Thanks to modern advances in materials and installation techniques, there is now more choice than ever when it comes to choosing a balustrade system.
Whether you are looking to upgrade your staircase, finish off a decked area or patio outside, or perhaps add a balcony feature to your property, you can achieve just about any look and feel you choose.
Glass and stainless steel balustrades in particular have soared in popularity amongst property owners looking for a sharp, contemporary aesthetic and to create bright, open spaces.
However, choice comes with its downfalls. So many options can become confusing, and it can actually become harder to choose the right solution for your needs.
Here are five common pitfalls to avoid when choosing a balustrade system.
1. Prioritising Price
As with many things, you get what you pay for with balustrades. The cheapest options may sound appealing, but they will nearly always make use of inferior quality materials with lower installation standards. Remember, this is a long term investment for your property. In the long run, paying more for a higher quality product made from more durable materials and solid installation may actually save you money in replacements and repairs.
2. Style Over Safety
We all want our homes and properties to look beautiful, but there are practical considerations to bear in mind when it comes to upgrades and installations. Especially on high platforms like staircases and balconies, the primary function of a balustrade system is safety. For example, if you have young children, it may not be appropriate to have an all glass balustrade without a handrail on your staircase, no matter how great it looks.
3. Jumping Straight In
There are a lot of balustrades out there, sold by a lot of different vendors and installers. If you want the best value for the best quality possible, you would be strongly advised to put some time into researching what is available. Jumping straight into purchasing from the first vendor you find presents all sorts of risks. Take time to check how experienced companies are in balustrade installation, their health and safety accreditations, and look for signs that their products meet relevant regulations.
4. Ignoring Maintenance
You want your balustrade to last a long time. The type of material you choose will have a big influence on the amount of effort and money you will have to put into keeping your balustrades in tip top condition. For example, certain woods can be very aesthetically appealing, but will require regular revarnishing and probably only have a shelf life of 10 years if used outdoors. Stainless steel balustrade systems, on the other hand, are extremely durable in all conditions, and all they ever need is a quick wipe to make them look good as new again.
5. Forgetting the Setting
Where your new balustrade is going to be located should also be a key factor in the decisions you make on style and materials. As mentioned above, glass and stainless balustrades make for more durable choices for outdoor uses. But you should also consider how the design fits into the wider environment, whether that is the interior of your own home or the surrounding homes outside.