Given the simplicity of faux balcony designs, they are a popular option for smaller spaces that require an architectural structure.
However, there are some limitations that may not be immediately apparent.
For instance, this type of balcony is not suitable for standing or walking. Without a platform that extends from the floor inside the building, there is no support that could bear the weight of a person, except for the metal railing, which serves both as a decorative element and protection against falls.
Related: Child Safety Balcony Railings Guide
Today, we’re going to discuss what constitutes a functioning balcony and what qualifies as a decorative balcony.
When were balconies invented?
Fanciful curvilinear staircases, worn-down balconies with grand arches, and capacious terraces have all been designed over time.
Each type of balcony design served a specific purpose in the cultures that developed them.
As a basic architectural element, balconies have evolved from a utilitarian perch at the edge of the garden to a part of the urban fabric.
Archeologists believe that the ancient Mesopotamians were the first to incorporate balconies into their modern world around 3000 BC.
They served mainly as a semi-private space that provided shade and cooling in the summer heat.
In 1400 BC, the Mycenaeans in ancient Greece were the first to use balconies in urban structures to improve natural lighting and ventilation.
Balconies of the Middle Ages
As civilizations rose and fell, so did architecture design.
For example, in ancient Rome, balconies were known as “loggias” and served primarily communal and political functions from a higher vantage point, but not necessarily residential purposes.
In the Middle Ages, the elegant architectural styles of Western Europe borrowed heavily from classical Greek and Roman architecture.
French and Italian Renaissance architects were among the first to decorate their facades with balconies to draw attention to detail.
By this time, balconies had become a sign of wealth and upscale lifestyle for the elite.
In the following centuries, balconies continued to be added to private homes to increase usable space.
Over time, staircases and balconies served not only as decorative elements, but also fulfilled a practical purpose by providing additional living space.
Related: Can a Balcony Have Stairs?
What is the use of a balcony?
In general, balconies can be used for any purpose, whether it’s as a place to entertain friends, relax, or barbecue on a warm summer day.
However, there are many other uses for balconies as well.
By increasing the living space of your home, balconies provide storage space when that extra space is needed.
For homeowners whose living space is too small and need more room, balconies are perfect because they add a significant amount of living space without requiring any renovations.
Aside from being a place to store items, balconies are also used as an outdoor garden or kitchen space to produce fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs.
There are many more uses for balconies, but I have only given a few examples here.
Ultimately, it is up to you, the homeowner, what you want to use your balcony for.
There are no restrictions on how you can use your balcony, as long as you agree to comply with local and international building codes.
Can you stand on a faux balcony?
Clad to look like a real balcony but with much less construction, a faux or Juliet balcony is an excellent solution for small spaces – or an alternative if you cannot install a balcony on your property.
Check Out: Alternative to Juliet Balcony (6 Ideas)
It’s installed over the window and looks like a balcony, but there’s no real place to stand.
Balconettes, as they are sometimes called, can be attached to a room with an existing window or door and give you the feel of a balcony without having to step outside.
The most common type of faux balcony consists of a wrought iron or aluminum frame that adds instant charm to your home.
Since this type of balcony has only a railing and no floor, balconettes are not an outdoor area for sitting or walking.
It’s best to use a balustrade to create a safety barrier, as it can be a real tripping hazard and make the area less safe for pets or children.
Why are some balconies called ‘fake’?
Enjoy the feeling of sunny days and fresh air without having to venture out of the house, because you have a number of false or fake balconies on your house.
If you do not know exactly what to expect, you should gain a little knowledge about balconies.
Balconies typically serve two functions: they are utilitarian by providing users with access to their building outdoors, as well as a place from which they can enjoy the view or create their own built-in patio space.
In some cases, however, balconies are little more than an aesthetic piece of the exterior of a building.
In the case of a faux balcony, the design and feel of a real balcony is mimicked to limit costs and satisfy the residents’ need for fresh air.
Faux balconies with decorative railings are attractive additions to the street side of a building and can be beneficial to landlords who want to provide their tenants with a balcony that adds character to their apartment.
Related: Perfect Balcony Railing Materials: 13 Things to Consider
In addition, faux balconies can serve as railings for the building façade and not only add a softer elegance to the structure, but also serve as a safety measure for tenants who have children or pets and would otherwise be at risk of falling from a great height.
What are the other types of balconies?
Balconies are often part of the design and architectural layout of a building, as they are a popular outdoor amenity for tenants.
Huddling around a multi-story building to chat about life in the neighborhood is an essential part of the outdoor experience, and balconies provide this much-needed extended living space.
The appeal lies in the seemingly endless possibilities for enhancing the view of this space.
However, balconies are not limited to post-and-beam buildings; they can be incorporated into many different building types, even simple older homes.
Alternative floor plans can be tailored to meet a variety of goals, such as the desire to separate living functions, accommodate plants and pets, or increase the size of the bedroom. Besides balconies, the most common types of balconies are the following:
- Mezzanine balcony
- Loggia balcony
- Stacked balcony
- Cantilevered or floating balcony
Related: What Is a Floating Balcony?
Make your house appealing with a faux balcony!
If you have access to a traditional balcony, it is usually best for standing. Since faux balconies are an imitation of the real thing, they cannot be used as a full replacement or substitute.
However, they are a great way to add an accent to the exterior wall and get some fresh air without having to inconveniently go outside.
While you can not stand on them since they do not have a platform, you can use them as a more intimate way to enjoy the outdoors.
The only downside is that they are not solid, do not offer storage space, and therefore, can not provide the full benefits of a real balcony.
A faux balcony is great for areas where a real balcony is not possible due to space, cost or building codes.
It can be combined with other outdoor features such as railing decorations, lighting, artificial boxwood and pottery to give your home’s exterior a more vibrant and attractive look.