When the days get longer and the evenings more pleasant, most people like to sit in the fresh air. For example, on the balcony. If you own a house or apartment without a garden seating area, balcony or terrace, a balcony extension is well worth considering. On the one hand, you enlarge your living space, increase your living comfort and improve your quality of life. On the other hand, you upgrade the house or apartment with a comparatively small investment, increase the market value and improve your chances of selling if you want to sell one day.
Where you grow the balcony depends on the house, the plot and your preferences. If you want to enjoy the morning sun and have breakfast outside, you should orient your balcony to the east. If, like most balcony owners, you want to be outside mainly from morning to late afternoon, you should orient your balcony to the south. And if you want to spend the evening outside, you should orient your balcony to the west. North orientation is extremely unpopular, because the balcony is not illuminated by the sun at any time of the day.
Once you know where you want to add your balcony, you can start planning. It makes sense to do this with a structural engineer, who calculates the safety and reliability of structures in construction. On the one hand, it is dangerous to build a balcony with insufficient statics, on the other hand, you need the static calculations for the building permit, which you must obtain before starting construction. Expect to pay 500 to 750 francs for the structural engineer and do not save at the wrong end..
The material must be low-maintenance and heavy-duty because it is exposed to wind and weather day in and day out and must bear a great deal of weight. Aluminum is light and cheap. Steel is more expensive and much heavier, so the load on the facade and the cost of installation increase. Wood is resilient like aluminum or steel, but needs regular treatment, preferably once a year. In terms of price, wood and steel are roughly comparable.
The stacked balcony is a simple construction. The balcony stands on the ground with two or four supports and is also attached to the house facade. The weight is supported half by the supports and half by the facade.
A cantilever or cantilever balcony is anchored to the facade and floor slab with steel brackets and does not need supports. Therefore, the balcony least disturbs the image of the house and blends harmoniously with the facade. However, the construction is complex, makes higher demands on the statics than the other variants and is only suitable for balconies up to 1.70 meters deep. In addition, cantilevered components must be carefully thermally insulated. Nevertheless, the cantilever balcony is the most sensible variant for many houses and is particularly suitable for properties on a slope or with an uneven and damp subsoil.
A hung balcony is anchored to the house facade with steel cables (instead of steel brackets) and therefore, like the cantilever balcony, does not need any disturbing supporting pillars. At first glance, it also appears to be free-floating, but it does not need a reinforced concrete ceiling. However, the hung balcony is subject to the same restrictions as the cantilever balcony: the construction is complex, places higher demands on the statics and is only suitable for balconies up to 1.70 meters deep.
The free-standing balcony stands on two or four supports, puts the least load on the facade and is particularly suitable for houses where variants 1 to 3 are out of the question for structural reasons. In the case of the completely self-supporting balcony, four supports bear the weight and the balcony is only attached to the house facade with sliding wall anchors. In the case of the partially self-supporting balcony, two supports bear the weight and the balcony is anchored to the facade, as in the case of the cantilever balcony.
Calculate the cost of materials from 800 to 2,400 francs per square meter, depending on the variant:
In addition, there are the costs for the statics calculation (500 to 750 francs), the labor (70 to 105 francs per hour), the railing and the balcony door. To make a rough estimate, calculate 25,000 francs for a simple, eight-square-meter balcony with flat bars as railings and 6,000 to 8,000 francs for the balcony door (breakthrough, material and installation). In addition, there are the costs for the statics calculation (500 to 750 francs), the labor (70 to 105 francs per hour), the railing and the balcony door. To make a rough estimate, calculate 25,000 francs for a simple, eight-square-meter balcony with flat bars as railings and 6,000 to 8,000 francs for the balcony door (breakthrough, material and installation).
Yes. The best thing to do is to ask the building authority in your municipality of residence. As long as no interests of third parties are affected, a simplified and accelerated approval procedure applies, for example the notification procedure in the Canton of Zurich. The procedure takes only 30 days, the building project does not have to be marked out or made public, and there is no possibility of appeal. However, the building authority can order a regular (and longer) building permit procedure if third-party interests are affected. Therefore, you should first talk to your neighbors, who may be affected by your balcony extension, and obtain their written consent.
Yes, you need the consent of the condominium owners' association, because a balcony extension changes the overall appearance of the house and affects the interests of the other co-owners. For the extension, you must submit a request to the condominium owners' meeting. Without consent, the balcony extension is considered an unauthorized encroachment on the common building fabric - your co-owners can sue and demand its removal at your expense. That's why you should talk to everyone before you start planning. Even better: plan the project together. If only one owner adds a balcony, the addition disrupts the overall appearance of the house.