A balustrade is a set of supports that hold up a hand railing. They can be used in staircases, balconies and pool fences. Balustrades serve two main purposes – to create a border for a space and to provide a safety measure against people falling from raised areas or children entering pools. They can also serve a decorative purpose.
Balustrades Laws in Queensland
Because they are a safety feature, they are subject to building regulations. The Building Code of Australia states that a handrail must be used in raised areas of one metre or more, while raised areas of more than four metres must not have climbable features close to the ground. Balusters must be spaced no less than 125mm apart, to prevent people or objects from slipping through. There are also regulations pertaining to the load capacity for the rail, although this will depend on the materials used and the purpose of the handrail.
There are many different types of balustrade construction and design available for home owners. The type you choose will depend on the area in which you are installing them, the decor and general architecture of your house, and the level of safety you require. Your budget might also be a determining factor in the style and materials of your balustrade.
Glass balustrades are constructed from tough, shatter proof glass sheets. They can come framed or unframed and in a variety of different frosts and tints. Glass balustrades can give the illusion of space and are a popular choice for pool fences as they can’t be climbed easily.
Aluminium is a common choice for balustrades because of its practical properties and applications. It is strong but lightweight and rust resistant, making it suitable for indoor and outdoor uses; can be powder coated in different shades to suit different decors; and is inexpensive and easy to install and replace.
Slatted balustrades are placed apart at intervals, leaving a small gap between each one. Slats can be used to save money or allow air flow into an area.
Solid balustrades are the safest option as they can’t be climbed or slipped through. Homes with children and pool fences are common applications for solid balustrades.
Balustrade materials can be moulded or shaped into aesthetically pleasing designs to compliment the decor of your home. Decorative balustrades can turn your staircase into a statement piece or improve the facade of your home for a relatively low cost.
You might be tempted to save money by purchasing second hand balustrades, but it is not recommended. It can be difficult to tell if used balustrades are damaged, especially if the seller has cleaned them up ready for sale. If there is any internal damage, they might not maintain their structural integrity. And with brand new balustrades, you can be assured that they comply with safety standards.
Neta Home and Commercial can help you find a balustrade style that matches your desires with your budget. Call 07 4152 6977 to talk to a team member today.