Having a balcony on your house sounds like a dream. Extra outdoor space, more light brought in and the potential to be able to sit out and enjoy great views. It starts to sound less like a dream when you find out about balcony planning permission.
Planning permission are two words which most people dread, it’s not only a time consuming and costly process, but it can also end in frustration if you don’t get it granted.
If you’re wanting to get a balcony and don’t know where to start then you’re in the right place! To help get you on your way to a balcony of dreams, we’ve got everything you need to know about balcony planning permission, including things you will need to consider in order to get planning permission, as well as information on Juliet balconies.
We’re also going to talk about the costs of installing a balcony and whether they add enough value to your property to justify these costs.
If you’re looking for something specific, this menu will help you find an answer ASAP:
- Types of balcony
- Balcony planning permission
- Can you extend a balcony?
- How much does it cost to install a balcony UK?
- How much value does a balcony add to a house?
Types of balcony
A balcony is defined as a platform with a rail, balustrade or parapet, which is a low protective wall, projecting from the outside of an upper storey of a building. A balcony will never be on the ground floor.
Another type of balcony you may have heard of is a Juliet balcony. This is where there’s no platform and the ‘balcony’ is more a set of French doors with a rail outside it.
A Juliet balcony isn’t one you’re able to sit on (as you probably guessed by the fact it has no floor) and so the main use of a Juliet balcony is to bring more air and light into a room, without extending the floor space, externally or internally.
A final type of balcony we’re going to touch on is a veranda. This is a gallery or platform type area which is generally roofed and extends along the outside of the building at ground level. The best way to think of a veranda is it’s basically a balcony on the floor.
Balcony planning permission
Do you need planning permission for a balcony?
As a balcony is a raised platform it doesn’t class as a permitted development and it’s therefore likely that you will need ‘balcony planning permission’. In the unlikely event your balcony is less than 300mm, you won’t need to get planning permission but most balconies are greater than this.
Balcony planning permission will have different rules to that of a Juliet balcony – but we’ll leave that there for now as we’re going to go into Juliet balcony planning permission in more detail later!
Before applying, there are things you will need to consider in order to increase the chances you will be granted balcony planning permission:
- Loss of light – if your balcony has a solid floor, this will lead to loss of light of the area below, meaning your garden will be dark and overshadowed. Whether the loss of light is quite significant could be the difference between whether or not you get balcony planning permission
- Neighbours’ concerns – a natural concern of a neighbour will be that your balcony gives you a view of their garden or into their windows and so it’s important you speak to them to consider their concerns before applying for balcony planning permission. Otherwise, if you don’t, they could submit a complaint to the planning office, which may mean your application is declined
- Matching the property – if your balcony doesn’t match the general theme of the house, or looks too large for the property, either you won’t get planning permission, or they’ll insist the balcony has to be built at the back of the property where it’s less visible
- Preventing a fall – in order for you to get planning permission, you need to make sure precautions are in place to prevent anyone from falling off it. For example, the rail surrounding it must be at least 1,100mm high and any gap must be narrow enough that a 100mm diameter sphere can’t pass through
- Listed property – there are different rules regarding what can and can’t be done to listed properties and so this may affect your ability to get planning permission
- Low importance – if you’re the first in your area wanting to add a balcony to your property then it’s not seen as an ‘important’ feature and so it may make it more difficult for you to be able to get balcony planning permission
When you submit for balcony planning permission, you will need to do this to your local planning office. The time taken to get an answer will be similar to that of submitting for planning permission for a regular extension or other building work.
You will also have to submit payment when applying for planning permission – for more detail on this be sure to keep reading, we have a whole section on the costs later!
If you’re wanting more information on balcony planning permission or planning permission in general, you could look at your local planning authority’s website or on the UK gov website.
Juliet balcony planning permission
As we mentioned earlier, a Juliet balcony normally refers to French doors which have a railing attached around the outside of them for safety. Juliet balconies may also be referred to as balconettes.
In most cases, this type of balcony is considered to be a permitted development and so Juliet balcony planning permission isn’t needed. But there are some exceptions to this general rule, where you will need to be given Juliet balcony planning permission:
- If it has a floor, it will therefore be considered a raised platform and will therefore need Juliet balcony planning permission
- If it’s a listed property or within a conservation area, it’s highly likely that you will require Juliet balcony planning permission
- If you’re in an area where it’s an uncommon feature, then the likelihood of you needing Juliet balcony planning permission will increase. Either that or you will simply be asked to put your Juliet balcony to the back of the property where it’s less visible
Can you extend a balcony?
When you hear the word ‘extension’, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely making a house bigger. You may be surprised to hear you can actually apply for balcony extension too!
If you’re looking into balcony extension, you will probably not be happy to hear you will likely require planning permission AGAIN.
Balcony extension is much easier when your balcony is on a flat roof and doesn’t cover the whole area, as the space is already there for you to go onto. If, however, you’re wanting to extend a standalone balcony it can be done but will take more work and is more likely to be declined planning permission.
How you’re wanting to extend will also determine whether or not your balcony extension can take place.
For example, if you’re wanting to extend the length along the house this may be tricky if you don’t have much space for if it or it takes you towards your neighbour’s house or balcony (if they have one), making it more likely you will be rejected balcony extension planning permission.
However, if you’re wanting to extend the overhang then this may be slightly easier, as long as the balcony doesn’t overhang into anyone else’s garden or doesn’t look into their windows, then the chances are quite high you will be granted planning permission for your balcony extension.
How much does it cost to install a balcony UK?
When working out the cost for installing a balcony there are a few things you need to take into account. You’ve got to look at the size and design of the balcony you want, material costs, labour costs, maintenance costs and the cost of planning permission (we told you we’d come back to this).
The complexity of installing the balcony will also play a part in costs.
Alongside this, it’s bad news if you live in London or the South of England, because labour costs are typically much higher in these areas than further North.
To get a rough idea of costs, have a look at this table we have created:
|Cost||Unit||Range – low||Range – high||Average cost|
|Juliet balcony installation||–||£250||£850||£550|
|Balcony repair/maintenance||Per hour||£20||£25||£23|
Statistics from CheckATrade
A cost that people often forget about is the applying for planning permission. If you’re wanting to build a Juliet balcony though, this isn’t something you will need to worry about as building a Juliet balcony doesn’t require planning permission.
The amount spent adding a balcony is likely to be outweighed by the value the balcony adds – sorry little spoiler for the next section, keep reading to find out just how much value a balcony adds to a property!
How much value does a balcony add to a house?
Typically, a balcony can add more than one tenth to the value of the property, rising to a quarter for larger terraces and balconies in highly sought-after areas.
In some cases, a balcony can demand more of a premium, with one square foot of outdoor space being worth between 25-50% of the price of a square foot of indoor space.
These figures suggest adding a big balcony will add a significant amount onto the value of your house. We told you the cost of adding a balcony would be less than the value added to your property!
Well, that’s everything you need to know about balconies, including how to get planning permission and whether the costs of getting one installed is outweighed by the value added. Do you have a question to ask on balconies? Or maybe you’ve enjoyed this article and want to write one yourself? Get in touch with us today!