Glass balustrades are a distinctive feature. They can add clean, simplistic styling to the interior and exterior of your home.
You may wish to upgrade your home. Alternatively, you may plan to build your dream home from the ground up.
In either instance, there are many things that you can do to boost the impact of your home’s façade. One thing you can do is install beautiful glass balustrades in select interior and exterior areas.
For example, a contemporary balustrade is an excellent way to increase outside floorspace. These attractive features provide safety while enabling light and air to continue passing freely.
For a guide to planning a balustrade for your balcony, keep reading.
Add Flair with a Glass Balustrade
Across Europe, home and business owners are experiencing a balustrade renaissance. A balustrade is unobtrusive. Yet, it’s a sturdy and highly practical protective barrier.
Historically, balustrades were a straightforward structural feature. Now, however, they’re more than simple rail guards.
A glass balustrade has practical purposes. However, it can also provide remarkably pleasing artistic benefits.
For this reason, this contemporary feature is becoming increasingly popular. Accordingly, a growing number of home and business owners are choosing balustrades.
An Overview of Balustrade Building Regulations
With a balustrade, you can add a tasteful touch of style to your property. However, the feature can also increase the value of your home or business.
You can install a balustrade flat against the wall to offer protection for openings such as French or floor-level windows. Also, you can have a small outside balustrade ledge installed to hold a small flower garden.
Alternatively, you may desire a large outdoor balustrade surrounded area for entertaining. In that case, you can install a balustrade to expand your interior floor to an outside area.
The UK government enforces stringent regulations regarding balcony design and the construction of balustrades. It’s important to know a bit about balustrade regulations before having the feature installed at your home or business.
Firstly, you’ll need to consider one of two possible overarching applications for your balustrades. There are different height requirements for the two major categories of balustrade installation.
A Closer Look at Balustrade Building Regulations
You’ll need to understand these differences to build a balcony or railing system. For example, you’ll need to follow one set of rules to install a balustrade on an inside staircase landing. Meanwhile, you’d conform to another set of rules to install an outside glass balcony.
For inside applications, building regulations require a minimum guard height of 900 mm from the floor in all areas. This rule applies to stairs, landings and other features.
With external applications, however, you’ll need a minimum guard height of 1100 mm from the landings. However, you only need a 900 mm barrier for staircases and ramps. Usually, you’ll need such barriers whenever there is a drop of more than 600 mm.
Furthermore, your balustrade railings should have no openings larger than 100 mm. This rule prevents objects and people from falling through railings accidentally.
Assessing Balustrade Design Features
You might select a glass balustrade for a number of reasons. For example, you may want to allow for the maximum flow of light. You may also want to maintain the view outside your structure as much as possible.
There are several main reasons why property owners install glass balustrades. Glass balustrades enable people to occupy buildings without fear of falling out of the structure. They also keep people from walking off internal or external balconies and terraces.
Balustrades also prevent people from stepping off the safe areas of stairs and lifts. Finally, a property owner may also install balustrades on walkways to guide pedestrian traffic.
The British Standard BS6180:1999 outlines the code for building barriers. It provides designers and builders with the information required to provide needed safety benefits.
Accordingly, the British Standard considers likely hazards. For example, it considers building use as well as the risks to building users.
In some instances, a property owner might have more than one use for a building. In that case, the British Standard recommends constructing barriers to suit the worst-case scenario. Also, the standard recommends more than one type of barrier if needed.
The Reasoning Behind Balustrade Regulations
The standard acknowledges that property owners might use barriers to guide pedestrian traffic. However, preventing people from falling from areas takes priority when considering barrier construction.
These areas include the edges of contemporary mezzanines, floors and stairs. They may also include elevated walkways and roofs.
With this in mind, the standard clarifies that the primary requirement of a protective barrier is to provide containment. Furthermore, it must perform this function while withstanding any likely applied forces.
Barriers must also withstand any likely applied penetration. In this regard, the British Standard requires that barriers stand up to several load types. These load types include:
• Line loads
• Uniformly distributed loads
• Concentrated loads
The British Standard suggests that loads should relate to building usage. For example, a building with higher usage to contain barriers that can withstand higher load levels.
The British Standard recommends that designers should consider performance under impact. Balcony design conforms to the EN 12600 safety standard in this regard.
When selecting glass, for instance, designers should consider the highest drop class. EN 12600 standards provide this information.
Of course, making this kind of assessment may prove challenging. Fortunately, a top glass balustrade designer can help you to make the right selection.
Assuring Your Plans Meet Regulations
An expert bespoke balustrade manufacturer will most likely secure any needed permits for your new barrier. However, it’s your responsibility as a property owner to ensure that you’ve secured the right permits before construction begins.
There are some instances where you’ll almost always need planning permission. For example, you’ll most likely require planning permission if you decide to build something new.
You’ll also need planning permission if you choose to make a major change to your structure, such as a building extension. Furthermore, you’ll need planning permission if you change the use of the structure of your building.
However, every renovation project is unique. For this reason, you’ll need to consult with Bristol planning and building control before you begin your project.
Still, there are occasions where you may not need planning permission. These instances are called “permitted development rights.” As an example, industrial premises and warehouses typically do not need planning permission.
In many instances, you’ll also not require planning permission for demolition. Still, you’ll want to clear the project with Bristol planning and building control.
Other Balustrade Points to Consider
You can requisition a glass balustrade in a wide range of designs. Resultantly, you can find a style that will complement any type of building.
Furthermore, there are many different materials that you can choose for new rails and balustrades. These materials include steel and aluminum. You may also select materials such as steel, PVC coated metals and combinations of wood.
All these materials have advantages and disadvantages. However, some materials have a more aesthetically pleasing look for certain kinds of properties.
For example, many people are intrigued by the idea of an attractive balustrade balcony. Here, however, you should consider the age of your property.
You should also consider the location of your property as well as its surroundings. You’ll want to ensure that your property does not appear out of character with the new addition.
Also, you’ll need to consider that there are two views for your glass balcony. People view your balcony from both the inside and outside.
Accordingly, you’ll need to consider both perspectives before making a final selection. An experienced balustrade designer and installer can help you to make the right choices.
Balustrade Design and Installation That Will Exceed Your Expectations
Now you know more about planning a balustrade for your balcony. What you need now is the best bespoke glass balustrade designer and manufacturer in Bristol.
Bespoke Frameless Glass is the premier source for frameless glass balustrades in Bristol. We also craft other bespoke frameless glass features.
Our firm also serves nearby areas such as Bath, Wiltshire, Gloucester and Cheltenham. We also serve clients in London and have recently opened a London office to be able to fulfil more projects in the South East.
At Bespoke Frameless Glass, our team takes pride in its skill and efficiency. What’s more, they have an eye for perfection.
Whether you’re looking for a balustrade for your home or business, we offer affordable rates. Furthermore, we guarantee our work and complete customer satisfaction.
Please feel free to contact Bespoke Frameless Glass today at 0117 961 2709. Alternatively, connect with us online to start the conversation about your balustrade requirements.