We have recently completed a project in Newlands in the Western Cape which comprises of a balcony and a pergola. The balcony is built with a combination of steel and timber components. On the one side the joists are fixed to the existing wall of the house. The opposite end cantilevers over the main I-beam by 400mm as the concrete slab below is in line with the supporting beam. Square tube columns extend down from the main supporting beam and are bolted to the existing concrete slab to secure the structure. We have used steel rectangular tube for the joists with end plates welded on to give a neat finish. The tubing also hides the screws from the timber deck where they would be exposed when using lip channel or IPE beams for joists. The main supporting beam is a light duty I-beam onto which the joists are bolted. We have used Balau timber decking for the balcony deck as it is a hardwood ideal for use in an exterior deck. This type of exterior decking needs little to no maintenance. If left as is with no finish it will eventually fade to a grey colour. The top rail of the hand rail is also Balau wood to match the deck. The hand rail frame consists of square tube uprights which are welded directly to the steel joists of the balcony. The timber top rail is bolted to the uprights and tensioned stainless steel cables are strung between each end.
The pergola is a water proof cover over the patio area of the garden. It has been modified from a level canvassed roof cover to a sloped colour bonded corrugated steel roof cover. As Newlands is Cape Town’s highest rainfall area it was a challenge to make sure the roof was completely water tight. An added disadvantage was the fact that the angle at which the roof slopes could only be a maximum of 2.75 degrees compared to the standard 5 degree minimum. Three courses of water proofing were used in order to ensure a water tight roof which in addition had a skimmed gypsum ceiling board fitted to the underside. A light fitting was fitted in the ceiling at the same time. A colour coded aluminium gutter and down pipe was fitted to the roof structure with the outlet linking up with an existing storm water drain.
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