Balustrades can transform the appearance and functionality of your home, but this is only true if you make the right product choices. The last thing any home owner wants is to be dealing with costly maintenance issues due to dodgy installations or poor choice of material. Choosing a balustrade should never be a rushed decision, and in this blog post we’ll be highlighting some of the most common mistakes people make and how they can be avoided. Don’t make the same mistakes, get it right the first time and enjoy years of reliable service from a RAILSAFE balustrade.
- Emphasis on Aesthetics over Functionality
We can all appreciate beautiful design, but the primary purpose of any balustrade should always be safety. All too often people place too much emphasis on the way a balustrade looks, whilst neglecting the safety elements such as fall prevention. Make sure that you choose a balustrade which is high enough to function as a safety barrier for both children and tall adults. Care should also be taken when choosing a handrail to ensure the profile doesn’t encourage objects to be placed and left on top unattended. Finally, if you have young children or pets, you should avoid balustrades with large gaps.
- Going for the cheapest option
The old adage “you get what you pay for” is applicable to almost everything you buy in life, and balustrades are no different. There are many factors which make up the cost of a balustrade, including quality, safety, research and development costs, durability, warranty, installation and delivery. Whilst cheaper options may exist, they are unlikely to be backed by a strong warranty and are more likely to fail prematurely and/or require costly maintenance.
Glass balustrades are highly customisable, so it’s a good idea to set a realistic budget that allows you to achieve your style and safety goals without going overboard. You should firstly determine your ‘must have’ features (e.g. pool fences need to be compliant with state regulations), and then allocate any money left over for customisation. Dealing with a professional company such as RAILSAFE gives you peace of mind that you are getting a quality product with excellent value for money.
- Choosing to self-install
You might think that installing a balustrade would be simple, but this is not true in all cases. All balustrades require structural certification, must adhere to Australian Standards and NCC legislation and have strict installation requirements, so design, fabrication and installation should only be carried out by an experienced professional. It is not uncommon to hear about horror stories of home owners breaking glass panels or having balustrades dangerously installed. The stress, hassle and expensive of DIY installations is simply not worth it. By choosing a reliable contractor to carry out the install you are guaranteed of a job well done, and you will be fully covered by insurance for any damages incurred during installation.
- Failing to Consider the Environment
Australia is a big place, and the climate and environmental factors vary significantly depending on where you live. For example, people who live by the sea may require better quality components to resist the effects of salt and corrosion. Salty air will also mean that glass panels need to be cleaned more frequently.
You also need to think about the unique design of your house or unit. If you live in an older or traditionally styled home, glass or stainless steel may not be the best choice as it will look out of place. You may be better off going for aluminium instead. There’s no need to rush your decision. It’s a good idea to think about your existing setting and which type of balustrade will result in the most appreciable improvement, as this will give you the best return on investment and keep you happy for many years to come.
- Failing to Consider Maintenance Costs
There’s a major reason why glass and aluminium balustrades are so popular – it’s because they don’t require much maintenance. Whilst elaborate timber balustrades may look the part, they are extremely costly to maintain. Not only are they susceptible to wood worm, they are also easy to mark and chip. It can be very difficult to find people with the skills needed to repair these types of balustrades.
There is no balustrade system that is entirely maintenance free, but glass comes close. All it needs is a simple wipe down with soapy water and it will look as good as new.
Ready to Upgrade? Talk to RAILSAFE Today!
We don’t want to see you make a mistake. For expert advice and guidance in making the right decision, please contact our balustrade team today. We will make sure that you get the best value for money by choosing a balustrade that will enhance your property value as well as family life.