When you build a wooden balcony, the ultimate goal is to create an attractive, safe and comfortable space that blends in with the architecture of your home. In addition to creating one or more levels in your backyard, which can be used for entertaining guests or just enjoying the fresh air, building a wooden balcony will expand your living space by up to two feet.
A balcony can transform a room or the entire house, adding visual interest and bringing in light. It can also be a nice place to spend some time reading, sipping tea, or chatting with friends. If you’re handy with construction tools and you have an extra free week to spare, building your own balcony can be cheaper than hiring someone to do it for you. Here’s how to get started:
Choose the location
When choosing a location for your balcony, it is important to consider:
- Location. Where will you be building the balcony? How much space do you have? Keep in mind that you will want enough room to stand on it comfortably and not feel cramped.
- Sun exposure. You’ll want plenty of sun so that your plants can thrive (and so can you). However, if there are too many trees nearby shading your balcony, then there may not be enough light for your plants or yourself!
- Power source and water source: You’ll need access to power and water sources if they’re on the ground level (a common sight). If they aren’t readily available near where you’re building the balcony, make sure they’re accessible before building so that installation isn’t delayed unnecessarily later down the road when these things could’ve been done during construction instead. Also keep in mind whether or not pipes run through where
Measure and calculate the dimensions
The first step is to measure the area. It’s important to get this right as it will determine the size of your balcony and any subsequent design changes.
Once you have measured and calculated the dimensions, make sure that they are strong enough to support all of your friends, family members and pets who will use them. You should also ensure that they meet fire regulations in case of emergency situations such as an earthquake or fire alarm going off nearby.
You can do this by using a structural engineer who has experience with wooden structures like balconies before deciding on a final design for yours.
Install the posts
- Install the posts. Before you do any measuring, make sure your posts are level. If they aren’t, the balcony will be uneven. You can use a spirit level, carpenter’s level and laser levels to measure if they’re perfectly level.
- Use a plumb bob at each post to ensure that it’s plumb (vertical). If it isn’t, use shims or wood wedges to adjust its position until it measures vertical with the plumb bob hanging from its top end over the hole for concrete pouring. Use a laser plumb bob for accuracy if needed by marking two points on each side of where you want something to be and connecting them with an arrow pointing up or down on paper taped onto your wall so that you can see it when looking up at what needs adjusting while standing under it during construction — this way no one has to get up on ladders or tippy-toe around corners trying not
to fall off into space when working alone like I did many times earlier in life before figuring out how much easier this method makes things.
Cut the joists
You’ll need to cut the joists before you can assemble them. To do this, first use a speed square to mark the angle of each corner, then use your circular saw and miter gauge to cut them at those angles. Be sure to measure twice and cut once you want them to be as straight as possible! Once you’ve got all of your pieces ready for assembly, it’s time for next step:
Cut and install the treads and risers
- Cut the treads and risers to length. Measure the total width of your balcony, and subtract 2 inches from that measurement for each side of each step.
- Rip a piece of 1×4 lumber in half lengthwise, and use it to establish a 90-degree angle at one end of each tread or riser. This will allow you to cut them at an angle easily with either a circular saw or jig saw, depending on what type of saw you have available.
- Clamp each riser or tread into place where it will be installed; make sure that there is enough clearance around all sides so as not to pinch any part of your body as you climb up onto it. Secure both ends using screws driven through countersunk holes drilled in from underneath (if possible), but if you’re having difficulty getting your drill into position without hitting the decking material underneath, don’t worry it’s fine if these are only held in place by their own weight until final installation later on! Now would also be an opportune time
Secure them to the joists
- Secure them to the joists. Use screws that are long enough to penetrate through both layers of plywood and into the joist below, or drill pilot holes for nails.
- Place an end cap on each end of both treads and risers using glue and nails.
- Attach a handrail if desired, using screws to secure it between every other riser (or at least every third riser).
Make sure it’s sturdy enough for use
You need to make sure that your balcony is strong enough, because if it isn’t, you’ll be in for a world of pain. You might fall off and hurt yourself really badly, or maybe even die.
This is why we recommend that you build your balcony on top of something like a bathroom window. That way you can use the bathroom as an escape hatch if things ever get out of hand. We also recommend attaching some rope or bungee cords to the door so you can use them as a safety net should things go wrong during construction.
Remember: safety first.
You can build a balcony yourself if you take it step by step.
If you’ve decided to build a wooden balcony, take it step by step.
Measure and calculate the dimensions of your balcony before deciding if you have enough space for one.
Install posts on which to attach your balcony using brackets and lag bolts.
Cut the joists, which support the treads and risers, with a circular saw or jigsaw according to measurements from your plans and blueprints. Use an angle grinder if you’re cutting steel or concrete. Most building codes allow joists up to 16 inches apart; some require spacing at least as far apart as rafter spacing in order to account for any weight put on them by material stored beneath them (elevation). It’s important not only that they are strong enough but also that they can withstand any moisture changes in their environment over time by being protected against rot & decay by painting them with sealant product.
We believe that this post is a great starting point if you want to learn how to build your own balcony. The information here is written with the novice DIYer in mind, so anyone can follow along and get started with their project. Our hope is that you’ll use these tips as a guide for building your own deck or patio or even just using them as inspiration when planning out an entirely different type of home improvement project.