Free Deck Plans
Free Deck Plans
Choose from hundreds of permit ready designs. Our deck plans include a detailed framing plan, footing layout, material list and typical details. These plans are free to download as pdf files that can be printed to 1/4" - 1' scale on 11x17 paper.

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Balcony Deck

Constructing a balcony-style deck is generally only feasible during the original construction of a home. The floor joists inside the home are extended outside, beyond the walls of the house, to support the deck floor. The strength of the joists in the balcony are dependent on a considerable “backspan” of the same joists into the structure, generally a minimum of 3 times the length of the joists exposed at the balcony. These joists must also extend to a second bearing location inside the home, often a beam or bearing wall down the middle of the home.

Renovating an existing home for this style of deck is not practical. Ceiling finishes below the joists would need to be removed, as would any electrical, plumbing or mechanical systems within the floor framing. When compared to installing a few posts and foundations, there is little return for the cost and labor associated with a retro-fitted balcony deck. If considering this type of deck during the home construction, bear in mind the difficulty in the future to repair or rebuild it. At a minimum, pressure-preservative-treated lumber should be installed, as well as a very close attention to the flashing and moisture control of the framing connections outside. The longer the materials will last, the longer the balcony design will last. Balcony decks are typically replaced using conventional methods of posts and foundations. cantilevered decks or balcony decks without support posts is a controversial subject in the deck building world. 


Comments, Questions and Reviews


I want to cantilever a 4'' addition attached to an existing deck. It would be 5'' wide. I would like not to use any piers. My thought is to brace the joists with 2 X 10''s forming a triangular configuration. Is this possible? Tony Rx

posted by Tony Rx at 4/13/2014 4:08:52 PM

You should check with your local building department. Most inspectors won''t allow for a cantilever over 2'' without an Engineer''s stamp.

posted by mike at 4/14/2014 8:33:21 AM

I have an existing balcony deck on second story. It comes out about two feet. I am interested in adding posts and beam and then extending the balcony into a deck by sistering the new joists to existing balcony. Thus converting my balcony into a regular deck. I know you can not provide a definitive answer as you are not on location. But am wondering, in general, if this approach is recommended or not.

posted by jphoherz3 at 3/17/2014 12:46:39 PM

You may be able to do this depending on the condition of the balcony and the design of the addition. You should consult a local deck builder or your city''s building department for more information.

posted by mike at 3/18/2014 9:32:07 AM