So you’ve decided you want a glass balustrade (an excellent decision, we might add). Before you can get started on the installation, though, the very first thing you need to do is make sure your building is ready for it, both structurally and legally.
It’s the question that always gets a groan, but the reason for that is because it’s so important. You should always check if you need planning permission for your glass balustrade. To be honest, because of the nature of the installation, you usually will. If the balustrade is completed and then it’s found that you’re missing the required permission, you’ll probably be instructed by your local authority to take it down again. Simple as that! Sometimes the planning permission requirements vary between area to area though, so you might possibly get off lucky. Whatever the case, at Elite we’d always encourage you to check at the very least.
The good news is that you won’t need new planning permission if your glass balustrade is replacing an existing system, or if it’s bordering a patio or deck that’s 600mm (60cm) or under in height. That’s because in these instances, it’s self-evidently being used as a decorative feature rather than as fall protection, so the legislation isn’t quite so strict on its construction. As you can imagine, when the balustrade is being used for safety – even partially – it’s subject to a lot closer inspection.
This is a bit of a tricky question to address in an article, because the answer is so subjective. Naturally, one of the first bits of information you’ll need to arm yourself with is the actual weight of your balustrade. The weight of our systems vary between product to product, and that’s not to mention the almost endless list of possibilities that arise from customising bespoke balustrades.
If you’re building a new structure (such as a patio or decking area) for your balustrade, at Elite we’d always advise finalising that first. It can be a bit of a headache if you purchase your balustrade, only to find that the place you want it to go isn’t up to the task of supporting it. You’ll be happy to hear that in these instances, it’s not impossible to find a way to make it work; for example, we recently performed an installation for a customer that involved stripping back an existing piece of decking in order to properly prepare it for affixing the balustrade. These can be potentially costly though, and it’s always best to avoid having to go back and make these sorts of changes if you can. If you’re still in doubt, at Elite we’d advise using a structural engineer to make sure everything’s all in order before you get your balustrade installed. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Once your building is safe and ready, there’s no shortage of glass balustrade systems – or even Juliet balconies – for you to choose from. If you have any questions or need any help with anything, you can call us on 01254 825 594. We’re only too happy to help!
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Published: 30th March 2017