Home Innovation News

How to improve moisture performance of wood-framed balconies & decks

June 29, 2023 | Upper Marlboro, MD

New Guide Supports Safe and Long-Lasting Construction for Balconies and Decks

Home Innovation Research Labs and the USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory have released a new guide to help identify design principles and construction practices to improve the moisture performance of wood-framed balconies and decks. 

The Durable Solutions for Balconies and Decks illustrated guide is divided into seven chapters and includes the seven basic accessibility requirements defined in the Fair Housing Act’s implementing regulations. It focuses on cantilevered balcony designs, which have historically sustained most of the catastrophic structural failures. 

Design professionals have a wide range of choices to select from when considering balcony designs and this guide illustrates building codes and design principles. It includes an inspection checklist and appendixes of Cantilevered Balcony Deck Framing Dos & Don’ts and additional design guidance.

The Durable Solutions for Balconies and Decks illustrated guide is available here: 

Durable Solutions for Balconies and Decks

Spanish Version

It is also available on the Forest Service TreeSearch.

This collaborative effort and research between the Forest Products Lab and Home Innovation Research Labs was supported with Railing Product provided by AGS Stainless, Inc. 

About Home Innovation Research Labs - Located in Upper Marlboro, Md., Home Innovation Research Labs (Home Innovation) was founded in 1964 as a wholly-owned, independent subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Originating as a small product testing laboratory, Home Innovation has since grown to become a full-service market research, building science research, consultant, product testing laboratory, and accredited third-party certification agency dedicated to issues related to the home building industry.

About the USDA Forest Products Laboratory - The Forest Products Laboratory, based in Madison, Wisconsin is the Forest Service’s only national laboratory facility. Producing high-quality, science-based innovation, Lab research contributes to conservation and productivity of forests, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and improving the safety, comfort, and well-being of every American, every day. 


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ABOUT: Home Innovation Research Labs, located in Upper Marlboro, Md., is a full-service research, testing, and consulting firm determined to improve the quality, durability, affordability, and environmental performance of single- and multifamily homes and home building products – in short, we aim to perfect the home. Founded in 1964 as a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), our team has been integral in solving many of our client’s most difficult product and technology issues, and helping to introduce some of the most groundbreaking innovations in construction. Through an interdisciplinary research approach – including market research, building science analysis, laboratory testing, and standards development – we help to find a home for innovation in the construction industry.

NOTE TO EDITORS ON STYLE USAGE: To identify this company and its work correctly, first reference should be "Home Innovation Research Labs." In subsequent mentions, “Home Innovation” should be used; we are not identified by an acronym. Prior to February 12, 2013, the company was known as the NAHB Research Center.