stately for the existing building. It is also possible that the visualization shows how much more space can be used. So it’s not just about the purpose that the balcony will later fulfill, but also about the appearance of the building from the outside. It is only a few square meters, which can often affect the whole aesthetic. Here the capacities are often overestimated, while the professional knows right from the start which dimensions and properties are suitable for the individual construction. This is exactly what the CAD software is used for, by means of which different sizes and dimensions, but also materials, styles and colors are played through.
Use prefabricated structures
The possibilities for the realization of balcony rooms are diverse. Even basically simple programs for amateurs are extensive here in the planning. This can often be challenging for the layperson. For this reason, extensive CAD software also offers finished designs and inventory for balconies. This means that you don’t have to set up all properties yourself first. Instead, the prefabricated structure is simply used. As a result, subtleties around the balcony can still be changed on the screen. However, the work related to setting up the basic setting is taken away from the builder. Because often standardized objects are also the ideal balcony for individual building projects. If they speak up in terms of appearance and function, a lot of effort is saved. Fine details are easily adjusted thanks to extensive CAD software.
Submit the building application
Before construction work can be carried out, a building application must usually be submitted. Here, the building authority pays attention to the plans and safety-related properties of the balcony. In addition, individual regulations on the part of the municipality are observed. However, if only a balcony is added to an existing property, the documents that must be attached to the application are not many. Rather, the focus here is on time. Because summer is part of the construction season. However, the approval for the building application can take less than three months. This waiting time must therefore be calculated in relation to the time of implementation.
While the extension of a balcony only takes a certain amount of time, it also wants to be used immediately. So you don’t have to wait for the next year to benefit from the extended living room. It can be profitable for the client to apply for a building permit for the balcony in winter. So the work can be carried out in spring and the balcony can be used in summer. So while there is actually a “too late” here, “too early” is unlikely. Because the approval is not based on a certain date, but is valid for a considerable period of time. This leaves enough time for planning, visualization and implementation.