Balcony balcony wherefore art thou, balcony?

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Adding a balcony to your property is no small task, nor is it an easy feat, so we have put together some questions that you really need to ask yourself before you consider looking into it. While you might be caught up in the romance of wanting to add balcony glamour to your home, this is a tricky project to get right.

Take a look at our advice and see if you really do still want to add a balcony and if the answer is yes, start researching professionals that could make your dream come true. Remember that this is not a build that will be suitable for amateurs and that Romeo and Juliet didn't build theirs themselves either!

What will you use it for?

Before you start thinking about how to add balcony style to your home, really consider why you want it. Will you use it enough to warrant the expense and hassle? Is it going to be your only form of outdoor space? What is the  inferred functionality that is driving your desire? 

We think this stunning spot, from the Nicolas Pierry Studio, makes a great case for adding a balcony to your home but, make no mistake, this is a much loved and well-maintained garden substitute. Would you keep yours as well looked after?

Choose the style you want to install

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balcon pour deux

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If you are definitely set on finding a way to add balcony glamour to your home you need to start thinking seriously about the style you want. It's not as simple as just commissioning one; you need to know the difference between a Maltese, Juliet or Loggia. If these words seem a little foreign to you, more research is needed.

When you know why you want a balcony, you can hone in on the type that will best fulfil your needs and from there, quotes for construction can begin in earnest.

Get permission

It is unlikely that you would consider adding a balcony to a property that you don't own but if you are a tenant, it goes without saying that you absolutely must have permission from your landlord. Similarly, they would need to give you plenty of notice if they plan to add one for you. 

If you own your property you will still need to obtain permission to build a balcony but this time, from your local planning authority. If you go ahead and build without planing permission you could run the risk of having your addition removed by a court order. That's no laughing matter.

Make sure neighbours don't oppose

If you are keen to add balcony detailing to your home, before you start anything we think it is just plain old fashioned courtesy to get in touch with your neighbours to see if any of them would have an objection.

Of course, they would be able to register any opposition when planning permission is applied for but we think that a personal touch goes a long way so take the time to go see them before you put anything official into motion. You might even find that being a little understanding and polite at the beginning smooths the path for you later.

Control your spending

As with any home improvement or garden landscaping project, you will need to keep a firm grasp on your finances during a balcony building project as it will be all too easy to get swept up and start ordering bespoke ironwork or outrageously expensive glass. 

Try to remember that you are doing this to improve your home, not to get yourself into a lot of debt, so always weigh up the added value that your balcony will provide against the projected costs. We aren't being killjoys, but we've seen projects spiral out of control all too often. Don't become a statistic!

Add safety features

A really key aspect to your new balcony will be how you safely enclose it. Naturally, if you have children or animals you will be extra cautious but even if not, try to put your safety before your aesthetic desires. Toughened glass is a good option if you have a head for heights and a gorgeous view to enjoy or, for a touch of tradition, wrought ironwork always looks amazing.

We're not trying to put you off building a fabulous balcony but forewarned is forearmed and you'll thank us in the long run, we promise.

For more fantastic balcony inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Small Balcony Furniture. If you take the plunge, you'll need some seating!

Are you longing for a balcony? Is it something that would be possible for your home? We'd love to hear from you in the comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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