No balcony is complete without railings. Important factors for their installation are great height and aesthetic note in the design of the building. Without balcony, the house doesn’t look so harmoniously and picturesquely. Besides, it if’s absent, the residents are deprived of some joys (for example, the ability to drink tea outdoors in the warm season and dry clothes). Railings provide safety. Therefore, they must be strong, safe and made of materials, proven by time and practice. You can build them with your own hands – all you need is to observe the norms and technologies of installation.
Choose the material: benefits and drawbacks
Any materials can be used for creating the balcony railings- everything depends on the taste of people living in the apartment. The main requirements for these constructions are durability and resistance to atmospheric phenomena. You can use one material or combine them with each other. In this case, hand-made balcony railings will look in the photo (as well as in reality) quite original and unusual.
As a rule, the following materials are used:
- Metal – stainless steel, iron or cast iron. Their main advantage is strength (however, steel gives a head start to the rest). Firstly, it is resistant to moisture and corrosion. Secondly, it can take different bizarre shapes without special effect – forging. Even though iron and cast iron need painting (otherwise, there is a risk of their destruction), they can give aesthetic pleasure even to the most demanding person. Forged balcony railings made by a skilled master look like a real masterpiece.
- Glass – tempered, especially durable. Such railings are usually installed on the balconies of offices. They look modern and stylish. Glass combined with stainless steel looks very effective. It also goes well with plastic base. Small weight and low cost are its additional benefits.
- Brick, concrete and stone are intended for the monumental buildings, as they would look too bulky in the ordinary dwellings. You can use both natural and artificial stone, as well as different compounds (for example, the ones based on granite crumb).
The most unpopular material for manufacturing the handrails with your own hands is wood. Firstly, it is vulnerable to destruction due to the impact of different weather conditions. Secondly, it is fragile. However, it is used either as a material for balcony railings in small cottage houses or for manufacturing small decorative elements. The choice of material depends on three factors: financial possibility, wishes and requirements of the customer, as well as the condition and type of building, where the balconies are located.
Hand-made manufacture of the handrails
While the choice of materials partly depends on the wishes of the resident, rules and requirements of building standards are very strict. According to them, the height of balcony railings must be sufficient (in any case, the top of the railing must not be situated lower than the waist of the highest person, located in the building).
In numbers, it looks like this: practice shows that the height balcony railings can’t be less than 1 m, while the strict standards of SNiP don’t accept the height below 1.2 m.
Don’t get carried away by the abundance of effective details of decoration. The master who builds handrails on his own, must care first of all of the human safety. Too large gaps between the elements of railings and sharp details are unacceptable in the design. Distance between the components of the railings must not exceed 12 mm, otherwise the child may stick the head between the balusters.
Direct manufacture of balcony railings on your own starts with the purchase of materials and furniture. After collecting everything necessary, you should install the frame (weld it to the base, installed on the balcony plate along the perimeter). Further action will depend on the chosen material. For example, metal structures must be assembled in blocks and welded to the frame by the scheme. There are special assembling technologies for the glass options, while the wooden models are fixed with safe tapping screws and fixed with glue for additional safety.
Comfortable and beautiful balcony railings can have the same style as the facade of the building or become the contrast details for some more expression. The most important thing is to consider the weight of structure (which can be reduced by means of PVC handrails) and its safety.
What do you think about the handrails for your balcony? Write us about your preferences or real experience right here, in the comments.