Ugly Balcony... help

bella611May 17, 2007

I am new to posting here, but you all seem like a good cast of folks. Anyway, I am the proud renter of a large 3BR/2Bath apartment in the suburbs of Washington, DC. (no seriously, DC is across the street).

I love the apartment. Fresh white walls, a beautiful light cream carpet, brand new appliances and everything. However... our balcony is UGLY! It seems while they totally redo the inside of the apartment for each tenet the balcony hasn't been touched since the building was built in the '70s.

So here is the thing, I want to be able to entertain on the balcony. The balcony is about 7 x 12 (it's huge). It overlooks the property pool, Rock Creek Park (yes, where the intern was murdered), and I have a great view of the National Cathedral. But, the balcony is metal, and the floor was painted gray many moons ago, which is chipping badly. We have verified it isn't lead based. I don't have the want to repaint the floor since the balcony is split between my neighbor and me by a frosted glass pane about a foot off the ground, and because of the "no painting" policy of the building. We have a small bistro set out there now, but with the balcony itself so ugly and industrial looking, we don't spend anytime out there.

There is also a small minifridge that my roommate has out there, which I am getting rid of poste haste, since it isn't outdoor rated to be plugged in.

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I'm going to suggest getting a LARGE CARPET to cover the ugly,chipped floor. Maybe a large fake tree with lights on it to add a special touch and alot of plants.Maybe even some fake plants like fake ivy to wrap around the railing?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 9:29PM
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I think if you'd go to the forums Balcony Gardening and Container Gardening you would get some great ideas also the New York City one. You are in a more temperate climate zone so you have even more options. That is a really super area of DC. Good luck....Tache

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 1:14PM
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check out outdoor carpeting at some place like Home Depot or a local carpet place--I have heard it isn't terribly expensive. Of course, it's spending money, and you'd said you didn't want to spend money to paint it.

have you talked to the management about it? have you told them that because the floor is so badly finished, you don't like to use it and therefore are not getting the full value you are paying for? of course, it will still be metal.

The indoor-outdoor carpeting might make it seem much less industrial. A dark green, maybe? or a blue? Or a sisal-looking one in a tan?

I see it for $7.50, $8.49 to $11/square yard at one online source (you have 12 square yards, so: $90 minimum; add delivery & hemming); I wonder what it would cost elsewhere? I wonder if you should have the edges hemmed?

supposedly you have to glue or tape it down, but I don't see why you couldn't simply lay it there. (or, use double-sided carpet tape if it seems like it would shift or blow away; the tape might pull up paint when you remove it, but it sounds like the paint is peeling away anyway)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 5:07PM
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Outdoor carpeting is pretty cheap, and the modern stuff comes in nice berber-like textures that feel like real carpet instead of that weird plasticy stuff. It makes a huge difference if the floor is a big issue. Getting some potted plants/window boxes out there will help as well. Go to the garden forums and ask in balcony gardening, and find the regional forum that cooresponds to DC and ask in there, too. If you aren't a plant person, ask for hardy stuff that won't need to be watered more than once a week so you can take care of that on the weekend, and it will help if it can survive your winter with some mulch or something so that you don't have to replace the plants every year.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 7:21PM
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Outdoor carpeting on a metal or concrete balcony will hold moisture which can lead to deterioration of the balcony.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 8:10PM
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I think that one of those sisel rugs or one of the poly fake jute rugs would solve the problem. You don't need to cover every square inch of the concrete with carpet and glueing something down would make the landlord mad. These woven rugs BREATH so moisture is not an issue.

You could also make a wood slat 2" platform, and lay it down. Rain runs right under it. It cushions your steps and adds acoustical insulation. It also looks cool, and it can be removed when you move.

Or lay down those interlocking rubber floor mats. You can pick them up at restaurant supply stores as they are used behind cooks stations on tile floors. The are cushiony and will let rain pass through them. They come in black or terrcotta.

You can also get solid interlocking tile that does not have to be glued. They have lots of bold color choices. I think they sell this for garages and exercise rooms and they can be found online and in some stores.

Once the potted plants and a few cedar chairs are in place it will look like home.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 9:31AM
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