I wrote a post recently about how to prevent a balcony collapse. I had said how lots of times building owners will cut costs by not always fixing balconies when they should, or contractors who do the work will cut corners. This is all pretty crappy news for the poor dude who goes out on a balcony and it collapses underneath him.
A couple of you pointed out in the comments that cutting costs on repairing a damaged/old balcony is incredibly stupid because of the lawsuits that could come after the thing collapses — not to mention that people could die. I couldn’t agree more.
And now I’ve got a concrete example for you of how a balcony that needs repair doesn’t get fixed.
A guy owns a townhouse and has a second floor balcony. Below his balcony is the porch of a family with kids (owners of a different unit). In the yard beyond where you can see in the photo, is a little pond that someone put in. That pond is close enough to the townhouse that the pond water is making the soil loose. The loose soil has caused the footings from the balcony to shift and sink. They’re still sinking and shifting to this day.
The shifting and sinking footings is causing the balcony to sag and sink lower and lower (non-symmetrically, too). The family with kids underneath is concerned that the sagging balcony is going to collapse sometime — and they’re right.
But here’s the problem. The townhouses are all part of a homeowners association. So it has been legally decided that the balcony must be fixed (which is how our company is involved), but it’s still up in the air who will pay for it.
The guy thinks that the homeowner’s association should pay for it, and the homeowner’s association says that in the contract it states that he has to pay for it. In the meantime, we’re not allowed to touch it and fix it. So it can’t even be fixed and have the bill disputed, it just has to sit in sagging disrepair.
Meanwhile, a family with kids is below, using their porch and backyard. And that sagging balcony will fall if it’s not fixed.
No one wants to pay anything, but have no problem risking the lives of kids over a couple grand.
Kids really get the short end of the stick sometimes, don’t they?
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