Renovation specialists Johannes Jacobs (JJ) and Ant Bayne worked with this Auckland family to optimise their upstairs balcony and downstairs deck.
WORDS Mina Phillips
After living in their home for five years, this Auckland family decided that their compact upstairs outdoor area was in need of an upgrade. The upstairs balcony provided a beautiful view of the lit-up Auckland harbour bridge at night and the family wanted to make the most of this. They also wanted to be able to enjoy a more sheltered downstairs area. They contacted Refresh Renovations and were put in touch with their local Renovation Specialists Ant and JJ.
“The homeowner is a keen DIYer but quickly realised that this was a complicated and technical job that needed the experts to fix”, explains JJ. “The old deck was directly off from the family lounge with a wooden balustrade (barrier) and black waterproof membrane which tended to get hot very quickly. The waterproof membrane was starting to age and fail, with some cracks showing in the weatherboards below, from leaks.”
Developing ideas for the balcony
“The homeowner liked working with an experienced team”, says Ant. “It gave him an opportunity to brainstorm ideas about his project design with experienced renovators who often came up with ideas to improve on his thoughts.”
As the homeowners had a firm budget in mind, Ant and JJ brought in a Quantity Surveyor who provided a price guide to ensure that the work would be carried out within the family’s budget. With the design and costs in mind, Ant and JJ were then able to put a project timeline in place of four weeks. As the family would be living at home during the renovation, they had to plan this carefully. Once a schedule was prepared and the supplies ordered, Ant and JJ’s team were able to begin the construction stage of the project.
Waterproofing was an essential step in the renovation. To cover more of the downstairs area and prevent future leaks, waterproofing was extended beyond the original area using modern technology that should provide 20 years protection, at the very least.
Along with the balcony upgrade and waterproofing, Ant and JJ’s team constructed a permanent grey-tinted roof shelter that would add to the functionality of the downstairs area - providing both shelter from the rain and relief from the hot summer sun.
While it was originally decided that the project would take four weeks to complete, the team later discovered that, in order to meet council consent requirements, an additional beam support was required for the balcony’s glass balustrade. This added one week to the project.
The home’s new balcony
After five weeks of work, the project was complete.
“Two heads are better than one to bounce ideas off and, by having input from design and building professionals, the customer got an outdoor area that was beyond his expectations”, says Ant.
“The customer has a special chair set up on the upstairs balcony where he goes to enjoy the view over the harbour”, adds JJ. “He loves the shelter and the openness that the glass balustrade provides, which allows him to relax and enjoy his time soaking in the view.”