- Placement of the cabinet on the balcony: selection and preparation of the place
- Preparatory work
- Choice of cabinet design
- Closing the wardrobe: swing or sliding doors
- Sizing and drawing preparation
- Selection and preparation of materials required for the assembly of the cabinet
- Preparing tools for work
- Step-by-step cabinet assembly
Lots of things that you rarely use take up valuable shelf space for years. If you are already tired of shifting them from place to place, it’s time to put them away, for example, in a closet on the balcony, which you can do yourself.
Placement of the cabinet on the balcony: selection and preparation of the place
To begin with, it is worth critically assessing the condition of your balcony. So that your work is not in vain, and the structure you assembled will serve for a long time, the balcony must be protected from any external influences. Ideally, it should not only be glazed, but also insulated, otherwise, under the influence of moisture, frost and other “gifts” of the weather, the walls of furniture, doors and shelves will quickly deform and dry out. Therefore, we will assume that you have already completed the glazing, leveled the walls and floors of the balcony, and insulated it with high quality. Those who have just started equipping a balcony can be advised to think over and take into account the planned cabinet even at the stage of repair work. In this case, you can refuse to glaze those surfaces that will be behind the cabinet and sew them up completely. This will save a little and avoid problems that can arise from condensation forming on glass surfaces. Now you can proceed directly to the cabinet.
As usual, you will have to start with a brainstorming session. In order to rationally use the available space, it is necessary to think over the optimal arrangement of the new storage.
Choice of cabinet design
Try to get the most out of every centimeter, but don’t get too carried away with the big dimensions. In width and height, you can freely use the entire space, but the depth of the structure can significantly clutter up the balcony. Therefore, when determining this parameter, it is hardly worth starting from the maximum possible size. The optimal shelf depth is 40-60 cm. Deeper shelves are inconvenient to use and require additional fixation.
Having decided on the external dimensions, we proceed to the organization of the internal space. Decide what kind of things you are going to place in the closet, and already based on this, plan the structure. One of the most convenient options is a wardrobe divided in height into two sections. Firstly, thanks to this division, the shelves will not be too long and will not sag under the weight of the things lying on them, and secondly, you will have the opportunity in one section to make many low shelves for small things, in the other – several high ones for large boxes.
Closing the wardrobe: swing or sliding doors
Most often, swing or sliding doors are used to close the balcony cabinet. The installation of swing doors is less costly, but they are quite inconvenient, since when opening, they significantly clutter up the already small balcony space. This option is advisable when you need to see the entire shelf space and at the same time you can not save space. In all other cases, it is better to give preference to sliding systems..
Sizing and drawing preparation
Having thought over all the design features, it remains only to carry out very careful measurements and draw up a detailed drawing. Please note that in order to build the correct drawing, already at this stage it is necessary to decide on the choice of material from which the structure will be assembled. To determine the exact dimensions of all parts, the thickness of the material must be taken into account. If you have no experience in assembling furniture and you are not confident in your abilities, try to assemble a cardboard model first. Such training will allow you to check the correctness of your calculations and avoid unnecessary mistakes. At this stage of thinking is completed and you can proceed to the practical part.
Selection and preparation of materials required for the assembly of the cabinet
Of course, there are no uniform requirements for the materials from which a balcony cabinet can be assembled. It all depends on preferences and capabilities. Perhaps you already have some materials, or there is a need to do without extra costs and assemble a wardrobe from old disassembled furniture. In this case, everything that is available will come in handy. If the acquisition of materials cannot be avoided, then for the cabinet option we offer you will need:
- Waterproof chipboard. The material is ideal for use on the balcony, as it is not afraid of moisture and is resistant to significant temperature changes.
- Bar for the frame (section 40×40 mm).
- Fiberboard – for the back wall. Although it can be neglected if one of the balcony walls plays the role of the back wall.
- Fasteners: nails, screws, dowels and metal corners.
- Furniture hinges (piano can be used) for swing doors or tracks for sliding.
Cutting materials according to your size can be ordered today in almost all major hardware stores. This service is inexpensive, and often free, so it makes sense to use it. The parts cut on professional equipment will have exact dimensions and a neat look, without chips and irregularities. It is almost impossible to achieve this quality, wielding a jigsaw at home, and you also need to have sufficient experience. You can also order edging of parts there. Please also note that when choosing material for doors, do not forget that this is the front side of the cabinet, which should become a worthy part of the entire interior of the balcony..
Preparing tools for work
In order for the cabinet assembly process to proceed quickly and successfully, it is best to prepare all the necessary tools in advance. So, for work you will need:
- Roulette and level. When collecting furniture, you should hardly rely on a good eye, so they should definitely be at hand.
- Drill and hammer drill with drills. During the work, you will need drills for both concrete and wood.
- A hammer.
- Screwdriver or screwdriver.
- A hacksaw and a jigsaw if you need to cut the materials yourself.
Step-by-step cabinet assembly
So, everything is ready, let’s start assembling. Let’s start by installing the frame and attaching it to the balcony slabs.
1. We mark the attachment points and securely fix the timber to the floor and ceiling using dowels. As a result, both on the floor and on the ceiling you should get two identical rectangles located exactly under each other.
2. Screw the side walls to the transverse beams with screws.
3. After the side panels are installed, you need to fix the ceiling plate and the floor of the assembled cabinet to the upper and lower frames, respectively. The fact that these parts are attached to the frame and not directly to the ceiling and floor has several advantages. Firstly, the cabinet parts do not come into contact with the plates, and therefore will be less exposed to moisture. Secondly, thanks to the ceiling gap, interior lighting can be installed. To do this, a hole for the lamp is prepared in the ceiling plate of the cabinet (even before attaching to the frame), and the necessary electrical wiring is laid in the gap.
4. Install the back panel. It must be screwed with self-tapping screws to adjacent surfaces using corners.
5. Insert a vertical partition, prepared for dividing the structure into sections. To do this, we apply the markings, adhering to the dimensions provided by the drawing, and then attach the partition to the ceiling and floor plates using all the same metal corners.
6. Side walls must be provided with an additional vertical stiffener. For this purpose, a vertical bar is mounted to them from the inside, which will allow the structure to maintain its shape even under intense load..
7. After that, you can proceed to the installation of the shelves, having previously completed the marking of their fastening. They are also attached to the side surfaces using metal corners and self-tapping screws..
8. In principle, the cabinet is ready, all that remains is to install the doors provided for by the project. If you have prepared swing doors, then each leaf is attached to the side surfaces with three hinges. For a design with sliding doors, you will need to fix the upper and lower track to the balcony slabs and after that install the doors themselves in the appropriate position.
The process of assembling the cabinet cannot be called absolutely simple, but in the end your work will bring tangible benefits.!