Definition of "Balcony"

S. Jay Siegall real estate agent

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S. Jay Siegallelite badge icon

SUN Realty USA

What is a balcony? A balcony is a platform that extends outwards from the upper level of a building, typically attached to a wall or supported by columns. Balconies can be made of various materials, including wood, metal, or concrete. They can range from small spaces large enough for a single person to stand on to larger areas that accommodate furniture and people.

Balconies are often found in residential buildings, providing residents an outdoor space to relax and enjoy the fresh air. You can also find them in commercial buildings such as hotels or restaurants, providing patrons with an outdoor space to eat and socialize.

In addition to their practical uses, balconies can also be decorative features. They add character and visual interest to the exterior of a building. They can be adorned with plants, furniture, and decorations to create a welcoming and inviting space.

Despite their many benefits, balconies can pose certain safety risks, mainly if improperly constructed or not maintained regularly. Building codes and safety regulations are in place to ensure that balconies are designed and built to cut the risk of accidents and ensure the safety of those who use them.

Different types of balconies

According to their size, construction type, and purpose, several different types of balconies exist. Below you can find the most common types.

Cantilevered balcony

A cantilevered balcony is a type of balcony that is attached to a building or structure without the need for any additional supports or columns. It is designed so that the balcony extends outward from the building or construction and appears floating in the air.

The cantilevered balcony is typically supported by a projecting beam or bracket anchored into the building’s structure. This beam or bracket is then cantilevered from the building, extending the balcony.

Cantilevered balconies are often prevalent in modern architecture because they provide a sense of spaciousness and an unobstructed view. However, they need careful engineering and design to ensure they are structurally sound and safe. With some creative balcony ideas, you can turn this space into an inviting and relaxing place to unwind. 

Stacked Balcony

A stacked balcony, or a stacked deck, refers to a balcony built on top of another. In other words, it is a multi-level balcony that allows for extra outdoor living space.

Stacked balconies are often seen in apartment buildings or multi-story houses, where each unit or floor has its balcony. Stacking the balconies can provide more outdoor space without increasing the building’s footprint or taking up more land.

While stacked balconies can provide more outdoor living space, they require additional structural support to ensure safety and stability.

False Balcony

A false balcony, also known as a French balcony or Juliet Balcony, is a type of architectural feature that is purely decorative and does not serve as a functional balcony. It resembles a balcony but does not have the depth or structural support to use it as an outdoor space.

False balconies are often used to enhance a building’s facade's aesthetic appeal or create an illusion of a balcony design outside. They can be made from various materials, including wood, metal, or concrete, and may be adorned with decorative railings, balusters, or other ornamental elements. 

Mezzanine balcony

A mezzanine balcony is a type of balcony located on a mezzanine level, a partial floor between the main floor and the ceiling of a building. Mezzanine balconies generally are smaller than traditional balconies. They often provide more seating or viewing areas in theaters, music venues, or other significant event spaces.

Loggia balcony

A loggia balcony is a covered outdoor balcony or gallery attached to a building and supported by columns or arches. It is often open on one or more sides and may feature decorative fences or railings.

The word “loggia” comes from Italian and refers to a covered exterior gallery or open room on one side. It was usually found in Mediterranean-style buildings. The term has since been adopted in other languages and can refer to similar architectural features in different parts of the world.

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