Oak and Glass Balustrade: Why They’re the Perfect Pair

  • February 15, 2021

Modern houses incorporate many new building techniques and materials as they are being built. Whether it is the use of expansive windows, ambient lighting, or other contemporary architectural styles, there is a lot of aesthetic appeal to modern homes.  One new combination of materials that is gaining popularity is the use of toughened glass and oak. These materials are now used to construct elegant staircases and balustrades to complete the look of upscale modern houses. While they add an aesthetic appeal to a home, what are other reasons you should choose glass and oak? Continue reading to find out. 

1 - If You Are Going for a Minimalist Look

The minimalist design and look is gaining popularity because of its sleek and simple, yet elegant style. If you would like to use this type of design element in your home, toughened glass can add to the effect you want to create. Using this specific type of glass on your handrails or stairs will be a stunning aesthetic addition to your home decor. Plus, if you are going for a minimalist look, glass and wood are a great combination!

2 - To Incorporate the Use of Light

Glass is unobtrusive and will be able to let natural light into your home. This will not only save you on electricity because you will not have to turn on your lights all the time, but you will also find that it will make your house look much more attractive because of all the natural light that will be allowed to enter. 

3 - As a Statement of Privacy

Bear in mind that clear glass is not the only type of glass that exists. You can use coloured glass to retain the privacy of your home. You and your family will still be safe from prying eyes, even if you choose to use toughened glass for your wide windows and walls. Tinted and coloured glass windows will look great when placed beside a wide oak wall; this dynamic will work wonderfully for style and privacy purposes. 

4 - Ease of Cleaning

Glass is straightforward to clean. It does not succumb to rust and does not absorb the dirt and grime found on it sometimes. If you do not want to hire a cleaner, you will be happy to know that cleaning glass is not difficult. You will be able to clean the glass with soap, water, and a little elbow grease. After you wash it, it will be shiny and looking brand new once again.

5 - Aesthetic Appeal

Lastly, glass is one of the most aesthetically pleasing and beautiful materials that can be incorporated into a building. Glass fixtures or railings can be considered decorations in themselves because of how one-of-a-kind and elegant they are. Paired with oak steps on your stairs or a wide oak balcony, there is no ending as to how you can use these two materials together for aesthetic purposes.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many reasons why you should consider using oak and glass materials to build your home. You will be the envy of everyone in your neighbourhood when they see what unique designs you could create with these very versatile materials.  If you have any questions about what can or cannot be done using toughened glass or oak for your balustrading or stairs, it is best to get in touch with a contractor. They will be happy to answer all your questions and assist you in how you can incorporate these excessively beautiful and elegant materials into your home build. If you have any inquiries about handrails for stairs, Aussie Balustrading can answer all your questions! We sell steel and stainless steel stairs, wireless balustrading, handrails for stairs, residential railings, and commercial handrails. Get in touch with us today and have us build you a beautiful staircase. 

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Childproofing Horizontal Railings – A Quick Guide

  • January 6, 2021

Raising your own family means ensuring your home is as safe as possible for your little ones. For instance, if you have a glass stair balustrade, you may consider making the necessary changes to babyproof your home. Children have a natural desire to learn and get curious about their surroundings. They can teeter towards your staircase and fall, making this part of your home particularly dangerous for your children. That’s why you have to find ways to childproof it to be assured of their safety.  Utilising horizontal railing and other childproofing mechanisms to create a safe living space for your family. Here are some ways to effectively do this:  

1. Install baby gates

  Baby gates are effective in preventing your child from heading near your staircase. However, looking for one that actually works on your stairs can be challenging. This is because most safety gates cannot attach properly at an angle. You also have to make sure that they are sturdy and secure enough to ensure that your kid will never be able to pass through them.  

2. Use a banister shield

  A railnet is a popular product that can stretch around the inside of your railing. This is ideal for vertical railings because they hinder your kid from putting their head between rails. However, this may not be ideal if you have horizontal railings because they are ineffective in stopping your child if they are determined to climb. If you are looking for the perfect childproofing solution for your horizontal railing, consider using a banister shield. It is a roll of thin and durable plastic that acts as a guard around your railing. Opt for a clear one to maintain an unobstructed view.

How Do I Install the Banister Shield?

Prepare the necessary items for installation. These are the banister shield, zip ties, measuring tape, marker, scissors, yardstick, hole punch, and pliers. To install the banister shield, start by unrolling the banister guard and measuring the length of one side of your railing. Mark the length using a marker and use a yardstick to draw a straight line on the side of the plastic-covered in a removable, protective film.  Afterwards, use a hole punch to create holes in the plastic. Place the side of the plastic with the protective film on the outside and secure the plastic to the railing using zip ties and tighten them as much as possible with pliers.  Use your scissors to trim off the excess film. To get rid of potentially sharp corners that can hurt your little one, position the trimmed end on the outside of your horizontal railing. Finally, remove the film by starting in one corner and slowly peeling the rest of it away.

Conclusion

Limiting your child’s access to your stairs is an effective way to keep them safe. Knowing the right methods for babyproofing your stairs can be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with the proper ways to do it.  By installing a baby gate or a banister shield or reaching out to a reliable glass balustrade manufacturer for assistance, you can have peace of mind knowing your kid can run and play around your house without the temptation of climbing your horizontal railing.  Meanwhile, if you’re looking for custom staircase manufacturers, you can count on us at Aussie Balustrading & Stairs. We sell steel and stainless steel stairs, wireless balustrading for clients like you in Western Australia and Perth. Claim your quote from us today to help you childproof your home effectively!

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All About the Ladder Effect Myth

  • January 6, 2021

While not present in all railing systems, the problematic "ladder effect” is found in many of them. The effect revolves around horizontal lines in railing systems that, to an adult, might not seem like much. However, to kids, they see it as a ladder, tempting them to climb over it. This has raised plenty of safety concerns, mostly since these railing systems are supposed to keep people from falling. Now, this ladder effect as they call it is tempting people to do so. Do not know what a ladder effect is? If so, then here is all that you need to know about this phenomenon.

What is a Ladder Effect?

The term ladder effect rose in the late 90s, pointing out that horizontal lines in the railing system simulate a ladder. This "ladder" tempts children to climb the railing, putting themselves at risk of getting hurt and worse. It has risen so much concern, in fact, that the ICC (International Code Council) set up a code in the year 2000 stating that guards should not have horizontal rails or patterns that mimic ladders.

Is the Ladder Effect a real problem? 

While the concern for the ladder effect is real, the real-world application of such an effect has been proven otherwise. According to a study done by the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), such risk is not real. Of all the accidents that occurred to children between 18 months to 4 years old revolving rails, only 0.032% of all injuries are because of horizontal rails and the like. The study also continued to state that children at even a young age can identify danger and risks from fall and will not climb rails unless actively told to do so. Simply put, the ladder effect is not real. It was only a myth that was justifiably conjured by worried parents and other people. 

With the myth debunked, what does this mean to rails today?

If the myth were true, you would not see any designs with horizontal lines today. Fortunately, with the code removed, there are plenty of rails today that can be intricately designed without worrying about the ladder effect. That being said, safety is still and always a priority no matter the design, so it is safe to assume that even the most beautiful railing systems in the world are built with safety in mind. If you are a homeowner, this is excellent news. You can go ahead and build a safe railing system that includes horizontal lines as part of its design. This makes building the perfect railing system for your property possible, allowing you to create fun and creative designs without worrying that children or even older folks will climb over it.

Conclusion

Remember, no matter the design you might opt for the railing system, safety is always a priority. If you are still worried about the ladder effect, do not be afraid to contact a professional regarding the topic. They will help you understand precisely why it is not a problem. If you still are not convinced, they can help you select the right design to eliminate the ladder effect while still maximising performance, durability and aesthetics.  Aussie Balustrading is a provider of steel and stainless steel balustrading, stairs and more for both residential and commercial needs. If you require balustrades in Perth, contact us today

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Why Choose Glass Balustrades Over Other Balustrade Types?

  • December 2, 2020

Glass balustrades are used in many establishments and properties, both internally and externally. They typically provide support for balconies and staircases and even offer safety and security features. While there are different materials you can choose from in today’s market to use for railings, glass remains to be a popular option.  In this article, we will share six valuable reasons you should choose glass balustrades over other balustrade types: 

1. It Creates More Space

Although glass can’t literally create more space, it actually creates the illusion of more space, which is essential for property owners. That way, the area will look bigger than in reality, and this is something you can’t achieve by using other balustrade materials. Moreover, if used for stairs or elevated areas, the glass will allow you to enjoy a transparent border that will create an open and more expansive atmosphere in your property. 

2. It Allows More Light In

Today, the incorporation of natural light is everything, and this is one of the reasons glass balustrades are popular. A balustrade made of this material will not block the light in a property; instead, it will let it shine through. Glass balustrades can also enhance the presence of sunlight and create a more open and airy feel indoors. 

3. It Complements Modern Interior Styles

A glass balustrade can add a touch of elegance to any property. If you have a modern-designed property, glass can add more balance to it. Additionally, it’s a great feature to have if you plan to sell the property in the future. This is because it will likely still be applicable to modern designs!

4. It Is Low-Maintenance

Keeping glass balustrades clean is easy. All you need is a lint-free cloth to wipe down the balustrade, and that’s it! Even if the glass has scratches or other damages, a simple polishing method can make the glass look brand new again. Compared to other materials, such as wood or metal, the maintenance of glass balustrades is easy and straightforward. 

5. It Has Durable Features

Unbeknownst to some, glass balustrades are exceptionally durable. Many people think that it’s a delicate material to use for balustrade and it’s purely for aesthetic purposes. However, glass is robust and will last for many years. Compared to wood, glass isn’t susceptible to pest infestation and corrosion, which is why it’s wear-and-tear rate is reduced significantly! Over time, the glass will maintain its durability and quality because it ages slowly. Even though there may be changes to the material, it will be barely noticeable to the naked eye. 

6. It Provides Customisable Options

There are different sizes of glass panel inserts you can get for your balustrades in today’s market. With that, you don’t have to worry about limited materials because you will have plenty of options to choose from! You can select the right thickness for your railings, and you can even choose from various accessories that will complement the glass and match your interior. On top of that, there is a wide range of mounting brackets and other accessories to suit your style!

Conclusion

With the functional and aesthetic benefits of glass railing, it’s no surprise that it has gained much popularity in today’s residential and commercial properties. Sure, you may need to pay a bit more, but it’s an investment that will last for years. Whether you’re remodelling your property or building a new one, consider all these reasons glass is a popular balustrade material! Aussie Balustrading is one of the most reputable glass balustrade manufacturers in Western Australia and Perth. Our seasoned professionals are ready and willing to assist you in bringing your vision to life. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

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All About Planning Permissions

  • November 23, 2020

Building a new home and adding extensions for loft conversions are exciting projects for homeowners, but turning blueprints into reality is never a straightforward process. Before moving forward, there are critical regulations to comply with to ensure everything meets the safety Australian standards.  These rules and regulations set a secure foundation and layout, so it makes sense to apply for planning permits to set the project off in the right direction. Skipping the crucial steps will not only lead to costly consequences, but it can also increase the building hazard and quickly turn into a life-threatening risk. 

The Real-World Risks of Ignoring Planning Permissions

The balustrades, railings, or handrails play pivotal roles in boosting the safety of a property. It keeps people from falling from high ledges on decks or balconies, making them critical features that require planning permissions to ensure the quality of its structure and installation.  In Queensland, statistics show that the structure failing for balustrades and handrails have caused the death of over 20 people, with hundreds injured from fall accidents between 2002 to 2012. With that in mind, the importance of ensuring all balustrading construction and installation complies with national building regulations cannot be understated. 

What is Planning Permission and When do you Need It?

Also known as ‘development approval,’ this refers to the process of asking the green light for a building plan to guarantee the safety and suitability of your intended structure. It considers its impact on the surrounding environment, along with approval for subdividing land, removing trees, and other demolition work to make room for the structure. Keep in mind that failing to get approval for the planning permission can result in the entire demolition of your structure in the worst-case scenario, though others can get away with paying a hefty fine.

Preparing for Planning Permission 

Applying for planning permission involves several fees, so it helps to contact your local council to determine the estimated expenses you need to allocate for the budget. You also need to submit clearly-detailed plans to the council to obtain their approval, which allows you to move forward in hiring the ideal building designer, architect, drafter, and other vendors to help bring your vision to fruition.

What are the Australian Building Codes to Consider for your Balustrades?

The balustrades, handrails, and railings serve as a fall prevention barrier in a stairway, balcony, verandah, ramp, corridor, and any part of the building that has a considerable height from the ground level and no surrounding walls. In that case, here are some safety regulations to follow: 

1. Decks and Balconies

Balconies that go above one meter or higher above the ground floor must be at least a meter high. Meanwhile, decks that go beyond a meter above the ground must have openings in balustrades within 125 millimetres only. If it goes four meters above the ground, the balustrades must not have climbable elements attached to it between 150 to 760 millimetres starting from the ground up.

2. Stairs

All stairs must have a barrier that reaches a minimum of 865 millimetres over the nosing of the stair treads. When attaching balustrades, the openings or gaps must only reach a maximum of 125 millimetres.  Similar to decks and balconies, stairs that go over four meters high must have balustrades with no climbable features like horizontal rails from 150 to 760 millimetres from the floor. 

Other Factors to Consider for the Planning Permission 

Elements such as the region’s climate greatly impact the likelihood of obtaining approval for the planning permission. Keep in mind that constructing new buildings, along with installing supporting features such as balustrades, must consider the materials’ exposure to moisture.  In humid seasons, handrails, balustrades, infill, and more must meet the Class 1 or Class 2 timber species to guarantee its durability. Some of the species include spotted gum, ironbark, blackbutt, Jarrah, Merbau, kwila, or sapwood treated to meet H3 standards.  These can ensure the materials will have more than 40 years of reliable durability, along with the highest fire retardant class and incredible resistance to termites.  Other considerations include the closeness of the building to bushfire-prone areas, so the regulations for the materials will also vary depending on where the area falls in the Bushfire attack Levels.  Beyond the risk of fires, buildings near coastlines will also have different requirements as the salty and sand-ridden wind can have extreme corrosive effects on timber and steel structures. 

Why Choose Us for your Balustrades and Staircases in Perth?

Here at Aussie Balustrading, we’re custom staircase manufacturers in Perth known for our extensive selection of premium BCA staircases and wireless balustrading. If you’re looking for a reliable manufacturer who can enhance the form and functionality of your property with our marine grade 216 galvanized steel staircases, wireless balustrading, and handrails for commercial or residential purposes, we’re the best choice.  All our balustrades, handrails, and staircases are guaranteed to comply with all Australian standards, ensuring their structural integrity will last a lifetime with little maintenance down the line. Our products have the highest corrosion resistance and maximum strength on top of their stunning cosmetic appeal, so get in touch with us at 0861535353 for your one-stop-shop for all your railing and balustrading needs. 

The Bottom Line: Breaking Down the Steps in Planning Permit Applications for Residential or Commercial Buildings in Australia 

Planning permission is necessary to regulate the use and development of a building, ensuring that all structures fall within the legal framework and Australian standards. When it comes to planning permission for the installation of balustrades, handrails, or railings in either residential or commercial buildings, it guarantees safe movement, accessibility, and durability of these supporting structures. 

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How Strong Are Glass Balustrades, Exactly?

  • November 17, 2020

One of the best features you can incorporate in your home or commercial space are glass balustrades. Having this instantly makes your spaces attractive and modern because its transparency maximises the use of light in the room and opening the area even more by eliminating visual barriers.  Unfortunately, many people who design their spaces avoid using glass because it is known to be fragile, which could raise safety concerns. However, you should know that glass balustrades have little risks involved when it comes to breakage and shattering.  If you're still on the fence about using frameless glass balustrades, you've come to the right place. In this article, we'll share with you the numerous regulations and requirements in building and designing glass balustrades. This way, you'll understand why it's a durable, attractive and a safe choice for your space. Let's start!

Are they safe?

One of the most common questions customers ask is if glass balustrades are safe. You should know that if installed professionally and if the fixtures are legislation-compliant, then it is incredibly safe.  Various building regulations exist to ensure your safety. Some policies have requirements for barriers in residential or commercial buildings, including specific requirements with barriers made of glass. In this regulation, it defines the type of glass you can use, its required height and other glass balustrade laws. 

What type of glass is used?

One of the key factors that make glass balustrades safe is the type of glass used and its thickness. For this reason, building regulations specify what is suitable when constructing a glass balustrade.  Usually, toughened or tempered glass is used for glass balustrades because they go through a process that strengthens the glass by up to four times, making it extremely safe and hard to break.  Another type of glass that can be used is laminated glass. Laminated glass is made by layering thin sheets of plastic between each layer of glass. With this, if a layer breaks, the second layer should still be standing.  As for the thickness, the minimum thickness is 10mm, but for specific spaces and situations, it could go up to 21.5mm.

What height should my glass balustrades be and do they need a handrail?

Depending on the purpose of your building, the required height of your balustrade may vary. In homes, internal glass railings must be at least 900mm in height, and for external balustrades, they must be at least 1100mm.  If you want to install frameless glass balustrades, it's possible; however, there are regulations that you need to follow for frameless balustrades because they need to stay secure even when they experience damages. 

Are glass balustrades child-friendly?

One of the biggest concerns of homeowners or building owners when installing glass balustrades is if they’re child-safe. Because balustrades follow numerous regulations, this type of fixture is child-friendly.  Wooden or metal railings hold more risks for children because they can be visually overwhelming that could cause injury if they start becoming curious and stuck their arms and fingers through slats and gaps. With glass balustrades, you can minimise these instances without compromising the look of your space. 

Conclusion

If you're thinking of installing frameless glass balustrades in your home or building, they’re definitely the right and safe choice. When you work with a reliable balustrading supplier, you can be assured that their glass balustrades follow all glass requirements and that they will follow building protocols when installing these fixtures. This ensures your safety while keeping your space aesthetically pleasing.  Are you looking for a frameless glass balustrade supplier? Aussie Balustrading has what you need. We are a top balustrading supplier that sells steel stairs, wireless balustrading and glass balustrading for residential and commercial spaces. Learn more about our services today!

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Glass vs Steel vs Stone Balustrades – A Showdown

  • November 4, 2020

Whether you’re building a new house from scratch or are renovating an existing one, if your home has a flight of stairs, a terrace, or a balcony, then you need to be thinking of balustrades. These fixtures are one way to ensure everyone's safety while living in your home, preventing any untoward injury from happening. Besides its functionality for safety, balustrades can also be as simple or elaborate as you want—making it a refined aesthetic marker for your home to display. Although the terms “balustrade” and “handrail” are often used interchangeably, the truth is that there’s quite a difference between them. Understanding the features that go into your house’s make is only half the battle, which is why it’s always best to be more knowledgeable about every fixture that goes into it.

Balustrades vs. Handrails: What’s the difference? 

Both balustrades and handrails offer support for people making their way up or down staircases. However, they have a few crucial differences when it comes to usability and aesthetic appeal.  The aptly-named “handrails” refer to the fencing’s topmost portion, an implement where you rest your hand for support while climbing up or down the staircase. On the other hand, the term “balustrades” originally referred to the columns or shafts supporting the staircase and the handrails. However, the name has since expanded its meaning to pertain to the staircase fencing as a whole.  This is an essential distinction because different stair manufacturers in Perth may have different interpretations of the terms balustrade and handrail. Others may be referring to the whole staircase fencing, whereas others may be talking about the individual shafts.  It’s a good idea to check product descriptions to eliminate confusion—especially if you’re ordering materials online. Simply referring to pictures alone may not be enough, as most suppliers online will use pictures of the whole staircase fencing even if they were only selling the handrails or the shafts.  For this article, we’re going to use balustrades to refer to the entire staircase fencing. 

What are balustrades made of?

Balustrades come in many kinds of materials. Many of those that can be found in grand mansions from the Victorian era in Europe are made of polished hardwood. It’s also common to see balustrades made of concrete, natural stone, and wrought iron.  However, most designs that are seen today—be it for commercial or residential purposes—are usually composed of steel, glass, or polymer stone. This is because all three materials are cost-effective and suitable for both internal and external use, given that they are resistant to pest infestation and the effects of being exposed to the elements.  These three materials are also easy to maintain, only requiring regular wipedowns for disinfection and general polishing. This is in contrast to traditional wood or timber balustrades, which are prone to cracking or warping due to weather changes, and are susceptible to termite, mould, and mildew damage, to boot. Understandably, wood balustrades can be treated to withstand weather conditions and deterioration due to contaminants and pests, albeit this represents an additional cost. Most treatments need to be reapplied in two to three years, meaning an additional cost on both materials and labour costs.  It is for that reason that most new-home construction projects prefer to use either glass, steel, or stone balustrades. Picking between these three is often merely a matter of preference, but a little bit of insight on each material can streamline the decision-making process.

What are the pros and cons of stainless steel balustrades? 

Stainless steel is the most commonly used material for contemporary balustrade designs because of its durability, safety, and aesthetics. After all, it is a versatile material, given the ease with which stair manufacturers can manipulate the steel to fashion different lengths, thickness, and even curves.  That being said, you will need to ensure that the team working on your balustrades are adequately skilled and have the necessary experience to work with stainless steel. This often means a higher initial cost due to the number of skilled workers who need to handle the job. While these balustrades are a beauty of their own, the metal is also used to augment other materials’ strength. The combination of wood and stainless steel is particularly sought after by many homeowners and interior designers who favour zen concepts. The stainless steel provides strength and reinforcement, while the wood softens the cold metal.

What are the pros and cons of glass balustrades? 

Of the three materials, glass is arguably the most stylish and modern-looking.  Transparent glass balustrades provide for a free-flowing space and don’t cramp up a room in the way that stone or stainless steel balustrades do. These types of balustrades are often reinforced with steel for added durability and usually feature steel handrails as well.  While transparent glass balustrades provide the best aesthetics, these can be challenging to maintain, given that its panels are fingerprint magnets and require frequent wipedowns to be kept clean. For this reason, most homeowners, interior designers, and building managers prefer to use translucent glass designs that are easier to maintain.  Despite that, glass balustrades are not prone to rust and are impervious to pest infestation. That being said, microbes have no problems thriving on glass, so you must still disinfect it daily!

What are the pros and cons of polymer stone balustrades? 

If you’re a lover of classical aesthetics and the elegance that it brings, you won’t go wrong with polymer stone balustrades. This staircase fencing is excellent for government buildings, banks, museums, parks, and even residential buildings that take inspiration from neoclassical architecture.  While it may look and feel like real stone, polymer stone is actually a composite blend of crushed limestone and polymer resin. A pigment that imbibes colour without the need for painting can also be added during the fabrication process. The resulting product is stronger than stone, has a light sandpaper finish, and requires even less maintenance because its colour does not fade, flake, or chip away. 

Which kind of balustrade is right for me?

Your choice of material depends entirely on your preferences and the overall theme of your home or commercial building.  Stainless steel and glass balustrades will fit right in with lovers of contemporary and modern designs because of their timeless aesthetic and effortless maintenance. Meanwhile, people who prefer neoclassical design will be happy with polymer stone balustrades. This is because polymer stone helps them achieve the desired aesthetics without doing as much maintenance as they would with natural stone. 

Conclusion 

Once you’ve made up your mind on the kind of balustrade that you want in your home or commercial building, it’s best to look for reputable providers of balustrades in Perth. While each type of material has its pros and cons, the hands that manufacture and supply the balustrades will dictate the final product’s longevity and durability! Are you looking to get balustrades installed in your home in Perth? Aussie Balustrading is one of the best suppliers of balustrades and handrails in Western Australia. We offer a wide range of balustrade designs to fit your love for traditional or contemporary designs. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

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What Balustrade Requirements Must I Follow for My Balcony?

  • September 30, 2020

For many Australians, having a balcony is something that can never be overlooked because of the difference it makes in the experience of staying in a home. Whether it’s being used as a space for mid-day yoga, beers with friends, or a spot for creativity, having a different platform that extends beyond the walls of your property can do it plenty of good. For any homeowner that sees themselves living in a specific home for the rest of their lives, such an upgrade bears a degree of value that must be considered.  As you continue to become enamoured with the idea of outfitting your home with a balcony, it’s crucial to understand that the seemingly-minuscule details of the whole assembly also play vital roles in your experience. From the quality of glass you use to the set finishings that tie in the overall look of your balcony, there’s no such thing as a detail that can be overlooked. Among the different factors that you’ll need to watch out for when putting your dream balcony together, there’s one piece of the puzzle that you must pay more attention to: The balustrade requirements that you need to follow for your balcony.

What you need to consider for a compliant balcony balustrade

Although your balustrades may not necessarily seem like the most legally-interlaced fixture in existence, the truth is that they’re still held to a specific standard of building compliance. Seeing that these fixtures are a crucial part of ensuring the safety of anyone in your home, it’s easy to see why authorities are keen on ensuring that they meet set standards. If you don’t want to risk incurring any unwanted expenses or penalties during your balcony project, here are three crucial factors to consider when dealing with your balustrades:

Factor #1: Height

According to Perth’s building code, any balustrade or handrail made of concrete, steel, or timber must be at least one metre high to ensure that anyone on the balcony is safe. When it comes to the technicalities of measurement, it’s vital to consider that building safety inspectors will measure a balustrade from the adjacent finished floor to the very tip of the fixture. It is critical to measure accurately in cases where tiles or other paving treatments were administered to the surface to ensure its aptitude for safety.

Factor #2: Cable tension and size

Generally, the technicalities of the building authority’s stand on balustrades that use tensioned wire can be found within the building code. For balconies that use wire-style balustrades, it is crucial to ensure compliance with the set rules and guidelines because of the additional risk that comes with this option. As a rule of thumb, the most recommended material option to work with considering the aspect of proper tensioning and size are steel or wood. If the wire or cable itself is loose to any extent, then it is recommended that the necessary measures are taken to tighten everything down until there is no form of slack present. 

Factor #3: Glass toughness

On the other hand, balustrades that use glass panels are commonly required to ensure that the quality of the material in question is up to par with industry standards. Although the building code may not necessarily dictate what constitutes a compliant glass toughness, it’s a general rule is that any cracked or broken glass panes be replaced right away. If you want to ensure that you’re getting the right attachments for your glass balustrades, it’s best to get your glass balcony railing from a dependable supplier, such as Aussie Balustrading!

Conclusion

If you want to ensure that your next balcony project has a balcony railing that is compliant by all means and ready to protect your household, you must first ensure the compliance of your balustrades. Through the help of this simple guide, you can ensure that your efforts are going to the right place when creating a safe and appealing extension! If you are looking for a professional balustrade manufacturer in Perth, we have got you covered. We boast a team of highly skilled and experienced professionals who strive for perfection and satisfaction with every job – get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

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Do Glass Balustrades Require a Continuous Handrail?

  • September 30, 2020

Glass balustrades are often frameless, which are popular materials used for structural glazing. These provide an extra layer of protection against level changes, especially considering a building’s architectural design. Although other materials can be used, most contractors opt to use glass as barriers due to being completely clear and transparent. This minimises disruptions in terms of views, allowing the interior to flow better.  In more ways than one, however, a glass balustrade is used to protect against possible accidents that come with changes in floor level. Private regional dwellings, for instance, are required to have a balustrade installation when the floor level is greater than 23 inches.  While the prospect of using a glass balustrade seems straightforward enough, working on this project requires the knowledge of various elements. For one, you need to ensure that the materials used are strong and secure, while others ponder on the idea of the BCA’s handrail rules. To fully understand what your balustrade project entails, here is a quick guide for you—we answer two of the most pressing questions, in the hope of quelling any doubt. 

Does a balustrade installation need to comply with Australian laws and regulations?

Balustrades come with their own risks, and there are laws and regulations that cover the use of balustrades. In Australia, all balustrades should come in compliance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) Parts 3.9.1 (stairs) and 3.9.2 (balustrades), along with Australian Standard (AS) 1170.1. The codes specify certain aspects of the balustrades’ safety, including the movement of people between levels of a building and raised platforms. In compliance with these safety measures, continuous balustrades need to be installed at the edge of a raised platform, stairway, or path not bounded by surfaces more than 1 metre above finished ground. Balustrades must also contain openings between posts that are no greater than 14.9 inches. The balustrades installed can have non-slip handrails for stairs, and it also needs to be stiff to avoid breaking under pressure. Balustrades need to withstand impacts determined by AS 1170.1.

Do glass balustrades need a continuous handrail installation?

The mix of glass balustrades and handrail installation certainly makes sense, especially since your primary goal is to ensure safety and security. However, according to BS 6180: 2011, Section 8.5.2, handrails are not always necessary, even if the glass used is frameless.   You only need to use a handrail if your glass has not been laminated and toughened during glass production, which is a standard procedure to ensure that no panel fails. If you are sure with your glass panel set’s durability, however, a handrail is not necessary. In essence, investing and utilising a strengthening layer within your glass balustrades negate the need for a continuous handrail.

Ensuring Aesthetics and Safety

Glass balustrades have always been a beautiful aspect of buildings, especially since glasswork has long been considered as an art form. There is more to these glass panels than meets the eye, however, as they are used all over the country to ensure safety and compliance, particularly when it comes to the BCA. If you wish to have glass balustrades installed in your buildings, it’s always wise to gain a little more knowledge—especially considering the rules and regulations. That said, have your projects be handled by the best in Western Australia. Aussie Balustrading offers you glass balustrades and handrails in Perth, perfect for your residential and commercial needs. Allow us to deliver you quality products and unparalleled services—reach out to us today. 

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Frameless vs. Semi-Frameless Glass Balustrades: Which Is Better?

  • September 23, 2020

Some residential and commercial properties have balustrades installed as a way to boost their aesthetics and functionality. As you may or may not be aware, they are railings that are supported by a row of small columns called balusters, and they are typically installed in stairs, balconies, or terraces.  It’s worth knowing that balustrades come with various benefits that often appeal to many property owners. These railings are able to enhance the beauty of your stairs, add strength and support, prevent people from falling off, and keep your properties up to building codes. When it comes to materials, they consist of various forms of stainless steel, iron, chrome, stone, and quite recently, glass. As far as glass balustrades are concerned, one frequently asked question is whether one should go for a frameless or a semi-frameless option. This critical comparison is what we’re going to explore further in this article. In the sections below, we will share the differences between frameless or semi-frameless glass balustrades, and more about their individual benefits so that you can evaluate which option is best for your needs:

Frameless vs. semi-frameless glass balustrades

Let’s take a look at first at the major difference between frameless and semi-frameless glass balustrades by definition. Take note of the following:
  • Frameless glass balustrade: This type is made of glass but is totally frameless. This option is a straightforward and relatively simple design, which is ideal for a minimalist approach. With this in place, you can show off your beautiful glass panels without the frame obstruction. Typically, the panels are anchored to the substrate with the use of spigots, standoffs or channels. Ultimately, this frameless design is the most popular option due to its aesthetic and long-term value.
  • Semi-frameless glass balustrade: As the name suggests, this type consists of a structural frame with the glass panel that is fitted inside. The frame is typically made of stainless steel or aluminium material, but for the most part, the glass panel is usually thinner since it already has a frame for its structural integrity. Ultimately, this design trend is perfect in matching your railing with older styles of homes or buildings.

Weighing the benefits of both

Now, let’s delve into the benefits of both frameless and semi-frameless glass balustrades so that you can weigh your options. Consider the following benefits:

Frameless glass balustrades: 

  • Minimalist design: The minimalist approach has been all the rage these days. You can keep up with this trend by having glass balustrades without frames.
  • Unobstructed views: Since there is no visible structural frame, you can have an entire look of the surroundings through the glass panels.
  • High-end appeal: These railings can easily make your home or commercial space look classy, elegant, and sophisticated.
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance: There’s no need to clean your glass balustrades regularly. All that is required for maintenance is to wipe the glass panels with water and a cloth.
  • Increased property value: With these railing options, you can increase the value of your property and sell it at a much higher price in the future.
  • Strength and durability: Since there is no frame support, your glass balustrades will have thicker glass panels that can establish its structural integrity and ensure its longevity.

Semi-frameless glass balustrades:

  • Cost-effective: They are more cost-effective than frameless ones. While both are perfect for residential and commercial properties, the semi-frameless products will appeal more to a budget-minded market.
  • Ideal for older homes: As mentioned above, this type of balustrade is perfect for classic homes or properties. If you have an old house that has been around for many years, then this option will be your best bet.
  • A smart and stylish upgrade: In line with its match with old properties, this option is a great way to take your outdated structure up a notch. Doing this will be a wise yet stylish home update.
  • Durability: Same with a frameless glass balustrade, this option is also a durable one, thanks to the frame installed as a way to support the glass panels.

Three factors to consider when choosing

When it comes to deciding between frameless and semi-framed glass for your balustrades, there are a few key considerations to make. If you are having a hard time choosing between the two options, below are three crucial factors to consider:
  • Unobstructed views: Keep in mind that there’s not much difference between a frameless and semi-frameless glass balustrade as far as the field of vision is concerned. However, one notable consideration is how the frame can be such a distraction. If you want unobstructed views, then it’s best to go for the frameless glass balustrade.
  • Regular upkeep: It’s true that all glass products need some maintenance to retain their appeal, yet the glass panels can be easily cleaned with simple solutions. The frameless glass, however, requires less upkeep than the framed ones because it has more hinges and frames to clean and maintain. 
  • Design and style: Of course, your final decision all boils down to the design and style based on what you hope to achieve for your home or building. If you want a minimalist design, then the frameless glass is your best option. If you have an old house, then you should opt for the semi-frameless glass.
At this point, the best move is to take a look at your property and see how installing new balustrades can take it up a notch. Keep in mind that the glass options are a perfect choice for your needs. But when deciding between the frameless and semi-frameless, that’s when you need to consider the three critical factors discussed above. Based on your home needs as well as your personal taste and preference, you can decide on the right investment for your property!

Making a final decision

At this point, you now have a robust idea of the differences between a frameless and semi-frameless glass balustrade. You’ve also explored the valuable benefits of both options to help you weigh options. When deciding between the two, be sure to factor in the surrounding views, constant maintenance, as well as style and design. While you’re at it, you must also think about the materials, your overall budget, and your vision. With all these in mind, you’ll be able to make the right purchase decision. 

Working with the expert manufacturer and installer

Are you torn between frameless and semi-frameless glass balustrade? You’ve come to the right place! We’re a custom staircase manufacturer in Perth that sells steel and stainless steel stairs, wireless balustrading, and stainless steel handrails for both commercial and residential property. If you need reliable glass balustrading options, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

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Glass Balustrade Safety Regulations: What to Know

  • September 23, 2020

Ensuring that your construction project follows the Building Code of Australia (BCA) policies is necessary to avoid any potential violations and safety hazards. Different rules apply to specific construction materials, so you need to do an inventory of your logistical expenses to make sure you’re installing them correctly. For glass balustrades in Perth and nearby regions, the BCA has particular policies covering its placement on stairways, balconies and other surfaces.

Strict regulations on glass balustrade properties

Balustrades function as a fence or guardrail for both indoor and outdoor installations. These are usually to prevent people from falling from great heights. This is why there are several strict requirements for construction and maintenance. Before the Australian Standard’s update in 2006, many frameless toughened glass balustrades were the norm for many commercial buildings. However, these installations were at a dangerous risk of breakage due to their unmonitored load durability.

General balustrade construction guidelines

The BCA’s ruling requires railings, balustrades and other barriers to have at least one metre of separation between its highest point and the adjoining floor. It must also contain openings between risers and posts that aren’t greater than 125mm. Lastly, it should withstand a load impact issued by AS 1170.1, regardless of its material. These different rulings are specific responses to potential accidents that can occur. The height requirement is a requirement to avoid severe injuries if people fall over the fence. On the other hand, the openings’ limitation is to ensure that children won’t fall between the railing's spaces or get their heads stuck from it. Lastly, the load impact regulation is a necessary safety measure to prevent collapse due to pressure from any direction.

Potential violations against BCA and SA rulings

Besides the construction guidelines above, you can end up violating the BCA’s standards for balustrades over time. For example, upgrading the flooring of an existing floor adjoining the floor can put you at risk of violating the one-metre allowance mentioned above. This raises the floor’s level without adjusting the balustrade’s height. Another potential reason for a violation of safety hazards is concrete cancer. Also known as spalling, it’s a condition that affects the tension wire between posts of balustrades. This causes timber balustrades to become loose and wobble.

Necessary additions to glass balustrades

For glass balustrades to comply with the BCA and AS’s standards, it needs to have necessary installations and brand specifications to be usable in a building. Retrofitting handrails to toughened glass is part of complying with BCA policies. However, there are no strict definitions of its strength and fixing points. This leaves you with the liberty of finding a handrail system that fits your building’s design. AS 1288 (2006) declares frameless glass balustrades as non-compliant to building codes. However, you can opt for a frameless glass balustrade made with Sky Glass due to its high durability. Sky Glass is a product that keeps the interlayer of glass fragments together, even in the event of breakage. Its custom toughened and laminated glass prevents glass shards from breaking apart with little to no sagging.

Conclusion

What makes a building is all the accents and details you include for finishing, such as lighting fixtures and balustrades. With any construction project, it’s best to learn everything you need to know about the regulations about these materials. Doing so will help you make the necessary adjustments to your design without dealing with violations and additional repair costs in the future. If you’re looking for a company that installs glass balustrading in Perth, we’re the perfect team to call. We ensure our clients that we’re a one-stop-shop offering products and installations services. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your construction project!

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Why You Should Consider Stainless Steel Wire Rope Balustrading

  • September 23, 2020

A growing number of homeowners and developers in Western Australia are enlisting the services of custom staircase manufacturers to have bespoke stainless steel wire balustrades made. These balustrades offer a modern and beautiful alternative to glass and are fit for use alongside a wide array of architectural styles.  However, there are more benefits to steel wire balustrades than meet the eye. This article will talk in-depth about these benefits. Here are some of these benefits:

1. Nothing impedes the views

Most people say this about glass balustrades, but few ever acknowledge the glare that they often produce. Not only that; for glass to offer that perfect, unimpeded view, you must regularly clean it. Birds and other animals also tend to crash into the glass, posing a danger to local wildlife.  Steel wire balustrades can offer all the same things, but they are easier to clean and do not pose a danger to birds. 

2. You can go vertical or horizontal

Horizontal steel wire balustrades are the most common choice in custom staircases, but vertical designs can look just as attractive. Luckily, steel wire balustrades are incredibly easy to install with swaging tools. The customisation possibilities are nearly endless, so long as you meet the appropriate regulations regarding safety handrails, balustrade wire rope material and spacing, and so on. With a little bit of planning, you could have the perfect staircase or balustrading to conform to your preferences. 

3. You can combine styles

It is not unheard of for homeowners and business owners to combine steel wire balustrades with other styles, such as wood posts. Traditionally, steel wires are combined with steel posts, but you can combine them with wooden posts to evoke a different feel with your design. Just make sure to consider the weather and climate in your area and the various weatherproofing measures to take to ensure your designs are long-lasting.

4. There are many options for different climate conditions

We’ve spoken before about weatherproofing and choosing the right materials according to climate conditions. The wonderful thing about stainless steel wire balustrading is that there are plenty of options, fittings, and materials to choose from that adapt to any number of weather conditions. These are also generally inexpensive, allowing you more freedom with your budget.

5. Only minimal maintenance is needed

The beauty of stainless steel wire balustrading is that you can achieve the task of fencing areas and creating a safety handrail for your staircases with minimal parts. The fact that the few parts are also incredibly durable and suited to the elements also means that minimal maintenance is required to keep the whole system clean and strong, unlike with glass and other types of balustrading. 

In conclusion

These are only a few of the benefits of stainless steel wire. If you decide to incorporate them into your home and business, you are likely to discover more. This type of balustrading is not only durable but also highly customisable and wonderfully versatile. They fit any architectural style, and all you need is a little touch of creativity.  If you need a Perth-based custom staircase manufacturer for your home or business, send us a message at Aussie Balustrading. We have a great number of choices for people of all preferences. 

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