Building enclosed rooms on large balcony -- possible or not?

Discussion in 'Rate This Design/Floorplan' started by ponyboy, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. ponyboy

    ponyboy Active Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    This isn't my unit, but I've noticed that the corner podium units on this building -- Yards at Fork York, 20 Bruyeres Mews -- have very large outdoor spaces.

    th11-20-bruyeres-mews-toronto-C3480150-1.
    photo: https://photos.zolo.ca/th11-20-bruyeres-mews-toronto-C3480150-1.jpg?2016-07-16+05:15:07.

    Here is a corner unit that recently sold, with lots of photos.

    https://mongohouse.com/newlistings/59e503505c72301f78c0a406

    I"m wondering why the developer chose to have such a large outdoor space. Seems too big, and the interior of the unit feels too far from exterior light. In my opinion, they could have made a much nicer floorplan, and got a higher price, if they were to build the interior space out toward the exterior. My question -- would buildings ever let an owner build onto the balcony/terrace? I did a bit of basic modifications, and here is original and proposed (fantasy?) floorplan

    original --

    branded_imperial_20-bruyeres-mews-unit-609-toronto-on_1.

    possible?

    sketch-1516507062969.png.

    Probably would never be allowed. Any thoughts?
     
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  2. lenaitch

    lenaitch Active Member

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    I'm certainly not an architect, builder or even a half-competent DIYer, but I doubt it would be allowed. I'm also not that familiar with what could and could not be allowed by a condo board. Regardless, I see a number of issues:
    -assuming the the floor of the balcony is concrete, how would it be insulated and/or heated?
    -the dwg seems to suggest some type of new thin walls or partitions. How would they be insulated?
    -how would electricity be run to the new living spaces?
    -the revised floor plan relocates virtually all plumbing. How would this be accomplished assuming concrete floors?
     
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  3. DSC

    DSC Senior Member

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    I suspect that, like most condo balconues, the balcony is NOT part of the Unit. It is "common elements, exclusive use".
    Even if it was a part if the Unit the City might well refuse a permit.
     
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  4. junctionist

    junctionist Senior Member

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    Some people have converted balconies into solariums to extend their living spaces with permission from the condo board.
     
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  5. TransitBart

    TransitBart Senior Member

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    I hate that. It makes buildings look boxy and they come to lack the clean design of the original. Big ‘yuck’ to this. Want more space? Move.
     
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  6. DSC

    DSC Senior Member

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    It depends how it is done but in general I agree with you. Having only a few balconies enclosed looks VERY odd (esp. if they are not all done the same way) and having all enclosed can certainly change the look of a building.
     
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  7. junctionist

    junctionist Senior Member

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    I agree that it can mar the building's architecture. Perhaps it can be done with subtlety though.
     
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  8. lenaitch

    lenaitch Active Member

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    Many people think that so long as they get the approval of their Board then they are good to go. Nobody is exempt from construction codes and zoning bylaws. I read an article today that said that, under the Act, any Board-approved change to a common element must be registered against the title. Not only is this additional $$ and lawyers, but now that it is part of the unit's title, it ceases to be a common element and the owner is responsible for its maintenance. On external areas such as balconies and sunrooms, that could become very expensive.
     
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  9. DSC

    DSC Senior Member

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    Yes, an owner would be required to sign an agreement under Section 98 of the Act. This would require the owner to take responsibility for maintenance/repair and these agreements are registered on title. All of the legal costs to negotiate, draw up and register this Agreement would have to be met by the owner.
     
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  10. tripwire

    tripwire Active Member

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    I dunno, I really like systems like Lumon where the balcony can be both enclosed or open. It may look a bit odd, but with most condo buildings pretty bland design-wise anyways, I'll take the option for versatility if I given the chance.
     
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  11. ponyboy

    ponyboy Active Member

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    #11
  12. tripwire

    tripwire Active Member

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    When I was in Shanghai I was surprised to find almost every unit with enclosed balconies with large openable windows. Considering our climate, I think it really makes sense in Toronto. Costs aside, I'm really surprised it isn't more popular.
     
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  13. modernizt

    modernizt Senior Member

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    From a building science perspective, in a climate of extremes like Toronto's, you want to keep a very clear separation between what is interior and what is exterior. Having a space that is semi-interior/semi-exterior can be really problematic from the perspective of moisture entering your building assemblies.
     
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