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A balcony is a fixture that protrudes from the face of a building; it is very often supported by plinths or columns, but a cantilevered balcony is also possible. These balconies can be exceptionally beautiful and comfortable, and to make the space even more comfortable, balcony shade can be increased or created. Balcony shade can be created by installing a roof and screens, or it can be created by adding certain types of plant life to the space. Some climbing plants can be situated in such a way that they can create a natural ceiling or wall.
A retractable or a fixed awning can add balcony shade, though installing such awnings can be somewhat expensive. A retractable awning can be attached to a wall or roof, and it can be retracted or fed out using an electric motor or a manual cranking arm.The awning can be retracted when sunlight is desired, and it can be fed out when shade is desired. The design of the awning can vary as well to match the overall aesthetic of the balcony or the entire house. A fixed awning will not retract, but it will offer just as much balcony shade as a retractable unit.
Climbing plants can offer shade, but the balcony shade will not be regulated until the plants thin out or die. Some sort of structure will need to be put in place in order to allow the plants to climb; awnings or trellises make great options for allowing climbing plants, but if the homeowner prefers to avoid such solid structures, twine or string can be tied to allow the vines to climb, thereby creating cover over the balcony. It is important to consult a gardener or nursery operator to figure out which plants are most appropriate for creating shade.
The homeowner, of course, has the option to build an enclosure over the balcony. A roof can offer balcony shade, but the structure will be permanent, so shade will be present even when the homeowner does not desire it. Adding walls to the balcony can also add more shade, but these walls are also usually permanent features; an experienced builder can create walls that are removable depending on the seasons or on the weather conditions. Shaded windows or screens can be added or taken away from the walls to add or remove shade and protection from weather elements.
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