Put it up for drinks and nibblies, and down when guests are mingling. For safety reasons, fold it away when not in use and remove any stools.
Balcony safety for kids
Balconies must have a top rail at least 1m above finished floor level for safety, and if there is a potential fall of more than 4m, there must be no horizontal or near-horizontal element between 150 and 760mm above the floor level that children could climb on. There also should be no pots below 760mm against the railing, and no easily moveable chairs that could be used for climbing. Bring chairs and low pots inside when not in use, keep any doors locked, and never leave children unattended on a balcony. As this table folds down, the height of the hinge must be at least 760mm from the floor. Always check with your strata body first about rules on fixing a table to your balcony.
Gather your supplies
• Long rails 66 x 19 x 1000mm hardwood decking (2)
• Cross rails 66 x 19 x 482mm hardwood decking (4)
• Tabletop 66 x 19 x 957mm hardwood decking (7)
• Prop 66 x 19 x 950mm hardwood decking
You’ll also need
Cordless drill; 50 and 30-35mm stainless steel screws; 2.5mm nails; 75mm stainless steel butt hinges (2); water-based decking finish; sandpaper; plastic plugs
Step 1 Cut decking for long and cross rails, measure 9mm in from each end of long rails, and mark 20mm from top and bottom. Predrill 5mm clearance holes and countersink. Butt 1 long rail against 1 cross rail at 1 end and predrill 3mm pilot holes. Screw together. Repeat for other corners.
Step 2 With table frame facing down, measure and mark 200mm from ends. From this measurement, mark 20 and 50mm on long rails. Measure 28mm up from bottom, drill clearance holes and countersink.
Step 3 Cut decking for tabletop and lay face down inside frame. Put remaining cross rails in position 200mm from each end with flat face up.
Step 4 Place nails between decking boards for spacing, then predrill staggered countersunk clearance holes in cross rails to coincide with decking positions.
Step 5 Press down firmly and screw long rails to central cross rails, then screw rail to decking boards, making sure gaps at ends of board are equal.
Step 6 Screw hinges to bottom back edge of table, also about 200mm in from ends.
Step 7 Prop table in folded down position against balcony wall so bottom of hinge is at least 760mm above floor. Use drill to mark screw holes for hinge. Remove table and drill holes for plastic plugs. Insert plugs, bring table back in position and screw in place.
Step 8 Cut prop to act as a stay between floor and inside front edge of table. It should be a minimum of 950mm long. Gradually reduce length until table is level. Stop prop from slipping by screwing four 50mm decking offcuts to underside of table and at floor. Sand table, then paint with 2 coats of finish.