Wafer thin cantilever balcony

Noticed these cantilevered balconies on the units where I was inspecting today.

I asked the builder how they were supported and he replied “double 2x4s on 12 inch centers.” I must have looked shocked :shock: because he said that he would have been much more comfortable with 2x6s, but that this was what the design called for and was approved by the engineer. He said that that he jumped up and down on them and they felt sturdy. I was expecting him to tell me that there was a welded steel frame inside.


I think I’m going to advise my client to get an engineering letter or design document to have on hand at resale time and to verify that it has, in fact been signed off by an engineer.

Well if a engineer designed it it must be Ok then , lol, because we all now they know best. ( humor meant) . How high where they?

What are those ,about 30" wide Chuck ?

I could not get the numbers to work out given the information you supplied. By my quick calculations assuming 2.5’ cantilever with 7.5’ inside the deflection at the outer end exceeds the limit. The bending capacity next to the building is close to the limit. Lumber is cheap, I would have used a large safety factor to account for poor workmanship and wood rot caused by lack of maintenance.

You, me and the building Super. I think it’s actually closer to 36 inches too, though I didn’t measure it.

Yeah 36"may be more like it as I only counted 4" between balusters.

I would call that a mother-in-law balcony.

I have never seen one done with 2x4s before. It really looks out of proportion in lack of mass compared to the rest of the townhouse.