Installing a Juliet Balcony
Juliet Balcony installation options, spans and limits; There are so many options available that I have laid out for you the most common ones below. If you have questions, we are always happy to assist and you can contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
Openings that require Juliet Balconies
Juliet balconies, or barriers (Technically known as “Edge protection” by building control) are required on full height and open-able openings where there is a risk of falling or drop that endangers the users of the building when the doors are opened.
There is growing use of first floor and above modern and full height glazing that opens up. Giving more light and air to a property it is an attractive solution.
Balconies and balcony structures are complex to install and get planning for and therefore there is a wide use of simplistic barrier solutions known in the UK as Juliet Balconies.
Types of doors and glazing solutions
The glazing solutions used on these opening very much impact which Juliet balcony solution can be used.
Two part French Doors
In the majority of cases double door, opening inward French Doors are used. These range in width 1.2m wide up to 1.8m usually. These type of French doors, being relatively not too wide, enjoy a vast variety of Juliette balcony options, from the traditional metal through glass and metal combined and also glass only sheets bolted to the sides of the walls.
Wider glazing solutions
Wider glazing options offer a greater challenge for implementing Juliet balconies. Sometimes the glazing incorporates fixed panels which in practice reduce the amount (length) of protection, even if the Juliet solution used is the entire width of the opening.
In such cases where the railing is full length and includes fixed areas, this in turn reduces the loads that need to be calculated for building control to only be the lengths of the open-able areas. So for example if you have a large door on the first floor measuring 3.5m in width incorporating 2 fixed panels of 0.75m on each end, if you installed a Juliette balcony that was the entire width of the opening then the calculation for the loading on this balcony should be for only the 2.0m central part that can be opened.
In cases like the above and as I mentioned in the example one solution would be to make a balcony railing across the entire glazing, but another popular solution that is frequently used is a Juliet Balcony that is fixed to the glazing mullions (vertical elements on the glazing). This reduced the width required for the balcony, making the requirement only for the open area. This in turn passes the loads to the glazing frames and requires careful inspection of the frames capabilities to carry the loads coupled with examination of the way the frames are fixed to the opening and structure. This solution can add some complication and difficulty for calculation purposes and must be carefully considered in advance so that when needed the glazing frames can be reinforced to deal with the required loads on the balcony rails.
Fully opening glazing
A very popular glazing solution in the market are folding sliding doors, also known widely as “bi folds”. These pose the greatest challenge for Juliette balcony solutions as this type of glazing enables one to up the entire width of the opening, leaving nothing but the walls past and under the opening to fix to. Juliette balconies, usually rely on the strength of the handrail or horizontal members to resist lateral loads and the wider the gap or distance between fixing points the greater the challenge to produce an aesthetic yet practical solution.
Solutions for Juliet Balconies on wide fully opening glazing are limited and comprise a variety of posts based solutions (railings that rely on posts) or in the form of a handrail that can support these loads across the length, this is usually limited to around 3.5m-3.8m width of glazing.
Most widow/door cills protrude between 25mm to 45mm from the face of the wall. This allows a variety of options to fix under the opening. Examples are brackets, circular glass fixing points, extended post fixings and more that clear the cill,
The challenge comes when the cill protrudes further or when there is no cill or structure to fix to under the cill. In these instances fixing can only be applied to the side walls in which case there is a further limit on choice of solutions.
Side fixed systems exist in the form of “Glass only Juliet balconies”, “Mirror Juliet Balconies”, metal railings etc. this way to fix the railings is limited in widths usually to around 2.0m-2.2m in width of structural opening.
The British standard that relates to loads on buildings (BS6399) and specifically BS6399-1:1996 Amendment 1, clause 10 refers to the subject of vertical loads.
Most balustrades or railings sit ON the structure and directly transfer the vertical loads to the top of the structure and the subject of vertical loads has a small impact on the overall performance of the balustrades or railings. However on Juliette type balconies this can have a tremendous impact and must be taken into account in the design of the fixings and brackets.
The standard refers to a point load of 1.0 kN (appx 100kg) in addition to the horizontal loading. This means the side fixings, or bottom fixing must be capable of supporting this additional load and the balcony solution you choose must be checked
The subject of vertical loads, despite being in the standard for years, seems to have gone under the radar. Recently building control have brought it more under scrutiny.
Here at Balcony Systems Solutions Ltd we come under constant demand for solutions to all the above situations and conditions. We have developed 4 Juliet Balcony Systems to give a solution to over 90% of situations arising. Most of these are actually available in as quick as one week.
Our systems allow options of both fixing under the cill, or without fixing under the cill. Ten standard widths in four colours give an answer to most requirements but we regularly make custom sized Juliet balconies up to 4100mm in width.
On our website you can get an online price for any one of the 80 options of standard sizes or a custom Juliette in an instant.
Balcony Systems Solutions Ltd