July 16, 2014 by admin
Balustrades are structures that serve both functional as well as aesthetic purposes. They are designed keeping the safety of the occupants in mind. Balustrades prevent a person from falling off a porch or a balcony and can be used whenever the height difference in levels is more than 1 metre. Balustrades can typically be fully framed, semi-framed and frameless types. Constructed mainly from stone, plaster, timber or anodized aluminium and tempered glass, each type has a unique style and appearance. Some balusters are made from high strength and low weight polyurethane.
Different types of balustrades:
While all balusters are made to serve a common purpose, i.e. to keep occupants from falling from a height (acting as a guard railing) different type of balustrade systems are used to match the architecture and design of the building. While palatial buildings with old-world architecture often use ornate, vase or spindle-shaped balusters made of stone or wood, contemporary buildings with a glass and steel facade opt for sleek and elegant aluminium and glass based balusters which are generally semi-frameless or frameless. These are generally safer and stronger than materials such as plaster, stone or wood which weaken over time and sometimes even collapse. Articles of similar design, construction and purpose are designed for staircases as well and are referred to as banisters.
Uses of installing a balustrade system:
A baluster has three primary purposes;
- Providing support to the upper rail.
- Protecting the inmates of the house/office building from injury due to falling.
- Adding to the overall look of the house, complementing the architecture and the layout.
Cost of installing balusters:
Their cost can range from a few hundred pounds to several thousands, depending upon the type and craftsmanship on the material used, area to be covered, height, and so on. For a contemporary system made of polyurethane, glass and aluminium, costs come to around £220 per metre, installation and other overheads not included. As balustrades are quite expensive and time taking to install or replace, make sure that the style you choose conforms to the safety norms in your area and whose design is well suited to your home/office. Most glass balustrades are made from strong crack resistant glass and come with a warranty that usually ranges between 3 to 5 years to cover any manufacturing defects. If you are using wood, make sure it has been treated to prevent it from decaying when exposed to rainwater and humidity.
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