The sight of a Juliet balcony will easily draw your eye. With an elegant, historical vibe and graceful curves, walking by a house with a Juliet balcony is always enjoyable.
But what is a ‘Juliet Balcony,’ anyway? Are there any real reasons these balconies are so popular, or is it all just window dressing?
In this article, I’ll explore the origins and modern uses of Juliet balconies to help you understand why they are so coveted. I’ll also provide tips on choosing the right one for your needs.
Table of Contents
What is a Juliet Balcony?
A Juliet balcony (also known as a balconette or false balcony) is a narrow, decorative balcony that is attached to the exterior of a building, usually in front of a large window or door on an upper floor. Unlike a traditional balcony, a Juliet balcony has no platform for standing or placing objects. Instead, it consists of a railing or balustrade that provides a safety barrier when the window or door is open.
The main features of a Juliet balcony include:
- Railing or Balustrade: This is the primary component of a Juliet balcony, made of various materials such as iron, steel, aluminum, glass, or wood. The design can range from simple and minimalist to intricate and ornate, depending on the architectural style of the building.
- Large Window or Door: A Juliet balcony is typically installed in front of a full-length window or door, often a French door, which opens inwards. This increases natural light, ventilation, and a sense of outdoor connection.
- Minimal Protrusion: Unlike traditional balconies, Juliet balconies do not extend far from the building’s façade, making them suitable for properties with limited outdoor space or planning restrictions.
Juliet balconies are popular for their aesthetic appeal, ability to enhance natural light and airflow, and cost-effectiveness compared to full balconies. They are in various architectural styles, from traditional to contemporary homes and apartments.
Why are Juliet Balconies a popular choice?
Juliet balconies are increasingly becoming a popular choice for many when it comes to enhancing the living space in their home. This is primarily because of the many advantages that Juliet balconies offer.
- They provide additional exterior space with limited intrusions on living areas.
- The design lends itself to classic or modern exteriors and can be tailored to suit any external structure, from traditional-period buildings to modern new builds.
- Juliet Balcony designs can also add unique visual appeal to homes while allowing generous amounts of natural light and ventilation into the property.
- They also require little maintenance or upkeep, making them an economical option.
- This balcony style is ideal for apartment living, opening up plenty of opportunities for alternative use.
What can you use a Juliet balcony for?
- A Juliet balcony is an effective way to add an outdoor space to your home without building a full-sized balcony or renovating your property.
- It can also function as a decorative element in its own right, providing a striking feature to the external appearance of your building.
- A Juliet balcony offers the perfect compromise between having a small outdoor area and making the most of the available material and space at hand.
- You can also hang plants off balconies, increasing air quality and creating a more pleasant atmosphere.
Physical Characteristics of the Balcony
A Juliet Balcony is a popular balcony choice and has unique physical characteristics.
- When installed, the system must extend from the structural opening on each side by at least 6 inches to properly secure it.
- It’s typically no longer than two feet deep but may be as narrow as six inches.
- To ensure maximum safety, the railings should ideally measure at least 43 inches in height.
- It will typically be located on the second or third floor and can come with either an open-top railing or one closed-off.
Differences between a Juliet Balcony and a Traditional Balcony
|Normal Balcony Setup
|Size and Design
|Small, shallow, attached to window/door
|Larger, protruding, supported by columns/brackets
|Decorative feature, not for outdoor activities
|Outdoor living space used for relaxation, dining, entertaining
|No floor or protective barrier not meant for standing/seating
|Equipped with a floor and sturdy railing for safety
|Less expensive to install
|More expensive to construct due to materials and labor
When a Juliet balcony is a more appropriate choice than a true balcony?
- Space constraints: If the building has limited floor space, a shallow balcony is a better option as it doesn’t require a lot of space for installation. This is particularly useful for apartment space savers or buildings that lack of space.
- Cost: A faux balcony is less expensive than a traditional one. If the budget is a concern, a Juliet balcony can be a cost-effective way to add a decorative element to the building’s facade.
- Aesthetic appeal: A Juliet balcony is a great option if the primary goal is to add a decorative feature to the building’s exterior. It can add a touch of elegance to the building without taking up much space or adding to the overall cost.
- Safety concerns: In some cases, full-size balconies may not be a safe option, especially if the building is in a busy or high-traffic area. In such situations, a Juliet balcony can be a safer option as it doesn’t have the floor or an open space that people can access.
In summary, a Juliet balcony is more appropriate than a larger balcony in situations where floor space is limited, budget is a concern, or the goal is to add a decorative feature to the building’s exterior.
Materials Used to Construct Juliet/French Balconies
Juliet balconies are popular for many homeowners because they are customizable and can be constructed from various materials.
Popular materials used to construct Juliet balconies include steel, cast iron, wrought iron, aluminum, wood, and glass.
Each material has a unique aesthetic, making Juliet balconies eye-catching additions to any home.
- Steel is often the strongest and most durable material.
- Aluminum offers a more lightweight option.
- Cast iron is classic and works well with traditional homes
- Wrought iron is decorative but still strong.
- Wood may take more maintenance but provides an elegant look.
- Glass can create the illusion of space.
Design Considerations for a Juliet Balcony
Tips for choosing a design that complements the building’s architecture
- Consider the style of the building: Take a look at the style of your building, whether it’s modern or traditional, and choose a Juliet balcony design that fits in with the overall aesthetic. For example, a wrought iron Juliet balcony might be the perfect match if your building is a classic Victorian.
- Look at the materials used on the building: Try to match the materials of the balcony to those used on the building. If your building has a lot of wood accents, a wooden balcony might be a good choice, while a metal balcony can work well with a more industrial-style building.
- Consider the colors used on the building: Consider the colors used on the building, and choose a balcony that complements or contrasts them. For example, a black or dark grey wrought iron balcony can create a nice contrast if your building is made of brick or stone.
- Consider the size and proportion of the building: Make sure the size and proportion of the Juliet balcony match the size of the building. A small balcony might be lost on a large building, while an oversized one can overwhelm a smaller one.
- Think about the surrounding landscape: Consider the surrounding landscape and choose a balcony design that complements it. For example, a glass-panel Juliet balcony can be a good choice if your building has a great view, giant windows, and glass doors, while a more ornate design might work well in a garden setting.
- Research and seek inspiration: Look for inspiration in architectural and design magazines or online, and consider seeking the help of a professional to help you choose a design that complements your building’s architecture.
Examples of different Juliet balcony designs:
- Wrought iron Juliet balcony: This classic design features intricate metalwork, often in a black or dark grey finish. The iron bars are spaced closely for safety, while the overall effect is elegant and timeless.
- Glass-panel Juliet balcony: A Juliet balcony with glass panels can create a sleek, transparent appearance for a more modern look. The panels can be clear or frosted, and the frame can be metal or wood.
- French doors with Juliet balcony: This design features a set of double doors that open outward onto a small balcony. The balcony may be a simple metal or wood structure, but the doors add a touch of charm and character.
- Juliet balcony with planter boxes: To add a bit of greenery to your balcony, you could incorporate planter boxes into the design. These can be attached to the railing or built into the balcony, creating a mini-garden in the sky.
- Minimalist Juliet balcony: For a truly understated look, a minimalist Juliet balcony might be the way to go. This design features a narrow metal or wood railing without decorative flourishes or embellishments.
- Curved Juliet balcony: A curved one can be a great option to add architectural interest to your home. This design features a curved metal or wood railing that adds a sculptural element to the façade.
Can a Juliet balcony be added to an existing building?
Yes, a Juliet balcony can be added to an existing building. However, the feasibility of doing so will depend on several factors, including the structure of the building, the availability of suitable attachment points, and local building codes and regulations.
Because it is primarily intended for aesthetic purposes and does not support significant weight, a Juliet balcony can be added to many existing buildings without requiring extensive structural modifications.
To install a Juliet balcony, a contractor will typically need to attach a metal or wood frame to the exterior of the building at the desired location. This frame will then support the balcony, made from wrought iron, steel, or glass.
Before adding a Juliet balcony to an existing building, consulting with a qualified contractor or engineer who can assess the project’s feasibility and ensure that it complies with local building codes and regulations is important.
How much does it cost to install a Juliet balcony?
According to household quotes, a Juliet balcony’s cost depends on size, material, and labor. Check the table below to see estimated prices.
|Material of Juliet Balcony
|Cost of Supply
|Cost of Labour
|Total Estimated Price
|$300 to $600
|$150 to $450
|$450 to $1050
|$600 to $3000
|$150 to $450
|$750 to $3450
As a result, it’s best to get a quote from a professional installer to get a more accurate estimate for your situation.
Property Value and Juliet Balconies
The addition of Juliet balconies to several units in a high-end residential building had a positive impact on the property values.
The wrought iron and glass balconies enhanced the building’s architecture, provided extra usable space for the residents to enjoy the fresh air and outdoor views, and differentiated the property from other buildings in the area.
This led to higher pricing for these units due to the unique feature that increased their overall value by an estimated 5%.
Are Juliet balconies safe for children and pets?
Juliet balconies are not considered safe for children or pets due to their lack of safety features. The openings in the balcony railing can be wide enough for small children or animals to pass through and result in a fall from a considerable height. It is best to keep children and pets away from Juliet balconies for their safety.
In conclusion, while a Juliet balcony may be small, they are incredibly popular with homeowners. They don’t obstruct the view, provide an additional outdoor space to use in warmer climates, and can easily be incorporated into any home style. So if you’re looking for a unique way to make your home stand out and enjoy some fresh air, a Juliet balcony is the way to go.