Blissful sunsets, refreshing breezes, and hours of frolicking time are some of the gems awaiting you on a balcony.
But unfortunately, little does one know that balcony design is not a trivial matter – especially if it has no roof.
Just look at the majority of roofless balconies: in the event of a rainstorm, strong winds, or sunlight, one finds oneself at the mercy of nature’s whims.
But how do you make the most of your balcony when it’s covered by nothing but naked sky?
To use your balcony to its maximum potential without sacrificing comfort, natural lighting and damaging its visual appeal, here are some ideas to cover your balcony:
- retractable canopy
- metal grilles
- roller shades
- plastic/acrylic sheet
- toughened glass/tempered glass
Read on to discover why your open-roof balcony will spoil your fun and how you can resolve it.
Does a balcony need to have a roof? Is a balcony good with no roof?
Roofs protect from the elements and make a balcony feel like a home.
See Also: 8 Design Ideas For Balcony Roof Overhang
By covering the balcony, you can enjoy it on rainy days, keep it smelling fresh with fewer bugs, and control what goes on the balcony.
So, is a balcony good with no roof? No! If your deck has no roof, then any water that falls from rain or any other source will pour directly onto the balcony, causing damage and making a mess.
It would be best if you covered the balcony for protection and aesthetics.
Cross-ventilation and shade also help to provide your home with better temperature control and the feeling of fresh coolness on hot days.
How to cover a balcony without roof
Maximizing the outdoor area of your apartment is something that some people consider a luxury in a city with a tight housing market.
Living under the open sky with fresh air can add a new dimension to your lifestyle, and it’s something that most people want to experience.
However, it can be pretty inconvenient or even dangerous if your balcony is exposed to severe weather conditions like strong gusts of wind, heavy rain showers, or unbearable heat.
Here are some simple tips to keep your balcony safe, dry, and well-ventilated for regular seasons and bad ones:
A shaded seating area on the balcony can protect from the sun during the hot summer. A good quality umbrella is one of the best and most economical ways to cover a balcony.
Find Out: How Much Sun Does My Balcony Get?
An umbrella may not be practical in climates with heavy rain and wind. But an umbrella is a great idea in areas where the rain and wind are not so severe.
Sun damage, heat, and glare can be reduced or eliminated using a good-quality strut-supported umbrella.
2. Retractable canopy
Transform an ordinary deck, patio, or terrace into a secluded hideaway with retractable roof panels. The fabric panels roll up to let in light so you can enjoy whatever you choose from your balcony routine.
When it’s time for alfresco dining, the panels unroll to close off the sun and keep the cool day air flowing. Your expanded living space is just as accessible and natural as your backyard.
You may have seen a pergola in a garden or on the side of a house. Pergolas are helpful for summer dinners and picnics because they can be enclosed with shutters to keep the insects out.
Learn More: Why Is My Pergola Leaking?
A pergola can also function as a roof for your balcony. Hang curtains or blinds over several posts to create a screen and add shade to your deck or patio.
If privacy is of utmost importance, you can install a full-scale enclosure around the pergola to block the view.
Outdoor furnishings and décor are expensive, so you may consider shielding them from the sun. UV radiation can damage both their color and fabric. A stand-alone or wall-mounted awning is a good insulator.
An overhang of polycarbonate material with wear-resistance properties can withstand the sun’s heat and the wind’s constant buffeting. Sturdy aluminum brackets hold the cover in place and can be adjusted to fit your requirements.
5. Metal grilles
Maybe less elegant than a complete roof covering, but certainly more robust, metal grilles often come in handy. They can be instrumental in creating an outdoor enclosure where dogs, cats, or other domestic animals can run around without appreciable risk to their health or safety.
Claustrophobic situations aside, metal grilles are pretty cool and a stylish alternative to an actual roof. Decorative grilles add security while allowing for gentle air circulation without the worry about birds flying in through the bars.
Nature never seems to lack ingenuity and can be an excellent architectural inspiration. Plants can provide privacy, buffer a balcony from the outside environment, and help keep out the noise.
Some plants, such as Hedera Helix and Devil’s Ivy, can grow up a wall and cover your balcony. The twisty stems will cling to the brick, making it a great option for walls with little or no overhang.
Tall plants and artificial vines can make otherwise featureless walls pop. Even your bushes or faux boxwood can be used to obscure the view from your neighbors effectively.
7. Roller shades
Varying degrees of sunlight can be experienced when the sun’s angle is high, as the day progresses and seasons change, or when light reflects off the buildings around your community.
Rolling shades on your balcony can solve all this light to create a blocked-out zone. You can use wood, bamboo, and PVC roller shades in conjunction with other overhead shading solutions to block out light and reduce direct solar gain.
During the day, these shades can be rolled up, allowing most of the sun’s rays to pass through, while at night, they can be rolled down for privacy and to create extra insulation against heat loss.
In tropical climates, plexiglass is the answer when you need to cover an outdoor balcony for privacy or the hot weather. Plexiglass designed to fit an existing balcony railing enables a smooth transition from the house’s interior to the outdoors, making the balcony a more livable space all year round.
The transparent material allows you to see through it so you can still enjoy the view of your backyard or neighborhood while keeping the area private. Your pets and children will enjoy the outdoors safely under a plexiglass cover without worrying about the danger of falling from the balcony.