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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.


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