With the arrival of the summer season, everyone dreams of an outdoor corner of their home where they can spend their free time in company or for a little relaxation. This is how balconies, terraces and attics become the real protagonists of the summer, spaces that require adequate care and maintenance. For this reason, for those who already have a terrace or for those wishing to buy a property that owns it, here are some useful tips to enjoy it to the fullest.
1. Intervention on the outer space: guidelines
Knowing the structure of your terrace is a prerogative for intelligent choices
In the case of new construction but also of renovation or modification on your terrace, it is of fundamental importance to know the structure in order to operate in the best possible way avoiding future mismanagement. Too often, in fact, the homeowner does not know the design process and the technological choices that have accompanied the actual construction of the spaces he inhabits.
The description of some simple steps will create a greater awareness in users that it will be the same to experience the places of the intervention every day.
Proceeding in stages, as regards the floor of our terrace, it is important as it transmits the load of the weight above it to the supporting structures in elevation.
Everything that we decide to place in the open space in question will have a specific weight and entity and for this we need to be careful and know the structure that will support our environment.
Having said that, the attic of a practicable terrace or balcony is generally made up of the following "layers":
- Roof covering
- Thermal insulation
- Waterproof case
- Finishing (flooring)
The application of the insulating layer is aimed at protecting the underlying environments from water infiltrations. To avoid excessive heat exchange between confined spaces, it is necessary to know how to choose the right materials capable of maintaining an "ideal" balance in order to preserve the health of our spaces.
Therefore, the first to be applied are the thermal insulators (which can be synthetic or of vegetable origin) followed by the waterproofing layer (bituminous or liquid sheaths). Subsequently, the screed is inserted which consists of an electro-welded mesh that is drowned in a layer of concrete.
The flooring available in a variety of colors and materials is placed on the screed. Being the most superficial layer, visible, of course it is the one that, in addition to having to be functional and resistant, must satisfy the user's taste and for this reason it must be chosen with care and awareness. Usually neutral colors are chosen, preferably light to avoid overheating during the day and materials resistant to atmospheric agents. All walkable surfaces must also be non-slip to ensure user safety.
In this regard, safety in open spaces at high altitude is a fundamental prerogative for correct use and the first element to consider is the parapet. This, which can be characterized by a wall or a simple railing, must follow the mandatory provisions set out in Ministerial Decree No. 236 of 14 June 1989. The parapet must have a minimum height of 1 meter and in the case of railings it cannot be crossed by a sphere with a diameter of 10 cm. Furthermore, the terrace space must be such as to guarantee the simple movement of things and people without causing danger and damage.
Another aspect to take into consideration is privacy because, although it can be exciting to live fully the terrace of the house, it is also true that maintaining a good level of confidentiality is everyone's need. To this end, there are various solutions that can be adopted, from low walls at different heights, to curtains, up to bamboo fences; very pleasing to the eye are the green solutions (bushes, climbing plants) which, in addition to constituting a natural curtain, cool the environment.
If you want to use your outdoor space even in the evening and at night, you need to install light sources for comfortable use. The most used luminaires are wall spotlights, pendant lamps and lanterns and their intensity can be adjusted according to the size of the terrace. However, it is advisable to prefer a diffused and not too aggressive light, remembering that the outdoor space should never be illuminated by day, as it could disturb the eye of those who live there and also that of the neighbors. The ideal is to place the light sources at the top and on the wall, in correspondence with entrances and very used points, where tables, sofas or chairs are placed. A very suggestive choice is that of floor lighting consisting of spotlights recessed into the floor: it returns a very romantic and relaxing atmosphere but involves the disadvantage of more careful and difficult maintenance. Not to be overlooked is also the economic saving and for this energy saving lamps or solar energy lights are perfect. The latter store solar energy during the day which will be released in the evening when needed. The advantages are the absence of costs in terms of electricity and plant installation, the constant presence of light even in the event of a blackout and respect for the surrounding environment.
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