Balconies are an architectural respite for buildings and are multipurpose in nature.
They enable ventilation, lazy evening sprawls, or smoke breaks and are of aesthetic value.
Still, the open space venue of a balcony spurs curiosity in children and pets and can lead to unfortunate accidents.
The modern-day solution for balcony accidents and intrusions is netting.
What Is a Balcony Net?
Balcony nets are expansive and vertical structures designed to keep things in or out.
Unlike sun and privacy screens, balcony nets do not block off the natural elements like air, sunlight, and rain from coming in.
The holes in balcony nets are semi-transparent and allow partial visibility.
The Purpose of a Balcony Net
Balcony nets are wide and durable structures meant to keep all kinds of threats to your life at bay.
More than two-thirds of burglaries in the United States are home invasions, and balconies without nets make it easier for intruders to get in.
Throw in the fact that around 100 of those break-ins result in homicide in the equation, and you have a safety emergency on your hands.
Additionally, quantitative research on pediatric fall accidents reveals that around 47% of children between the age of 1 to 5 fall from windows or balconies.
Pets are not exempted from the safety risk posed by an unguarded balcony.
When we consider the risks, installing balcony nets can be very beneficial. These nets serve the following purposes:
- Protect kids and pets.
- Keep intruders out and reduce the risk of break-ins.
- Block insects (mosquitoes and housefly) from getting in.
- Bar birds from entering the premise.
What Are the Types of Balcony Net
Based on their unique purpose, balcony nets are divided into the following types:
Meshes are close-knit structures with medium-sized holes designed to provide protection against wildlife.
The material used in its production provides varying degrees of sturdiness to its structure.
Metal meshes are hard on human skin but hold strong against pigeons, seagulls, and crows.
Chicken wire mesh is the most popular netting of this type, though it is mostly used in gardens and farming areas.
Still, it can be repurposed for balconies and hold on its own against big birds.
Considering the safety risks of chicken wire mesh, people mostly use nylon or plastic mesh for their balconies.
Although these two chicken wire alternatives are not as sturdy as the original, they fulfill their purpose just the same.
Unless the birds in your area are rogue and jacked up on adrenaline, they will keep out. On the other hand, you need metal wire for raccoons and squirrels.
If you are dealing with a particular case of sparrows flying in and out of your balcony, a metal mesh with smaller holes should work for you.
Some balcony nettings are solely for decoration and provide little protection against natural foes.
If you have ever found yourself looking at a balcony teeming with flowers and foliage, you might have spotted the work of the trellis netting.
Mostly used in the garden to support climbing plants, trellis netting in balconies helps gardeners make the most out of limited space.
They are stapled support for ornamental flowering plants and can guide their outgrowths to your envisioned destination.
Those who want to harness the aesthetic value of their balcony down to the T use trellis netting for their balcony.
These balcony nets are made with wool or nylon, and most have the ability of elastic extensibility.
Marketed as anti-drop safety nets, these enable safe dropping in sports performed at high altitudes.
They keep their ground against brute force and excited charging of kids and pets as a balcony net.
If your pet has the habit of chewing its way out of hurdles and safety protocols, rope netting might exhaust its efforts with its durable structure.
What Should You Consider Before Buying a Balcony Net
Balcony nets don’t come in fit-for-all-purpose and must be judged per your unique requirements. Here are some parameters you should consider before buying a balcony net:
Consider the purpose of your balcony netting to determine its material.
Avoid using metal nettings if your balcony net is supposed to keep your kids and pets inside.
Their neglected opening and sharp construction can leave rashes and cuts on their skin, especially if the holes are large. Polyester or nylon is the most suitable for families with kids.
Metal meshes can be used in commercial buildings or homes without kids or families.
Although they are not pleasant to look at and make for a challenging installation, they provide the maximum sturdiness among all netting types.
The size of your balcony and the area you want to cover with a net is absolutely necessary before buying a balcony netting.
Two inches short on the left, you have a netting that you can mount no matter how far you stretch it.
Nylon and polyester nettings still provide a little flexibility, but the metal meshes require appropriate measurements.
Wrong measurements will leave you with a useless mesh strip and nowhere to mount it.
Conversely, considering its purpose, you should account for the size of the holes. For example, nets for kids should have holes of 4 -10 cm,
Balcony nettings are constantly exposed to the natural elements; if not treated for their effects, they might fall apart weeks after installation.
While buying a balcony netting for pigeons, ensure the material is durable, weather and wear-resistant sunscreen, and waterproof.
As for nettings for children and pets, look for non-toxic and environment-friendly materials with reinforced edges.
Some people obsess over safety so much that they make their balconies look like prison cells.
No matter the purpose of the net, all balconies should be flexible, lightweight, durable, and easy on the eyes.
How Do You Put Netting on a Balcony?
Installing balcony nets is the trickiest part of the process, and knowing the shape, size, or type of your balcony can solve the problem by half.
The different balcony types determine the equipment, tools, or additional resources you’ll need to install your balcony netting.
For instance, a balcony without a frame cannot hold nets drawn on screens. Similarly, metal meshes require welding and need appropriate space to hold on.
Here are some balcony types to help you identify your balcony:
- Stacked Balcony: These are separate architectural entities, imposing little to no weight on the building structure. They are supported by pillars and are simple in design.
Tie-knot nettings work well with stacked balconies as they can easily be tied to their support.
- Hung Balcony: These are supported by stainless steel cabless and screws and are hanging off the side of the building. The floor of this balcony is affixed to the building at a 45-degree angle and has exposed nooks and crannies on all sides.
Wire meshes, especially metal ones, are suitable for hung balconies because of their expansive steel structure.
You can mold and weld your wire mesh in it without making any drastic changes in its design.
- Cantilevered Balcony: These are protruding structures off the side of the wall, seemingly suspended in the air with no visible support. The platforms of these are supplied with steel or iron rods.
These can use additions of steel or wooden frames to hold the nets around them.
The frames can be added as the extension of the guardrails with the appropriate nettings pulled tight on their frame.
- Loggia Balcony: These are covered balconies and are merely an extension of the building with windows. All you need to do is cover the windows with netting or add a sliding netting frame on either side with your chosen net type, and you are good to go.
- Mezzanine Balcony: These are inside the house and supplied with safety railings. They are neither a separate structure nor a protrusion and might need a solid frame to hold the netting of any kind.
- False Balcony: As the name suggests, these are just an illusion and exist without a platform or decking. In a way, they are elaborate windows and can be netted using steel frames.
Most companies that provide netting services ask about your balcony type, shape, and size to give you a rough estimate of the pricing.
If you are familiar with the types, you can get accurate quotes with little to no variation in the margin.
Balcony Netting Installation Methods
Ideally, you should hire a handyman to install the netting on your balcony, but if you are someone with a knack for DIY fixes, you can use the following installation methods:
The shape of your balcony and the weight of your netting determines the installation method you should use.
Netting your balcony is the easiest way to increase the security of your residence.
This safety fix is quick and affordable compared to high-end security alarms and automatic locks.
All you need to do is determine the purpose of the netting, and you can pick from the wide varieties available in the market.