How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions

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Balcony insulation is one of the most tricky components of the repair. On the one hand, it is difficult to achieve high-quality thermal insulation of the three outer walls, but, on the other, there are a number of successfully implemented examples. Today we will try to understand the expediency of insulation, materials and technology.

How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions

What is the difficulty of insulating a balcony

It is very important to understand the difference between a loggia and a balcony. Two main walls enclosing the loggia allow you to reliably isolate the junction of the glazing and lock the heat inside. Therefore, panoramic glazing in an insulated balcony would be a deliberately wrong decision – two end walls should preferably be deaf.

How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions1 – balcony; 2 – loggia

The balcony slab limits the permissible load, therefore, it is better to implement insulation and glazing on a frame basis. Of course, the heat-saving characteristics of such structures are far from ideal, especially if the assembly is performed in such cramped conditions..

In reality, everything is not so gloomy: there are quite effective technologies and materials for insulating a balcony. With the right approach, they will allow, if not to attach a balcony to the room, as is possible with a loggia, then at least make it comfortable for a long stay in the cold season.

How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions

The main obstacle to reliable insulation is the existing or planned glazing configuration. Structurally, the insulation and glazing of the balcony are very strongly connected, which is why it is unlikely that it will be possible to qualitatively insulate the balcony along the existing glazing front without significant loss of usable space.

Do I need a reinforced parapet

Such a solution suggests itself: to replace the lattice metal fence of the balcony with masonry from lightweight blocks. In this variant, the air-flow rate of the balcony is guaranteed to be eliminated and a reliable base for glazing is provided. But the approach to the balcony as a loggia initially cannot be called correct.

How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions

The main limitation is dictated by the small extension of the balcony console. Good insulation can be achieved with a porous concrete parapet thickness of about 25-30 cm, while you risk narrowing the interior space to completely impractical 55-60 cm. It is much more correct to use a frame supporting system.

A rather high difference between the floor level on the balcony and in the apartment in general comes to the rescue. Sometimes the drop reaches 25-30 cm, which takes a lot of effort to raise the finished balcony floor to an acceptable comfortable level. In our case, this space can be used to place the base of the frame system..

How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions

Along the balcony console, there are several rows of profile pipes 80×60 or 100×50 mm with an interval of 40–45 cm. Their edges are released behind the slab by the thickness of the insulation cake or a little more, usually about 200–250 mm. These pipes are just the base of the first frame row. From the edges, they rise vertically upward, forming racks for the subsequent installation of blind end walls, and under the ceiling they are closed with horizontal beams.

Thus, the balcony space is filled with three or four (depending on the width of the console) rectangular frames, the outermost of which are located, respectively, 100-150 mm from the edge of the slab and close to the wall of the building.

How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions

The second row of the frame – the base of the front cladding – is applied over and across the pipes on the floor. In terms of pipes, they also protrude beyond the border of the console by the thickness of the insulation. The two extreme elements, as before, go into vertical posts, forming a so-called hollow angle with the existing frame. All intermediate posts are installed in increments of 80 to 100 mm. Their vertical parts are united by one continuous crossbeam, which serves as both the upper border of the parapet and the base for the front glazing. Two more crossbars are fixed 50 and 350 mm below the top plate, they form the basis for a blind transom and fixing the top of the window frames.

How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions

The frame system must be fixed to the capital structures without fail. The end wall frames are attached to the concrete brackets both at the bottom and at the top, and the pipes adjacent to the building walls are fixed with anchors. Transverse and longitudinal frame systems are fastened to each other by electric welding or bolted joints. It is also recommended to fasten the ends of the pipes to the walls by means of steel flange plates. For fastening, two holes are made in the pipe: the first is in the adjacent wall for the diameter of the bolt anchor, and the second is on the opposite side for the diameter of the end head for tightening the nut.

Glazing and insulation materials

The choice of suitable materials for arranging a balcony is not as wide as it seems. For glazing, in any case, use the lightest possible PVC frames from a profile of class B with a width of 58 or 70 mm. A single glass unit with glasses of different thicknesses will be quite enough, the desired height of the windows: 90-100 cm.

How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions

It is much more difficult with the outer cladding material. Installation at a height has its own difficulties, therefore, the most often used professional sheet or siding of different types. The final choice should be made based on the aesthetic parameters of the building façade and installation conditions. Plastic or metal siding seems to be the most convenient material. It allows you to bring the skin sequentially from bottom to top, working safely through the gaps of the frame.

How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions

As for the insulation, it will require two types. The first is the main filler of the walls, it can be either expanded polystyrene or mineral wool, protected by a vapor barrier from the inside. The second is a roll material based on polypropylene or polyurethane with a reflective surface. It forms a primary continuous thermal barrier just below the inner balcony cladding.

How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions

External insulation technique

Like most balcony insulation techniques, the remote control implies the primary installation of the cladding, after which the frame is filled with insulation. But in a particular case, we are dealing with not entirely correct abutments along the upper and lower ends of the extension system. Therefore, the work begins with protecting the ends of the cake and installing the locking profiles..

The lower and upper abutment must be closed with a polymer-coated steel ridge. One edge of the ridge is attached to the concrete slab, the other to the metal frame. The lower ridge is attached to the end of the console, and then bent over and let down on the steel frame (under the skin) about 100 mm. The upper ridge should be fixed to the lower plane of the “ceiling” slab, at this point the strip width should be at least 150 mm. The remaining edge is either attached to the highest points of the steel frame, or has a free overhang of 40–45 mm beyond the sheathing plane.

How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions

After installing the skates, all gaps between the wall frame and the protective linings must be tightly blown out with polyurethane foam. Next, the installation of corner and, if necessary, docking profiles for the skin is carried out. Direct fastening of the siding to the frame is possible, but in order to eliminate cold bridges and increase the thickness of the pie, a counter-lattice from a lightweight CD-60 profile should be screwed onto steel pipes on U-shaped hangers.

When the installation of the cladding is completed, the hollow corners need to be filled with polyurethane foam and proceed with the laying of the main filler. From the inside of the balcony, all the cavities of the frame system remain accessible, so there are no problems with the installation of insulation.

How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions

Thermal insulation of the floor, parapet and ceiling

The main insulation (wool, EPS) fills all the free space inside the frame system, including between pipes intersecting on the floor. If you have chosen rigid materials for insulation, try to fill the gaps between the boards with polyurethane foam. The installation of window frames is usually carried out at this stage – when all the insulation is laid in the walls, and it is possible to seal its abutment to the plastic profile.

How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions

Then the floor is brought to mind: wooden bars 40×40 or 60×60 mm are screwed to the pipes and leveled with distance wedges, which serve as floor logs. The space between them is also filled with insulation, after which the subfloor is sewn with 14 mm plywood.

The walls require preparation for further finishing. Horizontal wooden slats are screwed to the metal frame, which simultaneously serve as a crate for the inner lining and as a means of attaching the vapor barrier and roll insulation. Everything that happens next is finishing the balcony according to the classic version using a “sandwich” for interior work or plastic lining.

How to insulate a balcony with your own hands: step by step instructions

To insulate the upper zone, suspended ceiling systems are used on profiles under the gypsum board. As a rule, the height of the ceiling on the balcony does not play a decisive role, therefore, it is possible to perform both on straight suspensions and on knitting needles – it all depends on the thickness of the insulation. Do not forget that the upper insulation belt also needs protection from water vapor, and the vapor barrier must be glued around the perimeter to the roll insulation on the walls.

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