Building a deck is a great way to bring the sun and outdoors into your home and more and more of us in New Zealand are doing so. If you’re one of those people who are planning on doing the same you’ll also need to think about decking balustrades. Balustrades, for those that don’t know, are the vertical columns that act as a safety barrier typically topped by a deck railing. In this country, with any deck over 1 metre high, you’ll need to include decking balustrades as part of your plans.
We’ve put together a few tips to bear in mind when doing so!
1. Building Consents
The first point isn’t specific to balustrades themselves but are hugely important and are to do with getting the right consents for the deck before proceeding with the project. This is usually required for any deck 1.5 metres off the ground. It is important to adhere to the right building codes from a safety and compliance point of view, but also to avoid putting yourself at risk with your insurance provider and discouraging potential buyers when it comes time to sell the property.
The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment NZ have some good guidelines on decks and balconiesto get you going on the right track.
2. Types of Balustrades
There is a huge range of materials you can use for your decking balustrade depending on your budget and the look/style you’re going for. The main types are:
Stainless Steel is often a go-to commercial option but can be applied in a residential setting with many advantages for doing. Its high tensile strength makes it incredibly hardwearing and durable. It’s also rust-resistant, it can withstand most types of weather and has very low maintenance requirements as a result
Another popular option is aluminium, a flexible material that can be worked into a wide array of styles while providing the strength required at the same time. It’s again a low maintenance option that is corrosion resistance and often cheaper than steel and iron alternatives.
Another option to consider is using wire mesh infils between the top and bottom rails for your deck. The contrast of this can be striking and it lessens the obstruction of any view you may be looking to preserve. It’ll also encourage airflow for those hot days and are low maintenance and practical as well.
Most decks in New Zealand are made out of timber and many people will opt to match this with their deck rail system. It is a good, reliable option that is relatively lightweight and cost-effective. They sometimes require a bit more maintenance with painting/water blasting etc needed but are otherwise long-lasting. Paired with an wire in-fill timber decking systems can be visual appealing and not disrupt the view.
3. Balustrade design
In covering materials we’ve touched on at times, the design and look of what you might wish to go for. With many of the materials above being malleable, you do have the opportunity to be expressive and make a statement with your choices.
Whether it’s the design/shape of the balustrades, the mixing of materials used, the colour choices available – the options you have at your disposal are almost limitless.
You’ll find plenty of examples online on sites like Pinterest and Flickr for inspiration. We’ve of course worked with some great customers ourselves to come up with some amazing designs over the years. You can see some of these in our gallery and it just goes to show that anything is possible.
The perfect decking balustrades for the perfect deck!
So there you have it! A few tips from us to get you going on your decking adventures. We hope they’ve been helpful and invite you to get in touch with us with any further questions you might have to make your vision a reality!