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Balcony screens commonly used on a home balcony include privacy screens, decorative screens, weather screens, and screens to keep out sunlight or insects. Each of these screens comes in a variety of types and materials, including wood, canvas, wire mesh and bamboo. Tinted glass may also be used as a screen to keep out the heat and ensure privacy, while plants grown high enough can also double as balcony screens and at the same time act as balcony features.
Privacy screens suitable for balconies depend on the style of balcony as well as whether the home balcony belongs to a house or an apartment. For apartment privacy, balcony screens made from canvas or bamboo are commonly used to enclose the area. These are often in the form of roller blinds that are secured by clips when down.
Louvered wooden sliding screens are installed in sections, in a framework mounted around the balcony opening. The balcony design determines the method of fitting these, and they may reach from ceiling to floor if the balcony has a simple rail or glass barrier. If the balcony has a surrounding wall though, the framework can be built into the space between the wall and the ceiling. These balcony screens are custom built to size and use a slotted frame technique to secure the screens.
Wire mesh screen material is used for screen doors and windows to keep insects at bay. The same material may be used to make balcony screens. Metal-framed screens for a balcony installation will likely need to be made to size, and each section of screen will need to be fastened securely to a surrounding framework. This type of screen will work best as a permanent fixture, but has the benefit of being almost invisible to the eye.
Heat-absorbing, tinted glass used in full-length windows or doors surrounding a balcony reduces heat gain and screen the balcony from sunlight as well as wind. Depending on the degree of tinting used, the glass also acts as privacy balcony screens to prevent outsiders from having an unrestricted view of activities on the balcony. Enclosing a balcony with tinted glass will effectively create a sun-room for the home, and can complement the balcony decor effectively. Screens can be tinted to block out as much as 70 percent of visible light.
Growing plants and positioning them strategically can make effective balcony screens and balcony decorations at the same time. Select plants that will grow well with the quantity of sun that reaches the balcony. Calculate the height the plants need to reach to block the view from which you want to screen the balcony. Use planter boxes with wheels for the plants, which can be moved as needed to adjust for wind, rain and visibility.