Whether you’re looking for a way to spice up your plain, unassuming home or you’re afraid someone may take a tumble out of an upper story floor-to-ceiling window, Juliet balconies are exactly what you need. Unlike a traditional balcony that takes up outdoor space, requires frequent maintenance to ensure safety and can be expensive to install, a Juliet balcony allows your floor-to-ceiling windows or patio doors to open fully, bringing the feel of an outdoor patio to an interior space.
Juliet balconies are essentially just railings that mount to the exterior of a home, either directly to the siding or between columns or along ledges, creating the illusion of a fully functional balcony from afar. There are loads of styles to choose from, adding curb appeal to any style home or building. Small apartments and businesses benefit from the addition of Juliet balconies, especially when rail planters, hanging baskets or shutters are added to the picture.
What’s in a Name?
Juliet balconies go by a plethora of names, including “faux balcony” and “balconet.” The name “Juliet” gives a nod to the Shakespearean play, “Romeo and Juliet,” and appears in architecture catalogs from the 1920s. Even then, the idea of opening up interior spaces and bringing lots of fresh air indoors was appealing where space was limited. Many of the buildings from that era still have their original iron Juliet balconies, especially those with French and Spanish influenced architecture.
Today’s Juliet balconies are made from a wider range of materials than those in the past, running the gamut from traditional wrought iron to lightweight, durable aluminum or steel. Some modern buildings have turned the Juliet balcony on its head by removing the bars in favor of thick pieces of glass – it just goes to show that no matter your architectural flavor, there’s a Juliet balcony perfect for your building.
Safety with a Juliet Balcony
Not only do Juliet balconies look nice, they can help keep your family safe both during and after construction. Floor to ceiling windows and large doors that open to nothing are potential fall hazards for children and adults alike. Juliet balconies typically reach about waist-high on adults and have tightly spaced bars, ensuring that no one accidentally stumbles into a broken leg during a party.
Replacing a second story deck or building one from scratch can take a lot of time if you’re just working on it over the weekend. This is a great reason to install a temporary Juliet balcony. With the upper story door secured by a metal railing, there’s no more worrying that someone will leave it unlocked or open it without thinking – now you can take your time designing and building the perfect upper story deck.
No matter your reasons for installing a Juliet balcony, durable aluminum, iron and steel options will give you many years of service for much less money than a standard balcony and without the hassles. Many companies, like Hooks & Lattice, will even work with you on a custom design to give your home a unique touch.