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  #681  
Old Posted May 21, 2018, 4:35 PM
BuildThemTaller BuildThemTaller is offline
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Aren’t balconies in Chicago notorious for accumulating bugs (particularly spiders) during the summer months as well?
Spiders help control the population of other bugs. It's ok to be exposed to "nature" every now and then, even in the middle of the urban jungle. As a former resident with a balcony along the Chicago River, I can tell you that a little upkeep goes a long way. Besides, it's really neat when a falcon or other animal decides to grace you with its presence from time to time.
     
     
  #682  
Old Posted May 21, 2018, 4:44 PM
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I really like those spiders. They've managed to conquer the human environment with flying balloon webs (pretty darn cool), and as mentioned, they eat mosquitos n stuff.
     
     
  #683  
Old Posted May 21, 2018, 9:23 PM
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Personally I think terraces are great, but most balconies are largely useless. They have to be a certain size to be worthwhile, that size being large enough to accommodate a decent sized charcoal grill.
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  #684  
Old Posted May 21, 2018, 9:33 PM
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that size being large enough to accommodate a decent sized charcoal grill
the insurance companies have killed-off charcoal grills in residential highrises for the most part.

they're seen as a fire hazard, primarily from idiots throwing hot coals down trash chutes and starting trash room fires.

in the VAST majority of residential highrises in chicago you're only allowed to have a gas grill on your balcony/terrace/whatever.

even if you had a 2,000 SF terrace, you still wouldn't get your charcoal grill.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; May 21, 2018 at 10:16 PM.
     
     
  #685  
Old Posted May 21, 2018, 10:24 PM
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A lot of apartments and HOAs ban them in your typical low rise buildings too. There’s too many people who don’t know how to use them
     
     
  #686  
Old Posted May 21, 2018, 10:25 PM
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Honestly though, hot coals in a highrise, sounds like a bad idea even if someone knows how to use them properly.
     
     
  #687  
Old Posted May 21, 2018, 11:19 PM
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I could see where hot coals in a tall building could be a hazard, let alone a huge pain in the rear to dispose of. That said, char-grilling is so immensely superior to propane that the end results aren't even in the same universe when it comes to flavor.

I made it a priority when condo shopping to ensure I was on the 1st floor of the 3 flat so that the grill could be on the grass plot between the building and garage and thus not run afoul of any HOA guidelines. Given that the building is self managed, inviting the other 2 officers of the HOA over regularly for beer and brats tends to build favoritism towards one's charcoal-heavy agenda as well. Bribery, that's the Chicago way!
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  #688  
Old Posted May 21, 2018, 11:33 PM
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That said, char-grilling is so immensely superior to propane that the end results aren't even in the same universe when it comes to flavor.
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  #689  
Old Posted May 22, 2018, 12:02 AM
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Last edited by Tom In Chicago; May 22, 2018 at 5:16 PM.
     
     
  #690  
Old Posted May 22, 2018, 12:16 AM
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Yup, gas is not even grilling...It's merely cooking . ..once charcoal coals burn off, bag the grey dust or flush it away...cough cough... But right, so many people can't be trusted to char-grill safely.
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  #691  
Old Posted May 22, 2018, 1:07 AM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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I refuse to use anything but charcoal in a Weber grill. The ashes get spread around my lawn and gardens to fertilize the soil.

The most important part of a charcoal grill is build up a nice patina of grease vapor on the inside and to run it super hot when you start it up to burn it off.
     
     
  #692  
Old Posted May 22, 2018, 5:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
the insurance companies have killed-off charcoal grills in residential highrises for the most part.

they're seen as a fire hazard, primarily from idiots throwing hot coals down trash chutes and starting trash room fires.

in the VAST majority of residential highrises in chicago you're only allowed to have a gas grill on your balcony/terrace/whatever.

even if you had a 2,000 SF terrace, you still wouldn't get your charcoal grill.
Ok.

Can I add some wood chips to my gas grill to get some smoke flavor?
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  #693  
Old Posted May 22, 2018, 12:24 PM
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It’s not just the coals that pose the danger. It’s when people feel the need to dump excessive amounts of lighter fluid on the grill and the thing goes up like a bonfire. If the grill were to tip over and spill hot coals on a wood deck probably nothing would happen unless you were storing loads of combustibles nearby
     
     
  #694  
Old Posted May 22, 2018, 1:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Rizzo View Post
It’s not just the coals that pose the danger. It’s when people feel the need to dump excessive amounts of lighter fluid on the grill and the thing goes up like a bonfire. If the grill were to tip over and spill hot coals on a wood deck probably nothing would happen unless you were storing loads of combustibles nearby
Yep. When it comes to any sort of safety aspect, propane is safer than charcoal, since there's no lighter fluid, no coals/ashes to deal with. Of course you do have that propane tank to worry about, but honestly, the chances of a propane tank randomly igniting/exploding is about the chance of someone being struck by lightning at least twice in the day!

Besides, Hank Hill approves. And anything Hank Hill approves of is just fine with me. Haha

Aaron (Glowrock)
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  #695  
Old Posted May 22, 2018, 1:48 PM
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By the way, the reason I said charcoal grill is that I was trying to be generous to balconies. Charcoal grills can be smaller. So if you can only have gas, then I suppose that means the minimum balcony size to not just ruin a building’s façade for no reason is a bit bigger still.

I can’t think of another reason for them. You can open a window for fresh air. And for the most part, if balconies are stacked one on top of another, you don’t get good sun on them. You need a proper terrace or roof deck for that.
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  #696  
Old Posted May 22, 2018, 1:50 PM
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And actually, what about a Green Egg? Are those allowed on balconies?

If not then balconies are just useless, period.
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  #697  
Old Posted May 22, 2018, 2:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Rooster slayer View Post
Yup, gas is not even grilling...It's merely cooking . ..once charcoal coals burn off, bag the grey dust or flush it away...cough cough... But right, so many people can't be trusted to char-grill safely.
We have a natural gas grill on our terrace and it's just an outdoor stove top really. BUT, cooking a steak outside is far better that stinking up the house by cooking it inside. We use the grill all year long for this reason alone. I wish my neighbors did the same...
     
     
  #698  
Old Posted May 22, 2018, 2:36 PM
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We have a natural gas grill on our terrace and it's just an outdoor stove top really. BUT, cooking a steak outside is far better that stinking up the house by cooking it inside. We use the grill all year long for this reason alone. I wish my neighbors did the same...
yup, charcoal is great and all but the convenience of a gas grill outside for searing and grilling without smoking up the joint can't be beat.
     
     
  #699  
Old Posted May 22, 2018, 2:58 PM
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Charcoal grills can be smaller.
they make smaller gas grills too. they're perfect for small balconies where one of those standard-sized gas grills would take up way too much space.


source: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Char-Broi...-Grill/5673076




Quote:
Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
And for the most part, if balconies are stacked one on top of another, you don’t get good sun on them. You need a proper terrace or roof deck for that.
that's only a problem if you actually want direct sun. one of my favorite aspects of the balcony i had at marina city was that its depth offered permanent shade until sunset (west facing unit). i'm not a warmth guy. i love being outside, but in the shade.




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Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
And actually, what about a Green Egg? Are those allowed on balconies?
no.

most high-rise residential rules stipulate gas grills only. as i said earlier, it comes from the insurance companies.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; May 22, 2018 at 3:12 PM.
     
     
  #700  
Old Posted May 22, 2018, 5:59 PM
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And actually, what about a Green Egg? Are those allowed on balconies?

If not then balconies are just useless, period.
I had a south-facing in-set sheltered balcony at my condo for 10 years. It was the best room in the house. We used it constantly. We called it the magic balcony.

Placement and design is EVERYTHING however. Because it was sheltered there was little wind, and because it faced south it got decent sun. The best part was in the early spring or the late fall. The sun is at a low angle, so you could get one of those days where its like 40 degrees outside, the and balcony heated up to like 70+. We could sit out there is shorts and a t-shirt in march when everyone down below was scrambling around in coats. We had a gas heat lamp for a while, and again, because it was sheltered, that thing really worked. It really extended your outdoor season.

It was great. I'd never buy a condo without a balcony.
     
     
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