An outdoor balcony or deck is a great extension of your home, creating additional living space to enjoy in nice weather. It can offer an area to relax, catch some rays, entertain, cook, and do some container gardening. It can also be the setting for additional activities. This multifunctional asset needs to be maintained and looks great.
Here are 5 ways to upgrade your balcony to make it more comfortable and functional.
Refinish the Surface
It is recommended that you refinish a wood deck every 2 years. This involves power washing any scale, dirt, and mildew from the surface. When the balcony dries, you can either refinish it with natural oil, or you can stain and seal the deck. Both of these methods help to protect it from moisture that will eventually cause the wood to rot. This practice also keeps your deck looking fresh and clean.
If your balcony gets full sun most of the day, consider adding a shade element. This could be a free-standing pergola that decorative vines can grow over. It can also be a retractable awning that is attached to the home. While this protects you from the sun, it can also act as a rain shield for damp days. This will be especially useful as you have guests over.
Place Some Container Gardens at the Perimeter
A balcony that gets adequate sun is the perfect spot for container gardens. These could be wooden boxes that can offer a barrier at the edge of a ground-level deck. Or, it could be large pots to be placed in corners near the railing. You can grow colourful flowers or edible vegetables and herbs. Edible container gardens are excellent if the deck is accessed from your kitchen.
Add a Hot Tub
A hot tub or spa can be a terrific addition to make your balcony more functional and fun. This is perfect for a deck that is at grade. If the deck is raised, be sure to consult with an expert like Marquis Spa to make sure the deck can support the weight of the tub and water. You might also need to add a dedicated electrical outlet. While you are at it, consider adding a shower for rinsing off outside.
Upgrade Your Cooking Equipment
If you use your balcony for cooking and entertaining, you might want to ditch that old charcoal grill and upgrade to a gas cooking station that has 2 tiers of grill grates and side burners. While doing this, you can also add a counter with a weatherproof fridge beneath it. In essence, you can create an outdoor kitchen with all the state-of-the-art equipment available.
There are a number of ways to upgrade your existing balcony to keep up with the times. Start with basic maintenance and maybe some plantings. If your budget allows for it, consider a pergola, spa, or outdoor kitchen. There is nothing nicer than being able to spend time outdoors on a spectacular day or evening.
Author: Lizzie Weakley
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.