zoothorn

Timber balcony > Extension.

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G'day folks-

 

I need to design a simple timber balcony, onto my 1st floor extention, so a pair of french windows can open onto. Steps up to it from ground. A cost-effective pretty simple approach is key (me to build it), functional but strong: smallish & decent looking for PP to approve (a non-material ammendment). Decking boards, softwood.

 

Are there any timber minds out there? At the moment I've got some pic eg's as a rough guide. I have some woodwork skill, & Circ/ chopsaw etc.. but no idea of basic construction.

 

Approx eg's. Steps up to the 1st pic, from the side/ perpendicular wall. 2nd pic good for depth & simplicity (~1.2m). 3rd pic good for width. Perhaps 45* braces for aesthetics (PP might like), like pic 4.

 

Thanks, zoot

 

 

 

 

 

images4.jpg

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Have you considered a steel mezzanine platform?

 

Cheap, strong and bolt together.

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The steps are a fair bit of work and also a security issue. It would be simpler without.

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If you want steps and a big platform then you’ll need planning - that is not a non-material amendment. What they will be expecting is a balcony about 18” wide and 6ft long , not something that you can have a hot tub party on it ..!!! 

 

You can can do something like a small balcony using a wall plate and hangers with a timber top and balustrade, or something like this ..??

 

11931128-6DF1-4BC3-8E10-94524C7E4233.jpeg.d0b00106e23d18f329eb0cf26f85f718.jpeg

 

Cast Spirals

 

  

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Posted (edited)

Hi folks- thanks for replies (had thought none so far, so dipped out of my thread: I still don't know how to get notification of replies- is this possible via email notifys? other forums do this).

 

@PeterW I spoke to Planning, & roughly explained idea: not a big balcony (eg's as per my photo examples perhaps). They said 'add to a non-material ammendment'.

 

I'm not following your reply, sorry. Your 1st paragraph says 'big platform-?' but I don't know what you mean by 'big'. My photo eg's should give an idea of what size (so would you deem these 'big'?). Your photo eg (lovely- wish I could afford this!!) is bigger than my eg's. But do you give this as a possible eg, without the need for PP..? or is this an eg of something far bigger that -would- need PP..? I wonder. And did you mean 18 ft not 18 inches? (18ft x 6ft would yes be far too big- far bigger than my pic eg's.. & 18 inches would be far too small).

 

I'm googling "small balcony using a wall plate and hangers with a timber top and balustrade" to find out what you mean by this.

 

Thanks, zoot

Edited by zoothorn

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I’ll be really surprised if they let anything more than a 2mx500mm balcony through as a non material amendment ..! 

 

You need to design this properly - possible one for an engineer or add on for your timber frame company to do it right. This is not something to do on the advice of an Internet forum ....!!! 

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3 hours ago, PeterW said:

I’ll be really surprised if they let anything more than a 2mx500mm balcony through as a non material amendment ..! 

 

You need to design this properly - possible one for an engineer or add on for your timber frame company to do it right. This is not something to do on the advice of an Internet forum ....!!! 

 

500mm? but that's barely wide enough to walk/ use (so you did mean 18 inches?) not even enough to open the french doors out onto- I'm not quite sure I understand.

 

I would've thought this was the ideal small build project, for such a self-build forum; a simple timber structure (like my pic eg's) added to the house, which I could take my time doing once the extention's built. I

 

I explained to the Planning officer of the outline for this, & he said add it to the NMA. I even explained some steps up to it. I suspect that in wales its less strict or something to what you know in england, but, this is what I've been told to do by the officer who overseas & makes the PP decisions here. I just need help on a simple design/ just the bare basics of how any of the pic eg's I put up, is perhaps done. Just decent enough at this stage so I can add it to the NMA.

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17 minutes ago, zoothorn said:

 

I would've thought this was the ideal small build project, for such a self-build forum; a simple timber structure (like my pic eg's) added to the house, which I could take my time doing once the extention's built. I

 

A fall from that distance could cause injury - potentially serious. 

 

You’re talking about potentially trying to cantilever some sort of staging from the side of a building, and that needs to be designed carefully. 

 

For example, the balustrade needs to be 1100mm high, gaps no more than 99mm. It will be subject to building regs so has to meet all the regs for structure. 

 

You'll also need to make sure the underlying structure is capable of taking the loads. This needs to be designed in from the start. You could potentially build a full cantilever beam from the inside of the structure but ... it needs designing ..!

 

Has the builder come back with a price for the main structure yet ..??

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Hi Peter- Ive never had the idea of a cantilevered balcony, but rather as per my pic eg's: three vertical posts > connect topgether with cross beams. An opposite beam aatched to the extension (or supported by vertical posts too). Then span across with a boardwalk/ decking boards = basic shell. Then ballistrades/ or basic railing yes. I cannot think of a simpler build tbh. Its not high at all.. the lower room's set down 2 ft & barely 6.5 ft high to its ceiling too. The balcony would be approx 6ft to the deck.

 

Can you see the photo eg's I added in the 1st post? none have cantilevered balconies: all are simple wood constructions, the outer/ far sides supported by a few pillars that extend up as the ballistrades.

 

No I haven't heard from builder, I re-sent my quote request a week+ ago & asked if he had rcvd & seen it/ yes. But I now expect to wait another month for a reply maybe two. I have no knowledge that this sort of 2-3 month wait for quotes timeframe isn't normal.

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@zoothorn, will any of your neighbours object to a balcony if they think you overlook them?

 

If the wind is in the wrong direction I get the strongest whiff of seemingly high strength marijuana drifting across from mine. I start off quite irate at the thought of it but soon mellow out...

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7 hours ago, zoothorn said:

three vertical posts > connect topgether with cross beams. An opposite beam aatched to the extension (or supported by vertical posts too). Then span across with a boardwalk/ decking boards = basic shell. Then ballistrades/ or basic railing yes. I cannot think of a simpler build tbh. Its not high at all.. the lower room's set down 2 ft & barely 6.5 ft high to its ceiling too. The balcony would be approx 6ft to the deck.

 

This needs designing properly ...!! There is no racking strength (ie what is stopping it twisting and falling) and that’s the minimum to stop it moving with anyone stood on it.

 

What’s the purpose of this balcony..??? If it’s just for somewhere to stand when you come out of the French doors then extend the room below and make it a flat roof. Much more stable, and probably quicker as the builder will do 95% of the work. 

 

Whatever you do, it will need to be done to get building regs sign off as you cannot have a set of French doors opening into thin air so you either have to build the balcony structure or put some sort of temporary Juliet arrangement before sign off. 

 

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Both of our (never used) balconies open out onto decking upon flat roofs.

 

If you have inward opening doors then you could get away with a Juliet style balcony.

 

I recall this incident from the US on the dangers of poorly constructed balconies - this one was not correctly constructed and the timbers succumbed to dry rot. Was big news back home as the majority of the dead were young Irish working on J1 visas. Balcony was not overloaded per the design. 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_balcony_collapse

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Ive never thought of extending the lower room right out to have a flat roof ontop of it either- its just the last thing I'd want, the looks would be awful, plus the extra cost.

 

What's the purpose of the balcony? many things: 1) it means as Ive said that the french doors can open outwards: this saves alot of space inside a smallish room whereby the side ceiling angled sections will prevent either doors from opening in fully- a huge pain. 2) it means I have a small balcony south-facing, a great spot making max advantage of a superb view across maybe 4m. 3) if I have outside steps up to it, it means someone staying in the top room can access the WC without trapesing through main bedroom (albeit around house & into WC in extention at back of house, & more a summer thing). 4) if something like the designs pics I put up (can anyone see them??) it breaks up the stark 'box' design the extension as it is, very well indeed. 5) add some value to house/ an interesting addition, even if slight. 6) I have the basis of a 'room' below it I can easily fashion into a desperately needed shed/ making very best use of my limited space in the front of the house.

 

6 decent reasons.

 

I'm not intending to build a poorly built balcony, I'm intending to build a well built balcony. Will my n'bors complain? only one couple could & there's a road + a good large tree 'screen' between us, & if deemed 'overlooking' its only on the farthest cnr of their garden (houses are.. 63m away from each other).. but if they would.. GOOD! I hope they do! (after Ive got the ammended PP for it of course).. the ammount of stress, dogmuck, nastiness from these two over 2 yrs I get one back at them, almost perfectly (perhaps reason no.7!!).

 

Many reasons to add a balcony. Its about the best idea I've yet had. I don't understand the antipathy twds it- it might not suit folks' personal ideas, but its mine- I just want help to design it to add to a NMA as I've been advised by PP dept.

 

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4 hours ago, Onoff said:

@zoothorn, will any of your neighbours object to a balcony if they think you overlook them?

 

If the wind is in the wrong direction I get the strongest whiff of seemingly high strength marijuana drifting across from mine. I start off quite irate at the thought of it but soon mellow out...

 

Do you know if rented properties have a say in PP (nearest hse is opposite ~30m away, young farm worker couple renting it).. or not because their 'transient' occupiers? This property I'd overlook onto with balcony, but only sideways though, & not peering into house at all/ only onto unused front gdn.

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Anyone resident who has an address in the U.K. is allowed to comment. I could comment if I wanted to....

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Yes this I know, but in terms of 'clout' I mean: do a pair of students in a rented property have any clout at all.. or.. does the owner of the property (nasty nationalist sod lives very end of these row of bungalows- he'll want to get at me, if he can) have a say, if he's not living there?

 

A pair of farm workers whom I rarely see & never use the front gdn/ only bit I could look onto, sideways I'm sure won't bat an eyelid re. any objection.

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whilst i agree it def needs BC and a SE to design it properly i cant see how it would be difficult or expensive to build at all.  Couple of posts to take the weight with pad foundations underneath and then supporting joists properly anchored into the main building wall.  bit of decking and ballistrade and bobs your uncle.

 

So yes needs doing properly of course but i can see no reason why it would be even close to the cost of building a room underneath with a flat roof.

 

FYI our house is raised on stilts due to trees and steep slope with a raised decking (aprox max 2.5M above ground level) leading from the kitchen / diner double doors.  It has all been designed by a SE and has passed planning and i can certainly confirm the decking area is massivly cheaper to build than even a small part of the main house.  I will be doing the decking bit myself.  re the foundations, the piles are being extended to cover the decking area.  There is a trade association for deking that covers all the regs for raised platforms and raised applies to anything above 1ft!  Free to join and access the regs. There is another cut-off height (I cant remember what) above which the requirements get a bit more onerous (I think we are in the 'bit more onerous' bracket).  Good idea, i love a nice balcany 🙂

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36 minutes ago, zoothorn said:

Yes this I know, but in terms of 'clout' I mean: do a pair of students in a rented property have any clout at all.. or.. does the owner of the property (nasty nationalist sod lives very end of these row of bungalows- he'll want to get at me, if he can) have a say, if he's not living there?

 

A pair of farm workers whom I rarely see & never use the front gdn/ only bit I could look onto, sideways I'm sure won't bat an eyelid re. any objection.

 

A pair of students in rented accommodation have as much “clout” as anyone living in the house would. The owner of the property also has a say. 

 

If you are directly overlooking their garden I don’t fancy your chances at all tbh. 

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i agree and dont think renting would reduce clout at all, it shouldnt anyway

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7 hours ago, zoothorn said:

Yes this I know, but in terms of 'clout' I mean: do a pair of students in a rented property have any clout at all.. or.. does the owner of the property (nasty nationalist sod lives very end of these row of bungalows- he'll want to get at me, if he can) have a say, if he's not living there?

 

It is more a case of what is said, not who is saying it. 

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20 hours ago, K78 said:

 

A pair of students in rented accommodation have as much “clout” as anyone living in the house would. The owner of the property also has a say. 

 

If you are directly overlooking their garden I don’t fancy your chances at all tbh. 

 

But I'm not overlooking their garden at all. Their garden is RHS of the balcony.. not facing it or in front of it. IE go to the short ~1m wide side end of the balcony, & were to look perpendicular to the way the french windows face, you look out -over a road 1st- & then yes over maybe 1/2 their gdn. I could even put a screen up here should these 2 complain.. but they barely say hello/ shy/ laidback & never use this front gdn (bc its right on the road).

 

I get such a strong feeling of antipathy in the replies, anything & every little thing to pick at my idea,  full of assumptions from the design to the idea to 'you'll never get PP'..or.. 'a poorly built balcony's a BRegs disaster'.. to 'it'll be a health & safety nightmare'.... it bemuses me tbh. I'd had thought I'd get encouragement (like redtop's post.. thanks) or if not thinking my idea is what they'd do, at least some help in the basic construction. That's all I need here. Its as simple a build design & project as can be: the smallest project ever on the forum? 

 

I do not overlook any house. I overlook a small road junction & a horse field beyond, a house 63m away twds the front right yes but tree screen means I barely see it (& only its side if I could). So, with these facts in mind I'd think, I've been advised to add the balcony to a non-material ammendment by the very planning officer who makes final decisions here NOT to resubmit PP for the whole extention. If I overlooked a house, or rudely over a garden rather than just a btm corner, or not at an oblique angle as I do.. I'd think YES I'd have been advised to re-submit PP.

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13 minutes ago, zoothorn said:

I get such a strong feeling of antipathy in the replies, anything & every little thing to pick at my idea,  full of assumptions from the design to the idea to 'you'll never get PP'..or.. 'a poorly built balcony's a BRegs disaster'.. to 'it'll be a health & safety nightmare'.... it bemuses me tbh. I'd had thought I'd get encouragement (like redtop's post.. thanks) or if not thinking my idea is what they'd do, at least some help in the basic construction. That's all I need here. Its as simple a build design & project as can be: the smallest project ever on the forum? 

 

You're not getting antipathy - you're getting facts !!

 

1 - In normal circumstances, a first floor balcony requires planning permission as it is not permitted development. It is a raised platform and this is the planning guidance on it 

2 - As a balcony or raised platform needs planning permission, it therefore requires building regulations. These are covered in Doc K and clearly state in K2 that guarding is required for any platform greater in height that 600mm. 

3 - In terms of design, one or two of us have given some guidance, but tbh until you actually say how big it is, no-one can tell you how to potentially build it. We have made recommendations, but it feels like you want someone to design it for you. That's not going to happen as none of us would take the liability for it being wrong !!

 

This is not a simple project. It has working at height, structural stability, and a host of other parts that make it bloody complex !!

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Peter, I can only think then that welsh PP then is different if Ive spoken to the PP officer himself & he's said, as I've explained.

 

Can you just tell me you can see the images I posted in the OP?? if so..

 

Pic 1: if you were to narrow this (it looks approx 2m deep) to 1m, like pic 2, & add some simple steps up.. that's my basic design right there.

 

Now that is not very complex: that's pretty much the very opposite I'd argue- very simple. Its far better to imagine a mash-up of pics 1 & 2.. rather than me sketch, or my describing it (I know I faff too much spiel: general apologies all! much appreciate your reading).

 

thanks zoot schmootz

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