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Balcony Railing Height Requirements

Updated April 17, 2017

Balcony and porch collapses typically occur due to lack of upkeep on older balconies or not building the balcony to code. Balcony height requirements exist to protect home and building owners and those who use elevated porches and balconies.

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Balcony codes

Codes are the laws for building any structure, home addition, porch or balcony. A British wooden balustrade is subject to a variety of standards, not only concerned with planning permission, but also with fitness for purpose, which bring them under British Standards regulations. A balcony that is added to an existing property is regarded as a deck if it is less than 3 metres above ground level and does not need planning permission if it is more than 20 metres away from a road.

Height requirements

British building regulations (known as "Document K") requires balcony railings to be 1100 mm (44 inches) high above the level of the balcony floor. This height requirement applies both to domestic and commercial settings.


If you are adding the balcony to an existing property, your construction will not be automatically subject to an inspection where there is no requirement for planning permission however, you can request an inspection or get a private surveyor to check the finished balcony for conformance to building regulations.

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About the Author

Dusty Snoke has been writing professionally since 2010. She writes for several online publications and local businesses on subjects including event planning, travel, nutrition and parenting. Snoke holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

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