It’s no secret that access to outdoor space in your home or apartment, no matter how small, is important to mental and physical health. The ability to have a coffee and enjoy the early morning sunshine, step outside to make a loud phone call, or have a party where your friends can enjoy the fresh air all add to a more inclusive living space. This can a key factor in making a decision on where to rent or buy a new place.
While all balconies are great, some are better than others. Square footage of an apartment balcony can make all the difference in the world.
In fact, homes for sale with balconies routinely sell for more than those without, as the feature adds to their long-term resale value. This is especially competitive in big cities where green space is at a premium.
While it may be hard to visualize, there’s actually a lot you can do to upgrade your apartment balcony — even if it looks like a rectangular concrete block now, we’re confident you can turn it into a cozy, bright and warm escape.
The best time to start thinking about upgrading your apartment balcony, and preventing any leaks, is in early spring — don’t wait too long!
There’s not much use for a balcony in the winter, as snow, hail, and wind will likely wreck your plans to spend any time outside, especially in cities like Toronto, Chicago, and Minneapolis. And if you start preparing now, your balcony will be fully ready to enjoy come summer.
As well, for those planning to list their property in the near future, having a pristine outdoor space improves the curb appeal, whether for a condo or apartment. And this can often help sell for a premium.
The experts at Zoocasa, shared a few key upgrades that are perfect to consider doing at the beginning of the spring season:
- Give it a thorough sweep: Balconies collect a lot of dirt and grime, especially after they’ve been battered by inclement weather all winter long. Start by giving the space a good sweep, mop the floor, and dust all the railings. As well, while your condo or apartment management company may wash the outside of your glass balcony, you’ll be responsible for its interior, so give it a wipe down, too.
- Replace the concrete floor with interlocking tiles, fake grass or rugs: This can make a world of difference in the look of your balcony, transforming it from a sterile and chilly space to a warm and inviting one. New flooring doesn’t need to be permanent – look for temporary tiles that can easily be stored over the colder months. However, be sure to check with your condo board or management first, as not all allow these upgrades on balcony floors.
- Add cheap and cheerful bright textiles: Adding a few brightly-colored outdoor pillows and curtains are an inexpensive way to personalize your space and make it more comfortable – and they may even be found second-hand! Just ensure that any blankets or pillows are secure enough to not fly away with the wind, or have a safe place to store them when not in use or during wet weather.
- Add an urban garden: Consider where the sunlight hits your balcony for the longest stretch of the day, then add railing planters, flower beds, a planter wall or pots as appropriate. If your climate is warm enough, you can even try to grow a veggie or two.
- Lighting adds a warm ambiance: Think about adding string lights, flameless candles or candles in lanterns to add some twinkle during the evening hours.
Upgrading a balcony doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming — flooring, greenery and a few bright cushions make a world of difference. Get creative this spring to get the utmost enjoyment out of your outdoor space!