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What Are the Best Tips for Designing a Front Balcony?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2016
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A balcony is an elevated fixture attached to the face of a building, and various designs exist. A cantilevered front balcony, for example, will be situated on the front of a home and it will feature no columns or plinths to support it. Instead, the beams will run from the inside of the structure to the outside of the structure. Other front balcony designs use columns, support posts, or plinths for stability. To choose the right design, the builder will first need to determine how the structure is likely to be used.

Some front balcony structures are designed for aesthetic purposes only, while others are meant to be weight-bearing. A weight-bearing balcony will take more material and greater care to build, as it must be built in such a way that the balcony is stable and safe for daily use. Cantilevered balconies can be very aesthetically pleasing, but they must be built properly to avoid bouncing or other instability, or even cracking. Pressure-treated or rot-resistant wood will need to be used to build such a front balcony. Otherwise, plinths or other supports such as columns or posts should be used to stabilize the structure.

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The builder should think carefully about the positioning of the front balcony, both in terms of convenience and in terms of available light. It should be situated in a location on the home where access to the balcony will be easy, and where it will look aesthetically pleasing. Of course, it helps to think about the views, too: the builder should figure out what part of the house gets the most sun or shade, and which views will be best when sitting or standing on the balcony.

Once the front balcony is built, it will need to be decorated appropriately. The floor of the balcony can be tiled or otherwise covered with concrete or wood, creating an aesthetically pleasing and solid structure. Plants can be added to the space as well, and some creeping vines make great additions that add beauty as well as added shade. Canopies or awnings are also good additions for adding shade to the space. The best option will depend on how much sun the balcony gets and what the homeowner's preferences are. Any materials used to accent or otherwise accessorize the space should be resistant to rot and other types of water damage.

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