A balustrade is safety barrier for preventing falls from decks, balconies or staircases (and areas) that have a drop of 1+ metre. They are also sometimes referred to as a handrail in NZ, although this is usually by architects or designers.
Balustrades are technical by nature, but our network of designers, manufacturers and installers have a lot of experience and can be relied on to get you a compliant, robust and safe barrier that meets the NZ Building Code requirements.
If you've never had to think about a balustrade before the choices can be surprisingly overwhelming and confusing. But, the most important thing to always keep in mind is - Is this balustrade system compliant with all the relevant NZ building requirements.
This gives you the greatest reassurance that it can be relied on for safety from falls and will give you many years of service. Jurlaco takes safety and compliance seriously and all the balustrades are designed and tested to exceed the highest NZ building standards, so not only can rely on them for safety but you know that their installers can be trusted to give you valid advice.
Where is the balustrade going? This is important for understanding which balustrade options we can offer you.
Common scenarios include: Decks, Stairways, Pool Fencing and Barrier Fencing/Retaining Walls.
Decks: The two most important things to think about are - Do you have a view and how significant is the deck in your overall home design? If you have a view then you will want to keep that as clear as possible and glass panels for your balustrade are best. If your deck is a large part of the homes design then the style of balustrade is important for adding snazz to your deck and where the unframed (no posts) glass panel balustrades are ideal.
Stairways - Our balustrade systems are designed to be stair barriers as well so there are no limitations on getting the finished look you want for your place. So you can choose a post and rail/glass or frameless glass balustrade finish or even just a handrail only (were applicable) custom designed for your stairs.
Barrier Fencing/Retaining Walls - Pre-made balustrade systems are ideal for these large jobs which require safey barriers in outdoor settings such as retaining, although they are also a popular no-frills option for decks.
How much balustrade do you need?
The size of the area you need to cover can really influence the type of balustrade you choose, especially when it is a large outdoor area. This is where experienced installers can help you to work out what is best for your place, often suggesting fitting a mixture of balustrades for the most cost effective solution. For example glass balustrades are perfect for areas where you want to keep the view clear and aluminium rail balustrades would be suitable for outdoor areas such as south facing decks or retaining walls.
What is the style you are looking for?
And then the all important consideration is what style you want for your home? For many customers and architects the choice of balustrade is easy, they stick to what they know which are the original aluminium post and glass balustrades for their range of styles that suit both modern and older style homes. However, the stunning modern looks of the frameless and semi-frameless glass balustrades are in demand particularly for the design statement they make on homes they are installed on.
Absolutely, so long as it complies with of the NZ Building Code Clause F9/AS1 & section 162C, restricting access to unsupervised children around swimming pools (or other bodies of water) over 400mm deep.
A range of Juralco balustrade systems meet these requirements, so you are not restricted by a limited choice of pool fencing finishes. You can choose an aluminium fence finish or glass panel fencing, or even a combination of both if you prefer.
Your Juralco balustrade dealer can help with advice on your pool fence requirements, both legal and aesthetic.
With over 20 years experience in the design, manufacture and installation of balustrades, Juralco's balustrade systems can be trusted to not only meet safety requirements but to exceed them. All the systems are tested and assessed by independent engineers to exceed the requirements of the AS/NZS 1170 Occupancy Type A, B, E and C3.
Juralco balustrades have been installed in hundreds of NZ homes with great success, providing stylish safety barriers for decks 1 metre and above ground level and pool areas.
It really depends on your personal preference and what is the best for your situation. This is particularly true if you have a nice view and don't want anything to block it, which is where glass balustrades are ideal - keeping the view unobstructed whilst still providing a barrier.
These days the wide spread use and ready availability of toughened safety glass panels means an aluminium post and glass balustrade is virtually the same price as the aluminium post and rail (baluster) system, which was previously a lot cheaper. With a slim minimialist handrail on top, these post and glass panel balustrades are one of our most popular barrier solutions with customers.
Aluminium baluster balustrades, with rails fitted between the aluminium posts are still a great option though, particularly as they can be finished in powder coat colours to match the home's joinery for a cohesive design finish. They are particularly popular as they have such low maintenance demands, only needing a regular wash down with soapy water and rinsing, which can be easily done when homeowners do their regular window cleaning.
Frameless glass balustrades are the ultimate in unobstructed barriers though, with clear toughend safety panels attached to decks by a range of aluminium fittings such as round discs etc. However, as they require a thicker and heavier 12mm or 15mm toughened glass, which is a premium product , they are a naturally a more costly option.
Sometimes customers choose a mixture of balustrade styles to cover their bases, with a frameless glass balustrade on the deck where they look out onto a view and an aluminium post and glass balustrade on the side decks where the view is not so important.
Glass balustrades and windows have the same properties, so they gather dirt and have the same cleaning requirements as well. Balustrade glass can be added to your general cleaning schedule or included in your regular maintenance programme, which has to be undertaken as part of warranty requirements. The glass can be cleaned with soapy water or specialist glass cleaners that you would use for your home's windows.
Specialist coatings, provided by businesses throughout NZ, are available to protect the glass from the worst of the dirt. Your balustrade installer should be able to help you with product recommendations.
Updates to the building regulations nearly 3 years included the requirement for a top rail to be fitted on glass balustrades, providing a backup rail in case of glass panels breaking. With these changes a range of specially designed slim top rails and accessories were introduced to the Juralco glass balustrade range. Initially both customers and installers were concerned about the visual impact a top rail would have on glass panels, in particular imagining that it be an obstruction to the clear view. However, within a few months everyone was pleasantly surpised at the lack of impact it makes on the view. With interlinking rails and balustrade fixings finished in matching powder coat finishes, the rails tend to blend into the overall look.
However since these regulations were introduced a lot of work has gone into making a special laminated glass (which don't require top rails), more readily available for a completely frameless glass balustrade finish. This option is very popular with customers who have an amazing view that they want to enjoy without any obstructions such as a top rail.
No, all our balustrades are custom made for each individual customer's project, they are measured, manufactured, colour coated and installed to fit the area and so are suitable for most building applications. This flexibility means customers can work with the balustrade dealer to get the look they really want for their individual home.
With a choice of 43 standard colours and access to many more colours, most balustrades can be finished in a colour that essentially matches a houses joinery, cladding or roof colour. Check with your balustrade dealer who will be able to help with colour options.
1 - https://www.building.govt.nz/building-code-compliance/f-safety-of-users/f4-safety-from-falling/barriers-and-handrails/