Balcony Systems Information
Balcony systems (commonly referred to as balconies) are elevated ledges or walkways which protrude from a structure and provide inhabitants with an observatory platform. Balconies are typically integrated with the rest of the structure's architectural style and provide little to zero space for furniture or storage. In many cases, balconies are purely aesthetic.
In order to best understand what constitutes a balcony, it must be contrasted with other structures that provide outdoor ambiance to building.
- Deck: a large, raised platform composed of wood or composite-wood that as enough platform space to accommodate various outdoor furniture or fixtures. They feature structural support columns, a perimeter railing, but no overhead roof. They may include stairs to ground level, but always have a designated entryway.
- Porch: a small- or medium-sized structure that is only several feet above grade level. It typically serves as a platform and covering for primary or secondary entrances. It may include additional walls or windows and some even have insulation. Space for furniture or storage is typically minimal.
- Patio: a grade-level platform, usually with no permanent roof or walls. A small awning may extend over the doorway.
- Verandah: essentially a porch that extends the entire length of an exterior wall, and may wrap around adjacent walls as well. Most verandahs are only a foot or two above grade level. They do not have walls and may do without railings, but are covered by a roof or are cut into the first level's floor space. These are often used for relaxation and can accommodate many sizes of furniture. They are more common in climates where they can be used at least half of the year.
- Balcony: an aerial platform that is typically no larger than a couple dozen square feet. Balconies are usually much more decorative than other decks or porches. It includes a railing, but usually only enough space for a few people to stand or sit.
There four types of balconies.
- True balconies: these kinds are load bearing and accessible to inhabitants.
- False balconies: these kinds have platforms that are not load bearing and are primarily aesthetic in nature.
- Faux balconies: these kinds are essentially a full-length window or door which was no extended platform space, rather just a railing to prevent falls.
- Mezzanine balcony: an indoor balcony, such as the kind which extends from a loft or second floor.