There’s more to Juliet balconies than just Shakespeare, and while they may not be as big and as spacious as a regular balcony, that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own long list of benefits.
If you’ve been considering getting a Juliet balcony for your property, then you’re definitely in the right place. At Stainless Handrail Products, we’ve been in the business for over 20 years, so we thought we’d put together this helpful guide on everything you need to know about Juliet balconies, including how they got their name, how safe they are, and what the point of them is in the first place.
Why Are They Called Juliet Balconies?
As you may have guessed, Shakespeare plays a pretty large role in where the name comes from. Made famous by scenes from Romeo and Juliet, it wasn’t long before the name started to stick in the public consciousness. What they were called before that, no one knows.
Do You Need A Permit For A Juliet Balcony?
For the most part no, a permit isn’t required for a Juliet balcony. Since Juliet balconies don’t typically feature an extending platform, there isn’t a lot of work required. There are some exceptions however, like when one might have a small floor space, if one’s being fitted to a listed building, if your property is part of a block of flats, or if you’re located in a conservation area. Many people who choose to install this system may also choose to alter their windows and have inward-opening French doors fitted. This often requires an enlarging of the window area, which likely would need a permit.
What Is The Point Of A Juliet Balcony?
These small balconies may not seem entirely useful at first glance, with many questioning the point of having one outright. While most are quick to point out the lack of space a Juliet balcony gives you to enjoy the outdoors, what they fail to note is the way in which it brings the outdoors in. There are countless great benefits to having a balcony of this style, and the following are just a few examples:
- They’re Low Maintenance: With just a simple glass panel or two, you can create an elegant Juliet balcony with absolutely no obstructions to the light. Better yet, glass is one of the lowest maintenance materials out there, with no need to worry about the painting or care that goes into wooden or metal structures. All you’ll have to do to keep it maintained and looking great is the occasional wipe-down every once in a while.
- More Connection To The Outdoors: Make the most our of your outdoor space. This is especially true in rural areas but is a great benefit no matter where you live. If you’re looking to increase your connection with the outdoors, then a compact Juliet balcony is the perfect solution, particularly when paired with some big French doors. The real joy of a Juliet balcony is their ability to bring the outdoors in to you, while you take advantage of all the protection your house provides from the elements.
- Additional Natural Light: A perfect way to make the most of all available natural light is with a balcony and floor to ceiling French doors. Any room can be totally transformed, and not only does the closer connection to the outside look and feel great, but the increased natural light can also have a positive benefit on our health and wellbeing!
Are Juliet Balconies Safe?
We’re all about safety here at SHP. We’ve even recently written an article about whether glass balustrades are safe and to be perfectly honest with you, these types of balconies are just as safe as any other type, if not more so, thanks to their platformless design. In order to ensure the ultimate safety though, there are a few regulations that have to be followed.
For starters, any gaps between panels or railings must be no larger than 100mm. This isn’t such an issue with modern glass Juliet balconies, but it still means there won’t be any large gaps at their edges. Also, the top of a fixture must be no less than 1100mm from the standing floor level.
Juliet Balcony vs. Bay Window
One alternative to a Juliet balcony is a bay window, which, while it does have a benefit or two of its own, will never be able to capture the outdoors in quite the same way. While they can help provide a little extra space and give you a nice spot to sit and enjoy the outside world, bay windows simply can’t compete when it comes to bringing your outside environment inside. The outside world will always be the outside world with a bay window and will never be able to provide the same abundance of natural light and sense of freedom that can be achieved with a Juliet balcony.