To sit out happy, safe and secure
Balconies are a useful addition to homes, writes D. Ranganath
-Photo: Sandeep Saxena
A pleasant outer view:Balconies need to have proper grilled enclosure.
Not enough to have a balcony but you must also make the best use of it.
Balconies add both style and class to your home. It can give a different view for of the place that you live in.
They may be used for various purposes depending on your requirement: a space to enjoy a view, to get a breath of fresh air, to relax, to even enjoy a pleasant semi-outdoor meal etc…Balconies may can be of any size and shape and may be designed to bear any load.
They may be fully enclosed or partially enclosed with decorative wrought-iron grills.
Grills provide a barricade while occupying minimal space in comparison to withmasonry work.
As with any part of a building, balconies must also be carefully planned, designed and constructed depending on the expected load they must bear, the type of usage and the users themselves.
Balconies are generally on the upper floors, intended to function as semi-open spaces, and it is imperative to follow stringent safety norms and local bye-laws to avoid accidents.
It is important for the users to be aware of the design limitations of their balcony.
Balconies also pose several hazards, the most serious being that children could slip through the railings and fall. Guardrails must be installed to reach a height of at least 36 inches above the balcony floor.
If the guardrail is composed of railings or balusters, these must be spaced at intervals of no more than 4 inches. Likewise, if the railings do not continue all the way to the balcony floor, instead meet a horizontal toe-board piece, the gap between the floor and the lower edge of the toe-board cannot be greater than four inches. The ‘railings' that line a balcony, as they are commonly termed, are technically known as guardrails. They should not be confused with handrails, which are the requisite structures along stairways.
It is recommended that homeowners and building managers have balconies and their railings inspected periodically, as some of the materials used are highly susceptible to weathering and rot.
Balcony floors must be of anti-skid quality to prevent slipping on rainy days. If they house greenery and gardens, they must be meticulously maintained to ensure proper drainage and prevent water seepage.
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