Sukkot in Small Places: Your Guide to Building a Balcony Sukkah

Dreaming of celebrating Sukkot on your cozy balcony? With a bit of creativity and some elbow grease, you can transform your balcony (or other small space) into a beautiful Sukkah for the ages!

Here are some questions for you to mull over:

  • Measuring Your Space for Your Sukkah

  • What materials do you want to use?

  • Can the railing work as a Sukkah wall?

  • Maybe a Pop-Up Sukkah is your best option…

  • How will you decorate your Sukkah?

Measuring Your Sukkah Space

First things first, grab that measuring tape! Knowing your balcony’s dimensions is crucial. Measure the length, width, and height to determine how much space you have to work with. Don’t forget to account for any obstacles like railings or overhangs. If you skip this step, you might end up with a Sukkah that hangs off the side of your building – great for impressing your neighbors, but not so much for stability!


  • Measure from floor to ceiling (or sky, if you’re on a rooftop).

  • Account for railings, air conditioning units, and any potted plants that your spouse insists are “non-negotiable.”

Sukkah Materials: Think Shorter Pieces

When it comes to materials, shorter is better. Think of it like a jigsaw puzzle – except instead of forming a picture, you’re creating a temporary holy hut. Longer pieces will likely be a hassle to maneuver in tight quarters, so opt for shorter beams and panels that are easier to handle. This also provides you with more flexibility in design, allowing you to build your Sukkah like a pro.


  • Use 2x4s cut to balcony-friendly lengths. If you’re not handy with a saw, most home improvement stores will cut them for you.

  • If you don’t love the idea of DIY weightlifting with wooden boards, opt for lightweight materials to make setup and takedown a breeze, like pairing lightweight canvas walls with solid steel poles.

  • Pro-tip: for a seamless process, you may want to consider buying a custom Sukkah  rather than having to put your Sukkah together from scratch.

Use That Railing for Your Sukkah Walls!

Here’s a nifty trick: leverage your balcony railing as one of the Sukkah walls. According to halacha, the walls of a Sukkah can be made of any material, provided that they are sturdy enough that they do not move in a normal wind.

That means, you can use wood or fiberglass Sukkah panels, waterproof fabrics attached to a metal frame OR you can also use pre-existing exterior walls or railings as one or more of the Sukkah walls. BUT, if you’re using the railing, there are (as always!) a number of halachic considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Sephardim maintain that one may create the walls of the Sukkah by placing several poles within three Tefachim (handbreadths) of each other (the structure of your typical railing), whether the gaps are horizontal or vertical. When the gaps are no wider than three Tefachim, this is called lavud.

  1. Ashkenazim allow this only if one either makes 4 walls with lavud , or hangs cloth walls in addition to 3 walls containing lavud.

  1. If the walls have lavud in both the horizontal and vertical direction, no hanging of cloth walls is necessary, and it is permissible to build such a Sukkah with three walls according to all opinions.

So a railing can serve as a suitable substitute for one (or more of your walls), provided that you follow the guidelines above. This not only saves you materials but also integrates your Sukkah seamlessly with the existing structure. Just make sure it’s sturdy and secure – no one wants a Sukkah that collapses mid-Kiddush.


  • Use zip ties or bungee cords to secure fabric or bamboo mats to the railing.

  • Ensure your railing is at least 7 Tefachim in length by 7 Tefachim in width and 10 Tefachim in height . This roughly corresponds to 22”x22”x32”.

  • Ensure your railing is no higher than 20 Amot , corresponding to 31′ 6″.

…and in case you’re wondering about other halachic requirements you need for your Sukkah, why not check out this handy article on what makes a Sukkah Kosher.

Pop-Up Sukkahs: Your New Best Friend

If you’re pressed for time or looking for a hassle-free solution, consider a Pop-Up Sukkah. These prefabricated marvels are designed to be set up quickly and fit perfectly into smaller spaces. They literally pop up in one swift motion, leaving you amazed and ready to add the Schach on top before your neighbors can even get their Sukkahs out of the carry bag.

And the best part? Superior Pop-Up Sukkahs will include comprehensive features that maximize your small space:

  • Portable Sukkah Powerhouse: Fits into a suitcase for Sukkah travel-adventures on the fly.

  • Featherweight Champion: Lighter than a feather boa (well, almost).

  • Window wonderland: Windows on every side for prime Sukkah sightseeing.

  • Built Tough: Sturdy enough to withstand some wind, thanks to ground pegs and a reinforced construction.

  • One-Stop-Shop: Comes with everything but the kitchen sink (including Kosher-certified Schach, bamboo poles for the Schach , and carry cases for both the Sukkah and Schach  – ours carry the OU Mehadrin certification ).

Sukkah Assembly Tips

Secure the Frame: Whether you’re building a DIY Sukkah from scratch or using a Pop-Up Sukkah, make sure the frame is stable. Use zip ties or bungee cords to secure beams and panels. If it can withstand your kids’ soccer practice, it can handle a week of Sukkot.

Lightweight Schach : Opt for lightweight Schach like bamboo mats or palm fronds. They’re easier to lift and position, especially in a confined space. Remember, the goal is to let the stars shine through, not create a makeshift greenhouse.

Decorate Your Sukkah Smartly: Go for compact and lightweight decorations. String lights, paper chains, and small ornaments can add festive flair without overcrowding your Sukkah. And for all you decorating aficionados out there, our short read on Sukkah decorating will give you handy tips and tricks on how to decorate your Sukkah with flair, and make sure the decorations stay put.

Thinking a balcony Sukkah is impossible is like thinking kugel can’t be dessert! With these handy hacks, you can easily build a beautiful, functional space that both honors the mitzvah and maximizes your balcony.

Happy Sukkah building!