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When is a balcony just a guard rail...

Richard Moore

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...as far as the NEC is concerned?

210.52 (E) (3) Balconies, Decks, and Porches. Balconies, decks, and porches that are attached to the dwelling unit and are accessible from inside the dwelling shall have at least one receptacle outlet installed accessible from the balcony, deck, or porch.

2006 townhouse. It’s been my experience that builders aren’t exactly prone to installing extra things where they’re not needed. So I have to wonder if some junior city inspector quoted code and forced them to install a perfectly useless receptacle and light. The Juliet “balconyâ€

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The receptacle would be great for Christmas lights at the guard area.

Yeah, that was my thought as well.

Here's an even smaller one. But I guess it only qualified as a guard, not a balcony. No light & no receptacle.

BTW, look at the top of the guard. There are 180 units in this building. Each has a sliding door/guard like the one in the picture. The builder mistakenly made the guards too short. The little extra rail on top was a fix.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I see those once in a while. I think the builders put them in so that folks can put a shelf full of planters out there and have a little garden. I was in one where the homeowner had the little balcony literally overflowing with flowers. You can open up the door and get a good fresh breeze in the room and if you've got a bunch of plants there they help to freshen the air. If you're confined yourself to a home on an upper floor without a yard or deck it's a way to sort of spruce the place up I guess.



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Nicer if they were french doors and you could open more than just the half.

Actually...talking of that, I built myself a Juliet balcony after our re-model. We usually sit inside with just our feet out the doors. I came up with the idea for the slats to give us some privacy, but still allow us to look down into the back yard. The whole front section comes off with just 4 screws to allow for stuff that won't fit up our narrow stairs.

And yes, I know the support system isn't "normal", but the stainless wire, eye-bolts, etc are all rated for a lot more weight than I could ever get up there.

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