Balcony iPad Photo Competition – Synopsis on six finalists – Jan 11 2011
1: Russell Prince-Wright, Four Marks, Hampshire
Russell installed the 6m x 1.8m balcony himself (during a period of redundancy) on a new self-build extension to create a contemporary ‘Scandinavian-style’ home. It took him two days with help from his son-in-law and the balcony is ‘perfect for having breakfast watching the Koi fishpond and listening to the birds’.
“What I really liked about Balcony Systems was their flexibility, friendliness and approachability, both during the product selection process andafterwards. The after-sales service was great, particularly with technical help on the design and layout.”
2: Alexa Collins, Burnham, Buckinghamshire
Alexa, an interior designer, and her brother Simon own an impressive self-build five-bed property constructed on the site of their parents’ (inherited) old home. House is being featured in a six-minute slot on BBC 1’s To Build or not To Build series end of April/early May 2011.
Glass balustrade forms an internal balcony around a central ‘double-height’ area at the back of the house – ‘wow factor’ of the house. It links the upstairs and downstairs, reflecting the open-plan nature of the house, and also fascinates her brother’s four young children, says Alexa.
Keen to have a glass balustrade, she had thought of structural glass, but thinks the handrail gives a better feeling of security. Likes the Balcony brushed aluminium handrail, which seamlessly links the balustrade with the rest of the interior décor (door handles, light fittings, etc). Also, wide handrail feels ‘safer’ and encourages people to relax and lean over it for a chat.
“The balustrade is much-admired by all who see it and people rush up to it. They feel safe leaning over and having a chat. It’s so solid and well put together.”
On selecting the product, she says: “I just thought Balcony Systems was great – I saw the installation photo gallery on their website and that was it!” Quite a complex installation as balustrade had to be anchored to three different flooring substrates – concrete, wood and steel. Alexa did all the surveying and measuring for the balustrade herself, adding: “Balcony’s technical guys were marvellous and their technical advice helped to make the installation as smooth as possible.”
3: Jeremy Follett, St Albans, Hertfordshire
3 metre-wide Juliette balcony installed on new two-storey rear extension to accommodate expanding family. Juliette and French Doors are off a master bedroom overlooking the garden.
Says Jeremy: “The Juliette balcony lets in loads of light and is unobtrusive – all you can see is a silver bar and the light reflects off the glass like a mirror. We’re very happy with it. Service and delivery were all very good and on time and we found Balcony very helpful with any queries.
“What I particularly like about the product is the fact that the glass is installed from the inside, so it can’t fall out. I think that’s a really good design feature of the balcony.”
4: Paul and Brenda Reach, Dartmouth, Devon
This installation is being featured in the ‘portfolio’ section of January’s Homebuilding and Renovating magazine. Paul and Brenda are art gallery owners in Dartmouth.
Two 7.38 metre balconies installed one above the other on a three-storey home overlooking Warfleet Creek and beautiful countryside in Dartmouth. Already had a timber balcony off the original lounge/TV room and a second one added above on a new floor extension creating a new open-plan 24 ft square reception area.
Says Paul: “We already had an existing timber balcony, but got such a good deal from Balcony Systems that we did both to match! We wanted a toughened glass balcony and what’s great about Balcony Systems is that we could get an immediate online quote from their website. It worked for us!
“I was really pleased with Balcony’s brilliant service. They sent a sample balustrade section for our builder to test with the steel beams supporting the balcony. He was very impressed with the system and I think he will recommend it to others.”
“The balconies are fantastic, transforming the open views from our home, which is on a 45-degree hill. We now get a full view of the river.”
5: Ivan Starkey, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex
This is a refurbishment project involving replacement of old black wrought iron balcony that was 21 years old and corroding due to rainwater penetration on flat roof. (Uprights went through roof and screwed to joists, eventually balcony started swaying and water penetrated through hairline gaps)
Says Ivan: “Flat roofs in Great Britain are bad news and the old balcony needed constant repairs as it used to let water in.”
New balcony is nearly 20 metres long in total with bronze handrail, off two living rooms taking advantage of sea views. Anchored with special stainless steel brackets and installed by Ivan’s kitchen fitter.
Ivan first saw Balcony Systems at Grand Designs in London four years ago…’Umair was great; he greets you like an old friend!’ He saw the concept and originally designed a glass balcony himself, but using 20mm glass – twice as thick as Balcony’s.
“Then I saw the Balcony System product and that did it for me! I like everything about it, clarity, very light, very nice and very easy to keep clean. And of course, there’s no maintenance, an essential factor when living next to the sea, as the balustrade resists the corrosive effects of salt.”
Ivan adds: “I had absolutely fantastic service from Balcony Systems and would certainly recommend the company.”
6: Stephen and Jo Harwood, Fishbourne, Isle of Wight
Balustrade installed Aug/Sept 2010 on new self-build property built on plot of land which had been owned by the couple for 38 years. Measures almost 20m in total length and features a curve on one return, anodised satin finish handrail. Sits on a galvanised steel structure.
It took Stephen, 73 and Jo, 68 nearly 5 years to make the decision to go ahead with building their own home (late in life) and the project took 2 years to complete.
Says Jo: “We met Umair 3 years ago at Grand Designs and got chatting, ‘yes, we can do anything for you’ he said. We thought the Balcony product would be out of our price range. We were very impressed as it was exactly what we were looking for – with nice clean lines, the curve at the end and it really keeps the views. There are no clips in the middle of your view.
“No one else was prepared to do a curve; there was a very ‘can-do’ positive attitude from Balcony! They can always find a solution. Their fitting team was brilliant, really excellent. Somany people have admired our balcony from which we enjoy wonderful sea views.”
Says Stephen: “The glass balcony was installed right at the end of the build and really makes a feature of the house and transforms its appearance. It also protects us – and the building – from the wind.”