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Second-Story Balcony Additions

Made famous by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, balconies are great for second stories that could benefit from a little more natural light and air circulation. If you want to enjoy the outdoors without all the maintenance of a large deck, then adding a balcony might be the perfect solution. Here is some more information to get you started.

Costs

On average, a simple pressure-treated balcony costs between $15 and $20 per square foot. This will vary depending on the size, design, materials used and cost of labor. It’s best to get a few price quotes for your project and go from there.

Pros

Balconies bring fresh air, natural light and extra square footage to your home’s second story.

They allow you to better enjoy the view from your property.

Since they are often significantly smaller than a deck, balconies don’t require as much maintenance.

Cons

On top of the cost of adding the balcony, this addition also requires that a doorway be built to allow access from a bedroom.

Balconies can usually only accommodate 2-3 people, unless you invest in a larger design.

If built too large, balconies can create an overhang that stops light from entering in through the windows on the first floor.

Durability

Since balconies generally receive less wear and tear than decks, they are fairly durable second-story home additions, especially if properly maintained. And of course, the durability depends on the materials used. Speak with your contractor about how best to care for the types of wood, concrete or other materials used in your balcony’s construction.

Maintenance

Wood can be rinsed occasionally with water, but should also be resealed every few years. Both composite and vinyl need to be scrubbed with the appropriate cleaners once they start to look dingy.

Common Questions and Answers

What is the average size of a balcony?

Most balconies, on average, are in the 4-foot range. This allows enough space to sit and enjoy the view without impeding on the light stream to the windows below.

Does building a balcony require a permit?

Yes, similar to building a deck, any home addition that changes the boundaries of your existing structure must be approved beforehand by your local city officials.

History

First used 2,000 years ago in Ancient Greece as a way to increase home air circulation and natural light, balconies have been a mainstay of architecture ever since. The design of balconies has changed over the years to reflect different home styles.

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