How to Design a Wood Cantilever Balcony System

by | Jan 31, 2018 | Aluminum Balconies, balcony safety, balcony system

failing wood balcony

Is a Wood Cantilever Balcony System Design a Good Idea?

Traditionally, if you wanted a balcony on your architectural design, the balcony system became a wood cantilever balcony design. Today, new methods and substrates open up options to consider a wood cantilever balcony system, or something like an aluminum bolt-on balcony system.

Here are wood cantilever balcony system design considerations:

  • Amount of cantilever distance before the balcony needs to be supported by a column(s)
  • Dense wood placement increases distance of cantilever
  • Snow and drifting snow loads factor into weight support
  • Density and distance contribute to amount of deflection
  • Wood that extends continuously from interior to exterior is a prime consideration for problematic water intrusion
  • Often more expensive because of the heavier support structure
  • Failure to adequately ventilate an enclosed deck can create a breeding ground for fungal growth
  • Pressure treated wood may twist when it’s inside a structure

It probably goes without saying that nailing a deck to the building is dangerous.

Questions to ask balcony fabricator:

Think about deck bounce and the feeling of occupant safety. Is there deck deflection (bounce)?

Do the beams need to be extensively flashed around the building hole to keep water out? Is there additional structural expense?

The Challenge

Recent news stories are another consideration for whether or not to have a wood balcony system. Google “wood cantilever balcony system” and discover many scary considerations for a wood cantilever balcony system.

The Solution

These scary wood stories are a large reason why Midwest Stairs & Iron enhanced the aluminum balcony system. Though the initial cost of an aluminum balcony system may be more, the saved installation time, safety considerations, and long term structural integrity outweigh wood considerations. Check out more on how Midwest Stairs & Iron aluminum balconies stand apart from all other balconies.


Wood Balconies Installed

Bolt-On Aluminum Balconies Installed


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