Why your balustrades should be made of metal

When it comes to architectural design, every detail matters. From the colour scheme to the choice of materials, each element contributes to a space’s overall aesthetic appeal and functionality. Metal balustrades have long been a popular choice for both residential and commercial properties due to their sleek appearance, durability, and versatility. Ensuring the safety and reliability of your staircase is required by law, but this doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look good as well as be compliant with building regulations.   

Metal balustrades offer a perfect combination of style, durability, and safety. They provide an elegant touch to any space while ensuring stability and security. Our specialist team at Tony Perry has expertise in metal fabrication and producing metal balustrades tailored to any design for projects in London, East Anglia and the South East as part of our services. Let’s take a deeper look into the benefits of choosing metal balustrades and understand what considerations there are before you dive into your next project.

Enhancing Safety and Security

Safety is a legal priority when designing or renovating a property, especially when it involves stairs, balconies, or elevated areas. Metal balustrades offer several features that enhance safety and security, providing peace of mind for both residents and visitors.

The main advantage of metal balustrades is their inherent strength and stability. Made from robust materials such as stainless steel or mild steel, these balustrades offer unparalleled structural integrity and load bearing. Balustrades need to bear the weight of the people using them, complying to BS 6180:2011 standards, and the strength of the metal ensures the safety of those using the stairs or leaning against the balcony. There are three main load requirements for barriers and balustrades, which are 0.74kN/m, 1.5kN/m, and 3kN/m. These loads are applied to the balustrade per linear metre at a height of 1.1m above the finished floor level.

The following table provides a general guide to the appropriate load requirement for different locations:

Location Load requirement (kN/m)
Areas not susceptible to large crowds in office and institutional buildings, including stairs, walkways, and balconies 0.74
Areas where people might gather and public walkways and pavements less than 3m wide that protect against a fall 1.5
Footways or pavements greater than 3m wide and public areas such as theatres, bars, shopping malls, and other areas susceptible to large crowds 3.0

It is important to note that this is just a general guide. Our balustrades normally include stainless steel fixings with a minimum load bearing of 1.5kN/m to ensure a solid load-bearing capacity. The sturdiness of metal balustrades minimises the risk of accidents, making them ideal for a high-traffic stairway. Whether you have a public building or run a busy commercial establishment, steel balustrades will help maintain a secure environment for everyone.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, a third of reported fall accidents occur on stairs. Anyone in danger of tripping and falling must have a protective barrier for them to catch themselves on. Balustrades or railings are required under Document K building safety regulations in England and Wales to be installed on any project where there are stairs with an elevation greater than 600mm. Making use of metal balustrades not only prioritises the safety of everyone using your staircase but also demonstrates a commitment to following established regulations that help create a trustworthy and legally compliant space that adds value to your property.

With metal balustrades, you can design a space that seamlessly combines aesthetics with practicality. By incorporating safety measures tailored to your specific needs, you can ensure the well-being of your loved ones without compromising on style.

Versatility in Design and Style

Metal balustrades offer an extensive range of design possibilities, allowing you to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any architectural project. From classic to contemporary styles, metal balustrades seamlessly integrate into various design aesthetics, enhancing the overall visual appeal of your space.

Balustrades can be crafted from various metals such as stainless steel, wrought iron, or aluminium. At Tony Perry, we specialise in steel balustrades. You can select the finish, whether it’s polished, brushed, or powder-coated in a specific colour. This ability to customise with a variety of materials to choose from allow you to create a cohesive design scheme that seamlessly integrates with the rest of your space and suits your functional needs.

One of the key advantages of metal balustrades is their ability to blend with different architectural styles. Whether you are working on a traditional Victorian or Georgian home, a modern minimalist office, or anything in between, metal balustrades can be fabricated to complement the existing design elements and details.

For example, if your property features intricate woodwork, or you need to incorporate safety glass into the design for your customer, steel balustrades can be fabricated with elegant curves or decorative patterns cut from sheet metal to complement the existing décor and components. If you prefer a sleek and minimalist look, choose straight lines and minimal embellishments for your metal balustrades.

At Tony Perry, we are experts in fabricating heritage metalwork for period and historic properties. From public buildings to cultural landmarks, the versatility of metal allows our team to provide endless creative possibilities to suit our clients’ unique vision.

Durability to Weather the Elements

Investing in durable and long-lasting materials is crucial when it comes to any construction or renovation project. Metal balustrades are ideal for external balustrading, offering exceptional durability and longevity compared to other options on the market like wood or glass.

Exterior structures are constantly exposed to various weather conditions, including rain, snow, heat, and UV rays. High-quality metal balustrades prove to be highly resistant to these elements, with their weatherproof material making them ideal for outdoor installations. Metal balustrades can also be designed with weather-resistant coating or finish, such as powder coating or galvanising, to withstand corrosion and decay, ensuring they remain in optimal condition throughout their lifespan. Stainless steel, in particular, offers excellent resistance against rust and oxidation due to its chromium content. A stainless-steel handrail or balustrade works well in coastal areas when exposed to saltier air, as its surface is more resistant to rusting and corrosion. 

Unlike wooden balustrade posts that may warp, rot, or fade over time, metal balustrades maintain their structural integrity and appearance even in the harshest climates. This durability ensures that your investment remains visually appealing and functional for many years to come. Wooden balustrades also require regular staining or sealing to prevent damage, whereas metal balustrades are virtually maintenance-free. Using mild soap and water is usually enough to keep them looking pristine and polished. This not only eliminates the need for ongoing upkeep expenses but also means you can spend more time enjoying your space, rather than maintaining it.

By opting for metal balustrades and handrails, you eliminate concerns about woodworms, termites, or fungal growth that can compromise the structural integrity of traditional wooden balustrades. This resistance to decay allows you to enjoy your balustrades without the need for frequent repairs or replacements, saving both time and money in the long run.

Do balustrades increase the value of your property?

When considering any development project, it’s essential to evaluate the potential impact on the value of the property. Most types of metal balustrades offer an excellent return on investment by enhancing the visual appeal and overall value of the space.

Potential buyers or tenants are often drawn to properties with standout design elements, and well-designed metal balustrades help create a favourable first impression – giving the property a competitive edge in the property market. Whether it’s a galleried landing overlooking a grand staircase or a balcony offering a clear vista of a beautiful landscape, these architectural features catch the eye and make a property the envy of the neighbourhood. The added value and desirability they bring can lead to increased demand, ultimately resulting in higher resale or rental values.

Invest in Metal Balustrades

From enhancing safety and security to adding style and elegance, indoor and outdoor metal balustrades elevate the look and feel of any space and add a touch of chic. Their durability, low maintenance requirements, and versatile properties make them a long-term investment that adds value to your property.

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