A Path to Safer Balconies

Structural steel can be used to frame wider balconies, though steel often requires specialized or unfamiliar techniques and can be more expensive than wood framing.

On this project, four MC-10-22 steel beams were bolted to the interior joists on 8-foot centers.

Pressure-treated 2x12s were used for the perimeter and infill joists, as well as for the ledger bolted to the house’s rim joist. Adjacent joists and the rim beam were bolted to the steel.

Unlike a deck’s 36-inch minimum railing height, a balcony’s railing is required by code to be a minimum of 42 inches high.

This lightweight, prefabricated aluminum balcony is designed with integral diagonal support rods that connect to brackets that are through-bolted to the house framing.

Instead of a system of cantilevered joists connected to the interior floor framing, these balconies are framed with pairs of cantilevered LVL beams.

Wahoo Deck’s Dry Joist EZ is a 2-inch-high aluminum joist with an interlocking design that makes it waterproof. The system can span up to 8 feet, depending on floor loads.

Any standard decking can be attached to the aluminum joists; any water that makes its way into the deck’s interior drains to the outer edge.

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