Tearing down a balcony

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-04-15, 09:11 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Tearing down a balcony

At our home we have an 8' x 16' balcony that needs to come down because of termites. I intend to tear it down myself along with my teenage son just for the time working together in addition to saving some money.

Some questions come up:

1) What's the best approach for tearing it down? Disassembling it or just using a saw to cut the major pieces?

2) What type of saw should I use? Would I dare use a chain saw?

3) Is there any other advice to offer? Any cautions? We intend on wearing breathing masks and eyewear as a start.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-04-15, 09:55 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,506
Received 167 Votes on 148 Posts
Welcome to the forums Blake!

More info would be helpful, pics even better - http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html

How high is the balcony? what's below it?
 
  #3  
Old 06-04-15, 10:39 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,555
Received 315 Votes on 289 Posts
It all depends on the balcony, how sturdy it is, how high it is, what's below and what tools and equipment you have available. But, unless you have machinery to control the deck I would take it down in manageable sized pieces. Many DIY TV shows love to have big things crashing down because they think it makes better TV but the last thing you want is a section of deck hitting the house or squashing your son like a bug.
 
  #4  
Old 06-04-15, 11:47 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 2,079
Received 65 Votes on 60 Posts
As mentioned, more details would be good, but, a majority of times taking something apart is best handled by reversing the assembly process. So you will have to see how the connections are made, but most likely you will want to remove the railing, then the decking, then the framing. Particularly if you are going to rent a dumpster, a reciprocating saw would probably be your best friend, allowing you to cut it into sections that the two of you can handle. It's important to keep up with the debris, don't let it pile up where you're working, to avoid stepping on nails, screws, splinter, etc.
 
  #5  
Old 06-04-15, 01:55 PM
BridgeMan45's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,196
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
In general, using a chain saw is grossly over-kill for cutting typical deck lumber--the exceptions would be if your deck has large, heavy timbers, in which case a chain saw is almost mandatory. When using a conventional skil-saw, remember to make the compression cut first, to avoid pinching the blade if done making the tension cut first.

If the termite infestation hasn't taken over ever single piece of wood, you could consider salvaging the decent stuff for use on a future project. If there's any evidence of termite intrusion, however, then it's time to utilize the dumpster or burn pile.
 
  #6  
Old 06-04-15, 05:00 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Here's a pic of the balcony. Does it provide any insights?
Name:  IMG_20150513_135105.jpg
Views: 89
Size:  40.0 KB
 
  #7  
Old 06-04-15, 07:11 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,555
Received 315 Votes on 289 Posts
If it's safe enough to walk on I would tear it down from top to bottom. Cut the railing up into manageable pieces with a reciprocating saw. They try to pull up deck boards with a pry bar and hammer working your way back from the outer edge to the house. Then remove the joists from below working from ladders and finally take down the beams and posts. The key is to do what you are comfortable with and be safe. Nothing slows a project more than a road trip to get stitches or a cast.
 
  #8  
Old 06-04-15, 07:36 PM
BridgeMan45's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,196
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
One more thing--after the deck is gone, don't forget to permanently barricade that second floor door leading out onto where it once stood. Otherwise, it's just an accident waiting to happen. And more likely than not, a fatal one.
 
  #9  
Old 06-04-15, 08:57 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Pilot Dane, great suggestions and I in fact arrived at the same conclusion while discussing it with my son today. The only difference was using a saw to cut the deck boards because that might be faster and, also, because some of them are badly damaged and won't pull up whole.

Question: how heavy will the beams be? Because I have the option of cutting them down in pieces (using a chainsaw) or disassembling them and lifting them down. Neither my son nor I are especially tall (5-10 and 5-8) so if the any of the three pieces are more than 100 pounds we will be in some trouble. Ideas?
 
  #10  
Old 06-04-15, 11:06 PM
Handyone's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 5,451
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The main beam will be very heavy. You might want to just unbolt it from the connectors and let it topple over to the ground, then cut it.
Already mentioned above, be very careful with a chainsaw. Plan your cuts to avoid binding. I would advise against using a chainsaw altogether. Most everything is manageable except for that one main beam.
 
  #11  
Old 06-05-15, 10:56 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
"Plan your cuts to avoid binding."

Can you please elaborate? I am a bit of a rookie at this type of work. If not a chainsaw, can you suggest another type of saw?
 
  #12  
Old 06-05-15, 11:45 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,555
Received 315 Votes on 289 Posts
Say, if you want to cut the main beam in half. The center is trying to sag down. If you start you cut at the top and move down as the beam sags it will squeeze the cut closed and bind your blade. If you make the cut from the bottom up as you cut the slot will widen and keep your blade free.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: