In the second part of our extended four-part series on renovating, it is all about the balcony. We will show you how, from even a small balcony, you can create a genuine eye catcher, perhaps even a proper feelgood oasis. Here, you must on the one hand consider the most important function of the balcony, and on the other its orientation to the sun. So here goes…
What is the main use of the balcony?
As opposed to the terrace or the garden, the space on a balcony is generally a rare commodity to be put to the best possible use. Therefore, before attempting to redesign the balcony, you should decide on its main use – as unfortunately you can’t have everything at once: so is the balcony to serve as a breakfast café, for example? Or for relaxation with a sea of flowers? Would you rather enjoy sunbathing on a sunlounger or firing up the barbecue grill more often?
Why the direction of the Sun is decisive!
It determines whether the balcony is effectively bathed in sunlight or leads a shadowy existence, even in high summer. This is the important guideline for choosing the balcony furniture, for the sun protection and for choosing the plants. For example, wooden furniture dries more quickly on a south-facing balcony!
• The south-facing balcony – ideal for sunbathing
Hours of shade are rare here. The most important item of furniture on such a balcony is the sunlounger or, if there is insufficient space for this, a comfortable folding chair. Because it can quickly become unbearably hot here in the height of the summer, you should in any case invest in a sunshade – for example a special balcony sunshade with a diameter of less than one and a half metres which can be simply attached to the railing
Flower lovers should choose plants that can cope with plenty of sunshine, such as lavender, miniature olive trees or hibiscus. Also remember that you need to give them plenty of water.
• The east and west balcony – excellent for breakfasting
Here you can breakfast in the Sun already at the crack of dawn. A small table for at least two persons is therefore the ideal basic configuration. Balcony furniture should generally be foldable. Sun protection is only needed if one is sensitive to the gentle morning Sun. Very trendy is a balcony screen, which protects against inquisitive eyes and provides a peaceful atmosphere. Because the east-west balcony is in the shade from midday, the first choice in plants are those which prefer semi-shade, such as box tree and decorative Acers, marguerites and wood cranesbill.
• The north-facing balcony – here you need particularly good ideas
You’re in the right place here if you like to sit in a shady spot. You’ll seldom if ever need sunloungers here, and when choosing furniture you should consider the fact that it will never be properly dried by the Sun. So the ideal furniture is weatherproof outdoor furniture made from lacquered metal, for example. Tried and tested plants for a north-facing balcony are lobelia, hydrangea and fuchsia.
Wood, tiles and outdoor carpets for the balcony
When redesigning the balcony, you should give some thought to the floor covering. Are the tiles still serviceable? Is the concrete not already worn away? Outdoor tiles of wooden decking would be nice alternatives here. Or you might decide on wooden tiles that click together: For these, simply measure the size of the balcony with the BD20 Laser Distance Meter, buy the appropriate number of tiles and lay them with just a few clicks. Even more convenient is to beautify your balcony with an outdoor carpet. Simply roll it out and the balcony feels much more homely.
Is the balcony railing still suitable?
Is rust eating into the railing? Is the railing still stable, is it worth the effort to remove the rust and paint it again? If you wish to have a perfectly painted surface, then the railing must be clean and smooth. For this reason, after applying a coat of paint, check using the BB20 Digital Paint Layer Thickness Meter whether the paint really has been applied uniformly This measuring instrument, which can be conveniently operated with only one hand, is convincing through its large measurement range of 0 – 1,250 µm, it guarantees precise measurements in every situation and moreover possesses a practical alarm function when the layer thickness falls below or exceeds freely definable values.
BB20 Layer Thickness Meter – makes renovation easier
The BB20 is an indispensable aid for checking protective coatings on railings and on other objects, but also for use on cars, for example for making checks on the paint thickness or to detect repainted areas after accident damage. Order today the BB20 Coating Thickness Meter for, instead of £133.47, now for only £ 111.37 incl. VAT – in the Trotec Shop now!