Juliet balconies for a house extension - what are they and do they work?
Juliet balconies is a term for an inward opening set of glazed doors at the first floor
level or higher. They have evolved simply due to desire of homeowners to have a first floor terrace but usually
received resistance from the dreaded planning department who usually refused such a design feature. The Juliet
balcony was the compromised design solution that has evolved.
Regretfully Planners think that a raised terrace is an anti-social element of residential living that enables
homeowners to overlook and intrude into the private amenities of the neighbouring properties. This is usually
complete hogwash dreamt up by some academic busy body trying to make up planning policy for its own sake.
Even Juliet balconies can still receive resistance from some Planning Authorities for some urban sites
especially if the neighbour complains or objects to the current planning application. There can be a way around
this but requires being devious.
All Juliet balconies require external guarding to prevent falling and climbing from small children. These Juliet
guard rails or balustrade can be in a variety of materials including timber, ironwork, stainless steel and glass or
a combination of each.
The Juliet guarding and ballustrading must be mechanically fixed back to the wall to resist lateral loads (such
as a falling human body) as stated under Building Regulations. They must also be at a height of 1100mm above the
internal floor level for most cases.
So, in conclusion a Juliet balcony is simply a set of inward opening glazed doors that has no external platform
but does require guarding. If they are proposed within your new house extension work then the Planners will have
control and final say on whether or not they are acceptable for your extension and property in general.
If the Juliet balcony is proposed within an existing wall of your dwelling house and not within the new
extension works then you might not ant to show this on the proposed plans if it can be installed under the site
permitted development rights simply to de-clutter the planning application from potentially contentious items.