What Is A Juliet Balcony and Other Frequently Asked Questions

Installing a balcony can be a great way to open up your rooms, find more light and space. It also adds a visual design touch that makes the exterior of your home stand out.

However, they can be expensive, complicated to fit and aren’t always a practical choice. If you’d like to let more of the outdoors into your upper floor space but can’t afford the investment of a full balcony, a Juliet balcony twinned with French doors can be an excellent compromise. But not everyone will consider a Juliet balcony – many people don’t even know what one is!

As we see a lot of confusion on the topic of Juliet balconies, we thought we’d take the time to answer some of the most commonly asked questions and clear up a few facts around them. Read on if you’d like to know about what exactly Juliet balconies are, what they do and the things you need to consider when fitting one.

What is a Juliet balcony?

Essentially, a Juliet balcony is a glass balustrade that is fixed to the external wall of a building. They are often used in front of big windows or French doors and they don’t have a surface or deck to walk on them, unlike a standard balcony.

They are almost exclusively used above ground level.

Why is it called a Juliet balcony?

Juliet balconies take their names from Shakespeare’s famous Romeo and Juliet play. One of the play’s most memorable scenes involves Juliet standing on a balcony calling out to Romeo, and this is where the name ‘Juliet balcony’ is thought to originate.

This type of balcony is also called a ‘Juliette’ balcony which is just another spelling for the same name. They are also known as French balconies too.

What is the point of Juliet balconies?

The main role of a Juliet balcony is safety. Glass Juliet balconies are usually used in front of French double doors that are fitted at height (first floor or higher).

These double doors are commonly used in flats and buildings where external wall space is scarce. They are a great way to maximise the amount of natural light that flows inside. They also offer the option of throwing them open to let fresh air inside. 

But even with toughened laminated glass, full length windows and doors can become a safety hazard. One which obviously increases when the doors or window are open.

While wooden or metal railings will offer the same safety benefits of a glass Juliet balcony, they do obstruct the views. The handrails and bars interrupt sightlines and can even stop light getting in. In contrast, glass panels are completely clear so they mlet the maximum light and warmth into a room and give unobstructed views too.

This is particularly beneficial on higher floors where the views are often a selling point of a home or office space.

A glass Juliet balcony lets you get the best possible experience for your room, letting fresh air flow on warmer days and helping your room feel bigger and brighter.

Can you sit out on a Juliet balcony?

As they have no deck or floor space, it’s not possible to sit out on a Juliet balcony. If you’re looking to install a full balcony, glass panels still make an attractive, practical safe choice for balustrades but if you want a usable balcony there is a lot more work, considerations and costs involved.

What are the regulations around Juliet balconies?

Juliet balcony systems might not give you any real usable outdoor space, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t subject to certain rules and regulations around the materials they use and their installation. Here are a couple of things you need to consider before deciding to install one.

The main regulations relate to the glass used in the balcony and the height it stands. As with all residential building projects, safety is the most important factor so the glass panels used in a Juliet balcony must be toughened or laminated so that if it does break it doesn’t cause a risk. It needs to be at least 10mm thick too.

The panel of a Juliet balcony also needs to be a minimum of 1100mm high as well, to reduce the risk of accidentally falling over it. It will also need to be at least 150mm wider than the opening it’s fixed in front of, in order to leave space for the fittings and make sure it is secure.

Do you need planning permission for glass Juliet balconies?

A simple Juliet balcony without a floor doesn’t require planning permission to install or replace. They fall under ‘permitted delvopements’ which means you don’t have to seek permission from any local authorities before having them installed.

What are the disadvantages of Juliet balconies?

It’s hard to say there are any clear cut disadvantages to Juliet balconies, other than the fact they don’t offer the benefits of a more traditional balcony. Obviously, many people would prefer to have usable outdoor space so they can get outdoors into the sun on warmer days but that isn’t always an option.

It takes a lot more money, effort and planning to install a full balcony. If that isn’t an option for you, then a Juliet balcony makes a fantastic alternative.

One disadvantage can be if you have pets or young children. As these balconies don’t have a floor, it is not advisable to leave them unattended with open doors and only a Juliet balcony for protection.

Glass balconies to make your outdoor space elegant and enjoyable

Whatever type of balcony you decide to go for in your home, glass balustrades make a stylish and practical choice. From the clean lines and sharp looks, to the uninterrupted flows of light and sight without h

If you’d like a glass balcony that matches visual appeal with practical benefits, speak to us today to find out more about our high-quality range.


Pile of glass shards in recycling plant

Is glass a sustainable building material?

Is glass a sustainable building material?

In 2024 there really is no excuse for not considering the environmental impact of the purchases you make for your home. Whether you’re looking at decorative items, practical ones or even structural ones, sustainability should be part of your thought process – even if it isn’t the final deciding factor.

But making informed decisions can take a lot of research. Hours of weighing up your options. To save you sinking your time and effort into finding out the environmental cost of glass from multiple sources, we thought we’d put together a quick handy guide ourselves.

We’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of glass from a sustainability standpoint, as well as answer some commonly asked questions around the issue to help you decide if glass is an environmentally sound choice for you.

Why is glass a sustainable building material?

As a sweeping generalisation, it is reasonable to say that glass is sustainable. It is a great option not only for building but also for packaging materials. Here are a couple of reasons why it can have a lower environmental impact than many other materials used in the building industry.

It is incredibly strong

We talk a lot about the strength of glass alot here at KLG Glass, but have you ever thought about the environmental benefits this strength brings.

It’s strength means that glass has a long lifespan as a far as building materials go. 

When you replace windows, it’s usually because the frames are breaking of the seal on your double glazing is failing. The panes of glass only need replacing if they are forcibly broken. Left untouched, glass barely weakens or discolours – even over decades. In fact, high-quality glass walls  also have a lifespan of over 50 years.

To give you an idea of just how durable glass can be, think of all the decorative glass in historic buildings. Canterbury Cathedral contains a stained glass window that has been shown to date back to the medieval period

Of course, modern glass is not built to last this long but it still has an impressive lifespan.

It is infinitely recyclable

Another benefit of the strength of glass is that it’s considered ‘infinitely recyclable’. As it doesn’t degrade through normal use (or while being recycled) it can be recycled then reused indefinitely – theoretically forever. Recycled glass stays as strong as virgin glass too and has even more potential uses as it can be used as aggregate too.

It is 100% recyclable

As a material, glass is also entirely recyclable. This means plants do not have to filter out any glass waste as part of the recycling process. This makes recycling glass more straightforward and means it uses less energy to carry out. Less energy means a smaller carbon footprint – which is always a plus for the environment.

It uses minimal natural resources

Another benefit that comes with a material that is infinitely recyclable is that it uses fewer natural resources. Making virgin glass does use a lot of natural resources, but recycled glass uses barely any. This averages out to use fewer raw materials than wood, for example, which needs fresh material every time.

A kitchen window looking out across a green garden with sunlight coming through.Are there environmental drawbacks to glass?

Glass is an impressively sustainable material if it’s used correctly. However, behaviour in the real world means that the question ‘Is glass a sustainable material?’ is slightly more nuanced.

If we want glass to be truly sustainable, we need to use an efficient manufacturing process . We also need dispose of it in a sustainable way (recycling it). If these aspects are ignored, the sustainability of glass is greatly reduced.

How sustainable is glass production?

A large part of a glass product’s environmental footprint depends on how it is made. 

To make glass sand, soda ash and limestone need to be melted at an incredibly high temperature. This is very energy-intensive and not particularly sustainable. It can also give out a high level of carbon emissions. 

However, steps can be taken to combat both of these. If you use cleaner energy in a more efficient way and reduce emissions, the benefits are clear – the issue is that not all manufacturers take these steps.

But even allowing for environmentally unsound production, glass does still benefit from how easy it is to recycle. This takes place at a much lower temperature so it uses a lot less energy – and creates fewer carbon emissions.

All these variables make it difficult to say definitively if glass production is fully sustainable. It can be done more or less sustainably depending on the choices you make, like which raw materials, processes and energy you use, while this sustainability is also increased if glass is kept in a permanent cycle of reuse after it has servied its purpose..

Can you recycle all glass?

Another flaw in the sustainability of glass is that we can’t recycle every type of glass. For example, mirrors have a reflective coating on them that stops them being – even once the coating is removed.

Other glass types, like window panes, can be recycled but need to be processed in a particular way. Window panes are often made of toughened glass – a glass is subjected to high heats to strengthen it. In turn, they need a much higher heat to be recycled than standard glass bottles or glass containers, so they can’t go into the same recycling bin as glass packaging. 

You can still recycle windows though, you just need to find a specialist glass recycling point – usually found at local recycling or waste disposal points. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t bother to seek these out, and use this as an excuse to simply chuck old windows into a skip. If you’re replacing your double glazed windows, it’s important to take them to your local waste collection site to get them recycled.

Does glass ever biodegrade?

Perhaps the biggest reason to recycle glass is what happens if you don’t. Research suggests it can take thousands of years – upto four thousand in fact – for glass to break down and biodegrade. That is actually around 8 times longer than plastic takes!

If dumped in landfill or discarded in soil, glass can also be very hazardous to people and wildlife. If it breaks, those sharp edges are a high risk until eroded and softened.

Both of these facts make it incredibly important to make sure you recycle any glass you’ve used. According to the BBC glass recycling rates in the UK sit at around 75%. Unless we increase this, it is hard to consider glass a truly sustainable material.

Is glass sustainable?

When it comes to the materials commonly used around the home, glass is easily one of the most sustainable for many reasons. Its strength, durability and attractive looks also make it incredibly versatile and there are plenty of places you can use it as more sustainable option in every room, including for a shower screen, a work surface and even a balustrade (bannister).

If you’d like to introduce more glass to your home, our high-quality products are built to last and bring eye-catching appeal, contact us today to find out more.

Glass balustrade with chrome handrail set around wooden decking.

5 reasons why you should use glass balustrades in your garden

We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of using glass balustrades inside your home. From their visual appeal to their wide-ranging practical benefits, there are plenty of reasons to pick glass for your interiors and we think we’ve made a compelling case for that.

However, we’ve not talked as much about the benefits of using them in your garden or on your patio. Glass balustrades have just any many advantages for use outside of your home as they do inside of it and make a great choice.

To even up our presentation, we thought we’d spend some time explaining the decorative and functional plus points of glass balustrades in your garden so read on to find out more.

What are the rules for glass balustrades in the UK?

The height and strength of external glass balustrades in the UK are covered by building regulations and standards. Meeting these legal requirements is the only way to make sure your glass balustrades are safe.

If you’re planning a balustrade for use outdoors, a lot of factors will impact which building regulations apply to you. For example, a balustrade that is used at or near ground level can be lower but if you use one near a large drop, it will need to meet a minimum height to prevent anyone accidentally toppling over it.

All glass balustrades will also have a minimum safety requirement around load-bearing strength to prevent them breaking and causing injuries. All balustrades need to use toughened glass but some may need specific types like laminated glass. These factors may be influenced by where the balustrades too.

This is why it is so important to find a reputable manufacturer if you are planning to install a glass balustrade. If you order with KLG Glass, we will talk you through your requirements and explain any modifications that may need to be made so they comply with building standards and regulations.

A glass balustrade edging a flowerbed in bloom.Why use glass balustrades outdoors?

There are a lot of reasons to use glass balustrades in your outside space. This includes both visual benefits and practical ones. Here are five of the most compelling reasons that could cause you to choose glass.

1. They are durable

The toughened glass used to create glass balustrades is incredibly strong, making it a perfect choice to use outside.

A well-made, correctly-fitted glass balustrade system can easily withstand the wilds of British weather conditions even in the depths of winter and they won’t suffer from heavy rains or moisture in the air.

2. They are safe

Being so strong, glass balustrades are also a safe choice. They need a very intense impact to break – an out-of-control football or accidental stumble won’t do any damage to them.

Depending on where you place your glass balustrade, it can even help you make your garden a safer space in general. As the glass panels used are solid, they are great for using around drops such as the edge of raised patios, garden decking and even around water. They will stop any small explorers taking a dangerous step making them a great choice for families or homes with pets.

If you’re concerned about the transparency of glass leaving it hard to spot in an outdoor space, then frosted glass will provide a visual barrier that eliminates even that concern.

3. They are easy to maintain

The shape and durability of glass balustrades also make them very low maintenance.

The smooth, flat glass surface is easy to clean, and dirt won’t get caked or ingrained into it. Cleaning them is just a case of warm, soapy water and a big soft sponge – followed by a dash of white vinegar to prevent streaks when they dry.

You also don’t need to worry about glass balustrades needing repairing, repainting or other maintenance. They won’t fade, warp or rot even under direct sunlight or wet weather. Instead, they will stay as attractive as the day they were installed without too much effort or care.

4. They show your garden at its best

Another benefit of external glass balustrades is that they can provide unobstructed views across your entire garden.

This makes them a fantastic choice to use for balconies, raised decking and patios, as you can keep these areas safe but still enjoy an uninterrupted view across your entire outdoor space. Unlike wood and metal railings that create barriers across your garden, severing sightlines and making your garden feel cramped, glass allows continuous views across the whole space.

Installing glass balustrades can even help improve the inside of your house too, as they won’t prevent natural light flowing into your house when they’re used in front of windows or patio doors.

5. They look fantastic

Of course, one of the biggest benefits that glass balustrades will bring to your outside space is the visual appeal they bring in themselves.

Pick a balustrade with a bright chrome handrail and fittings, and you can keep a clean, modern look across your garden. This goes wonderfully with a minimalist garden design, contrasting well with dark slabs, slate or gravel and complementing glass and rattan furniture.

Alternatively, a frameless glass design with simple panels will bring its own wow factor, a style feature in itself while also helping your garden feel brighter and even bigger. It is completely flexible across all furniture and garden designs and will add an elegant touch to any garden.

Are glass balustrades a good idea outside?

Choosing glass balustrades is a great way to improve the look of your garden, ensure its safety and even help create a sense of more space.

Here at KLG Glass, we can make you a bespoke glass balustrade system that looks fantastic and will last years. Contact us today to find out more.