‘False balcony’ is another name for a Juliet balcony or balconet. Despite their many names, these features are actually relatively simple. Unlike a full balcony which projects out from the structure, false balconies have no flooring deck and are just a railing which sit across the outer face of a window.
Why install a false balcony?
The idea of a balcony you cannot actually step out onto may not seem to make much sense at first, however, these features do serve some useful purposes.
The first is aesthetic. False balconies can add decorative charm and interest to the outer appearance of both new and existing buildings, providing the illusion of full balconies to passers-by. In some cases, these features can be installed without planning permission (it is always worth confirming this with your local planning officer in the first instance as they may still require you to apply) making it a cheaper and lower effort alternative to a full balcony.
Another advantage of these features is the option to have full sized opening windows or patio doors on an upstairs room. When these are open, the balcony railing provides a barrier ensuring you and your family are safe from the risk of falls. In the summer months this can help to provide ventilation for your room, cooling your home down more quickly in the evening. Alternatively during the darker winter months it can help you to maximise the amount of natural light within the room, potentially reducing the amount of time you need to keep electric lights on and providing you with an added boost of vitamin D.
As with all of our balcony ranges, we can offer false balconies in a wide range of designs, from simple designs with plain spindles, to more decorative Victorian or Edwardian patterns. Many of the cast iron and cast aluminium balusters can be used as part of a false balcony with the addition of top and bottom railing for support.
In addition to the standard flat profile spindles, we also offer a variety of bowed balusters, adding depth to the balconies’ appearances.
What are the safety requirements for false balconies?
Here in the UK, there are a few design requirements for Juliet balconies which are covered within the Building Regulations. The balconies’ railings must be at least 1100 mm taller than the inner floor height and have no gaps large enough to allow a 100 mm sphere to pass through. In addition, they should be designed to prevent children from easily climbing them (in practice this means it is best to avoid horizontal rails.
When is it worth opting for a full balcony?
Juliet balconies offer a compact, cheap and relatively straightforward option for some homeowners, however, it is always worth carefully considering whether they meet all of your needs or whether you might be better off opting for a full balcony.
Whilst full balconies will almost always require owners to seek full planning permission, the extra space can be invaluable, particularly if you live in a major city, with research showing they can add as much as 25% to the value of a home in some of the most desirable areas of London and an average of 12% for many other homes.
Full balconies are a great place to sit out and relax and they are also a worthwhile investment if you are planning to stay in your home over the long-term – providing an outdoor space which is low maintenance and can be easily accessed from the bedroom ensuring you can always get some outside air.
We offer balconies in a wide range of designs and patterns to suit your particular needs and can even incorporate a staircase allowing you to directly access the garden from the balcony or to provide access to a self-contained first floor flat.
Take a look at our gallery and then send a quote request and we’ll get to work creating a beautiful false or full balcony for your property.