The Cheshire countryside surrounding our headquarters in Congleton is renowned for its rolling farmland, its dairy herds and its impressive country piles. The latter attracts many a high roller from the major urban conurbations to our north and south, looking for a spot of tranquillity and solitude away from the hustle and bustle.
If we mentioned the popularity of these typical Cheshire country mansions amongst Premier League footballers, you would get a flavour of who tends to dip their toes in the property market around here. And with that comes a collision of styles, as the young, rich and famous bring new tastes and preferences to these traditional old homes.
And that is where Glass & Stainless is often asked to step in, as was the case with a recent client of ours. A Premier League footballer with nearby Stoke City, he owned a beautiful old home in a typically picturesque East Cheshire hamlet.
We were brought in to install a new balcony balustrade overlooking the garden. As you can see from the pictures, the balcony was in fact the roof of a ground floor annex converted into an outdoor seating space. It overlooked a very well maintained garden, with a perfectly manicured lawn, a stone patio and neat arrangements of shrubs and hanging baskets.
The first purpose for the installation was to replace an old wrought iron balustrade which had served as the balcony rail. Over the years, time and weather had taken its toll on it, and the balustrade fittings had worked loose, making the whole balcony unsafe.
At the same time, the whole property was undergoing widespread modernisation, and the client wanted the refurbished balcony to reflect the new style.
We recommended a frameless glass balustrade, and designed a bespoke product for the purpose – 21.52mm toughened laminated glass panels with a top mounted base channel and custom glass adaptors. For the installation, we were able to make use of an existing low stone rise on the edge of the balcony area, hence the custom fixings.
Overall, the choice of a frameless balustrade system served three purposes. From a safety point of view, the toughened laminate glass panels are as strong and durable as any wrought iron fencing, with the added bonus that they are completely weather resistant and will not deteriorate in condition over time. That was reinforced by using 316 grade stainless fixings, which do not corrode, so the all important joins to the wall will stay strong and safe for years to come.
Secondly, the choice of a frameless balustrade was to give completely unrestricted views. Wherever you sit on the balcony, you get a full panoramic view over the whole garden. And as it is in a perfect location for catching the sun, you also don’t get any shadows from balustrade posts.
Finally, as well as the practical benefits, a frameless glass balustrade gives the perfect contemporary touch to a modernisation project, but without risking a clash with the traditional architecture. As you can see from the pictures, the plain glass panels, with minimal metal work, are stylish yet understated, fitting in well with the original brick and stone work, as well as the timber floor of the balcony.