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Old 04-02-2013, 09:07 PM   #1
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Can I build a third floor balcony?


Hey DIYChatroom, I have a third floor master suite and I'd like to add a small 4'x10' balcony. The balcony would be supported by a bay'd out section of the house that runs to the foundation, so no need to cantilever, etc. I'm pretty handy, so just trying to get an idea on how difficult this would be.

Pics here: http://imgur.com/a/dXZSc

Most of this wall will be removed to provide access - here I'd like to install a large sliding glass door (3 panes total) so that most of this wall will be glass. This roof is over my dining room, and will have to be removed, probably down to the joists. Here's how I imagined it shaking out:

-Have an architect sketch and apply for city of Boston permits
-Remove existing roof above second floor's bay window
-Remove wall to access balcony from the third floor
-Frame new floor joist for the balcony
-Install membrane on top of the floor
-Install composite decking
-Frame new opening for the sliding door
-Install new sliding door
-Install posts around balcony with railings and balusters using PVC or wood
-Install 2 lights sconces one on each side of the door
-apply insulation between floor joists
-Patch gutter and soffit below balcony
-Patch the siding around the exterior
-Install new trims around door
-Touch up paint the exterior
-Relocate electric heating

Any thoughts on where I can find support for a project like this? Any help appreciated!

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Old 04-02-2013, 09:20 PM   #2
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Can I build a third floor balcony?


The biggest concern will be waterproofing the deck properly----and supporting the new door opening----your plan to get an architect involved is wise----however, some 'figuring it out as you go' will also be needed---Mike----

That will be a dramatic little balcony----

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Old 04-03-2013, 08:24 AM   #3
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Can I build a third floor balcony?


Anything is possible. What is that balcony worth to you because that is going to be some expensive square footage.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:48 AM   #4
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Can I build a third floor balcony?


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Originally Posted by Windows on Wash View Post
Anything is possible. What is that balcony worth to you because that is going to be some expensive square footage.
in Boston any square footage is EXPENSIVE!!!!!

getting it watertight is always a challenge. When interviewing your architect/designer ask if they have done something like this before, and if they say "YES" ask for contact information for that client and call them.

Watertight on paper and watertight in the real world are too different things.

and oh'mike is correct especially dealing with older homes (especially in Boston), how you think it was built and how it actually was build can be different so some on-the-fly changes may be needed.

Good luck!
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #5
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Can I build a third floor balcony?


Thanks everyone - some friends have suggested that I can try to do the demo and finishing myself, and perhaps hire a professional to do the framing and roofing.

Does this approach make sense? Does anyone have an idea of what these portions of this job might cost if done by a professional? The 22k estimate for the whole project seems very high to me to begin with..
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:28 PM   #6
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Can I build a third floor balcony?


You've left out how you're going to support the load. That and you're not showing any outside pictures of the area.

The bay below will undoubtedly NOT be constructed well enough to handle a balcony load put on top of it. I don't want to rain on your parade, but I'd venture when the roof on it did get removed you'd discover a whole new set of nightmares.

So you'll have to have an engineer come up with a plan to use the existing structure. But this would pretty much require the joists already running in the right direction for setting up a cantilever. Which way do they run? Are they running parallel to the desired balcony, or perpendicular to it?

$22k sounds about right.... as a starting point.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:36 PM   #7
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Can I build a third floor balcony?


The bay area runs down to the foundation of the house - below where the balcony would go is my dining room. I will check on the direction of the joists and add exterior photos later today.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:49 PM   #8
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Can I build a third floor balcony?


$22k sounds about right.... as a starting point.[/QUOTE]

In Boston 22K sounds like the permit fees. Last time I worked in Boston was on Beacon hill. I wished I could have moved the house to some other town, worked on it there, then brought it back. Not that there was a lot bureaucracy or anything.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:53 PM   #9
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Can I build a third floor balcony?


22K is probably reasonable at the end of the day. It is going to be expensive on a per square foot basis but smaller projects always are.

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