Balcony Advice & FAQs

What is a Juliet Balcony?

Also known as Juliette balconies, window guards, balcony rails or balcony railings, Juliet balconies are a popular enhancement for the exterior of properties whilst fulfilling the practical requirements of building regulations. A Juliet safely allows upper floor living spaces to benefit from french doors, bifold doors or full length open windows allowing fresh air into the room and enhancing the general feeling of space and openness.

We offer a range of standard options which have all been designed and approved to comply with applicable regulations. We also offer a bespoke service so if you have a different design in mind, or have any other questions not covered by our FAQS please get in touch.

Do I need planning permission for a Juliet balcony?

  • Some local authorities have special rules for conservation areas but as a general rule of thumb, no, you do not require planning permission for a Juliet balcony.
  • ‘Walk-on balconies’ i.e. those with a platform or where you can step out of the building generally do require planning permission as they can affect sight lines and neighbours’ privacy.
  • Your local authority Planning or Building Control team will be able to give precise guidance but if you have any follow-up questions about planning feel free to contact us [email protected].

How to look after your balcony

  • Balconies should feel solid at all times although it is occasionally possible that fixings could need a quick ‘second tighten’ soon after installation. If you find that fixings are repeatedly becoming loose please seek the advice of a qualified tradesperson.
  • Although galvanising is not generally considered a decorative ‘final’ finish they can be left without painting and require very little ongoing care. The bright and shiny appearance will soon dull to a grey or white matte appearance.
  • Powder coated items should be inspected occasionally for damage and can generally easily be repaired with a colour-matched spray or brushed paint. Clean every 6-12 months with a soft cloth and mild detergent (we find dish soap works pretty well!)
  • Glass infill panels can be cleaned and cared for in exactly the same way as your building’s windows.

How do I fix a balcony to an uneven or rough surface?

It is usually a simple case of ‘packing’ behind the fixing plate with a solid material to suit an uneven surface. A builder or competent installer should be able to advise but otherwise contact Forjj for advice.

How do I fix a balcony to a rendered wall?

You must make sure you are getting a solid fix. See our advice about cladding (below). Usually there is nothing to worry about but, depending on the render, it might be necessary to remove the render in the location of the fixings to access the solid fixing surface behind.

How do I fix a balcony to cladding?

It may be possible to fix through the cladding, but when tightening the fixings you may end up nipping, squashing, or even breaking your cladding material. Sometimes, a clever spacer or stand-off design will solve your problem. Contact us if you are still unsure.

What if there is something near my window opening that might get in the way?

Inspect the walls / surfaces to a distance of 1ft (30 cm) around your window aperture. Look out for any protruding features on or around the opening that your balcony is going to fix to such as over-size window sills, drain pipes, cables or stonework that might clash with the balcony frame.

Be aware too if you have less than 1ft (30 cm) of space around the balcony area which might cause problems when fitting.

Don’t panic if you see any such issues as we can (and have) worked around all sorts of unusual obstacles in the past. Just get in touch (and ideally arrange to send us a photograph) if you would like any advice. We might need to quote you for a bespoke solution but don’t hesitate; it costs less than you think!

How should I look after stainless steel?

Thanks to the name, it’s a common misconception that stainless steel requires no care and can resist everything that the environment throws at it. Whilst it is indeed very resilient, it is ‘corrosion resistant’, not ‘corrosion proof’ and so your stainless steel balcony still needs a little attention every now and then to keep it looking its best. To ensure longevity, clean only when the metal is dirty, or has lost its original appearance. We like to suggest that this will typically be every 12-18 months but could be more frequent in beachfront or similarly harsher environments. It is possible to buy specialist stainless steel cleaning chemicals but we have heard of similarly good results from standard mild detergents including dish soap! Never use abrasive chemicals, cloths or pads. Especially avoid steel wool as this will react with the balcony metalwork and quickly degrade the metal. In some cases, it’s a simple case of you (or your window cleaner!) giving it a quick wipe when cleaning the rest of the windows on the property.