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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Balconies leave me scratching my head

SOME things in life make no sense. Having the heating on and opening a window, for example. Diet versions of drinks, when you’re having a burger and fries. Fearne Cotton’s career success. And that most heinous of things – the Juliet balcony.

EM Peter Grenville column
Peter Grenville

I suspect you’re thinking to yourselves: “What has that scruffy oik got against Juliet balconies? They look nice, let lots of light in and make a modern property look smart and appealing.”

Begrudgingly, I agree with you on these points, but only because I like your shirt. However, I feel I should counter this with some points that haven’t been covered by the above, purely aesthetic, considerations.

Who thought we needed a door upstairs? True, in days of yore, these were required so goods could be winched into the upper areas of buildings, but then we invented stairs and later lifts.

Having managed pretty well for thousands of years with boring old windows, we now seem to have an overwhelming desire to put doors in upstairs, as well as the more traditional downstairs, where they’re actually quite useful. Luckily, someone spotted a potentially dangerous flaw in this concept and decided it might be wise to stick a metal grill in front of the upstairs doors.

Sadly, this allows those from the shallow end of the gene pool to continue breeding, as they are not eliminated by their own stupidity, but I guess the world isn’t perfect, eh?

The downside of this health and safety overreaction is the doors tend only to open a few inches, thus making them less useful than a window, which you can usually open fairly wide to let plenty or air in, nasty odours out or lean out of to spy on your neighbours, or shout at children.

Experts are baffled as to why this trend continues. If the idea was to make the less affluent feel like they have a posh balcony on their house, this hasn’t worked very well – the balcony bit is absent, which would seem to be a fairly fundamental flaw in the plan.

The thing that worries me most about Juliet balconies is this – why is there a handle on the outside?

Have a balcony-filled weekend.

If you can.

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