By Hayley Potter
Stainless steel balustrading can add a classy and striking touch to your indoor or outdoor areas while providing added safety, whether it’s on a staircase or balcony. However, like with all other home improvement additions, it’s well worth researching and making an informed decision before investing in a stainless steel balustrade.
Here are some tips to help you with the researching process and ensure you make a worthwhile investment:
#1. Think beyond aesthetics
Stainless steel balustrades provide a sleek, contemporary look to your home, which can often be a primary motivator for people to want a balustrade in the first place. However, the original purpose of balustrades is definitely the most important: safety. Balustrades were designed to prevent falls and accidents, meaning that this should still be the top priority when installing a balustrade. Going for a balustrade that is not high enough to prevent falls or has a slippery handrail is not worth it, no matter how great it makes your property look.
#2. Enlist the professionals
Balustrades are often thought of as an ornamental addition to a home, and not as the structural feature they really are. Of course, this means that when it comes to installation, you have to get the work done by qualified professionals. The balustrade should also be sourced from the same team, to ensure the same standard of servicing and work. Some balustrades are intended for DIY installation, however, so if you’re confident with your home improvement skills, go for it.
#3. You get what you pay for
If you’re doing a series of renovations or additions around the home, the costs will start building up quickly. This means you might be tempted to go for the cheapest balustrade on the market, thinking it’s not as important as your kitchen renovation or new deck. As the balustrade provides a safety feature, it’s imperative that you choose a product that can actually do the job of securing your space. Design, durability, ease of installation and delivery time are all other factors that should be considered, and not excluded for the sake of a cheaper product.
When comparing quotes, make sure you’re comparing apples with apples. What do each of the quotes include exactly? What are the lead times? Does it include a warranty? Bear in mind that a quote that looks too good to be true likely is.
#4. Be prepared for the maintenance
Again, a balustrade is not simply an ornamental feature that can sit there without any maintenance required. More elaborate styles will require a craftsman to maintain it, while a glass balustrade in a home with young children will mean constantly having to wipe away fingerprints. This means that before investing in a new balustrade, you have to consider what material you will actually be able to easily maintain. Stainless steel is one of the best materials for balustrades, precisely because of how easy it is to maintain.
#5. Complementary styles
While aesthetics aren’t everything (see point 1), it’s still important that your balustrade complements the rest of your home. A terrace house would look strange with a glass balustrade, while a carved mahogany balustrade wouldn’t integrate well with a contemporary home. Choose a balustrade that will look timeless when part of your home, and therefore proves itself to be a long-lasting, worthwhile investment.
#6. Consider the Material
Balustrades tend to come in one of three materials: glass, metal or wood. Each have their unique pros and cons, and suit different homes. Glass balustrades keep the natural light flowing through your space, which creates a bright and airy look. However, as mentioned above, they can be a hassle to upkeep, especially if you have young children.
When it comes to metal balustrades, stainless steel is the most popular material, creating a modern industrial look. It is also far easier to maintain, as it doesn’t require constant wiping down like glass. Metal also allows for more customization than other materials, as it can be used to create ornamental designs.
Finally, wood is perhaps the most classic material used for balustrades, with timber being especially trendy. Timeless and simple, timber proves to be a durable material, but can look dated in some homes.