I'm thinking of installing a Juliet balcony across a patio door (overall
width 2300mm, one sliding opening). Is it practical to fit the railings
only across the opening half, leaving the fixed half unobscured? Presumably
this would entail securing one end of the metal work to the central vertical
strut of the patio doors: is that a possibility? The door is coated
aluminium rather than uPVC.
Also, it would be pleasant to construct the balcony myself, though I have
very little experience with large-scale iron work and welding. Are there
components or kits available for this sort of thing?
Alternatively, I wonder about using copper plumbing tubing and fittings:
22mm tube for the horizontals, 15mm for the verticals, T pieces to join them
together. I can't decide if the result would look pleasingly
industrial/quirky or just plain odd...
If you want it to be more than decorative then you need to secure it at
both sides. You could, perhaps, run a long vertical in the centre,
secured top and bottom, and then just have the 'balcony' across the part
that opens. The vertical could be (largely) hidden from view from the
inside by the door centre divider but it would, of course, be visible
from outside. Perhaps paint the upper part the same colour as the frame
so it was less obvious.
As for construction materials, I'd stay clear of copper. Remember,
someone me lean against it. If you can't weld perhaps metal conduit. You
can get a range of fittings and hire a threading tool. Painting copper
well enough to survive the weather (without shedding paint) is another
issue. The conduit tends to be zinc plated (at least the stuff I've
seen) so use a suitable primer and clean it with acetone etc first.
As a general point, consider the impact on escape routes if there is a
fire. Someone fit and able could probably climb over it but what about a
someone with mobility issues?
Thanks for the detailed reply. I like your idea of a long vertical strut
attached to the brickwork at the top and bottom of the central vertical of
the door rather than to the door itself. As you say, the visual impact
would be almost zero from inside, and could be minimised outside.
I hadn't considered the escape route: there is a conventional door to the
garden in the same L-shaped area, so presumably I'm covered on that score.
I take your points about copper pipework. The painting difficult had
occurred to me, though with regard to safety I suspect that (especially with
frequent soldered T-fittings) it would be sufficiently resistant to impacts
to satisfy the building regs.
Thanks for the suggestions of alternative materials.
If you don't want it to be visible, use structural glass. Whatever you
do, it needs to be properly fixed, so as to take the weight of a couple
of people leaning heavily on it.
You didn't say which floor this is on?
It seems more of a pity to put something across the opening part of the
Not far to fall, but even so.
Cantilever something out from under the door, presumably fixed to the
floor joists. That will be the most attractive, but difficult to engineer.
Build something up from ground level. Possibly a raised patio with a
Attach something to the house, both above and below the window. This
means unattractive poles running up above the window.
Attach glass/perspex inside the house, across the opening portion of the
I used to post pics to Photobucket but had to stop when they introduced
charges. I've been meaning for ages to look around to see if there are any
alternative free image-hosting possibilities. Any suggestions?
It's almost exactly 600mm. The original plan was to have a patio raised to
that height (at the left of the pic you can see the elevated drainage point
for the guttering downpipe, which still has to be changed) and I do actually
have planning permission for that, but there are privacy issues with my
I noticed the pipework and assumed it was a work in progress.
No having raised ground outside is good if you decide you want a
conservatory. We have a raised patio and looked at a conservatory, the
foundations were going to cost a fortune.
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