Table of contents:

Adding a balcony: how to do it
Adding a balcony: how to do it

Video: Adding a balcony: how to do it

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Video: Do not support your balcony! | ProArchitect 2023, February
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Whether you are building a balcony or planning to build a house, you need a permit in any case. Because a balcony extends the living space of a house or apartment, even on a small plot. We give tips on how to grow them without difficulty.

Table of contents Table of contents Growing a balcony: How to proceed

  • Do I need a building permit to build a balcony?
  • Help from the architect
  • The orientation of the balcony
  • The balcony railing
  • Rainwater ideas
  • Insulation for retrofitted balconies
  • Add a prefabricated balcony
  • Assemble the wooden balcony
  • Grow a balcony: how it works
  • This turns the attached balcony into a winter garden

Table of contents Table of contents Growing a balcony: How to proceed

  • Do I need a building permit to build a balcony?
  • Help from the architect
  • The orientation of the balcony
  • The balcony railing
  • Rainwater ideas
  • Insulation for retrofitted balconies
  • Add a prefabricated balcony
  • Assemble the wooden balcony
  • Grow a balcony: how it works
  • This turns the attached balcony into a winter garden

If you are building a new one, you can best connect a balcony to the house both visually and statically. Therefore, consider early on whether you want an outdoor seat. Retrofitting a balcony makes work and dirt - and can easily double the costs. Nevertheless: it works! There are only a few things to keep in mind. Below we give tips on what you should definitely think about when building a balcony.

Do I need a building permit to build a balcony?

A balcony needs a building permit in any case: first get information from the responsible building authority and then submit a building application with the building description, site plan, views and floor plan. The form should be signed by an authorized architect or master craftsman.

Before planning a balcony: Inquire at the city or municipal administration about the development plan and possible restrictions. When you hire a carpenter from your region, you are on the safe side: he knows the regulations, undertakes the design, planning and construction and takes care of the smooth construction process.

If you own a condominium, you need the written consent of the co-owners. In many cases, the community of owners even decides to have a balcony attached to each apartment. The effort is hardly greater, and the costs can be reduced by several thousand euros.

Growing a balcony: help from the architect

When designing, an architect makes sure that the balcony extension fits in well with the overall concept of the building, taking into account the existing building structure. Another advantage: He knows the legal requirements and relieves the client of part of the administrative procedures. The architect also clarifies financial matters: he obtains offers from various balcony builders and helps with the selection. During the construction phase, he monitors the process and guarantees that the balcony is properly installed.

Install balcony: The orientation of the balcony

To the south and into the green is basically a good solution. One can hardly live in balconies facing north and noisy streets. On hot summer days, east-facing balconies offer a cool spot and upgrade the living room kitchens on this side. If you want to enjoy sunsets on the west side, you should consider that the so-called weather side is more exposed to wind and rain.

Speaking of brightness: anyone who enlarges or builds balcony areas darkens the rooms below. Bright outer walls and balcony ceilings as well as transparent floor surfaces reduce the effect. Filigree parapets let light into the house, but also neighbors' glances. Plants provide privacy protection for the window - plan storage spaces for flower boxes right away.

Balkonbauplanung
Balkonbauplanung

If you are building a new building, the best way to connect balconies to the house is visually and statically.

Photo: iStock / jacoblund

The balcony railing

Balcony railings can basically be mounted on, on or under the balcony slab or on the supports. To avoid tension and cracks in the masonry, they should not be attached to the house wall. The balcony railing is primarily used for safety and has to meet the static requirements and be fall-proof: from a fall height of one meter, 90 cm railing height is mandatory, from a fall height of twelve meters the parapet must be built 1.10 meters high. If the fall height is more than 1.50 meters, the width of the railing openings must not exceed twelve centimeters.

Rainwater ideas

If you don't want to get your head wet under the balcony, you have to collect the rainwater in gutters and drain it via downpipes or gargoyles. The latter are sufficient with little rain and covered balconies. Outdoor seats exposed to rain are drained with downspouts - additional spouts relieve them in heavy rain.

Insulation for retrofitted balconies

You place and hang balconies in front of facades without connecting the balcony slab and the floor ceiling (docked platform) - this means no thermal bridges. However, if you decide to use the cantilever slab (cantilever slab) that used to protrude from the wall, you should thermally separate it with a thermally insulated reinforcement cage.

Cantilever panel - what is it?

Concrete slabs or wooden beams penetrate the outer wall, i.e. the airtight layers of the building envelope - problematic because of the energy losses via thermal bridges and because of structural damage that can occur on the openings. This balcony construction can be found on many old buildings - if you are renovating the facade anyway, you should consider demolishing the cantilever slab and building a new, more energy-efficient construction. Clever planners avoid this construction or seal the penetrations of the outer shell airtight on all sides - the craftsmen should work particularly carefully here.

Docked platform - modern solution

Cultivating a balcony as a docked platform is cheaper and less expensive in terms of building physics. If the balcony is free in front of the facade, the construction leaves the airtight level of the building shell intact and also acoustically decouples the balcony from the floor ceiling: steps and back of chairs are not transferred to adjacent walls via the ceiling. The construction is simple: vertical supports support horizontal beams on which a load-bearing formwork rests. For this, tongue and groove boards, wooden panels or wooden materials are used - their statics must be verified, as must the entire construction, including stiffening. As a floor covering, you can place commercially available or custom-made wooden gratings or planks on mortar rags or pedestals.

Add a prefabricated balcony

If you don't dare to do it yourself, you can have a prefabricated balcony built by a specialist. Some manufacturers supply type-approved balconies. Although this does not save you the way to the building authority, it does facilitate approval. Prefabricated balconies are made of steel, aluminum, wood and concrete. They are placed on supports in front of the facade - statically independent on their own foundations. The separation of balcony and facade avoids thermal bridges and stress cracks in balcony slabs. Free seats on four supports cost more than seats on two, but the outer wall has to carry half of the load.

Assemble the wooden balcony

Wood is best suited for the handyman: it is inexpensive, light and easy to work with. Good wood protection in the outdoor area is mandatory, because the material must be protected from rain and heat: regular maintenance work such as sanding, painting or replacing ailing parts is inevitable and after about ten years a renovation may be necessary. Wood that is impregnated with boiler pressure is the best solution - you can paint it in any color. If you do not have a circular saw, you can rent it or have beams and boards cut to size in the hardware store.

Tip: balconies made of aluminum, on the other hand, do not require any major material maintenance and still last almost an entire life.

Grow a balcony: how it works

Lay the foundations

Dig two individual foundations 25 x 25 cm wide and about 80 cm deep for the outer supports. Mix the concrete from the ready-mixed mortar or mix it yourself (1 part cement to 6 parts gravel sand, mix well). With both methods, only add enough water that the concrete is damp. This is how you check it: If you put a piece of it on a board and tap it lightly with a hammer, the little pile must not flow away.

Pour the mixture into the pit and pound it well to prevent air holes. Keep a recess for the steel base of the supports free by concreting in a piece of hard foam. Make sure that there is enough space for the concrete end of the steel base.

Mount corner post

Set up the two outer corner posts (12 x 12 cm) and align them vertically. Fix with temporary struts, then concrete the steel base with assembly mortar. The two posts on the house wall rest on bracket brackets that you mount on the facade. The stud bolts must anchor in a solid base. If there are soft insulation layers on the facade, you should opt for two individual foundations instead of the angles.

Attach supports

Fix the supports further up on the house wall with screw bolts on a solid surface. Attach both main beam beams (12 x 16 cm) between the corner posts using beam shoes. The steel shoes are screwed to the supports. Place beams (80 x 16 cm) for the balcony floor across on supports and additionally fasten on both sides with steel brackets. Secure the two outer ones to the posts with beam shoes. For a better hold between the corner posts, brace galvanized round steel or strong, rustproof steel wires with tension anchors diagonally. This strengthens the construction against horizontal pressure (wind) and thus against displacement.

Alternatively, you can mount a wind panicle band crosswise on the underside of the beam. You are probably familiar with such metal strips from rafters roofs: You fix the strips diagonally under the rafters to brace the roof against wind pressure.

Attention: The dimensions given for balconies and timbers are examples.

Holzbalkonmontage
Holzbalkonmontage

Processing wood is easy. A wooden balcony is inexpensive.

Photo: The house / Schiebel

Install railings

For a secure hold, attach a wooden railing to the balcony: Mount the railing post (5 x 5 cm) on the beam with sheet steel brackets, screw the handrail onto it with the carriage bolts.

Drill the posts on the side, with the two drill holes 2.5 cm deep on one side and 5.5 cm deep on the other so that the finished stainless steel railings can be installed at all. Finally secure with split pin screws to prevent them from sliding out. Alternatively, you can build a wooden railing yourself. But then it is not so delicate. Stick on the post cover plates with permanently elastic, paintable, acrylic-based compound. Screw or nail the wooden floor to the beam.

Seal the balcony

If the balcony is also to be used as a conservatory roof, you first have to seal it carefully, as with any other flat roof. Place a nonwoven glass sheet as a sliding layer on the tongue and groove boards (allow the joints to overlap by 30 centimeters), and place the vapor barrier film over them. Then put on flat roof insulation (with a gradient of two percent) and seal with roofing felt. You can loosely place wooden gratings as a walking surface.

This turns the attached balcony into a winter garden

If you don't have the money for a winter garden, you build step by step. For the time being, a front balcony is sufficient, which will be expanded in the following years. First you get a permit for the glass cultivation - this is valid in Baden-Württemberg for three years, an extension for another three. This is how long the owner can take his time in the conservatory and save money.

Ständer tragen Balkon und Haube schützt ihn
Ständer tragen Balkon und Haube schützt ihn

Four stands support the balcony - only a few attachment points couple it to the house wall. Then the balcony gets a hood - it protects from sun and rain, but plants have to be watered more often.

Photo: The house / Schiebel

Fenster und Wintergarten einbauen
Fenster und Wintergarten einbauen

Windows transform the balcony into a sunny bay window, which does not need waterproof furniture. Then the shelter becomes a winter garden. Inexpensive solution: single glazing, no heating.

Photo: The house / Schiebel

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