A balcony is a great place to spend an summer afternoon, eat a nice
dinner or enjoy a beautiful sunset with a favourite drink.
Your balcony is a private-use common element. You don't own it.
Therefore, there are
restrictions on what you can do on your balcony and what you can't.
Some condos will not allow you to drill holes in the exterior
on the concrete slab on top of your balcony and forbid flower boxes
that extend over the railings.
Read the rules about laying carpet, tiles or wood flooring on
the balconies. Usually, any kind of antenna, enclosures and drying
clothes is forbidden.
Usually, aside from seasonal furniture and plants, you cannot store
anything on your balcony. No old sofas, bicycles, pieces of plywood or
storage containers are allowed.
Potential fire hazards and odours are two good reasons why barbecuing
on a balcony may be prohibited in the condo declaration or in the rules.
Most municipalities allow barbecues on balconies but a few don't.
Strong odours along and smoke will definitely drift into your
neighbours’ open windows and their smoke detectors may be activated.
You will not be thrilled to get a bill for $1,200 or more if the
building’s fire alarm is activated and the fire trucks show up.
There are also fire codes concerning the transporting of propane
through a high-rise building. Propane tanks and cylinders must be
stored in a safe place away from dwellings. Propane cylinders must be
transported in a service elevator, or when there is no service
elevator, the person must use the passenger elevator alone to transport
The building’s insurance coverage may forbid propane cylinders from
being transported through the common areas.
I am not a big fan of balconies using glass panels. They look good as
long as everyone has only flowers, plants and neutral coloured seasonal
furniture on them but
unfortunately, they are also used as storage areas.
I also think that you lose your privacy with glass railings.
Depending on where your balcony is located, and how high up you are,
strong winds can blow plastic chairs and tables, table coverings,
pillows, plants and almost any light materials off your balcony and
onto the street below.
It is wise to keep the soil moist. On a very hot day, the sun can cook the dry peat moss and plant material in the metal planter until it begins to smoulder.
This is what's
left of a balcony after a discarded cigarette butt caused a fire inside
a plant pot at one Fort York condo. Luckily, no one was hurt.
Smokers often drop their butts in planters thinking that they make good ashtrays. They don't.
Obnoxious upstairs neighbours
Obnoxious upstairs neighbours who throw their lit cigarette butts, used
condoms, candy wrappers and garbage overboard and use water to rinse
urine and feces down onto your balcony are extremely upsetting.
It is very common to have discarded lit cigarette butts land on
balconies. This is very dangerous as they burn holes in outdoor
furniture and start fires.